Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Run Day

Time- 19:46
Distance- 2.34mi

Lift Workout
3 x 15 Single arm shoulder press- 25lbs
3 x 15 Bosu ball squats
3 x 12, 7, 8 Single arm bench press- 50lbs x 2, 40lbs x 1*
3 x 20 Lunges
3 x 15 Single arm pull down- 50lbs x 2, 60lbs x 1

*Owwwww, holy crap, ow. Fail.

I would like to start by saying that for the rest of the night I feel like my lower right ass muscle may impode into a massive knot at any moment. Curse you, lunges! Curse you! KAAAAAAHN!
Also, please note my run time/distance. I broke through my 10 minute mile pace, and pretty solidly too. Admittedly, I was winded at the end and I'm not sure how much longer I could have held the pace, but it's a start. Strength comes from pain.
The more astute of you may have noticed that today was a run day, when according to past history I swim on Tuesdays. Good for you, way to be on your toes. Gold star. The rest of you should really follow their example. To explain, I have a check up at the doctor tomorrow after school, nothing serious, stop looking so panicked. Just have to talk to the nice lady about why my kidneys play Quarry every once in a while, that's all. I can't get a workout in before the appointment, so I have to do it afterwards. Tomorrow is supposed to be a ride day, but I don't want to ride at night. So I moved my run to today, my swim to tomorrow, and my ride to Thursday. That sets the rest of the week up for run Friday, swim Saturday, ride Sunday, which works for me because I'd rather ride on the weekend then on Friday, and if I'd ridden today I would have ridden Friday. Got that? Everyone? Ok, if you say so.
Now to couch stretch* for the rest of the night.

*a very high-level, difficult type of stretching involving reaching for the remote while having your feet on something. Try this at home, kids!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rest Day Picture Funny + Supplemental

I'm probably not going to do this every Monday (or Weds, when that becomes my rest day in a few weeks) but this is really funny and it needs to be shared.
I have two caption options:
"You think that's cool? You should see my swim bike!"
"Meh, Vibram makes a better one, and it's more the way nature meant for man to ride."
Got a better one? Post it!

Rest Day Supplemental (but say it like Picard. Say it like Picard! Make it so, damnit!):

I got home early from school today and was chilling on the couch watching a Tosh.O rerun when two things happened. 1) I realized its a beautiful day and 2) Cycle Dirtbag texted me about a ride he just went on and basically dared me to go for a ride. Let's just say that that kind of juvenile behavior works...really...well. So I suited up and went on a nice, easy, 30 minute ride. I didn't even bother clocking the distance or going anywhere special. I figure all last week was pretty easy and cycling is my weakest discipline, so a little extra couldn't hurt. So I'm not very good at rest day this week. But it was a nice ride.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last Easy Day

Run Day- Recovery Week
Time- 20:18
Distance- 2.09mi

Took it pretty easy today. Its the last day of this recovery week and next Tuesday I start hitting it really hard again. Felt good. I like to see that this run was pretty much dead on a 10min/mi pace. That's ok for now, but too slow for the race. Which means that I'm going to have to start making runs hurt a lot more in the coming weeks. I've mentioned this before and I'll mention it again, I need to find a few more gears and the only way to do that is to force my body out of the comfort cruise zone that it's sitting in right now, for the run especially. My swim gears will come back, and I don't have any riding gears because I'm still new to the discipline and the things I'm doing on the bike will help me find more. But since I used to run on the treadmill at a ten minute pace I seem to be stuck. I've overtrained it into my legs and I'm going to have to fight it out.
Day off tomorrow, then back at it hardcore. Booyah, grandma. Booyah.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Me, Sandra D., and the Big Bad Hill Part 1

Cycle Day- Recovery Week
Time- 44:37
Distance- 9.4mi
Ascension- 686ft

This ride hurt. It might not have been a good recovery week ride, but I had to do it. The wife and I drove this route a few days ago after having it recommended to me by Ob Tri Kenobi. He said that if I could do this four times in one ride then I wouldn't have any troubles during my race. Well I believe him now.
It got into my head while we were driving it. It seemed like a whole lot of going up to me, and that was intimidating. So I was already thinking about how hard it would be and how I wasn't sure if I would make it all the way up on my first try and all kinds of other negative things. Which meant that I had to do it. I couldn't not. The longer I waited, the taller it would get in my head.
It hurt just as bad as I thought it would. I mean, for a real cyclist, it's probably not that bad. But I'm still very new to the sport and this up climbing isn't fun. I was huffing and puffing the whole time, going slow slow slooooow. I wasn't sure I was going to make it all the way to the top, which really isn't that far, but I was determined not to stop. One pedal stroke at a time, up and up. The last corner before the gate at the top of the hill was the hardest, it's the steepest. But I recognized it from our drive and that helped push me up. I did a little fist pump when I got to the top, I'll admit it. Checked the watch, 25 minutes from start to top. Now I have a baseline. Good.
Descending is much better than climbing. That was fun! It's a nearly empty road on a military base, so every one drives carefully. I only passed one car once I started climbing. Still, better to be safe. I ripped down the mountain tapping the brakes to keep it down. I broke off at a street I'd predetermined to go down at the bottom, which will also serve as my turn-around point when I start lapping it. Took me five minutes to get to the bottom.
After that I rode through the base and back to the truck. Riding on base is a million times better than not. The roads are better maintained, the people drive slower, its just better.
I'm not looking forward to the days coming when I go up that bad boy more than once, but I'm glad I did it today. Seeing that gate broke through a mental block that I'd been building, showing me that I can do it, I can make it up, and I can do it more than once. Just gotta fight through that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Little Swim

Swim Day- Recovery Week

Suggested distance- 500yds
Actual Workout
1 x 100yds Warm-up
3 x 50yds Long Strokes
1 x 500yds 7:30
1 x 100yds Cool Down
Total Distance- 850yds

I'm pretty happy with this swim considering its supposed to be an easy workout. A 7:50 500 means I'm holding a steady cruise pace of 1:30/100yds. That's not where I want to be come October 24th, but for right now I'm not complaining. I am looking forward to next week and really getting back in to heavy training. This week will, I think, help that and I'll be stronger for it. Two more recovery workouts, a ride tomorrow and a run Sunday, then it's Monday off and back at it hardcore Tuesday.
Also went to IT&B and bought myself a bike pump and some chain lube. Or, as it struck me while I walked back to the truck, I bought a pump and some lube. Then I giggled, as you may now be doing. And if you aren't, turn to the person next to you, or if you're alone then call someone you know and say to that person, "I know a guy who just bought a pump and some lube," and wait for their reaction. I'll wait.
I can't say enough good things about this store. It's way in Waikiki but the service I get there makes the drive worth it. Today a different guy than the last two times I've been in showed me exactly how to lube the chain (that's right, I needed to be shown how to lube up my chain, you may giggle again). Really helpful, excited to be helping, and after we were done he got up and excitedly showed me how his bike had electric gear shifters. I made the appropriate ohh-ing and ahh-ing noises. I hope I can afford to go to them when it comes time for me to purchase my own bike. And when I think about buying a tri-suit for the race I'm having a seriously hard time deciding between using the interweb or going back to IT&B. We shall see, we shall see.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Short Run, Short Blog

Run Day- Recovery Week
Time- 15:38
Unofficial Car Distance- 1.8mi-ish

Today I worked on quick feet and keeping my form good. Seemed to work pretty well. I like recovery week.
That is all.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Introducing Team Dirtbag!

But first, today's workout.
Cycle Day- Recovery Week
Time- 31:36
Distance- 6.53mi

This was an experimental ride up to the Navy base by my house. Plenty of climbing, especially once I do the whole loop. Climbing sucks, but it's going to make me strong and fast and get my endurance kicking. Also, decending is a lot of fun.
No core today because it's a rest week. That means no weights after my run tomorrow too.

AND NOW, the moment you haven't been aware that you've been waiting for...Introducing Team Dirtbag!

First, Trainer Extraordinaire: Sister Dirtbag! Always available for text, phone, or Facebook consultations, Sister Dirtbag is there to keep this athlete healthy. Below she is pictured working on some wussy football player. "Ohh, ohh, my leg hurts." "Suck it up, ya puff!"

Next up in the Dirtbag Family, the most metals cycle consultant on two wheels, a self-described Lord of Chaos: Cycle Dirtbag! CD is constantly being bothered with noob questions about two-wheeled, man-powered riding and unerringly gives helpful advice. Below he is pictured with yours truely, the head Dirtbag, hanging out in Portland.
And the third and most important member of Team Dirtbag, the one I couldn't live without and whom makes all this foolishness possible, official Team Dirtbag Nutritionist and Sexy Wife: Stitches! (She doesn't get a Dirtbag name because she already has an awesome nickname,) Whether its cooking up some yummy yummy, energy-giving food (or cookie-brownies), or rubbing my poor sore neck, Stitches is the best. Below she is cooking something especially yummy, I'm sure. And healthy. Also sure. Unless it's cookie-brownies..mmmm...
All three members of Team Dirtbag are invaluable and right now they are working completely pro bono, though they work so hard I may double that.

And, since I'm a raving egomaniac, there's the head Dirtbag, the Dirtbag Grand Poobah, His Dirtbagness, The Dirtbag: Me. Below I'm pictured in my bike outfit getting ready to ride. Ignore the smile, I'm really a tough guy. I must have been thinking about crying children or something.
Also, I've decided Dirtbag Fitness needs a logo, so I designed one. This is a rough, I-can't-really-draw-but-here-it-is version. And yes, when I get better at it I am going to Sharpie it on to my swim cap. And figure out how to put it on a t-shirt. And a cycle jersey. And whatever else I can think of.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recovery Week Swim

Swim Day- Recovery Week
In case you didn't notice, this is a recovery week according to my plan. So all minutes and distances are shorter than they were last week.

Swim Day
Suggested distance: 400yds
1 x 100yd Warm-up
4 x 50yd Stroke Count (15, 14)
1 x 400yd- 6:00
2 x 50yd 3, 5, 7, 9 strokes per breath
Total distance: 800yds

Nice easy swim day today. Tomorrow is a short ride. Feels strange to dial back after the last two weeks, but I guess it'll be good for me when I look ahead to the next few weeks.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wherein I Run in the Rain

But not much rain. Just some sprinkles. Felt good, really. The whole workout felt good. I'm constantly amazed that my runs feel as good as they do. I was a swimmer forever. I had flippers instead of feet. Could barely run a mile without dying. And now I'm having great runs nearly every time I go out.

Run Summary:
Time- 35:05
Distance- 3.67mi

I'm thrilled with this distance. And it was down and then back up a pretty good hill which had kicked my ass in the past. I run with a watch timing me since my workout overviews don't talk about distance at all, instead only about time. Only swimming gives distances, which I've ignored since day one. So I need to think about the time out and back with a fade. This was down a hill, like I said, so I needed to plan for a fade and for a climb, and nailed it. Proud. Pleased. But I'm looking ahead and see runs over an hour in a few weeks. That'll be fun. Wonder how happy I'll be then. At least I'm running over the distance of the race. That'll help come race time.
It'll really help because I'm worried about finding other gears during the race. I've got a solid cruise speed that would get me through the race, which is ok. And I know that I'm supposed to just be concerned about finishing since it's my first. But if I can do more than just finish, if I can really push, that'll make me happier. Overtraining will help me find other gears. Same concern on the bike, but found a really nice place to ride today that's going to help with that.

On to the weight set:
3 x 15 Shoulder Fly- 20lbs
3 x 15 Lunges
3 x 15, 8, 5 Pullups
3 x 15 Squats (last set on the Bosu Ball)
3 x 15 Bench Press- 55lbs (15, 15, 9)

You'll notice I added leg stuff to my workout. This is because I'm looking forward at the race and I need to get my legs ready to get slammed. Running and cycling alone won't do it, not enough. So I'm adding weightless squats, lunges, and probably some other stuff later.
Next week is a rest week, so my minutes and yardage are lower. But looking past that, I'm going to need a rest week. Things get long and rough soon.

...that's what she said. (Sorry, I held it back as long as I could)

Wherein a Bicycle Calls Me a Bitch

Cycle Day
Time: 60minutes
Distance: 11.78mi
Core/Stretch alternation

Today's ride was tough. An hour feels like a long time to ride, and by the end of it the smallest hills feel very large, making my legs quiver like the Cos' favorite dessert. I need to find a flatter place to do some of my rides. Obviously not all of them, I do know that practicing going up hills will benefit me when race time comes and that course is flat. Then I'll be over-trained, which is what I want. Any leg-up (as it were) on leg strength going into the run would be nice.
Also, I decided today it would be a good idea to try unclipping the other foot at a stop. You know, to be balanced. This was not as good an idea as it sounds. This means that I've spent the last ride and a half unclipping and putting down my left foot, developing that instinct. And then I decide I will unclip my right foot. And what happened? I successfully unclipped my right foot...and then tried to put my left foot down. Luckily I got the other foot out before I fell over, but still managed to bang my right knee against the frame and gouged myself a little on the sprocket. Now the knee is slightly more sore than it normally would be and getting extra ice treatment. I'm sure it will be fine for my run tomorrow.
This ride today hurt some, I was not making good time by the end of it. Good thing I've got some weeks before the race. Getting stronger, and the bike keeps my ego in check.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cue, uh, Dory

Open water swim today!
I was excited for this. I think the last time I did an open water workout was in college the first time I visited Hawaii, so it's been a while. Swimming out in the ocean is so much different than in a pool. For one, the water moves. Sometimes a lot. Like, into your mouth while you're breathing 'cause you're a dummy and you turn your head away from the beach to try and breathe. Not that that happened today, I'm just saying that's why it could be hard...
Also, you can't help but feel alone out there. Goggles keep the water out of your eyes but they also allow you to see the bottom fade, fade, fade, and disappear. For anyone who has seen Jaws at least once, this is creepy. Part of your brain sings, "Duhdu duhdu duhdu duhduhduhduhdudhudhdudhu!" And then you notice a sea turtle out of the corner of your eye, but you don't realize it's a sea turtle at first because all you did was glimpse it really quickly, and you verbalize into the water something which would be inappropriate at school. Then you realize its just a sea turtle checking you out and then you're kind of blown away by being able to go swimming and see a sea turtle. Like I said before, not that it happened to me today, except that last part. It just could. To you. Well, not you. You are obviously way too cool. To someone else then. Yeah.
On to the training report. We went out to Pililaau Army beach on the Waianae coast. Nice quite little beach. Met up with friends there and into the water I went.

Total swim time: 26:37 (I took a 1:30 break after approx 12:36 when I got to the other side, but I stopped the watch for that)

I couldn't get the GPS Jog Tracker to work out on the coast to walk along the beach where I swam so I have to guess at the distance. But if I was averaging 3:00 or 3:15 over 200yds, then that's a pretty good swim.
Tomorrow I'm back on the bike again. Woohoo!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cue Tom Petty

Run/Lift Day
Today I drove to the gym and ran from there that way I could get my lift on afterwards. Core day will be switched to cycle day.

Run duration: 25 minutes
Distance: 11.27mi (JogTracker and my GPS seem to have had a little bit of a glitch today.)
Average speed: 25.9mph (I am Superman!)
Pace: 2.3min/mile
And the map feature tracked me running out into the ocean. Technology is wonderful.

3 x 15 cable pulldown- 110lbs
3 x 15 single arm shoulder press- 25lbs
3 x 15 single arm seated row- 60lbs
2 x 16 side lunge
1 x 16 lunge

My run didn't hurt nearly as bad as I was expecting today. I'm guessing that my actual run distance was around 2.5mi. But my butt kinda hurts, saddle sore. Not sure how long that'll take to go away. And tomorrow I'm going to do an open water swim rather than a pool workout. Should be fun.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cue Freddie Mercury

Cycle Day
My first real cycle day! How exciting! Up until this point I've been rolling along at 24 Hour Fitness on one of their stationary bikes trying to get my quads up to speed. But, thanks to Obi Tri Kenobi, those days are over. Today I rode on the road. (Side note: Don't you just love homophones? I do.) Ride overview first:

Plan Suggested Time: 45 min
Actual Time: 50:30 (I may have gotten farther from home than anticipated so it took slightly longer to get back. But I was close!)
Distance: 10.13mi (JogTracker app)

First things first. Clipping in. More than anything else, this part made me nervous. Clipping in is the act of attaching your one and only body to a bicycle in order to get a more efficient leg stroke. You do this by connecting the clips on your super special shoes to specially designed pedals. This is not as easy as it sounds while moving. Fortunately, once figured out it's also not that bad. I was more worried about getting out than getting in. I think you can imagine an emergency stop when you're attached to the bike. If unclipping isn't a reflex you will fall over. Well, I didn't fall over. Had some troubles getting my other foot clipped in after I started moving but that will come with time. Clipping in is a good thing because then you can have power all the way through the stroke, both on the push and on the pull. This will make my legs big and strong. Grrr.
Once I got riding I was concerned about the biggest danger on the road: Other People. You know who they are. You've seen them. Driving. On your road. Like they own it. Jerks. Being a motorcyclist, I know these people. And I think the awareness that bike has given me will translate well to this bike.
My ride went well overall. I went down to an empty parking lot to practice turning and stopping (both important skills). Because of the nature of the topography around my house I did have to do some small, small, short, short climbs. In the beginning this wasn't too bad but the last one of the ride was less than fun. Let's just say I wanted to it end and leave it at that.
I got the gearing pretty well figured out I think. Only had a few times where I would shift and suddenly the pedals were free-spinning because I had chosen poorly. In school we call this a "teachable moment." On a bike I call it, "Holy crap! That was a mistake! Fix it fix it fix it ahhhhh better."
I'm looking forward to my next ride. Today has convinced me of two things. 1) Cycling will be the most challenging discipline for me. 2) I can get it done, and I can get it done strong.
Tomorrow is my run. After today, I predict a little more suck than normal. Again, grrrrr.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Swim Day and News

Exciting News! But first, swim workout overview.

Suggested distance- 600 yds
1 x 100 yds Warm-up
4 x 200yds on the 3:00 (This hurt so good. Made all of them but only had four seconds rest between 3 and 4 and barely made 4)
2 x 25yds Stroke count cool down
1 x 100 pull
1 x 250yds stretch/stroke technique focus
Total distance: 1300yds

Swim felt great. That main set was pretty killer for my current swim fitness level. It's the first set so far where I was barely making the time standard. Going to have to start doing more of these, and with farther distances. Can't wait for the set of 500s I see in my future. Getting stronger every day.
Now, on to the exciting news.
Sunday I picked up the bike (who's name is Sandra B. I've been informed) I will be training on and using for the race. Many millions of thanks to Gene T. Gene will henceforth be known as Obi Tri Kenobi. Why? Because I'm a dork. Also because he's a Jedi Triathlon Master who does Ironman races and answered all of my questions including the ones I didn't even think to ask. He's also offered to get together with me and help me get straightened out with bike stuff later on. So he's Obi Tri Kenobi. Below is a junk picture I just took of the bike upside down in our computer room.
It's a really nice bike. I'm very lucky. And the guys at IT&B were again super helpful, this time with getting the bike set up for me and answering even more of my questions, which I know was above and beyond the basic thing I was paying for. And they sold me my first pair of cycling shoes. I know this last part is their basic job but its so nice to be sold something by people who love what they are selling you and know their stuff backwards and forwards.
I also registered for the triathlon last night. Much thanks to Mom and Skip for funding both the shoes and the registration. It's official and exciting. I love having a goal and something to train for.
Tomorrow's post should be interesting as it will be my first day riding Sandra B. I will be clipped in to the pedals, which I'll go over tomorrow. So I'm predicting less of a traditional work out and more of a getting comfortable on the bike and trying not to fall over session. I'll try to get better pictures tomorrow too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Runnin' Down a Dream

Run Day
30min (actual time 30:30)
Distance- 3.13mi*
*distance courtesy of JogTracker app on my HTC Hero. Excellent app

Core Workout
3 x 1 minute Plank (one minute rest)
3 x 12 V-Ups (30 seconds rest)
6 x 10 Thread the Needle (30 seconds rest after both sides 1x)

Run felt good. Right calf still tightens up some afterwards so I'm drinking plenty of water and eating bananas and stretching lots. Also icing my knees every day, 15 minutes left, 15 minutes right, 15 left, 15 right. Pretty sure the soreness is just what I said before, the knees adjusting to all the newness. Soreness is going away and there is no pain while I'm working out.
Was a beautiful day in Hawaii for a run.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Last Indoor Ride (Hopefully)

Cycle day today. I'm hoping to pick up my borrowed bike this weekend but haven't yet, so it was another indoor ride for Doug. 55 minutes today, which is a long time to ride nowhere. The TV in front of me had NASCAR on, so that was a big help. I'm working hard at going nowhere, they're "working hard" going nowhere. We bonded. I even spoke with a twang after I got off the bike. And I had to complete my weight workout making only left turns.

Anyway, here's today's workout overview:
Cycle- 55 minutes at 8 resistance.
Total imaginary distance- 14.87mi
Lifts (all lifts done using the Cable Cross machine...I love Saturday am at the gym. Empty and everything you want to use is open!)
3 x 15 lat pull downs with 90, 100, 110lbs selected for each side. (I had to fiddle with the weight so it wasn't too light)
6 x 15 one arm bent over fly- 5olbs
6 x 15 woodchop- 50lbs (three to each side. I've never done this exercise before but it's come up on a few websites so I thought I'd try it out. I like it.)
3 x 15 chest flys- 50lbs

Friday, August 13, 2010

Swimming and Shopping (But Not in That Order)

Swim Day
Recommended: 600yds
I had a much better swim today than last time. Makes me think that, because of all the swimming I have done in the past, this is the discipline that will come snapping into shape the quickest and easiest. Although, technically, my run is my strongest discipline because I've been doing it the most consistently recently. Running outside is different than on a treadmill though. Better, but different.
On to my workout (all freestyle):

1 x 100yds warm-up
3 x 200yds on the 3:30 (swam these on a 2:45ish pace, very pleased with that. Really, had too much rest. Hey, it's only Swim Day 2. Gimme a break.)
1 x 100yds Anaerobic (breathe every 3, 5, 7, 9, repeat. This stretched my stroke out and felt very nice)
2 x 25 Drill Stroke Length (first 25 I took 16 strokes, second I took 14. No breathing either lap.)
1 x 50yds Cool Down
Total yards: 900

Like I said, I'm really happy with how that swim went.
But before the swim I went shopping. Since a bike has come through and I hope to be picking it up this weekend I require the proper gear. I return to Sports Authority a man on a mission. And leave a man owning skin tight lycra shorts with a pad in the butt. Also the ever-important helmet, a pair of gloves, and a shirt (jersey? specially designed, aerodynamic, sweat-wicking, breathing top with Go Fast green piping?). Before the race I'll need to buy actual tri shorts, which are like bike shorts but with a much smaller pad in the butt. Since you don't change clothes in the middle of the race, the smaller pad doesn't absorb water during the swim and turn into the dreaded diaper butt. For now I just needed shorts to train in. I may also have bought myself a swim suit special for the wife...

(possible special for the wife suit not pictured...if it exists)

Thank you again for the donations. This gear was bought with my own money, as right now I'm planning on putting donations towards race registration and then my own bike.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

With a Little Help From My Friends...

Run Day
20 minutes. Using the Jog Tracker app Meghan suggested I know for sure that I traveled 2.12mi with an average speed of 6.3mph. Good call, Meg! And a pretty good run for me. Short, but up a (very) slight incline one way and I tried to run a little quicker back. So it was good.
After my run I did a core workout. (all with one minute rest between sets unless otherwise noted)
3 x 1 minute Plank
3 x 12 V-Ups
6 x 0:45 second Side Plank (six because three on each side. You get? And I went straight from right side to left side so the minute rest was after the left side. Then back-to-back.)
6 x 10 Thread the Needle (six for the same reason. Also, not positive I did this right and was going to hit up YouTube to check, but my sister sent me a link before I could. Go her!)

Body Monitoring Update: Knees have been feeling fatigued last two days. No pain, they just feel different, tired. I'm pretty sure this is because I'm asking them to move in new ways (especially the cycle) and they are adjusting to the new workload. But I've had knee pain before so I'll be keeping an eye on them. Will go in search of yoga poses or something that will help strengthen/better stretch them to prevent injury or aggravation.

Bike update: My lead has come through! A friend (really a friend of a friend, but now we are friends for real and I will wash his car and his dog and his house whenever he wants me to) who does Ironman triathlons is going to let me borrow one of his "cheap" bikes to train on and use for the race! How amazingly cool is that? The plan is to meet up with him this weekend to pick it up. More information and pictures will follow once I have it home. Means tomorrow I'll be heading to Sports Authority to pick up a helmet, gloves, and the oh-so-sexy bike shorts. Made my week.
Swim again tomorrow. Suggested 600yds. Probably will be higher. Grrrr, tough guy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cycle Day

Today was my second bike day. I still don't have a real ride so to the gym I go to sit on their stationary bike. I know it's not the same, not nearly close enough really, but it's my option right now. At least my legs are getting used to working they way they should be on a bike. The search goes on.
Today was 40 minutes, resistance set at eight except for the last ten minutes when I ramped it all the way up to nine. RPMs stayed between 85-95 for the most part, plus holding over 100 for the last minute. I traveled 10.93 imaginary miles.
After the ride I headed to the weight section of the gym. I have been doing some reading and talked to a few people and learning that weight training is good as long as it's high rep/low weight, which builds strength but not size. I knew this but it was good to hear it from people in the know. So until I get my own bike and can ride from home bike days will be weight days. Once I do get my own bike I'll drive to the gym for my run from the gym and then lift. I'm still ironing out my weight to reps ratios for some of these lifts since I normally lift heavier and to failure (sets of 10 or less reps).

3 x 15 pull-ups (I knew I wasn't going to be able to do all of these yet, even though pull-ups have been part of my routine for a while. So the reps were a goal but I expected failure. I actually did 15, 10, 4 1/2. It'll get better)
3 x 15 military shoulder press - 25lbs
3 x 15 bench press - 55lbs (Worked to failure. Actual reps were 15, 15, 7)
3 x 15 seated row - 120lbs

Like I said, lifting like this is new and hurts in a whole different way. I'll be fiddling with weights and trying out different lifts to keep my muscles guessing. I also plan on adding at least a triceps lift soon, once I feel a little stronger in the water. I should be doing leg work too but the frequency of leg-based cardio is making me think I should wait on that for now. I'm concerned with burn-out and over-training. That's also why I didn't do any core work today. It'll be done after my run tomorrow.
Back on the hunt for a bike. Hope I find something soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In the Swim of It

Swim Day
Recommended: 500 yards
Yeah, my ego wouldn't let me do that, even though it's my first swim workout in I'm not sure how many years. But I didn't do much more, really.

Actual Workout (all freestyle unless otherwise noted)
5 x 100yd on the 2:00 (all done in 1:30, not pushing, 70% intensity)
1 x 50yd drill
1 x underwater (because I'm still Courson at heart and no workout can go by without one)
1 x 100 IM
1 x 50yd sprint (0:35...*sigh* total stroke technique breakdown)
1 x 50yd cool down
Total Yardage: 725yds

I'm not thrilled with how I swam, but I'm being smart about it and shouting down my ego. Because my ego still vividly remembers killing myself for two hours five days a week, plus morning workouts and knows that compared to that this was a warm-up. But I'm not in that kind of shape any more. More than anything this reminded me that the best training for swimming is swimming. Nothing else really does. You can maintain with weights and cardio, but it's not the same.
My core felt weak, droopy, which made it feel like my hydrodynamics were non-existent. This means that on non-swim days I'll be hitting core exercises to tighten that up. My triceps also weren't as enduring as they need to be. But when I've been lifting I haven't been doing light weight/high rep so that makes sense. I knew that was going to have to change when I start working out with weights again. I was also breathing way too much. These three things worked together to make it feel like my stroke feel like it was breaking down very quickly.
But it's there. The technique is still in my body, it's still in my head. It's good to know that I can still analyze my stroke like I've done because that means I can fix it.
On the up side, I didn't even break a sweat. (Har har har, little swimmer humor there)
Also, I have two possible leads on bikes and I'm waiting with baited breath to hear back from one or both of them. (Addendum: One lead now, the other just fell through. Bummer.)

Many thanks to those who have already donated to the cause. If you're interested, please click on the paypal button.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Training Day 2

Run: outdoors around my neighborhood. 25 minutes. approx 2.8 miles (according to the truck). Intensity- moderate. I've done that run a few times now and it was nice to get a clock on it. Right calf finished a little tight. Lots of stretching and water now. Maybe a banana or a smoothie with a banana in it for breakfast is in order.
Tomorrow is an off day so I'm going to a nearby used bike store to pray (prey) for better prices after work.

Paypal Donation Link Activated

The donation link is up and running through Paypal. Please see the top right corner next to the text. As I stated before, once I get all set up with what I need then donations will only be used for gear and race registration. Any monies left over will then go towards the next event registration, travel costs, and gear repair and upgrades. (Honesty Alert) I want to say that extra after that will be donated to a charity but I'm pretty sure that, at least for a while, there won't be any extra as I'll be busy getting quality equipment together and keeping it in good repair.
Anything that is bought using donation money will be detailed here.
Thank you for your help and support.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Training and Shopping

Training Day 1:
Bike 50 minutes. I have no bike yet so this was done at 24 Hour Fitness. My plan for today was to just get through, since I haven't ridden in I-don't-know-how-long. My rpms averaged 85-90 the whole time and I traveled 12.95mi. Legs felt wobbly afterwards, but not too bad. Next time I need to remember to bring a water bottle. Want a real bike.
And that leads to my first official shopping trip. I went into Waikiki after I got back from the gym to check out Island Triathlon & Bike and ask some questions. Fred, the guy who I talked to while I was there, was great. I rode the bike in and parked it in from of the store and he was immediately saying, "All right! Two wheels are better than four. Now you have to be the engine." I told him that's what I was there for and he grabbed me to start pointing the way.
Talk about an intense salesman. But in a good way. Fred wasn't trying to sell me because he needed the commission or because its his job. Fred loves this stuff. Loves loves loves. And that is a whole different kind of sales pitch. "Check this out!" and "Look at these!" and "Feel this! Weighs nothing!" It's like if I got a job at a Yamaha bike shop. I would be crazy on the poor customers. Alas, Fred's store was also about as high-end as it could have gotten. I quickly realized I was not in the right place.
"Ok," Fred said to me, "you aren't going to want to buy the lowest level bike. You really should start a step above that so you're really getting a better deal for your money. Here is our step-above bike." It's a beauty. It's also $1,500. My brain twitches. "Uh, Fred, maybe we should look at the low-end bike." Which we did. Another beautiful piece of machinery. $800. "Of course, we'll let you finance interest free for twelve months. The bike and everything else you'll need, which should be another $200-300." Yeeeeaaahhhh...ummm, sorry dude. I'm pretty sure that's just not going to happen.
Basically, I went into a fancy jewelry shop and said, "Hey, I want one of them rings that changes color when I'm mad." Or I walked into a Ducati dealer looking for a moped. "But a quick one! In red!"
Fred understood, even pointed me towards a used bike shop on the island which I'll check out Monday, since they are closed on Sunday. He also answered other gear questions I had. The gear at their store was, like the bikes, really nice. And really a whole lotta much money. If I ever do get really in to the sport and am willing to drop some serious change on it, Island Triathlon & Bike will get my money. But not today.
Also, I'm working on getting a paypal donation account set up for this blog. Hopefully will be all ready to go in a few days.
Tomorrow, a run!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gear Bought & Training Update

Today we went to Sports Authority to grab some easy-to-get and much needed swim gear. I got myself some socket rocker goggles by Speedo, which makes me happy. I wanted the hardcore, plastic-only ones like I used to wear but they didn't have, so I got the next best thing.

I also picked up two swim caps, which I never used to wear except at meets because they are uncomfortable. But I never used to have hair like this, and it must be tamed! I will not have it choke or slow me down. Into a cap with you then! Right now I'll be swimming in board shorts, though I think I have an old pair of zoomers hidden away somewhere. Drag is good, it'll make me stronger. I have a feeling the swim will be all arms so I can save my legs for legs two and three.
I also needed a cheap watch so that I can keep track of my times. Sports Authority was not much help in the "cheap" department. They had fancy watches that keep track of heart rate, splits, phase of the moon, blood type, caloric intake, respiration, mood, toenail length, and so on. I was just looking for a bloody waterproof watch with a stopwatch feature. To Target! $10 later I have my watch.

As promised, here is the link to my training plan:
The Original 13 Week Sprint Training Plan
I may make some modifications as I find out how my body handles the schedule. Those will be tracked here, of course. I'll be starting in on Monday with the first workout. And tomorrow I'll be heading into Waikiki to check out our local triathlon store, Island Triathlon & Bike, to ask some questions about training and gear. Maybe they'll have some leads on cheap bikes.
One last thing. As soon as I can figure out how to do it I'll be linking a Paypal account to this blog and asking for sponsorship (donations). This feels awkward for me, asking for friends to chip in so I can work out, so here's how I'm going to alleviate some of that feeling. Assuming donations do come in, once I get enough to help me get started getting my ride on and sign up for the race I'll take the extra and put it towards a charity. I think most triathlons are sponsored by one charity or another so I'll take a look at that. If not, I'll choose one on my own. There, now I feel better about subtly asking people for money. Hopefully this won't be a one-off deal and eventually, once I'm set for gear, I'll be able to use a larger percentage towards charity and a smaller towards race registration. When I'm at the store tomorrow I'll also ask if they have any suggestions for sponsorship, since I've seen a few things about it on boards. The sponsorship link on the Ko'Olina Tri website itself, though, was not what I thought it was. Bummer.
Signing off for now. Will update either tomorrow after the trip to the store if its amazingly helpful and I just have to share, or after my first day's training. Thanks for reading.

Training Log Supplemental:
After a little more investigating I may have found another training program I like better. I can't link directly to it because it's a .pdf but the website its from is called Sprint Triathlon Training. I had to sign up (free!) in order to get to the file. I think it might work better than the other. Time for some homework.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Why did I start this blog, you ask.
I blame the book.
I'm in the middle of reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, a very well written book about a tribe of superathletes who live deep in the wilds of Mexico who are somehow able to run amazing distances with none of the fancy-shmancy technology us civilized people bring to the sport. The American main players in the story are nearly all ultramarathoners, people who run 100 mile races through the desert or the mountains or the snow or whatever for fun. Pick it up, it's very cool.
Like I said, this book is all about running. I am not runnings biggest fan. I run, mostly, because I don't want to get fat. Because I'm vain. But more and more, especially since I started running in minimalist shoes known as Vibram Fivefingers I'm enjoying running. Which is strange for me. For my whole running life I've been a slow, plodding, fighting through this and hating it, kind of runner. But now I feel light, I feel different, I feel connected to my body and the world in a whole new way. Barefooting will do that for you. According to tons of research, its also a lot better for you than arch supporting, heel cushioning, shock having, sneaks. Those change the shape of your foot and weaken the muscles that are there specifically to help you run down food. So I'm a minimalist convert. I'm not here to preach. Today.
Today I'm here to state a new fitness goal. I go to the gym on a regular basis, have been for year. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, run, lift, abs, stretch. I love the gym, love working out, love making it hurt. And I'm kind of bored with it. I'm working out without a real purpose beside staying fit. Which is fine. It got me through. But I want more and the book inspired me. But not to go all runner crazy. If I was directly inspired by the book I'd set my sights on a marathon, but that just ain't happening. Not any time soon. That doesn't sound like fun to me. A triathlon, however, now that sounds fun.
A quiet part of my brain has been nagging me about trying a tri for a while now and I've been pretty good at ignoring it. Alas, no longer. It hit me on my ride home from school today that I really wanted a new physical challenge that I knew would hurt and suck and make me stronger in every way. And a triathlon has one leg that's right up my alley. The swim. I've been a swimmer for a hundred years and am pretty confident that if I had to, right now, as I sit here, I could throw down some pretty respectable times for someone who hasn't trained in a pool in at least two years. Which leaves the run, which I've been working on, and the bike, which I've always hated. I never use the bike for cardio. It hurts more than helps as far as I'm concerned. That's right, I'm a big bike baby. And that is going to change...I hope.
The ride is going to be the biggest challenge for more than just that reason, however. You see, I don't actually own a bike. I know, I know, this seems preventative to the whole "I'm going to do a triathlon" thing. I'm working on it. Good competition bikes aren't cheap and I'm a broke teacher, so I'm looking into ways around the price. Until I own a bike I'll just have to use the stationary ones at the gym. These won't be as good, but it'll do for now. And if I can't find or afford a bike by October 24th, the date of the Ko'Olina Sports Festival and Sprint Triathlon...well I don't know. But I'll be trained and ready for it.
This sprint tri, for those of of you wondering, is a 0.9mi swim, a 13.1mi ride, and a 3.1mi run (which you would know if you followed the links. So lazy sometimes.). I may be overly optimistic, but I think this is doable. (Though the ninety dollar entree fee, not so sure.) I'm not starting out flat footed, after all. I'm in decent shape. I've also found a 13 week and a 12 week training program for sprint triathlons which I am looking at and will follow to prepare. When I choose the one I'm using I'll post a link. The astute among you will have noticed I have less than 13 weeks between now and Oct 24th. Well, guess I'll just have to make the best out of it.
I'll be tracking my progress here, posting training reports and other triathlon-related updates. This serves a dual purpose: it will help me track my progress and it will keep me honest. I couldn't back out now. I've told the entire internets what my plan is.
Onward with strength, power, and intensity!