Friday, December 17, 2010

"I am a Barefoot Runner"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finding Time

Run Day
time- 29 minutes
distance- approx. 3.?mi

Today I taught all day. It was the last day of school before Christmas break. I found out a student is not coming back after break at lunch. This meant that after school I had to write his report card. After school I also had to finish writing sub plans and preparing my classroom for the first week back from break, since I will still be in New Zealand. So I was at school until nearly 5:30pm when the kids (and a lot of the staff) left at two.
I had to run. I didn't yesterday because we were very busy after school and it was dark by the time we got home. I ate crap at school the past two days, as happens when people are in a festive mood and bringing in sweets. I tried to be good, and was for the most part, but some chocolate and cookies always sneak through the shields.
Anyway, I got out and ran right when I got home. This works best for me. I need to turn around and work out or I never will. If my ass finds the couch, so often all the energy drains out and any exertion beyond reaching for the remote seems to be too much. Better to get in the door, change in to shorts, and get back out the door. Worked for me today. Decent run, not blazing fast but not chugging. I think I negative split it, and I like that. It's not a big thing, and with a run only a half hour long I should negative split it because the first five or ten minutes are basically warm-up anyway. Still, feels good to come back at least as fast as I went out.
We leave tomorrow. It's very exciting. Fitness goal for the trip is to not be too worried about fitness on the trip. I'm going to find time for a few maintenance runs but I have a bad habit of feeling guilty if I don't regularly work out hard. Need to not do that, even though I'm pretty sure three weeks is the longest I've gone without a real workout in a long, long time.
Team Dirtbag's next post will either not be for three weeks or will be a mini-post from NZ. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fading Down the Backstretch

Run Day

time- 50 minutes
distance- 5.27mi

Yesterday's run started out really good. I felt smooth, my stride was nice, and my pace was great.
Yeah, that kind of fell apart at the turn around. Normally on these longer runs (this was supposed to be 45 minutes) I plan on a little fade and make my turn around a minute or so early so even with the fade I get back home inside of my planned time. Not this time. This time I ran right up to 22:30 because I was trying to get to a certain spot and it was soooooo close at my normal turn around time. Plus, I wasn't feeling the eventual fade so bad at that point.
To be clear, the fade wasn't some horrible bonk. I just got slower on the way back than I planned on or wanted to. Contributing to that was going barefoot farther than I have before. BFR slows me down, but its not about speed. It's about form and enjoying a new kind of feeling. Until I get to the end of my run when I'm on the super-stabby asphalt on the street to my house, when its all about thinking about how this is toughening up my feet and trying to maintain good form while hurting.
Gotta get that base solid. I'm worried about not getting quality runs in while in New Zealand (not really worried, but you know) and losing some of what I've built before Honolulu Tri's training starts. Tomorrow might be my last American run for three weeks. Hope its a good one.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Swim at Home, Run in Texas (With a Bonus Note on Texas)

Swim Day

1 x 200- Warm-up
5 x 200 Pull- 3:15
1 x 300- 4:30
1 x 400- 6:00
1 x 500- 7:30

total yards- 2400

All I remember about this swim was I somehow got lost as far as keeping track of my times during the ladder portion (300, 400, 500). So I think I made all the times, I should have made all the times, but I was getting spacey for some reason and I'm not sure I made them. Sometimes when I'm doing longer sets my mind wanders and when I lose focus I swim slower. It wasn't even a morning workout, so its strange that I would have a harder time staying on top of myself. So that was annoying on a personal level. I should be and have been more disciplined. The five 200s pull went well though. Stroke felt long and smooth, which is the goal of these pull sets.

Run Day
time- approx. 20 minutes*
distance- approx. 2.?mi*

*I'm not sure how far this run was, and I can't remember now how long I ran for. It was just about 20 minutes but I didn't write anything down.
This was the coldest run I've ever done. When I got back to my room my phone said it was 54 degrees. Holy frozen nostrils, Batman! I know, I know, that's really not all the cold in the grand scheme of things, but you must remember I live in Hawaii. I train in Hawaii. Where the locals put on sweaters when the temperature drops to 65. 54 is freaking cold. But I came prepared. I ran in a thermal and a workout shirt, keeping my core warm. My hands, those were very cold and I ran with fists the whole time because when I relaxed my fingers the sweat hit the air and made them very cold. Cold weather people, stop laughing.
I did the first 13 minutes or so in my VFFs and then decided to go bare for the run back to the hotel. I know, I'm complaining about the cold and then I'm going to take my shoes off? Yeah. I had to try and see. I was running on clean, smooth sidewalk and if it was too cold I'd put my shoes back on. It actually felt pretty good. Running barefoot always is a unique experience and every time I do it I like it a little more. Like I've said before, it helps my form, it strengthens my feet, and it makes me mentally tougher. All good things.
I should have run again later in the weekend, but the day I was planning on running we ate a gigantic steak dinner. So instead of working out I consumed a delicious week's worth of yummy yummy calories. I was in Texas. On per diem. Duh.

Bonus Side Texas Note: I have long hair and tattoos. Texas, as a rule, does not. Wandering around the sports bar I definitely got a few long, hard looks. Much like riding the motorcycle through southern Idaho. There were a few cowboy-hatted, tight-jeaned, long-sleeve plaid shirted dudes that had a very, "Ya'll aint from 'round here," look to them. Not uncomfortable, but new. So I was sure to keep my hair out of a pony tail and down and to wear my new SAMCRO shirt when I was wandering around. You know, to make friends.
On the other hand, most of the people I met were very nice, the southern accent can be pleasant, and "ya'll" will make me giggle in my head just like a Canadian dropping the "eh"-bomb.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Building the Engine

Run Day

time- 56 minutes
distance- 6.05mi
pace- 9.6mi/min

Today's goal was setting a nice easy pace and letting my legs move. Building base miles isn't about speed as much as it is about strengthening my engine and that's what today was about. And I think I accomplished that goal. I went just as far as I wanted to, I set a strong pace for myself but didn't go anaerobic at all, and my form felt good. I actually turned around at 27:45 because I expected a few minutes of fade on the way back, and that didn't happen. I finished at 56 minutes (my run plan was an hour).
I think I actually would have negative split it even stronger, but I stopped at the start of my block where the sidewalk starts and went barefoot for the end of the run. This slows me down, of course. But its great for my form and strengthens my feet. And its fun and feels good. Can't complain.

Team Dirtbag would also like to congratulate Obi Tri Kenobi, who completed the Sunsmart Ironman Western Australia Triathlon yesterday with a time of 10:33.07! His splits were 1:12.49 for a 2.4mi swim, 5:18.27 for a 112mi bike, and 3:54.22 for a 26.2mi run. The extra time is in T1 and T2. He finished 271st overall, 26th in his division. This is faster than his goal. Way to go, Obi Tri!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gettin' Registered and Goin' Swimmin'

Swim Day

1 x 200 Warm-up
4 x 250- 3:45
1 x 100- 1:20
1 x 500- Pull
4 x 200- (100-5,7,9; 100- fingertip drag) 3:30
1 x 150 Cool down

You'll notice the 1 x 100 on the 1:20. Yeah, that was supposed to be 5 x 100 like the last two swims but I'm having training doubts about the effectiveness of short, fast sets. My initial logic, that I'll slowly increase the number of 100s on the 1:20 until it's an easy pace to hold for a long time, still feels solid. But at the same time, it seems wrong to train at such a repeat of short distances when I should be preparing my body to chug for a longer period of time. Maybe once I'm done base training and I'm getting into it a little more I'll bring that set back. Right now I think maybe I should be stretching the length of my sets out and trying to get my stroke as smooth as possible.
Other than that it was another good swim. I got up early, so it was a 5:30am workout, but I'm starting to like that (aside from the waking up at 4:45 thing). I don't have to worry about working out after school, I can relax a little more and spend time with the wife. Plus, once real training kicks in I'll be swimming in the am and having a ride in the afternoon. Might as well get used to it now.

AND NOW....*Dirtbag Drumroll*
I'm officially registered for the Honolulu Triathlon- Olympic distance! (pause for applause) Its a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike, and a 10K run. For the Americans out there, that's a 0.9mi swim, 25mi bike, 6.2mi run. So, its about twice as long as the last two races. Which means the training will be more intense and more brutal, but I like that. It'll be fun.
And to start the first third of the training cycle off, the wife and I just registered for the Great Aloha Run. This is something that even a year ago I had no interest in doing. Get up early and run eight miles? Yeah, no. But now? Now it makes perfect sense. It'll make me a better triathlete, a stronger runner, and mentally tougher. And it might actually be fun. That thought kinda blows my mind.
So base training stays strong, trying to build my engine up. The trip to Dallas and then to New Zealand is going to cut into that, but I can run in Dallas and I'm certainly not going to complain about not training during the honeymoon. I need to get the bike all fixed up and then I'll really be able to focus on that, which will be the most important portion of the training.
Long run this weekend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Go Run, Young Man

Run Day

time- 36 minutes
distance- 3.72mi

Today's run was a victory for two reasons. One- I didn't feel like running at all after school today. I've got the post-training, off-season lazies and I'm fighting hard through that shit. It was either going to be a run day or a swim day and my run needs more work, so that's getting the attention until I get Kratos up and rolling. Two- This is a damn good pace for me. 8.5 minute/mile. That's great. And it felt great the whole run. My plan was to stop on the way back, divest myself of VFFs, and finish the run bare, but I was feeling so good and so smooth I ran right through that. Well chosen, I would say. If I can keep this kind of run training up time will be crashing down. And I haven't even restarted my interval runs yet.
Gotta get the bike fixed. To wait for Christmas for more money, or to just do it? Decisions are hard.