Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 1 in the Pool

Thursday, January 7, 2010, that is the day that I started my first winter swimming training ever.  With that said, it is important to note that today, Friday, January 20, 2012, I was back in the pool. starting my road back to legitimate triathlon shape!

So how did my swim workout go?  Surprising well, considering the last time I swam was September 2011.  I kicked it off with an easy 150m, which would have been 300m had my shoulders, back and arms not been feeling the ill effects of a four month layoff.  I managed to add another 100m to my "warm-up" before I got into the next part of my swim....10 x 50m on 20 sec (probably should be 10 sec, but I was so tired).  I managed to keep my 50m's under a minute but I was getting really sore.  On a positive note, I miscounted and actually did eleven 50s (a bonus 50m in distance, yeah!).  I finished up my swim with a 200m cool down with a pull-buoy (cheating, I know, but I needed it).  All in all a very successful 1,050m swim, not bad for my first time in the water for a while.

One thing that I need to get off my chest that I wasn't too thrilled about this morning at the pool.  Instead of having the pool divided into six lanes, the have it divided into three large lanes.  No problem for me I suppose, that is until I see the guy in the "medium" lane (my lane of choice) swimming down along the left lane line and then up along the right lane line, swimming in a "circle".  I know that this isn't anything out of the ordinary for some pools, but this is my first time with this and I am not a fan.  I prefer to have all of the lane lines out with two people per lane with each person staying to their side of the lane.  I just think it works better, at least for me.  This is the one thing that is going to take some getting used to.

Post-swim I did venture into the gym to try some weight training, but it wasn't happening.  My left shoulder is bothering me and I was just beat.  I really didn't sleep all that well last night, nor many nights this week.  I opted to hit the showers and get on the road to Philly.  I'll have to run when I get home tonight.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

YMCA....and I don't mean the Village People version

It took a lot of internal debate regarding the cost, potential usage, and benefits.  Even when we were at the facility, we were still talking about if this was something we should do.  After all of the talk was done we made it official, as of 6:30PM last night, my wife and I joined Central Bucks Family YMCA!!! 

Now comes the hard part, getting my sorry ass out of bed every morning at 5:00AM and driving the six miles over there and actually utilizing it.  If I don't get up and get there prior to the crack of dawn, then there is little hope of me going.  [Prepare for an internal pep talk] You did it for ten months when you were training for Ironman Arizona, there is not reason that you can't do it now.  Heck, you were getting up at 4:30AM or even 4:15AM back then so that you were there when the gym opened at 5:00AM so you could get your hour and a half swim work out in.  This is actually going to be easier on you and you will be in better shape as a result.  So buck up, suck it up and get up every morning!!!

The first obvious question is...did you get up and go to the gym this morning?  Sadly, I did not.  Will I be going tomorrow?  I hope to, but I do have a soccer game tonight at 9:30PM, which means I won't get home until around 10:45PM.  Getting up Thursday morning might be a bit tough, but I will try.  Friday morning is a definite and I hope to make it there this weekend if everything aligns correctly.

Oh, a little recap on the past few days of exercise:
  • Sunday:  7 mile run - I ran the toe path along the Delaware River from Stockton, NJ, over the bridge to PA, then down to New Hope, over the bridge to Lambertville, NJ and back to Stockton.  It was friggin' cold out, but I had a great run (slow, but happy to be out on a beautiful sunny day).
  • Monday:  Was ready to get on the trainer, but my wife was pretty sick, so I had to take care of the little ones.  By the time I had "me time" it was 10:00PM and I was getting ready for bed.
  • Tuesday:  45 tough minutes on the trainer.  I adjusted the magnet on my rear wheel and all of a sudden I was riding 2 - 3 MPH faster.  Dang, I guess I wasn't going as slow as I thought for the past two years.
  • Tonight:  Soccer game, probably a two mile warm up run before hand to loosen up my seemed to work last week.

That is it for now.  The quest for fitness begins, well, it actually began already....the quest for fitness continues tonight!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Running & Soccer

I suck, simply said, I suck.  I was on a role last week, running and biking, playing soccer, getting exercise every day.  Monday of this week rolls around and I decide to take a rest day, this is totally acceptable and encouraged by most coaches and training books.  We move on to Tuesday and I tell my wife that I would like to go for a run when I get home from work, she agrees to my plan.  Here is where it all starts to unwind....I walk in the door and my wife tells me that she has to run next door to talk to our neighbor about some issues their daughter and my oldest daughter are having.  No problem, right?  Well, she was gone for about 20 minutes at which time I decided I should eat dinner with my middle daughter, lest she will eat alone.  That puts us at around 6:30PM, and I can't go running after having just eaten dinner (a salad with chicken on it); I need at least an hour of digestion to occur (ideally two hours). 

So, I spend some time with the family, play Yahtzee with the girls, get them upstairs and ready for bed, and next thing I know it is 8:30PM.....time to go running.  Well, not so fast, my oldest daughter can't fall asleep and the baby is still awake.  Looks like I been assigned the "get our oldest daughter back in bed duty".  For an hour I have to continually coax her back into her bed and ultimately deal with a hysterical little girl who is feeling like her world is collapsing around her (she is 9 year old, she is a bit of a drama queen).  Eventually she falls asleep at 9:30PM, the baby is just about to fall asleep and I have no desire to drag my butt outside to go running in the 25F weather.  I curse at myself and go to bed early.

I woke on Wednesday morning feeling like a complete cad.  How was I so weak as to of not gone running the night before.  I would make up for it later.  I had soccer that night and thought it would be a good idea to get in a 15 - 20 minute run prior, to ensure that I get a full work out in.  It ended up being a relative quick two mile run (16:20 for 8:10/mile pace), at least quick for me lately.  Then it was off to soccer where we had our final regular season game against the team tied with us in the rankings.  I ran my ass off, sprinting everywhere and playing my heart out.  We emerged victorious (4 - 2, I scored the 4th goal with four minutes left) and I was wiped out, completely spent from the experience.

So here I am on Thursday morning, I slept in a bit and took a nice hot shower to try and loosen up my achy body.  I will be running tonight when I get home for sure, I have to otherwise I will start to slow descent into fatness yet again (I am gradually pulling myself from its clutches).  I need to remember that I need to stick to this loose schedule for at least three weeks.   I am hoping that on Friday night or sometime this weekend I will join the YMCA and get into the pool.

That is about it for now....well, two things to note:

#1 - I will be writing a review of a new racing shoe purchase, the K-Swiss Blade-Light Race, which I managed to get for 50% thanks to "Schwaggle" (see below). 
#2 - I am on the cusp of ordering a new running watch, the Garmin Forerunner 910XT.  My current Garmin Forerunner 305 is on deaths door, thanks to some water getting under the glass (caught in a heavy rain storm).  Once I get it ordered, receive it and use it a few times I will post a review for that as well. 

Happy training everyone.  Ciao!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Holstee Manifesto

I found this image on another bloggers site (TriSaraTops), who I used to follow a bit back in my IM days.  It is the Holstee Manifesto and I like it a lot.  I thought it would be a good thing to post here on my blog and hope that it might inspire you all.

If only I could live by the words written on it.  I will do my best to try.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Good Week

Last week was the first week back to a routine, at least what resembled a routine.  I managed to get out and do something every single day with Thursday being a very easy day into thanks to my daughters choir practice, a late dinner and the girls getting to bed late.  I made it a point to get in exercise no matter what and I am eating healthier.  As a result I feel a heck of a lot better for it; I'm not as sore and achy as I have been the past few months, I have shed a few pounds, and I generally feel good.  Here is a breakdown of last weeks activity:
  • Monday - 4 mile run
  • Tuesday - 1 hour ride on trainer
  • Wednesday - Soccer Game (40 minutes)
  • Thursday - 30 minutes on trainer (sore from Wed night soccer
  • Friday - 5.2 mile run
  • Saturday - 21 mile bike ride (outside very hilly ride)
  • Sunday - 4.75 mile run
In the past I have preached to my father how all he needs to do is stick with an exercise program for a minimum of two weeks (three or four is ideal).  If he could do that then it would become routine and would become easier.  I wish that I had only listened to my own advice a little more carefully.  That has been my main limiter, the fact that I haven't been in a groove, I haven't been consistent with any workouts.  I have one week under my belt and I will continue it tonight when I get home.  Granted it is going to be consistently tricky because of the baby and the other two girls, but I will find a way to make it work.

One item of note is that my wife and I (or possibly just me) are on the cusp of joining our local YMCA which would mean I would finally have a pool to swim at and would also mean that I would have a reason to get up at 5:00AM every morning to swim and/or lift weights, do a spin class, etc.  I am pretty excited and am really looking forward to joining.  The bonus to joining now is that there is no sign up fee, which is around $150.  Let's make it happen!!!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012...Off to a Good Start

It is officially 2012, actually four days into the new year, and I have done pretty well with regard to starting out on the right foot (no pun intended) by heading out for a five mile run on New Year's Day, then putting in a tough hour on the trainer in the basement on the 2nd.  Yesterday was a wash because my day was booked solid from when I left the house until I walked in the door at 9:30PM.

I had really hoped to have a 2012 Plan in place for the year ahead but any plan that I might create would be doomed from the start.  It may sound like a cop out, but I am realistic about the challenges that I have before me with regard to balancing family with work and training.  The birth of my third daughter has definitely made things a bit more crazy and add to that the fact that I still haven't been able to figure out a training schedule that fits around my ever changing work schedule.  I have swung and missed whenever I have attempted to do P90X for the sole reason that the only time I can really do it is 4:30AM and that just isn't happening.  I have tried to get into a routine of running or biking every day but I feel the pull to spend time with my family when I walk in the door from work and I struggle to get at it once the girls are in bed (~9:00PM).  I know these are all excuses and I have written them over and over again throughout the past nine months. 

So, what am I going to do to change things:
  1. Join a gym with a pool.  If I (with my wife) do this, I will get my butt out of bed around 5:00AM and to the gym by 5:30AM for a swim workouts, spin classes and heck maybe even YOGA!!!  I desperately need to get back into the pool and start swimming again and just get healthy.
  2. The days I am not at the gym, get up and run or ride the bike in the basement.  If I can manage to get up for swimming I will do it for the other things.
  3. Eat better, which I started last week.  No more soda, no more fried foods, no more least until I have dropped at least 10 - 15 lbs.  Then I will treat myself to some bad stuff before getting back to dropping another 5 - 10 lbs.
  4. Pick a Spring Half-Marathon to run, then lay out my summer/fall triathlon schedule.  I may just throw in some winter trail races if I feel so inclined.
So, no real semblance here, just babbling about how much I suck and how I don't have any of my crap together.  I really am going to figure it all out this year, I just have to.  I hate feeling the way that I feel right now.  My back is always sore, my legs ache and when I actually do go running my heart rate is far too high (yeah, I am that out of shape).  Enough for now, back to work.  Cheers!!!