Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Feel Healed

Run Day

Time- 30 minutes
Distance- 3.2mi

Ok, so not the fastest or furthest run I've done, but it is the first pain-free run I've had in weeks. That's good enough for me today. I cruised at a fairly easy 10 minute mile pace. This, like I've said before, isn't good enough for the race but it'll do for today. I'll start pushing, carefully, next week. Sunday, my next run day, is 55 minutes. That's going to be more of a run strong and survive strong kind of run. First time I'll run with water as well, which should be interesting, but not too difficult. I should be able to cover at least six miles.
My foot was a little sore at times during this run but never bad. And right now it doesn't hurt at all. I'm going to ice, I think that's going to be a regular thing now, but not for pain, only as prevention as proscribed by Sister Dirtbag, Official Trainer of Team Dirtbag. Also, on her suggestion, I spent about half of this run on the grass next to the sidewalk rather than on the sidewalk. This lessens the impact of my stride and feels better.


3 x 20 Single-arm shoulder press- 25lbs
3 x 20 BOSU squat
3 x 15 Single-arm pull down- 100lbs (cable machine)
3 x 20 Lunges

For some reason it felt like forever since I'd lifted even though it's only been a week. Weights felt fine but I think I'm at the end of my lifting cycle for the tri training. This is my last Thursday run according to the guide I'm following. Next week my brick training gets heavier and the run portion gets longer, so the training guide drops Thursday all together since the run happens after the ride. So starting next week Mondays are transition practice days and Thursdays are the rest days. Depending on how I'm feeling about my running I might ignore that for at least one more week and run again next Thursday. Either way, I don't think I'll be lifting any more, which is fine. That energy is better put towards the actual race disciplines anyway now. It'll be strange for me to not lift, but I'll have to get over it by kicking my ass in the swim, ride, and run workouts.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bloody Weather

Brick Day- Cycle/Run

Ride pt.1
time- 18:10
distance- 3.o9mi

Ride pt.2
time- 50min *approx
distance- 11.23mi

time- 10min
distance- 1.1mi

Those of you who are paying attention may have noticed something odd there. I have posted a ride pt.1 and pt.2 and two maps to go along with them. "WTF, seƱor Dirtbag?" you may be asking yourself (if you were so inclined to throw random spanglish into your everyday speech). The answer, my friends, is very simple: It rained hard today.
I had such a good plan. Really, it was a KISS plan, couldn't have been easier. Today the wife worked at my school. So we threw the bike and my gear into the back of the truck with the plan being I would ride home and she could drive home. I figured the ride from school to my house would be just under an hour, and since my ride time today was supposed to be one hour I would find a way to fill the extra time. Once home I would quick fast change shoes and go for my ten minute run. Mr Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) also liked my plan. Because he got to mess with it.
All day long I would glance out the door of my classroom and see dark, foreboding clouds gathering on the horizon to the north. You know, the direction I'd soon be riding in. Damn. So wife and I came up with a plan. She'd drive on ahead and I'd ride, but if she got to a spot where the rain was really bad then she would flip around and come get me. Good plan. And a good thing too, because that's just what had to happen. The first map is from my school until where she picked me up. The next couple of miles were sheets of rain. I'm glad she did what she did. It would have been the suck. Once it cleared up she pulled over, let me out, and I was on my way once more, which is where map 2 finds me.
Only it didn't stay clear. It looked clear. But it was not. Because I had to make up missed time and distance I rolled onto the base where my hill is and rode through there. I didn't assault the hill, not enough time, but did ride through pretty good. And got poured on. Heavy. Drenched. The street was staying-in-the-middle-of-the-lane-because-the-side-of-the-road-is-deep-and-it-might-turn-into-a-swim-workout filled with water (by the way, I just won the Longest Hyphenated Term in a Blog award for September 2010). Had to pull my glasses down to my nose because they were so wet they were doing more to block my view rather than keep rain out of my eyes. Kind of the suck.(Also, you'll notice the * with the second ride time. I'm going soley by the JogTracker numbers, which are normally accurate anyway, because genius-boy forgot to start his watch after stopping for the red light to get on base. Durf. This why I have two forms of time tracking.)
But I can't complain too much. It didn't get really cold. The people on base drive significantly safer than the rest of the island. And I was working out. The only frustrating part is that I never felt like I got into a good rhythm. I never really got working today. It was more like just going from point A to point B rather than training for a race. And that's kind of my problem on the bike right now. Because I'm still so new to it a lot of workouts are spent making the muscles learn to ride rather than getting a really good cardiovascular workout. I rarely feel out of breath when I'm done, just tired. Meh, it'll get better. I'll figure out how to race it eventually. Having somewhere flatter to ride will help. We kind of live on the highest point of the island right now so going any direction very far entails a drop then a climb.
Got home, hopped off the bike, took off my dripping wet riding shoes and my helmet, threw on my Vibrams, and headed back out for a ten minute run. I'm still taking it easy, keeping a close watch on the foot. But, aside from very little soreness, it was fine. This makes Dirtbag happy. Tomorrow will be a bigger test since I'll be running farther. But I will be watching my stride, not overrunning, and doing what I know how to do. Covered a mile in ten minutes, which is my default cruising speed anyway. Feels so weird to go from 90rpm to a jog.
Long stretch, good shower to get the road grime and rain dirt off me, lots of water and a banana, and now for some sushi.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To Feed and Train the Intensity

Swim Day

1 x 150 Warm-up
3 x 200 Pull- 3:15
4 x 400 Swim- 6:00
1 x 100 BCY kick set
1 x 100 Cool down
Total Yardage- 2550yds

2 x 1:00 Plank
1 x 1:30 Plank

Here we are, the last stretch of training before the race. No more recovery weeks lay between me and Oct. 24th. It needs to be hardcore from here on out. Those thoughts drove me at the pool today, and will keep me fueled every day from here on out. Feeding the Intensity. Making it strong.
Today's swim was great. After I finished writing it up I realized it was about 300 yards longer than I originally planned. "Meh," thought I, "this works." All it means is that as the suggested yardage (which I've ignored the whole time) goes up so does the real yardage. And with today's swim at over 2k, that means soon I'll be spending a whole lot more time in the water.
Which kind of brings me to my next point: Training the Intensity. Today during my 400 set I really tried pushing it hard. I wanted to hit the point where I knew that if I had to get out and ride right away there would be no way that would be any good at all. I need to know where my line is as far as, "I can get this tired in the water, but once I get here I have to dial it back or I'm screwed." This is important to me as I realized deeper and deeper that races like this aren't hard because it's a mile swim, or a 13 mile ride, or a three mile run. They are hard because those three things get stacked back-to-back-to-back. I know that's not an especially deep thought, nor should it be a shocking, "Holy crap! You mean I can't rest between events in a triathlon? WTF?" revelation, but it is an important thing to drill into my brain.
You see, when I was a swimmer I was always a strong finisher. No matter how tired I was I could dig deep that last lap, or last 50, or whatever, and find another gear to drive home hard. I had that trained that into my head and my body by every coach. "Last one, best one," is a phrase just about any athlete will punch you for saying unless you're training them. God, that last one...
But I can't do that here. I can't see the end of the swim coming and step it up, because if I do then I'm stealing energy I'll need during the other two legs of the race. I need to discipline the Intensity so it knows its boundaries. I need to keep the stroke strong and long and measured the whole race, front to back. This I am thinking to myself with every training stroke. And so I swim hard, pushing that line further and further back.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Testing the Wheel

Run Day- RW

Time- 16 minutes
Distance- 1.5mi

I know, I know, I said I was going to use the elliptical one last time today. But the foot hadn't hurt at all in two days, including spending all day on my feet yesterday at the air show. So I decided that, it being a recovery week and all, I could test out the foot and keep the run shorter than suggested.
I ran slow and easy, stayed on the grass as much as possible and the foot was mostly ok. Started to get sore in the one spot right at the tip-top where I've been feeling it about halfway through the run. Not painful, not at all like the last time I ran, but sore. So I came home and took some Advil and am between icing sessions while I type.
I'm trying to be positive about this. It's been nearly two weeks since I've run at all, and over two weeks since I've completed a run with zero discomfort. So I should expect that the foot would be sore. I have Monday off, Tuesday is a swim, Weds is a brick. So I have until Weds to run again, and I'm going to run again nice and easy. Hopefully those extra days to recover will help the foot finish being sore all the way. I'll keep icing even if there is no pain, and talking encouragingly to it. Right now it's slightly sore, but only when I flex the big toe up. Standing and walking are painless. So, we'll see. Need it to feel better so that I can get back into good runs. I don't have much time, but its enough to prepare for three good miles.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Special Combo Blog- Just For You!!!

Stupid interwebs were down last night when I tried to post my swim so instead you all get a double combo super bonus recovery week blog! Print this blog out and bring it in to any Denny's for a free Grand Slam with purchase of any regular lemonade!*

*offer not valid at any or all Denny's locations

Swim Day- RW 9/24

1 x 1750- 27:08

1,750 yards is one mile. It's also 70 laps in a 25 yard pool. This is a lot of laps. This can be boring. Oddly enough, its really only the first 35 laps that are really boring. After than you feel like you're on the downhill side and it gets easier. I knew I could do this, and I wasn't pumping at all, but I felt that it would be good for me to swim an extended super-distance to remind my body what it feels like. The race won't even be like this. It's over a series of lagoons so it's going to be swim-run-swim the whole time.
I think (and I didn't stop to write them down so I'm not sure) that my 500, 1,o00, and 1,500 yard splits were 7:40, 15:20, and 22:something. So I was hanging at about a 7:40/500 pace, which is pretty good for a chilled out swim.

Ride Day- RW 9/25

Time- 41 minutes
Distance- 9.93mi

Like the swim, I barely got my heart rate up on this. It was a cruise day. Get out, get the legs moving, get a few miles in. That's all. I woke up at 6am to ride today because Stitches and I are going the the air show and we wanted to leave early. I didn't think riding after spending all day in the sun was a great idea, so I got up early instead. It was cool but the exertion quickly warmed me up. And there weren't many cars on the road, which was nice. The sun was peaking over the horizon when I set out and rose while I rode, which was pretty cool. I live in a very beautiful place, and rides like this help me to see that. If only rent (and everything else) wasn't so stupidly high...
I'm at the point in my riding where ten miles in forty minutes is slow and kind of unsatisfying. I'll get over that next Sunday when my ride gets all long and painful again.
I have no foot pain at all, and haven't for a few days. But I think I'm going to stick to my plan and elliptical one last time tomorrow to close out recovery week. My first real (and hopefully pain-free) run will come Wednesday during a ride/run brick.
This concludes your happy fun time super awesome double blog extravaganza.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Roundy Step Round Thing

Run Day- Recovery Week
Time- 20 tick tocs

Durtbag go to gim. Him, er, me go to roundy step round thing and roundy step round twint...twant...ten tick tocs two goes. Me get some little water sweat on skin. Dertbag have little thumpity thump in middle pound small bit hard. Me thing at end of leg not ouch. Me wait to not ouch it more again and use roundy step round thing when to run next again. Not exciting nothing much at gim but roundy step round tick toc time. That all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clay Brick

Cycle/Run Brick Day- Recovery Week

Ride time- 28.52 minutes
Distance- 7.78mi

Run* time- 10 minutes
Distance- 0.5mi


Total time- 40 minutes
Total distance- 8.36mi

Today was my second brick day, but I couldn't use it as a real brick because the foot is still not 100%. It comes and goes, going from not sore at all to just a little bit sore but enough to worry me. I've been icing at recess and after school and before bed, also taking ibprofen to reduce any swelling. Its a slow process, and I'm trying to be patient. So instead of running for ten minutes I walked ten with the wife. That was nice.
I'm really happy with how my rides are going. Today I rode down to Dole Pineapple and back. I'm pretty sure the last time I did this ride it took me about thirty minutes, maybe a little under. Today I did it in 20. I actually had to start making up the next place to go because I'd underestimated how far I was going and how quickly I'd go. Kinda nice feeling.
I didn't think I was going to be able to ride at all today. All morning the weather was awful, raining and overcast all over the island. But by the time I got home from school it was all cleared up and beautiful.
Elliptical tomorrow. I love recovery week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Swim an Easy Mile

Swim Day- Recovery Week

1 x 150 Warm-up
4 x 50 5, 7, 9 drill- 1:00
4 x 100 5, 7, 9; catch-up, fingertip drag, swim- 1:45
3 x 100 Pull- 1:45
2 x 200 swim long strokes- 3:10
1 x 100 Cool down
total- 1650yds

Nice easy day today. No far distances, no heavy time standards. Tried to focus on stroke technique stuff instead, since it's recovery week. Honestly, I wasn't all the pleased with how the stroke felt today. Midsection felt droopy, even when I tried pushing my chest how to get my hips up. Think the problem might be that I've been thinking about this week as a rest week and my body is responding by being a little bit lazy. My head is in the wrong place too (literally), so that's messing up my body position as well. Have get around that mindset.
Still, a mile for a rest day is pretty good. I tagged the old guy in the lane next to me with my paddles once because he was doing breast stroke kick too close to the lane line. It was an accident, I swear! Really!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Elliptical Positive Thoughts

Run Day (Elliptical Edition)
Time- 50 minutes

This would have been a brutal run. Would have hurt and would have been really good for me. Instead I'm stuck inside on the elliptical watching the Pats put the fear into the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets (by the way, the only last for one half). So not much to say about it. Wish my foot didn't hurt.

3 x 15 Shoulder fly cables- 40lbs
3 x 20 BOSU Squats
3 x 15 Single arm row- 60lbs
3 x 20 Lunges
3 x 15 Chest fly 30lbs

Good weights today. Felt strong, lifted hard. Tried to explode through my legs during the squats and the lunges. Older lady watched me do the BOSU squats and then tried to do them but couldn't even get on the ball. I tried to help but she wouldn't really let me. Boy Scout moment denied.
Next week is a recovery week. Trying to decide if I want to take the run days completely off rather than do elliptical. Also, things will be in a strange order because I think I'll be swimming with a friend Thursday.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Staggering Home

Ride Day

Suggested time- 1:30
Actual time- 1:43
Distance- 24.78mi

Oof, long ride for the Dirtbag today. And the quick fast cadence of my last ride was much harder to find. I went down the hill again to Haleiwa, but instead of turning right around like I did last time I rode through town since my time was longer. I rode a little too far though. I spent the whole time thinking as long as I was at the base of the climb with 45 minutes to go I'd be perfect. Well I wasn't there at that time. I was about five minutes late. And it took me longer today to get to the top than it did last time. Not much, but longer.
The reason for this, I think, is partially because we didn't eat all that well last night so I was running on bad fuel. Also, this was the furthest I've ever ridden so I have every right to be tired at the end. And finally, thats a rough damn climb.
I had a hard time keeping my rpms where I wanted them to be, but I think for the most part of the levels I was successful. Until I finished the climb back. By the time it leveled out again I was blown out. If you could hear me there was lots of encouraging self-talk going on, "Come on, what's behind me does not matter. Let's finish hard. Nearly done. Fight through this." That would work for a few minutes, then I'd bog back down and have to fight to speed up again. By the end my muscles didn't even hurt anymore, I just couldn't pedal very fast.
Also, this was the first ride where other parts of my body got sore. My shoulders are tired right now, telling me I was too tense the whole ride. I felt them tightening up and starting to hurt during the climb and would drop them and shake them out but next time I checked it, up they were again! Lower back is sore too. And I'm more saddle sore than I have been. I'm sure all of this is a result of riding longer and nothing to worry about. Its growing pains.
Can't complain about the views though, when I remember to look around. My ride today took me past the park where Stitches and I got married six months ago on Monday.
Stupid elliptical tomorrow. Hope there's a good game on. I know I need to keep the pace up so I get cardio benefits from it, and I need to be positive about it, and I'm working on it. I vow not to grumble about the stupid elliptical for 48 hours. There. I vowed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Tattooed Wake

Swim Day

1 x 150 Warm-up
2 x 150 Pull with paddles- 2:15
3 x 500 Swim- 7:45
1 x 100 BCY Kick set
1 x 100 Cool down
Total Distance- 2150yds

Today's swim was the opposite of yesterday's run. It was clicking like nobody's business. Felt really strong in the water today. I'm thinking part of that is my lackluster workout yesterday, but I don't care. I feel great compared to my self-pitying rant 24 hours ago.
The main set today was the 500s. This is a tricky distance. Much too far to sprint, too far really to go all hard the whole time, but short enough to keep a high pace the whole time and survive. The swim leg is 0.9mi total, though broken with short runs to the next lagoon, so I need to be preparing my body with longer and longer sets of unbroken swimming. I'm also going to look again at the race because if its four lagoons over one mile, that's about 550yds a stretch. But if its the four lagoons, turn around and do them again, then it breaks down to 200yds and some change each. So I can include in my training intense bursts over shorter distances (200+yds) with little rest, along with the longer distance main sets like the one above.
Speaking of little rest, I did not get little rest today during my 500 set. I got A TON of rest. I was as shocked as you are. I came up with the 7:45 time standard by basing it on a 1:30/100yds pace (7:30/500yds) and then including some fade. I was killing these things, getting nearly 30 seconds rest each time. I couldn't believe it. After the first one I was sure I'd miscounted and skipped a 50. But I ran the times in my head while I was swimming and it always came out right. My pace was simply great today. Very swim-positive.
Oh, and I had the middle lane all to myself today. The pool nearly all to myself, with just some fat guy struggling away off to the side. I love having the center lane all to myself. So nice. I'm sure that helped with my pacing too.

Core (0:45 rest between sets)
3 x 1:00 Plank
3 x 5 Fitness ball Plank Crunch (hold plank with feet on the ball, then roll knees up to chest) followed immediately by 5 Fitness ball Plank Twists (plank position with feet on fitness ball, crunch then roll knees to one side until parallel with ground, release and do same for other side)

My foot is still kinda sore. Iced today at school. Icing again in a minute. I don't wanna talk about it. I'm in a good mood right now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wherein I Wallow In Self Pity

Run Day
Time- 20 minutes
Distance- 1.92mi

Yeah, I ran today. Why? Because I'm a jackass. Because my ego kicked my common sense's ass and took its lunch money. Because I thought, "Meh, my foot doesn't hurt so bad right now, I should test it out." So I did. I ran for five minutes on a treadmill to test it out. It didn't hurt. Too much. Less than a 3/10. So I decided to try and run. Jackass.
It was fine for a while. But a little pain over a long time turns into more pain. That, plus I couldn't ignore the creeping fear that by ignoring my first instinct (using the elliptical) and instead going for a run I was doing worse damage to my foot and increasing my recovery time and more seriously damaging my training. These thoughts are not conducive to a strong workout. These thoughts are, in fact poisonous.
I turned around at the ten minute mark and ran back. The whole time I was running slow and easy, and a lot of it was spent running on the grass beside the sidewalk. This hurt less. But the damage to my head was done. I was freaked out and fucking pissed at myself. I thought I'd get back, get on the elliptical, gut out 15 minutes, then lift. Well the gym was over-crowded and I was swimming in negative energy and 15 minutes on the elliptical lasted two at which point I decided, "Fuck it, I'll just lift." But I couldn't. I know myself really well. I know that I can push past all kinds of adversity but sometimes I'm going to hit a wall and its better to step back and stop than to pound pound pound at it. So I left. I ran for a slow, semi-painful 20 minutes and went home. Feeling like a bitch. Because now, on top of being frustrated about my foot I'm frustrated that I couldn't work though it and even get a decent workout in.
This is the point where all workouts count. Right now is where I should really be hitting my stride and things should be coming together and getting strong. And that's happening in the water and on the bike. But my run, which I'd been oh so positive about, is not happening. And its my own damn fault for over-running a week ago. And that's bothering me too. 25 minutes of stupid has now ruined at least five runs, including this Sunday and my rest week Thursday and Sunday (since I'm now completely convinced I need to duct tape my ego's mouth shut, bind its arms and legs, and throw it in the padded room for a week and a half).
Look, I'm really looking forward to this race. I've put a lot of money and effort into preparing for it. I think I can do well at these kinds of events and my progress both in the water and on the bike attest to that. I want to be a triathlete and do races on a regular basis. But my fucking foot is getting in the way! And it doesn't even hurt when I'm walking around the house! Just when I try to run on it. Stupid foot. Jerk. The right foot is so not my favorite foot right now. You hear that, Lefty? You're moving on up!
I'm sorry this post is so anti- everything I've been writing up until this point. Today was a bad day in Dirtbagland. I'm icing my foot as I speak (type?) and trying to figure out how I can ice it at school tomorrow when I have recess duty. I guess at lunch, away from the other teachers so they don't have to watch me rub a Dixie cup on my bare foot while I softly curse at it under my breath.
Trying to vent this all off and move on tomorrow. I just need to be better at rehab and do what I know I need to do instead of what I think I can do. I'm going to try to relax, pop an ibprofen, let my foot de-ice before I ice it again before bed, and think positive thoughts about my stupid, no good, useless hoof.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Badass Brick Ride/Run

Cycle Day/Brick Run

Time- 70 minutes*
Distance- 18.2mi

*time minus time at red lights and checking in on base

Time- 10 minutes
Distance- 1.1mi

Total Time- 80 minutes
Total Distance- 19.3mi

I honestly couldn't be happier with my ride today. I'm thrilled. Over the moon. Super pumped and full of confidence. This is the first ride I've really enjoyed. I left from the house since its a brick day and I wanted to end at the house so the bike would be left somewhere safe. Rode down to the base I normally go to, trying something I've been talking about but haven't really had a chance to put in to practice yet: keeping a high cadence. This is the first ride that was level or nearly level for nearly all of it. That means that I can be practicing getting my knees moving at around 90rpms, which is what every tri book I've looked at suggests as a good rpm rate. If you listened closely to me today you could hear me panting under my breath, "12345678910111213..." I figure I know what one pedal stroke a second feels like and I know I was moving faster than that. Keeping this in mind helped me not worry about being a a gear that felt challenging to push in the flats. I was using lighter gears the whole time because I was worried about cadence. Felt freeing, really. And felt faster.
This brings me to The Hill. I decided that since I would be on base I'd go once up Kolekole. It would be good for me to get some climbing in and its now kind of my yardstick to measure progress by. It was awesome. I felt like I flew up that bad boy. I never bogged down, never got going suuuupppper slooooow. For me, at least. I think three things are to blame for this. 1) I had about 23 minutes of warm-up riding before I started my ascent. 2) I knew I would only be climbing once, so I didn't subconsciously hold anything back for the next go. 3) Lots of gunfire and artillery today. Nothing motivates like the rattatatat of an M16 on burst.
I think I hit my normal turn-around spot, where I start thinking about the climb and checked my watch, at about 23 minutes. I checked again when I hit the top and it was 39 minutes. I'm not positive and I don't feel like looking back, but I'm pretty sure that's as fast as I've ever done it from that point. I was hooting at the top. The guard gave me a look. I stopped hooting (out loud).
The ride back felt just as good, kept the cadence high. It helped that the main drag I used on the way back was lined with people waving signs to vote for this jackass or that dudeguy. So I sped by them (the green light force was with me), shouting at them, "Yeah, vote for that guy! Vote for you! That guy rules! Woo!" They were excited to see me. Must by nice to have the Guy In Lycra and a Helmet demographic covered.
Got home, ran the bike to the door, took my shoes off (I didn't wear socks today in preparation for the transition) and threw on the toes shoes. Unexpected problem with this: a few of the toes on one foot had gone to sleep because they are a little pinched in my cycle shoes. It's hard to get toes into the right toe socket when said toe does not have full feeling. But I was successful. More practice will make my transitions, widely considered the 4th discipline, faster and smoother.
The run was fairly uneventful. Feels very strange to get off the bike with a 90rpm goal and go to slow run pace. Legs were a little wobbly but not too bad. I wasn't pushing this run. Its just getting used to going from one discipline to the next. My biggest issue, and this falls under Injury Report, is my foot kind of hurt again during the run. This makes me annoyed. It was feeling better. Then earlier today it was a little sore when I flexed my big toe up. During the run, same kind of soreness. Worst part, just like before, is I could run through the pain if I needed to. But I don't want to because I'm worried it'll cause more injury. So I'm resigned to using the elliptical tomorrow and Sunday instead of running, just to be sure it gets as much rest as possible. And, looking forward to next week, I have a recovery week. So if I have to I'll stay on the elliptical next week as well. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I'm being cautious and careful...and annoyed.
All in all, a great brick workout and the best ride yet. Stupid elliptical tomorrow with weights.

Oh yeah, fashion update! Those of you that donated to the paypal account have funded my tri suit. The difference between tri shorts and bike shorts is the tri shorts have a smaller pad, so they are slightly less comfortable over long rides but they don't fill up with water during the swim, resulting in the dreaded Diaper Butt, and they aren't too bulky for the run. So thank you to those of you that donated. If you haven't but want to, by all means. I can spend your money on tri stuff. Trust me. These are post-brick pictures of your favorite Dirtbag in his new duds. I warn you, the following is extremely sexy.

Very serious

Posing out (and I have to say, nice cut in the arms my good man)

Umm...oh my!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Paddles Are Fun

Swim Day

1 x 200yds Warm-up
4 x 50yds 5, 7, 9 breaths with long strokes- 1:00
4 x 300yds Odd- Pull, Even- Swim- 4:30
1 x 200yds Cool down

Total- 1800yds

Swimming felt good today. I missed using paddles. I think at least once a week I'll be doing a paddle set. It's going to make my finish stronger and really help my stroke. I'm also really happy with how my yardage is going up. I was able to push it pretty hard today during my main set, keep my pace up, get some burn going. I'm not paying nearly enough attention to my breathing rate, but that focus is going towards stroke technique. In a race this long, I'm pretty sure breathing every three won't impact my time in any significant way. But I do feel that I'm cutting the water better, getting a good rotation in my shoulders, and getting a decent grip on the water most of the time. Thinking about it now, I'm focusing a lot of the front end of my stroke and my finish has probably been suffering for that. Noticed it while I was using the paddles and tried to finish all the way past my hips with a flick. That'll be one more thing to fix.
Felt great to swim in zoomers rather than board shorts. Felt my body position fix itself almost immediately. Not perfect, but so much better. I feel faster, lighter, better. Love swimming.

3 x 1:00 Plank
3 x 10 Thread the Needle

Felt good to get some core work in today. Six pack abs, here I come! Oh, right after this bowl of popcorn.
Tomorrow is my first brick, 70 minute ride and then a 10 minute run. Should be fun.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ellipticals Are Boring

Run Day (Elliptical Injury Day)
time- 45 minutes

I wanted to post a Jogtracker map of me going nowhere for 45 minutes. I thought that would be funny.
I hate the elliptical. It's boring. At least I had the awful 4th quarter of the Panther/Giants game to watch. I went for 45 minutes. I tried to keep my pace up. I guess it was a good cardio workout. I tried not to be bored.

3 x 15 Cable Shoulder fly- 40lbs (15, 15, 12)
3 x 20 BOSU Squats
3 x 15 Seated Row- 120lbs
3 x 20 Lunges
3 x 20 Cable Chest Fly- 1 x 40lbs, 2 x 60lbs

Lunges burned, quads hurt. But my foot doesn't. On a pain scale from 1-10 its about a 0.5. Yay for that. Still icing and taking ibprofen (my hamstrings are sore from yesterdays climb too so those are also getting the treatment).
Not much to report today.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eat Dessert First

Cycle Day
Time- 77 minutes (suggested 80min)
Distance- 17.82mi

Beautiful ride today. Any time you can crest a climb and get a stellar view of the ocean, while smelling pineapple, that's a good ride. Sure beats listening to artillery the whole time. (I forgot to mention that in my last ride report. Its one of the perks of riding on a military base.) Nearly the entire front half of the ride was downhill. Very little climbing. Thats because Haleiwa, my turn-around point, is basically at sea level. I have no choice but to go down. It was fun, like descending always is. The road isn't quite as wide on the shoulders going that direction as I would prefer, but its not awful. I knew I had to pump going there and on any flats I got to because if you go gotta come back up. I made it to my turn-around in about 24 minutes.
From there it was nearly all climb. According to it's just over 1000 feet of up from there to my house. Not too bad, but not easy for me. Not yet. And its not a straight climb. Its up, then it levels out of a little while, then up, and so on. I tried to keep my cadence up and work the ride the whole time. When I reached the top of the climb, around Dole Pineapple Factory, my quads were telling me whats up but I fought through and feel like I kept a pretty good pace all the way back to my house. Had to stop for the first time in the whole ride at the light turning left back to my street, and when I started again I though my legs were going to cramp up. Oof. But they relaxed and I managed to finish pretty hard, considering.
Since it took me about an hour to get back, and my brick workouts sometimes call for an hour ride before the run I may be having Stitches drive me to Haleiwa and drop me off. That way I can ride home, leave the bike safe at the house, and then go for my run.
*Note: I posted the route because it shows elevation. If you want to know my pacing I did use the Jogtracker app on my phone while I was riding. So if you go to my account, which I thin you can access from any of my run workouts where I've posted the Jogtracker map, you'll be able to see time-to-distance markers and get a sense of pace.
I also stretched but did no core today. I'm going to do core work on swim days. Trying to do it at home after a ride, there's just too much going on. Easier to do at the gym.

Injury Report Update
Chances that I completely overreacted yesterday morning regarding my foot pain are sitting at about 97.6%. I just overran Thursday and my foot was sore the next day. That's all. It barely hurts now, though I'm still taking ibprofen and icing to help it heal. I'm still going to do my cardio on the eliptical tomorrow anyway, just to let the foot get all the way better before I start pounding on it again. That'll teach me to forget how to run. Pain is the best teacher*

*Dirtbag Tough Guy Saying #714

Friday, September 10, 2010

Swim Day, Injury Report, and Fan Art

Swim Day

1 x 100yds Warm-up
1 x 300yds- 4:30
1 x 400yds- 6:00
1 x 500yds- 7:30
2 x 100yds- 5, 7, 9 Drill
1 x 200yds Cool down
Total yardage- 1700yds
(1200yds main set)

Today's swim was all right. I'm not thrilled, but not disappointed. I probably could have gone a little faster, had a little more rest after the 300, 400, and 500, but it was a long day today and I was tired. I got about ten seconds between the 300 and 400, and about two seconds between the400 and 500. The 500 I was two seconds above my set standard. The GT students will have noticed that these, like just about every other set I swim, are based on a 1:30/100yds standard. That seems to be working out pretty well for me.
On the plus side the set didn't hurt too bad, wasn't an overly straining cardiovascular workout, and my stroke stayed together pretty well. That's a lot of distance in one set right now, so I can't be too upset with having little-to-no rest.
I did finally realize that what I have been wearing to swim is unacceptable. I have old zoomers which I've been wearing under board shorts. I know, I know, I know. Board shorts to work out? Pipe down. I didn't want to spend too much money, I owned them, and I was busy buying a ton of bike stuff. So I swam in less-than-ideal shorts. But my last two swims have made it perfectly clear that they are doing more harm than good and I needed a change. So after my workout we headed to Sports Authority to grab a new pair of zoomers and some swim paddles, which will develop my upper body strength. Key to a race where two-thirds is lower body, so the third that I can use my arms I had better to the best of my ability.

Injury Report
Woke up this morning with the top of my right foot super sore. I begin suppressing panic immediately. Top of foot pain is a big deal to runners, especially minimalist runners like myself. It can indicate all sorts of bad things going on with the foot. If you use The Google and type in "top of foot pain" you will get responses that go from, "Meh, take a few ibprofen, ice it, rest it for a day or three," all the way to, "You have caused a stress fracture of your metatarsal. Go to a doctor. DO NOT RUN FOR SIX WEEKS!" This, not so good for my fragile nerves and sometimes high-strung personality. All I could think about was how I screwed myself over and I was messed up and how am I going to train with this and awww, Christ and other words. As soon as I got to school I fired a semi-panicked email to Sister Dirtbag, Official Trainer of Team Dirtbag, explaining what I was feeling. I was sure I'd screwed myself with my run yesterday. In fact, I'm still sure that's what caused the problem. I over-ran, and when I did that I forgot everything I know about stride and how important to a barefoot runner proper stride is. I hammered my feet instead of gliding and being light on them. Dumbass x 2.
Then my inbox pinged. Sister Dirtbag, Official Trainer of Team Dirtbag, had gotten back to me. After reading my description, she concluded I should relax, take some ibprofen, stretch gently, and ice it. *sigh**breathe* Ok, good. She asked a few more questions, I gave a few more answers, and her responses were right in line with what I'd been reading. The soreness is on the big toe side and doesn't occur when standing, only when flexing the toes. If I'd fractured my metatarsal then it would hurt to stand and it would probably hurt on the pinky toe side, since those bones and smaller and more fragile.
So, in conclusion, I hurt my foot but not that bad. It already feels better than it did this morning. I'll be taking ibprofen, stretching gently, and icing the area regularly. I'll also skip my run Sunday, replacing it with a stint on the eliptical machine for the same time so I still get my cardio in. Then I don't run again until Wednesday, which is also my first brick day. And if it still hurts then I'll skip that run too. Not nearly as bad as I feared when I woke up. All hail Sister Dirtbag, Offiical Trainer of Team Dirtbag. (Yes, it's in her unwritten contract that she must be referred to using her whole and complete title at all times. Prima dona.)

Fan Art
The above is submitted by Cycle Dirtbag's wife, Pedals. She used my facebook profile picture, Photoshop, and a bike pump to further inflate my already massive ego by allowing me to have a Fan Art section. Way to go!
Do you have a picture of me to make me feel awesomer about being me? Send it in!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wherein I Forget What Pacing Is

Run Day
Suggested time- 25 minutes
Actual Time- 27:03
Distance- 3.19mi

I was very excited about my run today all day. I was planning to kick ass and take names. I would even have chewed bubble gum if I had any. I'd eat lighting and crap thunder. I'd...completely forget everything I know about pacing, blow my load in ten minutes, and have to fight through that shit the rest of the run.
I started out really hard. Fast fast pace, for me. Which I wanted to do. I need to get used to running fast and running tired. But there is a difference between that and what I actually did. I could hear, really faintly, a small voice in the back of my head whispering timidly, "umm, uh, you know...uh, I really think this, uh, may be just a smidge too fast, uh, maybe." Ego Boy ignored him. He would not go away, however. In fact he got louder, but it didn't get any easier to hear him over the sound of my huffing and puffing. I'm pretty sure he was alternating between laughing at me and cursing various members of my lineage.
The second half of the run reeked of sucktitude. I made my turn at 12:30, which was a little later than it should have been made, maybe a minute late, but Ego Boy still thought that he could make it back. Then the hill that really hasn't been a problem for most any of my runs gave me issues. So slow the whole way back. Felt like it was to the point where I wasn't even breathing hard any more, but I couldn't run any faster because my legs wouldn't.
I know it was in my head at least 50%. If I hadn't realized so violently mid-run that I severely mis-paced this whole endeavor I may have been able to pull it together better. Alas, I could not. I did all right at the end, but not great. The map from JogTracker posted above will give you times at certain points if you mouse over and click on the blue markers. You can watch as my run deteriorates.
Oh, and I've been meaning to mention that my posted run and ride times and my JogTracker times are slightly off because I have to start the app on my phone, put it in my arm carrier, then start. Running this takes just a few seconds (unless I put it away, then fiddle with my watch or shoes, then start, but rarely a minute difference, if that), riding it takes a little longer. There, solved the Mystery of the Screwy Times. You're welcome, America.

Weight Day
(all with 0:45 rest between sets)
3 x 15 Single arm Shoulder Press- 25lbs*
3 x 20 Bosu Ball Explosive Squats
3 x 15 Single arm Bench Press- 40lbs
3 x 20 Explosive Lunge
3 x 15 Single arm Pull-Downs- 60lbs*

*25lbs on the Shoulder Press is too easy. I either have to up the reps to 20 or up the weight to 30lbs. Think upping the reps might be the right choice since I need to be training the muscles for endurance. Same for the Pull Downs. Opinions?

Pretty good lift day, especially considering how blown out I felt after the run. It's good to left after running. Condition my body to work past tired. Not sure how much longer I'll be lifting twice a week though. Bricks start soon and though they are on cycle days I may not be feeling weights the day after. Maybe I'll do it for a few more weeks then drop weights all together three weeks before the race. Help aid recovery.
Looking forward to my swim tomorrow. Easily my favorite discipline. Wonder why.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Quest for My Fast

Cycle Day
Suggested time- 60min
Actual time- 66min*
Distance- 17.62mi

*time does not include first descent

My goal today was to pump as much as I could. To really get my legs churning, get my cadence up, and try to go fast. It worked-ish. You see, my focus is on racing. I realize its, for me, a long race at 13mi on the bike, but I'd like to be able to pump for most/all of that. I know how to run fast and I'm relearning how to swim fast. But I've never cycled fast. I think it's going to be a muscular more than a cardiovascular issue, but I'm not sure. Climbing this hill over and over, like I'm doing, is making my legs stronger, but I started to worry its making them strong in the wrong way. So on my shorter days, Wednesdays, I'll be doing what I did today. Start at the bottom, pump hard for as long as I can, because its flat or relatively flat for about two miles, and then try to keep my stroke rate high even as I'm climbing. Then, when I get to the top, gear way up and pedal all the way downhill, which will both teach my legs to move fast and act as active rest, getting the lactic acid out of my muscles. And I mean all the way down to my starting point. Then I turn around and do it again. This increases the amount of time I spend riding on more level ground and the amount of time I can spend working at a higher rate. My times today were alright, I'm decently happy with them, but not thrilled. My first summit was after 24 minutes, then I stopped the clock, turned around, and restarted when I turned again at my starting point. My second summit was at 50 minutes. So a two minute fade, not too bad. Not too fast, but not too bad. Kept the clock running on the way back down and, as you can see from the map, took a little bit of a different route back. I turned where I normally turn around and followed that back to the parking lot. Different is good.
When I got home I did some core work on the balance ball, plank but with my feet up. To be honest, I'm slipping on my core work and I need to do better. My mental excuse is that my rides are more challenging so I'm tired afterwards. I need to either fight through it or start doing core after my swims. Stretched after the core. Not long enough, it feels like. Quads are tightening up. Will have a banana or a kiwi and stretch a little more before bed. Trying to recapture my Fast during my run tomorrow since its only 25 minutes. Going to fight through the soreness and get some.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thou Shalt ReLearn Breath Control

Swim Day
Suggested Difference- 700yds

1 x 100 Warm-up
4 x 200 Technique (50- swim, 50- 3, 5, 7, 9, 50- fingertip drag, 50- quick and smooth)- 3:30
1 x 300 hard- goal time 4:00 (actual time 4:10)
1 x 200 Cool Down
Total Distance- 1400yds

Today, if you remember my last swim posting, is a technique-focus day. So my main set, while somewhat challenging, was all about getting my body right and my stroke fixed. The process hath begun. I forgot how well the fingertip drag drill works when it comes to raising the elbow and getting the reach in. The 3, 5, 7, 9 breath pattern kind of sucks in that I'm getting to the 9 off the wall, so I've got no breath into the wall, flip and seven to nine strokes off the wall. Kind of hurts, and kind of pisses me off that it hurts. I need to do some more anaerobic work too. So much to do, so much to do.
I'm ok with my 300 time. Not thrilled, I really feel like I should have been able to get it down to 4:00, but that's ok. I was pumping, I worked hard, I tried not to kick much. It'll get there. Stronger swims every time.
Also, first time I've really had this problem: Old people in my lane at the gym. I nearly ran a guy doing the slow aqua-jog down. I know, I know, they paid for their membership too. But can't you see the determined, tattooed wake headed your way? I want to see you way up on the edge, pops. Circle swimming does not exist in a gym pool because most of the people there a) don't know what that is b) are too slow for it to work right c) don't actually swim at the gym pool, they jog/bounce/float/drift. This makes swimming in a crowded pool more difficult. He got out of the way pretty quick and so it could have been worse and I can't complain any more about it., I won't

Stupid old man, swimming in my pool. Jerk.*

*Crotchety Old Dirtbag Moment of the Day

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dirtbag Masochist Chapter 1

Ride Day
Suggested Time- 70min
Actual Time- 78min*
Distance- 17.26mi
*time does not include first two descents

Sometimes you can just tell that today will not be a great day, nor a fast one. This was one of those days. Almost immediately my legs started giving my negative feedback and I could tell than none of these climbs would be fun or any easier than any other day. And I was right.
God, I felt slow today. I was slow today. My first summit was at 26min. This is two minutes slower than earlier this week.But today it just hurt. I couldn't get it going mentally, and when you're beat mentally the whole thing will come crashing down unless you can get it back. I got it back, barely.
My second climb didn't start much better. I could not focus on the push/pull pedal stroke that is so much more efficient, couldn't focus on much of anything beside how my legs hurt and how slow I felt like I was going. I even went away to my happy place a few times. Going to the happy place is good in that you keep moving and feel it less, but bad in that your effort level drops significantly when you're not paying close attention. So I had to keep coming back and trying to work it. Telling myself it really isn't that far of a climb. It worked and I got to the top. Time at summit- 44min.
I had already decided this would be the day I go for three. I have the time, I need to fight through it. The next time will hurt a little less because of it. But this time hurt plenty. Pretty much a repeat of the second climb. Time at summit- 1:02.
One big positive I'm taking away from today is how I finished climbs two and three. You may remember me mentioning that the final corner is the steepest incline as well, and it leads to a solid, but not too steep finish. At that corner I really tried to step on it. I made a focused effort to get my stroke rate up and charge up the last of the hill. I managed it both times. Pretty pleased with that. Also, on my last descent I set the gears so that even moving down at high speeds I could still pedal with resistance, pushing myself faster. So for nearly all of the last descent I was moving my legs, pumping with a quick cadence, something I need to have trained into my legs for the race. As the road leveled off this too started to burn, but burn = strong. (I'm full of Dirtbag Tough Guy Sayings today) Pedaled all the way back to the car.
I did very little core today, I wussed out on it. But did have a nice long stretch, which is more important. I don't think I'll be getting dared into a ride tomorrow. I earned a day off.
Hardcore week for Team Dirtbag.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ode to Chlorine

Swim Day
Suggested Distance- 800yds

1 x 100yds Warm-up
4 x 50yds Catch-up drill- 1:00
3 x 400yds- 6:00
1 x 200yds Cool down
Total Distance- 1700yds

Today I stepped out on deck and the sun was up. It was getting warm. Then the overwhelming smell of chlorine hit me right in the face. It was like coming home. I stood there and soaked it in for a moment. Mmmmm...
My main swim set today was the longest distance set so far. It was good to get some serious distance in. The race is nearly one mile of swimming so I'm going to keep upping the main set's length to prepare. But I noticed today that my stroke technique might be suffering for my focus on distance. I know as well as anyone that the swim will depend as much on technique as on strength, if not more. The better my stroke is, the less energy I'll expend over the first leg of the race, which means the more energy I'll have to get me through the ride and run. So I'm going to start using one of my swim workouts each week as primarily stroke work. I'll still be upping the distances, but I'll be modifying time standards to allow me to concentrate less on speed and more on making my stroke pretty. I felt it going awry today in the middle of all three of the 400s and needed to really focus to fix it. I have to get my shoulders to my chin for longer strokes, knife my hands into the water, get my elbows high, finish past my hips, get my chest down and hips up, breathe less, breathe better...lots to do.
Longest cycle so far tomorrow. Should be fun.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Flash's Cousin- The Average Speed Guy

Run Day
Suggested Time- 40 minutes
Actual Time- 38:20*
Distance- 4.35mi

*I miss-timed my turn around and got back to the gym earlier than I expected.

Good run again today. Went out hard, maybe a little too hard, but I think its good for me to pump at the beginning, then I have to fight at the end. And since the run is the last leg of the race, I'll be fighting during it anyway. I also like my route because as it takes me away from the gym it takes me downhill. In fact, the second fifth of the run today was descent, which means the fourth fifth is ascent. So I'm climbing at the end when I'm tired. This forces me to maintain my pace through lactic acid build-up and control my breathing even when I want to be huffing and puffing. But my pace again is below the 10 minute mile I was stuck at. Felt like I slowed way down coming up the steepest part of the hill on the way back, had to keep digging in to stay focused and get my stride rate back up where I needed it. Got much farther today than I have any other day. This makes sense, since it's my longest run thus far time-wise, but it still feels good to do. I actually made it farther than I expected. It's pretty neat to stop, check my jogtracker and see over four miles. It was also nice to miss-time my turn around. I turned at 18 minutes out, figuring on a fade since it's a climb back up and I'd be tired. Well I faded, but not as badly as I thought I would. Go me. Guess next time I can run a little farther before I turn.
I'm enjoying running like this. I don't worry about the time until I start checking my halfway point, and then I only check to be sure I'm on pace to be back when I want to be, and rarely do that. Going somewhere, having visual checkpoints to pass, sooo much better than going nowhere on the mill for however long.

Weights (rest time between sets 0:45)
3 x 15 Shoulder flys- 20lbs
3 x 20 Bosu ball squats*
3 x 15 Seated row- 120lbs
3 x 20 Lunges*

*Explosive! Hard! Pop that back up! Oof...

My legs weren't nearly as sore today as I expected from yesterday's ride. Guess that means I should be pumping faster up the hill. (Note to self: Don't be a wuss on the hill, get to pedaling, man!) And I know that my running and cycling are developing my slow twitch muscle fibers, but I need fast twitch too. What if I need to call on a quick sprint for some reason? Gotta balance the muscles and the training out. It'll make me faster in the end. Hence the fast, hard squats and lunges. You'll notice a lack of chest work today. I was blown out, the machine that I wanted to use for my chest was constantly in use, so I skipped it.
Swim tomorrow. Looking forward to it. Bought some sheet protectors so I can write my set down beforehand and bring it out on deck with me rather than try to remember what I wrote in my notebook. Also got a balance ball ($10 at Target!!! Megascore!) and that'll be great on core days, and for just sitting around on. Been wanting one of those of my own for a long while. I want a Bosu ball and some medicine balls too. That's right, I need more balls. More balls! Big ones, little ones, heavy ones, and a half one. *AC/DC in background* Oh I've got big balls, and he's got big balls, and she's got big balls, but we've got the biggest balls of them all!
*wanders away from the computer singing*

Thursday, September 2, 2010

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

Cycle Day
Suggested time- 50 minutes
Actual time- 58 minutes*
Distance- 12.85mi

*plus the first descent time

Having trouble focusing on writing, so this may not read as smoothly as some do. Tired.
Today I had 50 minutes to ride and used them to go up and down the big, bad mountain. This is as mentally tough as it is physically. I know it's not that far. From where it gets difficult its only another 2.16mi, but it feels like a long 2.16mi. So I have to fight through it. My head got screwed with today too. I came to what I remembered as the last turn/tough climb section, only to clear the blind corner and see more road stretching up in front of me. Very little zaps strength from you like expecting to see the finish, only to see more up. Fought through it though, and made it to the top in about 24 minutes. When I made the turn for my descent I decided to stop my watch. Rolling downhill is recovery time, not workout time, and I've decided not to count it because of that.
After I got down to Lyman road, which is about where the real climb starts, I made a U-turn and headed back up. From there, like I said, its only 2.16mi to the top. I didn't go all the way back to my start because then I wouldn't have time to make a second ascent. This way I get the rough part twice. And I'm happy about that. I did make it to the top a second time, at about 44 minutes, which I'm very happy with, and then rolled all the way back down to the start, the truck, and the wife, who used my time on base to go shopping at the commissary. So while my time does not reflect my first descent, my distance does. If you want a more accurate time/distance, then subtract 2.16mi from my total. Why you would want that, I'm not sure. But if you do, there ya go. Perfectionist prick.
Tried to keep my cadence up, and focused on constant power output, using being clipped in to pull the pedal up while the other leg is pushing the pedal down. I think these two things are going to be key during the race, and for efficient cycling in general.
Got back home and alternated stretch and core, one minute core, one minute stretch, and so on.

3 x Plank
2 x 10 Thread the Needle

Felt good today. Sunday I have a much longer ride time, so I should be able to get three climbs in, especially turning around where I have been. Maybe on one of my super-long days I'll go all the way to my start before turning around.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ve Vill Svim!

Swim Day
Suggested Distance- 600yds

1 x 100yds Warm-up
4 x 50yds 3, 5, 7, 9 stroke-to-breath rate
3 x 300- 4:30
1 x 100 Cool down
Total yardage- 1300yds

Good swim workout today. I was making the 300's, which were my main set, obviously, with just under ten seconds to spare each time. That feels strange for me right now, because it doesn't sound like much rest. But back when I was swimming competitively ten seconds rest was a godsend. It was an eternity. I'd be happy to get five seconds on the wall. So I'm mentally readjusting to that. I got the 4:30 time standard by using a 1:30/100yds base, which has been working out pretty well for me. I'm getting some rest, but not much, and working hard, really having to push to make it.
My stroke is starting to come back too. Multiple times this swim I would take a series of strokes that felt perfect. My body position in the water was right, my elbow was high, I got a good dig and set with my hand and forearm, and I pulled myself over my hand rather than pulling my hand back through the water. That these instances are happening more frequently bodes well for the swim leg of the race. I'm barely kicking, less than I used to, because I need to depend on my stroke an upper body in the water. The legs will have enough to do later. But I'm not doing pull sets, and won't do many the whole training cycle, because that'll screw with my body position. Every once in a while I'll throw one in, just like I'll do a few kick sets, but it won't be a major focus. That's not to say I won't kick at all during the race, that would be silly. I also think I should do a few more open water swims. The race takes place in a series of lagoons, so its not like I'll be exposed to waves like a real open water swim, but it won't be pool swimming either.
Tomorrow is the ride up the mountain and my legs are reminding me of the lunges from yesterday, though not as bad as I thought they would. Guess that means I should be doing more. Better to hurt now than hurt on October 24th.

Post script: Oh yeah, I went to the doctor for a regular check up today and after declaring me a fine specimen of health and masculinity she got all generic doctor on me and said I need to be sure I'm exercising regularly. She said a half hour walk every day would work. So now I guess I have to do that on top of all this too. Sheesh, it's really hard to be fit.