Saturday, December 30, 2006

12/30 - 12/31/2006 Bicycling & Long Run

12/30/2006 Bicycling

I was hoping to break that 2000 mile mark for the year, but in December I realized that a) I just didn't have much time to get out and ride on the few nice days that we had. and b) what does it matter? I've already blasted through most of my personal records this year in a stellar year of riding and racing, so to go this one step further wasn't going to be a huge deal, so I let it go. 2007 is a new year with lots of new challenges.

The fact that I knew I wasn't going to break anymore records for the year doesn't mean I quit riding. Those milestones and personal records are really secondary to the fact that I love riding, and I'll take any chance I can to get out for a run or a ride. This Saturday morning presented just that opportunity as my car needed some new tires. New tires? What does new tires have to do with riding? Well rather than sitting around waiting for the tires to be put on, or having my wife follow me to the mechanic's and then driving me back home, what better excuse to ride is there than to take the car to the mechanic and ride home?

I'd say there are other excuses, but few better. Save gas, get exercise, it's a win-win. For the last ride of the year it was simply glorious.

Odo: 1957.6 miles
Dist: 25.13 miles
Time: 1:42.14
Avg: 14.7 mph
Max: 35.9 mph

12/31/2006 Long Run

The last run of the year was a different story. It was a cold, wet, stiff, aching story of 64 minutes of pain and exhaustiion. That may be overstating it a little bit, but not by much. It was drizzling and cold, about 35 degrees when I left the house. I didn't think much of it, and was kind of excited to run in the rain when I first left. By the midway point it turned into a downpour. I was at the mid-point so there was no sense in turning around so I pushed on. By the time I approached the 132 hill I was stiff and cold. I slowed to a walk for about 20 yards to catch my breath and get a little rest in before tackling the hill. For some reason my heart rate was high the entire time ranging from the mid to high 160's even on the flat road. Usually it hovers in the 150's on the flats. Maybe the cold, or the stiffness, or a combination of both was causing it, but I know it was sapping me very quickly. This was one of the worst runs of the year in terms of enjoyment, maybe only better than the day last summer when I decided to run in the extreme heat of summer on a day after I worked an overnight shift. I am proud of myself though for sticking with it and finishing up the 6 mile run.

Friday, December 29, 2006

12/29/2006 Strength. Core. Spinning

Strength Training

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.

Core Training

Core class was canceled because of the holiday, but that wasn't going to stop me from torturing myself with some core work before spinning class. I spent about 15 minutes doing crunches, planks, planks with knee dips, alternating side crunches, and more crunches. I don't remember the exact numbers, because I waited too long to post this blog.

Spinning (Intervals and Tempo)

Since there was no core class I was able to get into the spinning room early and start a little early. I was in 30 minutes early actually, which gave me lots of time to warm up and do a little tempo work before class started. I put my heart rate up around 65% and put just enough tension on for that road feel and just let my legs do the work.

After class started we did some intervals and tempo work. I can't remember what we did exactly, because once again I've waited too long and didn't note anything about the class in the days shortly after the class. silly me. Anyway, it was regular 60 minute class for a total of 90 minutes of spinning.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Running Form Analysis 3

It's some more words of wisdom from Bob Roncker. It was passed to me from him, and I pass it on to you grasshopper. Before we get to the words of wisdom I have some personal thoughts first. I've been consciously slowing down my my workout routine recently to take a bit of a break before I hit it hard in January. It has been weird and hard. As hard as it is for some people to start a workout routine and get going it seems to be just as hard to rest and take a break when you've been in a pretty steady routine for almost a year. I'm feeling a little edgy and everyday that I don't run, ride or workout I feel like I'm missing out. It's like unfinished business and I hate unfinished business. At the same time I can feel the pull of laziness. In the early morning when I would normally get up to run or go to the gym I roll over and think "I could get used to this." The truth is I couldn't get used to it. Even if I did let myself slide it would lead to some minor depression, the inevitable weight gain, junk food, self loathing, and general shittiness. So, let's skip all of that nonsense and try to relax and enjoy the break. I am excited about beginning some hardcore marathon and duathlon training, and that, my friends, is a good thing.

In the meantime let's get some learnin'... Review: (Lesson 1, Lesson 2)

In my mind one of the goals of the Running Form Session was for you to become more aware of your current running form and to understand what you can do to help you run more efficiently. Running more efficiently enables you to go farther or faster with the same effort and it helps reduce overuse injuries.

What does a running stride consist of? Here is a description that I recently read. “A running stride is a complete cycle of motion consisting of a period of weight-bearing or support on one foot, followed by a period of non-weight-bearing or ‘float,’ then a period of weight –bearing on the other foot and another period of float.”

As mentioned in the last letter, speed is a factor of:

a. Stride length

b. Stride turnover


The arms certainly affect the rotation of the upper body. Since running is essentially a forward motion, we want to avoid anything that produces a side-to-side-sway. The arms affect each of the above components.

a. Sway reduces the forward thrust, thus reducing the stride length.

Visualization – Imagine the thrust of a jet plane as it takes off. I certainly would not want to be on a jet that was swaying back and forth down the runway.

To help maintain this forward propulsion the arms should freely swing at the shoulder. For many individuals it looks as if their upper body is in a cast. The following exercise helps reinforce the arm swinging at the shoulder.

Exercise - Stand up and let your arms hang straight down at your sides. Then, begin to alternately swing them without bending at the elbow. First, swing each of your hands above your head; then lower it to your forehead, next to neck height, finally, to chest level.

This gets you used to having the arms freely swinging from the shoulders. So many people look as if they are in a body cast. However, keeping the arms straight is fine for the above exercise, but that is not the way you want it to be when you run.

b. The legs move in unison with the arms. Speed up the arms and you increase the leg turnover.

The elbows should never be locked. This affects the speed of movement. The angle at the elbow should be constantly changing. Practice the following exercise, perhaps in front of a mirror before you go out for your next run.

Exercise – Imagine that your right hand is a hammer and you are pounding a nail that is sticking out from your left hand. Notice the movement of the arms at the elbow. That’s what you want to have happening as you run.

When you bend your elbow, you shorten the length of your arm. Your arm acts as a pendulum. A shorter pendulum is a faster pendulum. See what it feels like with a shorter pendulum and arms freely moving back and forth.

Take care.


12/24/2006 Dog Jog/Long Run

Continuing our run of unusually warm weather Christmas Eve was another 40+ degree day. Since we were heading out for a long day of family gatherings and lots of eating I had to get out and do some running with Gracie. Poor Gracie would be locked up all day with nobody to take her out, so we went out and jogged the 2.3 miles up and down Filager and through Meghan's Run to get her a little morning exercise.

After dropping Gracie back at the house I continued on for a longer run. I ran what is my usual 6.5 mile route with an extra mile while running Gracie up and down Filager Rd for a total of 7.5 miles in a little over an hour. While running with Gracie we made a few stops to lighten the load or drop a load. I thought I would be annoyed by this when we first started running together again, but I find that it makes me slow down a little bit, and pulls me out of the auto-pilot that I can slip into sometimes when I'm running. I have to be more aware of my surroundings. Hooray for dog jogs!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Running Form Analysis 2

This is the second part to the follow up from the Running Form Analysis Clinic that I attended. All the information below was presented by Bob Roncker of Bob Roncker's Running Spot. The first part was posted on 12/16.

Here are two critical areas that affect proper form:

The arms, wrists, and hands - movement of the upper body.
Pelvic area - Posture is largely determined by the position of the pelvis.

If the hands and wrists are in proper alignment, the rest of the body tends to flow along. The way the arms swing from the shoulders and the position of the wrists and hands helps you to properly run ON your feet.

You witnessed the demonstration with the E3 bio-grips. On the second try I was able to lift a fairly heavy individual because his joints were stabilized and engaged. Having stabilized joints enables you to better track yourself more in a straight line and get a better push off with each stride. Remember the added distance gained the second time the individual walked? Speed is a function of stride turnover (shorter pendulum = faster pendulum) and stride length.

I can't say I totally understand what happens with these grips, but I am a believer in them. I definitely feel they improve your alignment and your efficiency.

Arm, wrist, and hand review:

Let the arms swing freely from the shoulder. Shoulder sway is minimized. You want the feeling of going forward.

Bend the elbows ranging from a 90-120 degree. Imagine yourself hammering a nail.

Wrists should be firm and in line with the forearm. Limp wrists are not going to give you the same forward movement.

Hands should be clenched, but relaxed. Slightly turn the palms upward in order to keep the elbows closer to the body.

The hands should not cross the midline of the body when running. This helps to avoid shoulder sway.

They also should not go higher than the chest, except when sprinting in at the end of a race.

Posture is primarily determined by the angle that the pelvis is held. If it is pitched forward, there is some sloping in the back and your legs do not have the same range of motion. Remember the exercise where you balanced on one foot, lifted your knee, put your hands at that height, held it, then bent forward, and repeated the same process? You could not lift the knee as high the second time after bending at the waist. Tilt the pelvis back. Imagine your bellybutton being pressed against your spine. Tuck in your butt. This is a hard thing to maintain and think about, but if you persist, you WILL experience better posture.

Try to practice these things. More to come.

Bob Roncker
Bob Roncker's Running Spot

Thursday, December 21, 2006

12/19 - 12/20/2006 Running, Strength, Spinning

12/19/2006 Running

I'm kind of enjoying this time between race season and starting marathon training. There are no intervals to do, and I can run whatever I feel. Feeling an 8 mile run today? Let's rock and roll. Going for 8, but not feeling it so much? 6 miles is cool. On the other hand I still feel the drive to keep going knowing that in January the real miles will begin to accumulate. Otherwise I'd eventually get bored and run less and less. I need that drive to compete to keep me going. In the meantime, though I'm enjoying this downtime.

I've decided to forgo the ADEO GPS unit for now. I'm happy using gmap-pedometer and staying light weight with just my shuffle providing tunes. I had a great 6.5 mile run on my usual route that took about 55 minutes.

12/20/2006 Strength & Spinning

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Balance Drill = 3 minute on each foot
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
clamshell crunches = 2 sets of 25 w/8lb. ball

Spinning (Endurance & Speed)

I dropped in to a spinning class after finishing up with my strength training. This means I only got 30 minutes of spinning with the instructor leaving 30 minutes to make it up for myself. I have a plan that I've been meaning to use, but forgot to take it with me. Here is the 60 minute plan that I pulled from Bicycling Magazine.

10 min. warm-up
8 min. steady state (92-95% of your time-trial heart rate; 90-100% of time-trial power) This is up for interpretation for most of us. Personally I'm going to put on a descent amount of resistance and get my heart rate to around 85%
5 min. recovery spinning
3 min. fast pedal (high cadence, low gear/resistance)
8 min. steady state
5 min. recovery spinning
3 min. fast pedal
8 min. steady state
10 min. recovery spinning

As I said though I didn't get to use it. The class I did went a little something like this:

30 minutes of endurance class
5 minute recovery
5 minute fast pedal
2 minute recovery
2 minute fast pedal (cadence 100-120)
2 minute recovery
2 minute fast pedal (cadence 100-120)
2 minute left leg only
2 minute right leg only
2 minute left leg only
2 minute right leg only
4 minute cool down
total: 60 minutes

I'm no trainer or spinning expert, but it felt like a good workout and breaking it down into small increments really made the time move along.

Monday, December 18, 2006

12/16 - 12/17/2006 Analysis of Running Form & Long Run

12/16/2006 Analysis of Running Form

I had an excellent opportunity to attend a running form clinic on Saturday. With the beginning of my marathon training coming on very quickly and my duathlon goals next year this clinic couldn't have come at a better time. We spent some time talking about aspects of breathing, balance, running form, and stride during the clinic. We also had our running videotaped, and we followed up with a look at the video. It was so helpful in terms of getting new information, and getting some excellent reminders of simple tips that I had forgotten. (The legs and arms work together, so when you want to pick up the leg speed use your arms to get them moving) As follow up Bob Roncker will be sending us emails with some of the information and tips from the class. I will be re-printing that information in this blog, so that I can find it easily, and most of all not lose it! Everything below in bold are the words of Bob Roncker of Bob Roncker's Running Spot.

Belly breathing as you run. Blow out the candle. Try doing it at different rates - fast and slow. Get accustomed to breathing this way.
Balancing on one leg. Many of you could do it easily on one of your legs. Gradually get to the point whereby you can handily do it for 2:00-3:00 minutes on each leg. You want to feel in control with your balance and you want to experience no strain on your lower leg or hips. This is a great exercise both for developing strength and balance.
After doing this on a flat surface 2:00-3:00, move to something uneven, like a pillow. When you can do it on an uneven surface, go back to the even surface and try it now with your eyes closed. A person who can do this for 2:00 with their eyes closed (flat or uneven surface) will have excellent proprioception and lower leg strength.

12/17/2006 Long Run

With a head full of breathing and form tips I headed out on my run Sunday morning long run. I decided to keep it simple and concentrate on breathing and keeping my upper body in good form. This meant working on the belly breathing, as it says above. This came pretty easy for me. I've been working on my breathing for a while. I find that when I get tired the first thing that goes is my breathing. It becomes ragged and a lot less effective. I'm hoping that the core work and really being aware of the breathing technique will help that out. I thought I had the upper body thing under control, but what I didn't realize was that as I get tired my arms start to flail a bit from side to side. Flail may be a bit of an overstatement, but any side to side movement isn't going to be good especially as I start to put on more miles. I'll need to stay aware and be as efficient as possible in my running if I expect to reach my goals, and more importantly not injure myself. The keys are going to be to keep my arms moving front to back with no side to side motion and keep my shoulders relaxed. I need to keep my hands gripped lightly "like letting a handful of sand fall out of the bottom of your hand" and either turned thumbs up or even slightly out to keep my elbows in tight. I think that is where my problem started as I was getting tired. My right hand started to turn in throwing my elbow out and causing that cross motion.

As for the run? It was unbelievable weather for December. I was in a short sleeve shirt and shorts on a 55 degree morning. It felt so good to get out and run on a morning like this; in fact it felt like a late summer or early fall morning...just outstanding. I ran a great 8.4 mile run.

Avg HR: 165
Peak HR: 240
Min HR: 69
Total Cal: 1083
Time: 1:04.23

Friday, December 15, 2006

12/14/2006 Core & Spinning

Core Class

I'm really feeling better and better about my core strength every week that I enter this class. This week I had a bit of a breakthrough because my back didn't hurt while I was working on the balance ball. Usually when I'm leaning back over the ball and doing crunches or other exercises that require leaning back over the ball my back starts to ache. I attribute it to weak core muscles and the fact that I sit in an office chair 8+ hours a day at work which leads to weak core muscles. It was a solid 30 minute core class.

Interval Spinning

I'm starting to come around to Jamie's way of running her spinning classes. It's not really a bad turnaround in two classes. I was still feeling that bit of skepticism at the beginning of the class as we were warming up. I didn't really know where she was going with the class, and as it was supposed to be a 60 minute interval class I was wondering when we were going to get to the intervals. The fact is I just don't trust her at this point as an instructor to get the most out of the time on the spinning bike. By 30 minutes in though we were into full on interval mode and I was working my butt off. She just has a different style of running the class, and I'm still getting used to her concentration on cadence. I can come around to her way of teaching and get into it. spinning class.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

MotionLingo ADEO

I've been using the Adeo ( for 3 days now and I've come to some conclusions. This is my first experience with a GPS device, and after reading all the reviews on the device I went in with high expectations, and after a message to a friend I realize my expectations were a bit too high.

I'll score this in 3 categories: ease of use, information, and accuracy.

Ease of use: A- The initial setup was a little confusing, but that might have been a little bit me being too excited by the aura of a new gadget. It loses a little on scoring because I had trouble using the included cd to load the software. I was able to go to the website and load it from there. Once the USB driver is installed, the MotionTrak software is installed the device was recognized quickly and I could begin playing with the settings. The MotionTrak software that captures the information from the Adeo is intuitive and easy to use. There is a lot to look at, so it takes a little bit to navigate around, but once you learn your way around it's quick and easy.

The device itself is a breeze. There are 5 buttons (not including the power button). Once you learn what each button does you can make all your adjustments without taking the device from the harness or your pocket since there is no screen to look at. All your adjustments and navigation is audible...too cool.

Information: A This score is just on the range of information you get while using the Adeo and then after uploading the information from the Adeo. Let's start with the set up of the Adeo. You can set up the Adeo to give you a wide range of information during the run at intervals (time or distance) that you choose. You want your average pace every 1/2 mile expressed in mph while on the bike? no problem. Going for a run and want it every 1/4 mile in mile/minute? no problem. The Adeo will carry 3 different reporting profiles for a regular run/walk/ride. Then there are the 3 interval reporting profiles you can program as well. I used this option today and it is brilliant. I set it up to do 800 meter intervals with 800 meter rests. Since this will be part of my marathon training plan it was a good test. It works flawlessly. It voices the begin of your interval and the beginning of the rest. At the beginning of the rest you get your pace, time, distance from the interval. No more excuses for not doing intervals because I can't make it to the gym or a track. yikes.

During the run/walk/ride/paddle you get your information through your headphones. The music lowers a bit while the pleasent voice calmly tells you your stats and the music comes back up afterwards. Of course you don't have to connect an mp3 player to it. You could always plug your headphones into it and just listen to the updates, or turn it on and forget about it during the workout and get all your stats afterwards. I love the audible updates. You don't have to wait for the scheduled updates. You can always push a button and hear all your information at any time.

Once your done with your workout plug the ADEO in with the USB cord and it uploads all of your workout data into Motion Trak program and also to your profile on the motion lingo website. The information is indepth and easily manipulated so you can see all the data in any configuration your heart desires. Not really, but it does automatically map the GPS data on to a google map...awesome.

Accuracy: B This is where my expectation may have been too high. Like I said before this is my first experience with GPS, so I don't have anything to compare this product. The first day I took it out for a 7.5 mile run. It came up with a 6.1 mile distance, and the mapping was way off. That first experience was discouraging.

This is a screen shot from the motionlingo website. If you click on the picture you can clearly see the GPS was way off considering I stuck to the roads the entire time and didn't do any cross country running or running through backyards. The shortened route reading screwed up all the stats like the average pace.

This is the same course after I mapped it out manually on gmap pedometer. Later tests proved a little more accurate. After a 23 mile bike ride it came to within a 1/4 mile of my bike computer. I really can't say that my bike computer is 100% accurate either, but it is fairly reliable.

I still haven't made my final assessment as to whether this is going to be my newest weapon in my arsenal of gadgets. It has been a lot of fun to use. The question is whether I can forgive it the times when it is not accurate. The fact that I want to get up early before work and take it running again tomorrow makes me think that I might be able to give it a chance.

As a final note, I was working on this entry I remembered that I wanted to email the technical support group about the issue they have on the website with the iPod Shuffle interrupting GPS signals. It is an important issue to me since I just got the new Shuffle and love running with it. I was expecting a response back in a couple of days, maybe next day if they were good. I received two responses from two different employees of MotionLingo. Oh wait, did I say two employees of MotionLingo? I meant an employee of MotionLingo and the CEO of MotionLingo. Now, that's what I call customer service! By the way the answer to the Shuffle question was that the new Shuffle doesn't show any of the disruption problems that the first generation did.

Customer Service: A+

Monday, December 11, 2006

12/11 - 12/12/2006 Cycling & Running

12/11/2006 Cycling

It was a fantastically beautiful day, especially for December in Ohio. It started out pretty cold around 8 am about 35 degrees, but the promise of a 50 degree sunny day kept the early chills at bay. I started out by riding my typical route through Owensville, but this time I decided to take the route backwards to change it up a bit. It was pretty interesting riding the hills in reverse. I'll have to ride the route both ways and see which way is harder.

After finishing up the 23+ mile route I decided to ride the route that I had run the previous day to see how the ADEO faired this time around. The readings were much more accurate this time around.

The totals for both rides from the Cat Eye:

Odo: 1,927.04 miles
Dist: 31.42 miles
Time: 2:10.15
Avg: 14.4 mph
Max: 34.7 mph

12/12/2006 Running

Today was a bit of a mixed bag day. I had intended to get out and do some intervals to play with the interval options on the ADEO. I ran the 2 miles into town to a location to the beginning of an interval route that I had set up on RouteSlip. Using the .5 mile interval setting on the ADEO I was able to run a couple of .5 mile intervals with .5 mile rests in between. The goal was to run four total intervals, but I got cut short by rain. It was really unfortunate that I got cut short, because I was really enjoying the intervals. This is a feature that could come in really handy when I start training for the Flying Pig in January. So I managed 2 7:30 min./mile .5 mile intervals with two jogged half miles in between before calling it and running the two miles home. It was all good as I managed a total of a 6 mile run.

Totals from Timex:

Avg HR: 157
Peak HR: 179
Total Cal: 831
First 2 miles: 16:01 Avg HR: 149
Interval 1: 3:46 Avg HR: 160
Rest 1: 5:15 Avg HR: 151
Interval 2: 3:53 Avg HR: 166
Rest 2 & 2 miles home: 22:54 Avg HR: 161

Sunday, December 10, 2006

12/10/2006 Adeo Test Day 1 - Long Run

I have in my possession a new toy, the Adeo by MotionLingo. It's not mine, but it is a loaner to test. I owe a big thanks to Brian at Campus Cyclery for giving me the opportunity to test the product. I didn't have any particular plan in mind for testing the Adeo when I found out last week that I was going to get it for testing, but after I've had a chance to play with it for a day, and see all of the features that are available I decided that I have to try as many of the features as possible before I decide if this is the GPS unit for me. Did I mention it's a GPS? I'm not going to go into an in depth explanation of the product just yet. A review is forthcoming If you want that go here to the website, check it out, and come back later if you're still interested.

Today I took it on my Sunday long run. I set it to give me updates every mile. It was a lot of fun to run with it and my iPod Shuffle, alternating between music and the occasional update right through the headphones. It made the run go quickly, and made me wish I had more time to run.

gmap pedometer: 7.64 miles
timex watch: 1:02.25
cool running pace calculator: 8:10 min/mile
avg hr Timex: 165
Total calories Timex: 1108

Saturday, December 09, 2006

12/09/2006 Strength & Spinning

Strength Training

I had a bit of an abbreviated strength training day today. I had intended to do a nice long leisurely strength training session followed by a run, but I happened to show up in time to squeeze in a workout and then try out a spinning class with a different instructor. I was happy to give up some crunches to make it to spinning on time. It might not have been the smartest thing to skip warm up though...

JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.

JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each sid

Spinning - Strength & Endurance

For the first time I got a chance to try a Saturday morning spinning class. I was actually hoping that the room was empty, and I could just use a spinning bike to do an hour of spinning on my own. In retrospect I'm really glad this class was available. I didn't have any particular plan in mind if I were to get in there and peddle on my own which would have been so boring. As it turned out I took part in a tough 60 minute split strength and endurance class.

We were working for most of the class between 65% & 85% heart rate. My heart rate tends to run on the high side, so when she says to be at 65% I'm usually at 75%. I don't feel like I'm working that much harder it's just how it rolls.

Friday, December 08, 2006

12/7/2006 Core Class & Spinning

Core Zone/Abs Blast

30 minutes of core strengthening/ab blasting goodness. This may be one of my favorite classes this fall so far. A little over a year after starting at the healthplex I can feel and see a massive difference in my fitness level and in my core fitness. I used to dread going to this class because I knew it was going to be extremely painful and difficult, but so far this year it's been....hard, but manageable in a sense that I have an easier time breathing while doing the workouts and my back doesn't hurt nearly as much.

Spinning - Intervals

A 60 minute interval spinning class with some interesting "motivators". I'm not sure how I feel about this class right now. It's definitely a lot different than the classes that Lisa taught, and I'm not going to jump to the conclusion that it's a bad thing, but if Thursday's night class is any indication of how she chooses to "motivate" the class I'm not sure if it's for me. That could be a huge disappointment because Thursday evenings are by far the best evening to do spinning for me.

How is it different? Well let's see, first she concentrates a lot on cadence. That's a little different than other spinning classes in that they would concentrate on heart rate and reaching certain heart rate goals. I know heart rate isn't always the most certain way to measure output. You're heart rate can be effected by a number of different things, but is cadence any better? So you reach a certain cadence, but then you have to use a perceived exertion. I would think that using cadence and heart rate would be better. I don't know if this was just one way of running the class, and she has more tricks in her bag...of tricks. Time will tell.

The other thing that was a little weird was how she chose to "motivate" the class. She would ask you to think about a time in your life when you felt like giving up, but pushed through and didn't quit. This is all fine and well, but she kept harping on it. Think of a situation in your life like medical problem, death in the family, etc. I don't know, you don't really know what people have gone through is spinning class really the place to be digging up your deepest darkest moments of your past? Maybe not so much in my opinion. I just have to see if it continues like that, and if it's for me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

12/7/2006 Looking Forward to '07

As I am looking forward to the coming year I was faced with a decision. I had to make a decision whether I wanted to try something new and do more, or if I was going to work toward getting better at what I'm doing. To be more specific I had to choose whether I was going to move on from duathlons to triathlons and work my way up to an Ironman event. The decision has come down to two factors: time and desire.

The first factor of time is obviously important for several different reasons. In order to properly prepare for the triathlons I'd have to set aside more time for training to devote to swimming. Since I already have a fairly full schedule with family, work, and workout time this time would have to come from out of family, work, or sleep time. I can accept some loss of sleep time, maybe not too much, but I am willing to get up at 5 am for the Master's Swimming that happens on Thursdays and carve out another early morning to do some swimming. However, with my erratic work schedule it wouldn't be enough, so I'd have to take some time from family time to get in as much swimming as it would take to actually get to a level at which I'd be happy performing. My wife is already very understanding about the time I devote to running, cycling, and time spent at the gym. To ask for more just seems selfish.

That brings me to my other deciding factor: desire. If I'm going to be selfish and take the time that it would require to do the work do I have the desire to do it? The simple answer to that question is no. I was pretty excited for a while about doing the triathlons after listening to the exploits of other triathletes on Simply Stu Podcast and Get Your Geek On! Podcast. When it comes down to it though I'm just not that excited about the swim portion of the race. I'm a pretty decent swimmer that grew up around water, but after my one triathlon experience back in 2000 I realize there is a big difference between swimming laps in a pool and being pummeled in the middle of a pack during an open water swim. It's just not that appealing to me. So, if not all that excited about it now, I can imagine how I'll feel by the end of the summer. Why exactly would I want to put myself through something that I wouldn't get at least some enjoyment from doing? There is really no good reason.

After these and other considerations I've decided that at least for 2007 I am going to concentrate on the sprint distance duathlon. I will racing approximately 8 sprint distance duathlons next year culminating with 5 races in the Wheelie Fun Series. The series will be a lot of fun, because it will feel like a real season complete with points standings and prizes. I've been tossing around the idea of doing this since early this year, and I'm very excited about the opportunity to compete. That is only a small part of next year's season as I look forward to a wide variety of races and events including my first marathon!

The marathon is going to be a huge undertaking for next year. I've got my training plan ready to go, but I'll have to make some adjustments to it to allow for my duathlon training as well. It's going to be interesting to try and find that balance between training for the speed I'll need for the shorter sprint duathlon runs and training for the longer marathon distance.

Here are some of my goals for 2007:
  1. Sub-4 hour Flying Pig Marathon
  2. Sub-20 minute 5K
  3. Sub-40 minute 10K
  4. 2:30 Little Miami Triathlon
  5. 1:20 Sprint Distance Duathlon
  6. Top 50 Finish Run Like Hell 5K
The big question is: how am I going to reach these goals? I'm ironing out the details on my training plan, and I'll be exploring more of that through December. I'll officially start my training for the marathon and spring events in January, so I'm using this month as testing and preparation time. I'm trying out a new spinning class, core class, and looking at a new strength training plan. I've also found a new gps gadget that might help keep me motivated over the coming cold months and encourage me to get outside despite the frigid weather. I'm going to take Motion Lingo's Adeo for a test spin hopefully this weekend and next week.

Only 65 days until my first race of '07!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

12/5 - 12/6/2006 Strength Training & Cycling

12/5/2006 Strength Training

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
clamshell crunches = 2 sets w/8lb. ball

12/6/2006 Cycling

It was a good day for a ride yesterday, albeit a little cold and windy, but still a good day. It was about 35 degrees and fairly windy, so I made sure to layer up a bit. Once I got out on the road and warm up it was pretty comfortable for the first hour. After that my toes started to go numb, and the cold started to seep in. I didn't push particularly hard or try to go fast; it was just good to ride.

Odo: 1,895.62 miles
Dist: 21.59 miles
Avg: 14.65 mph
Max: 40 mph
Time: 1:28.25

It was a mostly flat route that wandered around the roads near our home. I did a bit of exploring on a road that I had always intended to ride up but never did. It turned out to be a really tough hill that I can definitely work into my training next year. Speaking of next year I think I'll be using my next entry to lay out my plans for next year. The schedule has come together nicely for what will be a full and exciting year.

Monday, December 04, 2006

12/2 - 12/3/2006 Long Run & Dog Jog

12/2 Long Run

It's a new route for the beginning of a new training season. Well it's not really a new route, but I changed the long run route I've been using a bit. Instead of running all the way up Rt. 132 hill and into one of the subdivisions I decided to lengthen the route across Batavia to spend some more time running in town on the sidewalks. There is also the advantage of another hill with the option to add another hill later. This will work out wonderfully as I start to add on miles. It was a fairly cold morning at about 35 degrees, but plenty comfortable with long sleeves, pants and a light jacket. It was a 7.6 mile run at 65 minutes.

12/3 Dog Jog

It was a Sunday dog jog! It was a good thing I got out to do it, because I was feeling pretty crappy all morning. It was one of those low energy days where I just wanted to lay down on the couch and sleep, and I did for about an hour and a half. . Gracie and I got out and hit the road up and down Filager and twice through Meghan's Run. It was a nice 35 minute run for 3.6 miles. Afterwards I was feeling much better. Gotta keep that up through the winter.

Friday, December 01, 2006

11/30/2006 Strength & Core

Strength Training

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.

Core Class

As I get into winter training mode my schedule is starting to become more clear. Core class is back on the menu...and it is deeeeelicious. There is a new instructor in the class (well new to me anyway), and I like her approach to the class so far. I haven't done a ton of these classes, but I know what I like. At least in the class yesterday we did a mix of aerobic type work with a lot movement and a lot of plank work. They hurrrt so good. I'm going to try to do this 30 minute core class every Thursday along with a spinning class.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

11/25/2006 Dog Jog/Long Run

I considered taking the entire weekend off after Thursday's race, but I just couldn't bring myself to do nothing for 3 days. It was a great sunny day outside, low 40's and an expected high for the day of 60 degrees F. How could I let a day like this slip by when we are quickly moving into winter season when there will be less and less of these days. Sticking to my intentions of getting Gracie out at least once a week the morning started out as a dog jog. I found the harness that we bought for Gracie last year that I had completely forgotten about. It was a huge help and made the run a lot easier. Just having it on seems a signal to her not to pull on the leash. I highly recommend picking one up of dog joggers. We dog jogged 2.3 miles that is Filager and Meghan's Run. After that Gracie was wiped out, so I dropped her off and ran the 222/132 loop for another solo 3 miles for what I'll call my long run. The entire run took about 48 minutes.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

11/23/2006 Thankgiving Day Race 10K

It's the final race of 2007! It's been an incredible year, and it's a bit sad to see it come to an end, but here's looking to another great year in '07! Before we begin to talk about plans for next year I want to put this year to rest right, not in this entry, but soon. For now it's all about the Thanksgiving Race.

My goal for the race was to keep it close to 7 minute/miles and possibly beat the my 10K PR set in September of 43:41. I had tempered my expectations for this race thinking the weather would be colder, and knowing that there would be friends there that I might want to run with during the race. Mostly I just wanted to have a good time, enjoy the beautiful day and burn some calories, so I could enjoy the multiple thanksgiving meals that I would be attending later in the day.

As with all races as the start drew closer thoughts of hanging out and running with friends disappeared and the call of the race took over. At the start line I decided I wanted to run the best race possible and let the rest take care of itself. During the race I was able to find a good pace, and a steady runner to keep an eye on and pace myself off, and I was using the chrono on my watch to mark my miles. I didn't really dwell on that during the run. I just wanted to keep a pace that was pushed just to the edge of being uncomfortable. It was an incredible run with the following results:

mile 1 & 2 13:08
mile 3 6:56
mile 4 6:56
mile 5 6:59
mile 6 6:44
mile 6.1 1:22
Total: 42:07.58

overall: 412 of 10559
division: 26 of 505
gender: 378 of 5196
Official Time: 42:05
pace: 6:47

For the last race fo the year I was so excited to exceed my own expectations and goals. It looks like 8 weeks of interval training really did payoff in a big way. I will never question the power of the interval again. I look forward to applying what I've learned here to my cycling and running next year.

11/21/2006 Strength Training & Running

Strength Training

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25


Two days before Thanksgiving Day 10k and one last run. Tomorrow will be a rest day so I wanted to take it easy, but not that easy. I'm feeling edgy and excited, so not doing anything was simply not an option. I decided to hit the gym for some strength traininng and a 30 minute run on the treadmill. I kept the pace nice and easy starting at an 8 minute/mile bringing up to a 7:30 minute/mile after about 1/2 mile and holding that for 3.1 miles. After that I eased back and jogged it in to finish up the 30 minutes.

The goal for Thanksgiving Day Race 10K is going to be 7 minute miles and to have a good time during what is my last race of 2006. I want to end the racing year on a good note.

Monday, November 20, 2006

11/18 - 11/19/2006 Dog Jog & Long Run

11/18/2006 Dog Jog

As winter starts to rear its ugly head here in Ohio it is going to get harder and harder to get myself motivated to get out and run. It hasn't been bad so far, but I can feel the cold weather coming and I am not a fan of the cold at all. This spells bad news for our poor dog Gracie too. Since the winters in Ohio consist mostly of cold rain, a little snow here and there, and more cold rain the yard is almost always soggy and muddy, which aren't very good conditions for an indoor dog. Well the dog doesn't mind so much, but we don't like to have a muddy house.

In order to help Gracie out I'm gonna start taking her on jogs at least once a week. It's not something I'm particularly fond of doing because she is the worst on the leash. She jerks, pulls, tries to chase squirrels and birds and is generally a pain in the butt. It will be good for her though, so I'm gonna take a running day to do this for a while during the winter. On the first day we ran the 3.3 mile route along Filager and Meghan's Run

11/19/2006 Long Run

The Sunday prior to race day I wanted to get out for a run to calm the nerves and relax. I decided to keep it relatively short and at an easy pace. I ran my 6 mile route around Meghan's Run, 222, 132 to Filager in about 50 minutes. It was a nice easy run that left me feeling good about the upcoming race.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

11/15/2006 Strength Training & Tempo Run

Strength Training

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25

Tempo Run

The treadmill tempo run was 3.25 miles. I was pressed for time today, so I didn't get in as long of a run as I would have liked, but I'm happy with the run. I started out with a 8 min/mile pace for the first mile. At beginning of the 2nd mile I ran it up to a 7:15 min/mile and up to a 7 min/mile for about a half a mile. In the last 1.25 miles I eased it back down slowly until I walked the last .25 miles. The total run took about 25 minutes.

Monday, November 13, 2006

11/13/2006 Riding Hills

Another gloriously cold day of riding hills. It was about 39 degrees out and sunny, so it was a perfect day to bundle up and do some hill work. I did the same route that I did last time, but changed the number of intervals. I hit the Benton hill first which is .4 miles long and very steep. I hit this one twice. I then moved on to Rt. 50 hill, which isn't as steep but is 1.5 miles long. This was a two timer as well. After climbing that one for the second time I rode over to 132 hill. By this time the fatigue is starting set in, the cold is seeping into my feet, and I'm starving! I really just wanted to ride up the hill hang a left and go home, but I will not be defeated! I rode the .65 mile hill that is moderately steep twice. After cruising back down I pedaled to 2 miles to the final ascent. The final is the shortest at .3 miles, but what I used to think of as the steepest. If that were the case it should have been the toughest climb of the day, but it wasn't. I cruised up the final .3 miles in the saddle fairly comfortably. It was a good end to a tough ride.

Odo: 1,874.03 mi.
Dist: 24.35 mi.
Avg: 14.61 mph
Max: 38 mph
Time: 1:40:00 (Estimated)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

11/12/2006 Long Run

I used what has become the normal 8.5 mile course for the run. It was fairly cool, on the verge of cold maybe high 30's so, I was in long pants and and long sleeved undershirt. I threw on my orange short sleeve running shirt so cars would see me. I was very comfortable for the run, so if we have similar conditions on Thanksgiving I'll probably run in that outfit.

The run itself was great. I was very comfortable the entire time. I was aware of my pace and picked it up a few times just to test the comfort limit. I wasn't pushing hard, but kept the pace up slightly to see how it would effect how I felt and my time. At the end of the run I felt great! Actually I had to reel myself in, because I thought about adding on another mile and half. I convinced myself that there wasn't really anything positive that could come of it in the training. I'll have plenty of time to push my mileage limit starting in January as I start training for the Flying Pig. Feeling that good and beating my previous time by a solid 4 minutes while only raising my avg hr. by 2 bpms. Awesome.

One last thing. I finally remembered to split out the 132 hill. .65 miles at 5 minutes 37 seconds which is a 8:38 pace, with an overall pace of 7:42.

Avg. HR 157
Peak HR 179
Min HR 78
Total Cal 1070
Rcl 1: 39:32.56 Avg HR 153
Rcl 2: 05:37.39 (Rt. 132 hill .65 miles) Avg HR 173
Rcl 3: 20:21.43 Avg HR 162
Total: 1:05:31

Friday, November 10, 2006

11/09 - 11/10/2006 Core, Spinning, Intervals & Transition

11/09/2006 Core Class & Spinning

Core Class

It was my first visit back to core class in a while. Unfortunately I showed up late, because of traffic. 15 minutes of ab burning work is better than no minutes. This was the class that I despised last winter, but knew was very beneficial, so I stuck with it...somewhat. It was actually kind of fun today, maybe it was because I haven't done it in a while, but I think it was more due to the fact that I am in much better condition than I was last winter.

One thing I did realize now was issues with my back. When ever we do bosu ball work it kills my back. I thought it was just because of my weak muscles, but I realize now that is not the case. I'm going to talk to the instructor, and modify the workout or find out if it is a problem with my form. I don't want to hurt myself.


60 minute Endurance Class
This was a bittersweet return to spinning class. The spinning instructor, and fellow multisport athlete, is leaving the facility to start her own business at another location. I'm very happy for her, but I'm also sad to see her leave. She help me set up the program I'm using for training, and has been a huge source of information and motivation for me. I owe her so much for helping get my ass moving over the last year.

That leads me into the topic of transition. I am moving into a new phase of my life in physical fitness, and racing. The last year has been all about changing my lifestyle, losing weight, and building a base. I think we can say that the base is officially built. Now I need to figure out where to go from here. I kind of know what my goals are for the next year: marathon(s) and triathlons that will lead up to a half Ironman in '07 and Ironman Louisville in '08. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to get there. I know I'm on the right path in getting started on the swimming now, because that is going to be my weakest leg. Over the next 2 months I'll be putting together a new workout plan to meet my new goals. The big challenge for me is going to be to take my time, not get started too early, so I don't get burned out by next spring.

11/10/2006 Running Intervals

I did my intervals outside for the first time today. Well, it's not the first time I've done intervals outside, but the first in this particular program. It was a much different experience than doing them in the controlled environment of the gym treadmill. On the treadmill I set the pace and am forced to keep up with that pace, or slow it down. I'm always hyper aware of the speed at which I'm running. On the road all I had to rely on were my experience with the stretch of road that I used and the trusty stopwatch/hrm. It was an interesting experience, and it will be useful for future interval training sessions. I now know that on flat ground I run the 400 in about 90 seconds give or take a few seconds, so if I want I don't have to run up and down Filager. I also learned that I can't count. I was supposed to do 10x400 this week, but due to my ADD mind I ended up doing 11x400 according to my stopwatch.

Avg. interval time: 1:30
Total Time: 52:38

13 days to Thanksgiving Day Race!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

11/08/2006 Strength, Tempo, Swimming

Strength Training

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25

Tempo Run

The treadmill tempo run was 4.5 miles. I started out with a fairly easy 9 min/mi pace and worked up to a 6.5 min/mi pace. I reached the top speed at 1.5 miles and held it to 3 miles. After 3 miles I tapered down until I walking at 4.25 miles. A quarter mile walk finished off the run that took about 40 minutes.


Because strength training and running just wasn't enough I decided to jump into the pool for some laps. I did 20 laps with no breaks mixing up the strokes: 4 crawl, 4 breast stroke, 4 side stroke, 4 backstroke, 4 crawl. It was really tiring doing it after the strength training and the run. It was encouraging though that I felt fairly comfortable in the first 5-6 laps. I was really concerned that I would not like the swimming at all. I'm not really sure where that reservation was coming from, because I've always enjoyed swimming.

I will be swimming with the Masters Swim Team which is very exciting. I had a chance to talk to the swim coach yesterday to find out if it would suit my needs. He is a very nice guy, and encouraged me to come in and check out the sessions. I will be able to get the coaching and motivation I need to make this a good winter of training. The other cool part is that they make some trips to East Fork Lake to do some open water swimming during the summer. perrrrrrrfect.

Monday, November 06, 2006

11/5 - 11/6/2006 Long Run & Cycling Hills

11/5/2006 Long Run

As I'm getting closer to the Thanksgiving Day Race I'm getting pretty excited about it. The 8.5 mile run is getting easier, so I know with the workouts I'm doing I should be able to improve upon my 43:41 PR. One of these days I'm going to start splitting out 132 hill, so I can start working that hill over.

8.5 mile run
Avg HR: 156
Peak HR: 240
Min HR: 84
Total Cal: 1129
Time: 1:09.47

11/6/2006 Cycling Hills

Cycled the new hill course that I started using last week. Unfortunately the computer wasn't working, probably because of the battery, but I was able to get the information I needed from the gmap-pedometer. I did the same route that I did last week, but not the same number of climbs per hill. I may not know the exact stats on the ride, but the legs know...oh yes, the legs know.

Dist: 18.3 miles
Avg: 12 mph
Time: 90 minutes: This is an estimate, as I didn't time myself.

Friday, November 03, 2006

11/2 - 11/3/2006 Swimming & Running

11/2/2006 Swimming

It's my first day at getting back into swimming. I'm going to try and get in to do swimming at least twice a week. Hopefully I'll be able to swim with the Masters Swim Team, so that I can have some structure in my workouts, get some advice and coaching on stroke, and some much needed motivation.

The pool I'll be working in is 25 yards per lap.

For my first workout:
5 laps freestyle warmup
2 laps each of side stroke (right & left), breast stroke
5 laps with the kickboard
5 laps freestyle
2 laps backstroke (legs only)

45 minutes

11/3/2006 Running

This was a 3.3 mile run along Filager and Meghan's Run. I wasn't shooting for any particular speed. It was just a run.

3.3 miles
Avg. HR 153
Peak HR 176
Min HR 71
Total Cal 444
Total Time: 28:22

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

10/30 - 10/31/2006 Tempo, Strength & Intervals

10/30/2006 Tempo Run

A nice steady, easy pace around Meghan's Run. I then picked up the pace going down to 222 and held that pace until I got back up on Filager. I lost the timing and heart rate info since I've been slacking on the blog a bit lately. I ran it in about 38 minutes and it's approximately 4.3 miles.

10/31/2006 Strength & Intervals

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25

Intervals + no music = no fun. I did my 9x400 week, which took about 33 minutes and 4.1 miles. It was fun going up and down between 5-6 miles per hour and 10-10.5 mph. I do find it interesting to do the intervals on the treadmill. It really forces me to maintain the paces instead of just running on the track or road and trying to maintain. It's definitely still more fun to run outside, but I think the treadmill is more productive for building speed, when working alone.

I guess time will tell..

10/27 - 10/29/2006 Run Like Hell & Cycling

10/27/2006 Run Like Hell

It was pouring down rain up until the start of the race. It was by no means cold, but cool enough that the drenching rain could be really uncomfortable if it were not for the excitement at the starting line. Despite the rain hundreds of people showed up, some in costume, for the Friday night race. The best costume I saw this year was the couple that ran as babies in baby walkers. They were awesome with the diapers, bonnets and these huge walkers made from pvc pipe.

The course is rolling hills, not a single inch of the course is flat. You are either going up hill or down hill. Despite the tough course and the crummy weather I ran a very good race. I would say great, but I was really hoping to achieve two things in this race, and I did neither. First, I wanted to finish a 5k this year with a sub-20 minute time. I didn't quite make it, but with a time of 21:21 I am happy. Actually, it is a 5k PR, so I should be really happy. Next year I'll be shooting for sub-20's. The other goal I was shooting for was to finish in the Top 50 men. I missed the 50th spot by a couple of places and 14 seconds! I knew I was going to be close, but had no way of knowing exactly where I was during the race. I ran the best race possible that night, so it's all good, but 14 seconds! It's now on my list of goals for next year.

Mile 1 – 6:27
Mile 2 – 7:18
Mile 3.1 – 7:35
Total: 21:20

10/29/2006 Cycling

Cycling hill repeats. Started with .5 mile hill on Benton seated, moved on to Rt. 50 hill a 1.2 mile hill not very steep grade, seated. Rt. 132 hill twice, steeper than Rt. 50 hill but shorter at .5 miles. First run seated, second half seated then half out of saddle. Finished up with Filager Rd hill very steep, but short at .35 miles. This was done in the saddle.

Odo: 1831.3 miles
Dist: 20.02 miles
Time: 1:24.29
Avg: 14.2 mph
Max: 36.6 mph

Thursday, October 26, 2006

10/25/2006 Running Intervals seems that I was a little off on my calculations for the 8 week program leading up to the Thanksgiving Day Race. I was using the Yahoo! calendar and counted a week twice in the switch from October to November. It throws me a little off in my training, but I wasn't really following the schedule very strictly anyway. It's all good, that just means I'll only get up to 11x400 on my intervals. C'est La Vie.

It was interval day, and I went back to the treadmill to do the run. I used my heart rate monitor this time to do the intervals. When my heart rate dipped back down into the 130's I'd pump it up for another fast 400. It worked out pretty well instead of just doing 400 up and 400 jog. I really felt the workout take it's toll in the last couple of 400's. Very cool. It was 8x400 that took 33:36 and ran me a little over 3 miles.

It's a day of rest on Thursday, and then on to The Run Like Hell 5K race Friday evening! We'll see if these intervals are paying off.

Monday, October 23, 2006

10/19 - 10/23/2006 A Quick Catch Up

10/19/2006 Intervals

Week 2 of the training program bumps me up to 7x400 intervals. Check it off as completed in about 30 minutes

10/21/2006 Tour of 222

This ride was great. It was cold (about 34F) when I left around 7:30 in the morning. It was foggy too, which made visibility a little spotty, but not bad. It warmed up over the course of the morning thanks to a clear sunny day to about 54F by the end of the ride, still cool. I stopped along the way at a convenience store for a bathroom break and something to drink (love the starbucks bottled frappucinos for a shot of caffeine). I also picked up some beef jerky. I'm not usually big on beef jerky, but you can only eat so many clif bars and gel and the salty just sounded good. It was a bit of a chance if it didn't set well in the stomach, but fortunately it did. It's nice to have a variety of food options on a ride.

Dist: 69.02 miles
Avg: 16.41 mph
Max: 38.4 mph
Time: 4:12.24

10/22/2006 Long Run

I finally got around to revisiting my long 8.4 mile route. It was a good long run..that's all...

Distance: 8.4297
Time: 1:13:03
in zone 30.06 (152-171)
avg hr: 149
peak hr: 174
min hr: 82
total Cal: 1090

10/23/2006 Strength Training & Tempo Run

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25

I did a 4 mile tempo run on the treadmill. I started out nice and easy at 10 minute/mile pace and worked up to a 7 minute/mile pace by the 1.5 mile mark. I held the 7 minute/mile until mile 3 and then geared back down and jogged out the last mile.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

10/17/2006 Strength, Tempo Run & Thanksgiving Race Thoughts

Strength Training

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 100 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25

Tempo Run

It was feeling like a tempo run type of day today. It doesn't feel right to start off the running week with intervals, although I guess there is no reason that I couldn't do that. It just feels good to ease into the week with some tempo running, crank it up with some intervals, and bring it on home with the long run at the end of the week. I am totally a creature of habit. It runs in the family...thanks dad. I decided I'd run 4 miles today and do a couple at near race pace. I decided to do it on the tread mill since it was pouring down rain and I was at the gym anyway. There were some treadmills that I'd never tried before, so I decided to give them a whirl, and they turned out to be very cool. They had a nice display with an oval "track" to show distance, some good information and two little fans to keep a little cool. That is my biggest complaint about the hamster wheel workout, dead air. ugh. Anyway I started out at a nice easy 9:30 pace and eased it up a little bit at a time until I reached a 7:00 pace at the 1 1/2 mile mark. I held that pace until mile 3 and brought it back down to the 9:30 pace to finish it out. I didn't give myself quite enough time, so I ended running around 3 3/4 miles with the cool down. I was happy though with the effort, and let it go at that.

I've settle on a training schedule that will take me through the Run Like Hell 5K at the end of October and to the Thanksgiving Day 10K Race at the end of November. It's going to be the advance training schedule listed on the race site. It's the three workouts I listed above each week: tempo, interval, distance mixed with strength training and some cycling. I already know I can do the distance I just want to improve on my speed a bit, but not overdue the running. I don't want to burnout or injure myself before the race. I still wonder just how much running my knees will take before something starts to give. At some point this winter I'm going to have to figure out how I'm going to work in some swimming into my schedule. Who needs sleep really?

10/15/2006 Sunflower Revolution III

Sunflower Revolution 08
Originally uploaded by ABIker.
This was an amazing ride which capped off an outstanding weekend for cycling. Saturday I hit the swap meet that took place in conjunction with all the other fun events in Loveland. I didn't really know what I'd find, but I had a clear idea of what I was hoping to find...winter gear. I got so incredibly lucky as I was able to score some sweet compression tights, long sleeved undershirt (both new with tags), gloves, and jacket for the price of a pair of cycling shorts. It was so awesome to get that gear, and just in time for the Sunflower Revolution!
It was a wonderful metric century ride on some rural roads where we got to enjoy all the colors of fall. It was such a nice change of pace to be able to enjoy the ride at a leisurely pace. I got to chat with some really nice people and take a few photos along the way. This ride will definitely be on my calendar for next year.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

10/13 - 10/14/2006 Shakin' the Post Race Blues

I've been experiencing a dip in my motivation over the last couple of weeks. I think it was a bit like post-partum depression. I've been so looking forward to the Little Miami for the last year and now that it is finally over I felt a bit....down. I was going to say let down, but that is not exactly right. It was just a lull in the schedule and I wasn't sure where I was going with my training or what to prepare for next. Everything is starting to come into focus as the fall events start to roll in. I feel that I've been so focused on improving this year and going faster, harder, longer, that it is just time to kick back a little bit and enjoy the fruits of my hard work. Not that I'm going to stop working hard, but I'm going to just relax and take it as it comes. I've got some big plans swimming around in my head for the next two years to think about too! Maybe Iron Man?...

10/13 Interval Running & Cycling

I'm not a big fan of tread mills (hamster wheels), but it was quite cold this morning. I decided rather than fight the dark and cold, I'd slide on over to my mom's place and use their club house tread mill. It really wasn't bad at all. I hit it with 6x400 that took about 25 minutes.


Rick twisted my arm and talked me into riding this evening. It went a little like this "Hey, man we riding tonight?". Me: "Hmmmm I'm kind of tire....F^&k it, yeah let's go." I don't do a whole lot of riding in the evening, so this was a nice change of pace. We didn't get out on the road until after 7 pm which didn't leave a lot of time to ride before dark, but we made the most of it. I decided to take him on the short loop out 222 to SW Corner Rd to Benton and on home. It's a nice little 11 mile route with a challenging hill right in the middle. I could have made it easier for him, but for me if there isn't a good hill challenge it doesn't feel like a ride at all.

Dist: 10.96 miles
Time: 45:58
Avg: 14.3 mph
Max: 34.2 mph

10/14/2006 Long Run

I never thought of myself as a distance runner of any kind. In high school I'd run 400's, 200's, and 4x400 relay. I got into running in my adult life by way of 5K's and didn't really think I'd run much longer races than that. This past year I've found the 10k's were some of my favorite races. Now I'm looking forward to my first marathon in the spring and my long runs have become my favorite part of my workouts. On this particular run I would have actually liked to run longer, but the bike swap meet was calling my name. More on that later, as for the run it was 6 miles in 51:50. For a training run at a "slow pace" that' s outstanding.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

10/9 - 10/10/2006 Strength & Tempo Run

10/9/2006 Strength Training

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 95 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 95 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25


It was the first day of my 8 week training program building up to the Thanksgiving Day 10K Race. I'm still not sure what I'm working toward exactly which has been troubling for my motivation. What is it that I want to get out of this race, or what do I hope to achieve? Do I want to push for a better time than my 43:41 for the Mercy Metric? Do I want to just chill out and enjoy the run with my friends that are going to be there? I'm going to continue on the program at least until I make up my mind. I ran 3 miles in about 28 minutes. It was mostly flat on Filager and Meghan's Run.

10/10/2006 Tempo Run

I was feeling stiff on my run today. It was to be expected after a double dose of strength and running yesterday. It still doesn't make it any easier knowing that it was going to be hard. When I'm stiff like that I think of it as running on stilts, because that is kind of what it feels like. I decided to push on through though and hit it. I went to Central Park by Aiden's school to do the run on the jogging trail. I started with a slowish pace and pumped it up in the middle mile and held that pace until the last 1/2 mile. Very scientific, no? I forgot to start my watch, so I don't have an exact time, but I figured it was about 27 minutes for the 3 1/4 miles.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

10/6 - 10/8/2006 Strength & Cycling

10/6/2006 Strength Training

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 95 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 95 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25

10/8/2006 Cycling

It was the type of day that I just didn't want to go home. I started out going on a 20 mile ride that quickly doubled...and then some. I wasn't pushing hard or keeping track of time, mileage, average speed or any of the other little details that I tend to obsess over. I was just enjoying the ride. I could feel the autumn in the air. Even though it was a very warm 75 degree day there was that undercurrent or feeling of cold weather coming. On the loop I was riding there were several places that I could've cut the ride short, but everytime it would come time to make that decision it was a no brainer. I just wanted to keep riding! I also wanted to get in a long ride in preparation for Sunday's Sunflower Revolution Metric Century ride. A chance to ride with Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter Phinney, Sweet!

Odo: 1667.6 miles
Dist: 47.09 miles
Time: 2:56.08
Avg: 16 mph
Max: 44.3 mph

Thursday, October 05, 2006

10/2 - 10/3/2006 Recovery & Strength

10/2/2006 Recovery Ride

It was a nice recovery ride Monday after the race. I was gonna keep it short, but it was such a nice day I just kept riding. Active recovery, baby, active recovery.

Odo: 1620.3 miles
Dist: 30.13 miles
Time: 2:07.28
Avg: 14.1 mph
Max: 35.6 mph

10/3/2006 Strength Training

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 12 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 60 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 60 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor=2 sets/12 reps 95 lbs.
Hip abductor=2 sets/12 reps 95 lbs.
Clamshell crunch w/overhead 8lb ball 2x25

Monday, October 02, 2006

10/1/2006 Little Miami Triathlon

In the first 10 minutes of the kayak stage of the race I knew it was going to be a great day on the course. My stroke was as smooth as it ever had been, the river was running high, and it was a beautiful sunny morning with the mist floating up over the water. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect morning. The kayak section went off without a hitch. I maintained a good stroke the entire trip with only some minor pain in my right shoulder as I got tired toward the end of the run. My goal was to finish it in an hour or under. I got out of the water and clicked my lap button on my watch at 59:29 going into the first transition.

For some reason in all my planning and dreaming I did not even begin to consider the time it would take in the transitions. These aren't the kind of transitions I'm used to for the duathlons, where all I had to worry about were my shoes and helmet. Getting out of the kayak my shoulders were tired my hands were tired from holding the paddle and my legs were wet and stiff. I had brought my own paddle so I had to deal with breaking it down, putting it in the bag changing shoes, zip tieing the bag shut and moving on to the run. It was a completely different experience. It wasn't so bad though, I whipped through it in about 2 1/2 minutes. It is something that I will account for next year and prepare for a little better.

Going into the run I was full expecting some stiff, cold legs after sitting in the kayak for an hour, but much to my delight the transition was smooth and I got off to a good start. I caught my first mile at about 8 minutes and pushed it up for the 2nd mile to 7 1/2 minutes and kept trying to nudge it up as I warmed up and found my stride. It was a beautiful run. Instead of dreading the miles and fighting to keep my stride and pace I found a very natural solid pace and cranked it out all the while keeping an eye on my time and adjusting my pace. I can feel the interval training already starting to work in my favor. I caught Dave, who started 2 minutes ahead of me, at about the 4 mile marker. I was happy to see him doing to so well, because he was concerned that he hadn't done enough training and thought I'd catch him early in the run. After passing him up I started to focus on the task that was coming up, The Hill.

At the end of the run is a Hill, not a Hill but The Hill. This isn't a normal hill you'd run up in any road race, this is a full on hiking trail that goes straight up the side of a steep hill. I'm no expert on grades, or how steep a hill is, but I don't think I'm exaggerating to say it's a good 16% grade or more. I decided to take The Hill like I'd take an extremely steep hill in cycling. I geared down and walked at a quick pace on the up grades. On the flat spots I'd pick it up to a jog, but it was more about conserving energy and making it up with lots of gas for the bike. The goal for the run was 45 minutes. I topped The Hill at 43:26. Absolutely Perfect.

I slowed myself down in the second transition and walked to my bike taking time to catch my breath, take some drinks of water and eat half a banana. It was 3 1/2 minutes well spent. I wanted to be focused and relaxed for the ride. There are a couple of things I'd like for transition next year. I'd like a stool, or bucket to sit on while I change shoes, and a stand to put my bike on. The transition area is in an open turn around where you can either lean the bike on a tree if you get lucky or lay it in the grass. It's not a big deal to lay it down, but I'd like to have my bike upright with the bottles in the brackets and everything ready to go.

I truly underestimated the bike course. For some reason I thought I'd be able to whip through the bike course at close to 45 minutes. What I didn't take into account was headwind, and exhaustion...but mostly headwind. The course is very flat with some rolling hills, so there were no major climbs to sap me, but the rolling hills took there toll and the head wind...suuuuuucked. I was still feeling strong despite these things until the 11th mile when my biggest fear came to fruition. My left calf muscle began to twitch. No, not again. The cramps were coming, and it wasn't a matter of if at this point, but a matter of when. They did come at about mile 14. Luckily it wasn't severe and I was able to coast and stretch and massage them out on the bike. While it didn't put me off the bike it definitely slowed me down. damn.

The race stats: distance: 17 miles avg: 18.6 mph time: 54:46

It was a solid effort and I set the time to beat for next year amongst my friends. I came in a full 10 minutes faster than the fastest time last year and 16 minutes faster than my time. I was all smiles at the end of the race, and plans have already started swirling around for next year.

After I was done I rested grabbed something to eat and drink, chatted with some friends then headed back out on to the bike course...backwards. I decided to ride with Rick the last few miles of his race. I knew he'd appreciate it. I cruised back out on to the course and worked my way back about 4 miles before running into him. I turned and towed him in the final 4 miles to help him finish out strong.

Odo: 1,590.2 miles
Dist: 26.85 miles
Time: 1:57.23
Avg: 13.7 mph
Max: 25.8 mph

Saturday, September 30, 2006

9/30/2006 Final Prep for Little Miami

The clothes are layed out. The race number is secured to the strap and layed with the clothes. The Clif Shots flavors have been chosen (orange cream, strawberry, and mocha). The bananas are secured to prevent cramps. The bike was taken out for one final ride to loosen up and listen for any problems.

Odo: 1563.2 miles
Dist: 9.83 miles
Time: 39.22
Avg: 14.9 mph
Max: 30.1 mph

The bike was then cleaned and prepared. The tools, pump, helmet, gloves were secured with the bike so I can grab them later on and put them in the car for the early start. The hydration plan is ready. I've gone over the course map; particularly the kayak part on gmap pedometer so that I can pick out some points along the route as markers for distance. That is the worst part of the race being out in the kayak and having absolutely no clear indication as to how many miles I've travelled or how far there is to go. I can add it to my list of reasons to seriously consider GPS technology for racing and training.

The plan for the race is to get up at 5:30 and get something to eat, bagel, maybe some eggs for breakfast. I'll then get my items secured in the car and head over to my buddy's house that is also racing and pray that he is ready on time. Hopefully we'll be on our way by 6:30 and arrive at Fort Ancient by 7:30. That will give me an hour to set up my bike, maybe cruise for a minute and make any last minute adjustments, get my kayak and paddle secured, and stretch. Start time is 8:34 am. Now it's just the hard part. I wait.

Friday, September 29, 2006

9/29/2006 Getting Ready for Little Miami!

After a few days off for rest, and mostly to spend a lot of time at work and driving back and forth to Florence I was able to get out and do a little running this morning. I just wanted to do enough to loosen up and see how my neck, back and knees were feeling after a couple of chiropractic appointments. I ran about 3 miles in approximately 25 minutes. I forgot to start my watch so I'm not entirely sure. It just felt good to get out and run at a nice easy pace.

I had my first visit with the chiropractor on Wednesday. Ever since I pulled a muscle in my upper back last week my neck and left shoulder haven't felt quite right. They've been a little stiff and achy. Instead of risk doing further damage I decided to seek help. It was quite an eye opening experience. Of course I'm out of alignment and I have lots of little issues from old injuries in soccer and a car accident, but all in all the body is in pretty good shape. He suggested a couple visits a week for about 6 weeks, or one visit per week but it will take longer. After that I can continue with well visits if I'd like, and I may just do that because going in there after a long day of work and getting crunched, cracked and rolled by this massage table felt quite fantastic! If it keeps me healthy enough to keep competing, riding and running for a long time it's well worth it.

My favorite event of the year is finally here! The Little Miami Triathlon is in 2 days and I am totally stoked for this race. Well, I was totally stoked for the race because of many reasons one of which was that a good friend was supposed to come into to town and compete in the race. He has since had to bail out, which is a bit of a letdown, but I'm still 97% stoked.

I've been thinking about this race for a year now and have some high expectations on my performance this year. Last year I was just starting to see improvements in my conditioning, and I was riding a borrowed hybrid bicycle. It was still a lot of fun, but I was at a disadvantage. Even with my disadvantage I still pulled in a time of 2:59:48 meeting my 3 hour goal.

I'm setting a goal this year for 2 hours and 30 minutes. I've thought about dialing it back a bit and setting my expectations a bit lower, but I really think I have it in my to make that mark. I've met most of my goals this year, and this is a big one for me so I'm gonna set my sights high and do my best. The deciding factor will be in the first leg. I can pretty accurately determine what my run and bike time will be based on my experience on the course and knowing my fitness level right now, but the kayak is my weakest event. I am more prepared this year for the kayak than I was last year, but I'm still not good in the kayak.

Here are the splits I'm shooting for:

6 mile Kayak - 60 minutes
5.5 mile Run - 45 minutes
18 mile Bike - 45 minutes

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

9/25/2006 Cycling Hills

I tried out some new roads in Northern Kentucky the other day and have found my route for hills! I didn't really know what to expect when I set out on this ride. I really didn't even know where I was going. I just wanted to ride. As I set out it quickly became apparent that I had found one of the most challenging routes I've ridden. Out of the 30 mile out and back route easily 15+ miles was going up hill or down hill. I drove back over the first 5-7 miles of the route to see how long the hills were. On the way out I went down 2 hills and up 2 hills, so on the out and back route I encountered 4 major hills. The shortest of the hills was .75 miles long and the longest was 2.5 miles long. None of these hills were the steepest grades I've ever encountered, but the sheer length of the hills more than made up for lack of grade. I will definitely be using this route in the future to do some hill work.

Odo: 1553.4 miles
Dist: 30.8 miles
Time: 2:11.49
Avg: 14 mph
Max: 35.6 mph

Sunday, September 24, 2006

9/24/2006 Adding miles

I decided to head out for a really long run on Sunday. I feel like I can add on mileage to start working toward marathon distance. I ran my typical long route starting in through Meghan's Run, down the hill to 222 to Batavia, back to 132. Instead of turning back on to Filager I continued up 132 to a subdivision at the top of the hill and ran through there and back down to Filager. It's interesting to place the long hill more toward the middle of the run rather than close to the end of the run. It changes the perspective on it. I knew I still had a lot of running to do after the hill so the focus became less on the hill as a final push and more on it as just getting through it to get to the next stretch.

I kept the pacing comfortable and just tried to enjoy the run. The route was 8.5 miles and it took me 1:10.47.