Monday, February 28, 2011

Recovery Week Fails to Launch Well

Swim Day- Recovery Week

1 x 150- Warm-up
4 x 100- Pull
4 x 100- 50-5, 7, 9/50-ftd
1 x 200- Stroke count
1 x 100- Cool down

total- 1250yds

Today begins the second recovery week in this training cycle and I gotta say, I'm looking forward to it. I love breaking myself down and making it hurt, but I was ready for some easiness. This week is all about lowering the intensity, allowing the body to catch up, stretching things out. Not to say I'll be loafing, but I certainly don't expect to be recovering from runs flat on my back in the living room this week.
With that in mind this was a super-easy, very light swim. Being Monday, it was a stroke-focused swim. My stroke count on that 200 hovered around 14-15 a lap. Not wonderful, but not awful. The front end of my stroke feels fine so I think I'm not finishing as strongly as I should be. Always a problem. Always need to remind myself to finish past my hips. Core is feeling stronger and my steady in the water though. I don't think I'm as wiggily as I was a few weeks ago.

Ride Fail Day

Set off from the house for an easy 15.5mi ride. And the front derailuer wouldn't shift from the small ring to the big ring. Curses and other expletives. So I turned right around and we headed to the LBS (Local Bike Shop, remember kids?) for a check-up. This is not the first time this type of problem has shown up on Kratos and I was going to bother the guy until he told me something good.
That was easy, he was more than willing to put the bike up on the rack and check it out. Turns out the wire for that part was loose and easy to tighten. Then he started checking other stuff to be sure. "Hmmmm." Oh no. That sounded expensive.
"You know, this really needs a tune-up. Your tires should be trued and everything should be tightened down. While we're at it, you've got some good chain stretch going on and that should be replaced soon. I could do it during the tune-up. But the cassette (the gears in the back) is probably worn to match the chain at this point because they are so old. So a new chain might not ride well on this cassette. It should be replaced too."
So now an appointment is made for next Thursday to drop the bike off and he'll tune it up, switch the chain out, and switch the cassette out too. Since the bike is set up to be a cyclecross bike the gearing is not race ideal, which I knew but wasn't worried about because I'm not that fast. However, since the cassette needs to be replaced anyway I'm going to let him talk me in to a more race-focused gearing. To help that, Cycle Dirtbag, my Official Mainland Bike Parts Dealer, is going to send me his front gears from his bike that he switched out and doesn't need. He bought gears better for him, but the ones he took off would be better for me. Saving me some (a bunch of) money and making my rpms more efficient.
Luckily, I just spent half of my board money on aerobars. And registered for a for-fun race this weekend. Both expenses I wish I had back. He's also going to take off the top brake levers too so I can install the aerobars when they come in. Hopefully my seat is ok with an aero position, or I'll have to replace that at some point soon too. Leaning over in aero changes where...pressure is.
Oh yeah, and while he was giving the bike the once-over he grabbed my pedal crank and the damn thing wiggled! Like it was loose. "Uh, that's not good. I'll tighten that up for you so it doesn't come off." Yeah, thanks, you do that. So lots of bike money going out next week, but it'll be steps closer to a better racer after this.
As if that wasn't enough...
*Injury Report*
I stumbled right off the sidewalk today at school and tried to sprain my ankle. Don't think I did, no swelling, but it is sore now. Stole ice from the school nurse and have been teaching with one shoe on while I iced my ankle. So pissed when it happened, that fear-pissed, you know? That, "Crap, I have a non-refundable race this weekend and I may have just hurt myself," fear-pissed. Think I'm ok. Recovery week, lots of ice, should be fine. No loss of flexibility so far, no swelling, just tenderness.
Dirtbag Klutz.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Again I Don't Estimate Distance Well

Ride Day

time- 2:31/2:53
distance- 37mi/42.11mi

Lots of climbing today. Burned my legs right up by the end. Went down to Haleiwa and did my normal lap down there, pushed back up Pineapple Hill in about 28 minutes. It felt very fast. I never felt weak while climbing. Good cadence, good focus, felt strong. But I was still about 15 miles short of my goal so I decided to go on base. I figured I could make up the distance there, go up Kolekole if I needed to.
Felt good getting on base. Felt good starting the climb. But as soon as it started getting nice and steep my cadence and speed crashed and it turned in to one of the slowest times and most painful climbs I've had. Couldn't push. I'm sure it didn't help that I was watching my bike computer and realizing that by the time I get to the to and back down and off base I'll have exceeded my goal distance for the day. I could have turned around but by the time I decided I should I was halfway up and you can't stop a climb halfway. So I fought through it.
Finished my 37 miles in 2:31, which isn't bad especially because I spent around 50 total minutes of it climbing. Finished the total ride of 42 miles in 2:53. Seems like a long time to be on the bike, but its a good thing. I'll get faster. I'll get stronger. My tri times will drop.
Next week is a recovery week. Next Saturday is also the Guard Dog triathlon. Looking forward to both.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Excuse Me, I Just Fartleked

Run Day
time- 50min
distance- 5.5mi

Today was my first experiment with a type of running called "fartlek". Since every article, blog, and write-up about fartlek running begins with a definition of this very silly sounding term, I must not break the chain. The Running Police will come after me. And they will catch me. Unless I'm in a vehicle.
Fartlek is Swedish for speed play. Fartlek runs are variable speed runs, but without the rigid structure of intervals. It's more along the lines of, "Ok, now I'm going to run as hard as I can to that sign 100 yards away." Then you do, then you recover while running just below average speed, then you do it again. So fartlek runs can be as easy or as difficult as the runner would like them to be. I went for difficult. And it was for me.
I started out with ten minutes at a good pace, warming up the legs and lungs. Then I alternated the next thirty minutes with spring, jogs, and runs, fartleking my way down the road and back. The sprints actually got easier for a while there, but I was still blowing wind at the end of each one. Moreso than my normal interval runs, you are really supposed to try and explode for a shorter amount of time here. So I did. And I felt it. Also turned it on every incline, so I would sprint and climb at the same time. Feel the burn! Grrr.
For my last ten minutes I tried to hold the pace from the first ten. I failed, but not too badly. I am definitely trying this again. Its strange, but now I feel like my run is my weakest of the three disciplines. I'm not fast on the bike, but running seems harder to me. Like finding my Fast on my feet will take a longer time.
Ordered Profile Design T2+ aerobars yesterday from amazon, looking forward to getting my hands on those. They will make me look so much faster. Dirtbag Woosh!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Rain!

Ride Day (plus T-Run)

ride time- 1:47
ride distance- 27.7mi
T-run time- 10 minutes

Looked like rain. Looked ugly to the south. Lucky for me I was heading north and I was having none of it. Probably because I'm so damn fast on the bike, I pure outrode the weather. Or maybe because the rain usually moves north to south and it wouldn't have caught me anyway. Nah, gotta be the first reason.
Still don't feel as quick on the bike as I'd like. Takes some time for the engine to warm up and even then I don't feel like I'm kicking as hard as I could be. Or I am kicking hard, I'm just not getting the pay-off. Just gotta keep at it. I am getting fast. I just don't feel fast yet. I feel moderate.
The plan was to climb Kolekole like normal but halfway up the hill I was stopped at a barricade with a sign posted, "Live Fire Exercise In Progress. Road Temporarily Closed." What the hell? They closed my climb so some guys can play Army? Granted, my road is on an Army base. And the guys playing Army are...Army. Still. Lame. So I went down to the bottom, turned around and road back to the barricade, then back down again. Not quite as steep of a climb that way but at least it was something. Besides, riding on base is safer than our on the roads.
After I got home I went for an easy ten minute T-run to get the legs prepped for my upcoming Sprint tri. Felt ok. Calves were tight. Do it again next Wednesday, then a few times before my April Sprint, then a few more times prior to the big race in May.
Every Thursday I think, "I am so glad tomorrow is a rest day." Today? I am so glad tomorrow is a rest day. Dirtbag can use one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Registered for Guard Dog Sprint

I have registered for the Guard Dog Sprint Tri, March 5th. Much thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Camino for supplying the funds which allowed me to do this without dipping in to by surfboard sale money. You guys are the best.
This race will merely be a special workout day, with no hiccups in my training plan at all. I'm not planning a taper or a recovery because the time it takes to complete this race is actually less than the time it would take to do the workout I have planned for that day. The goal of the race is to get another triathlon under my belt, get in to the headspace I need to be in for a race, and see where I'm at training-wise so far. And to have fun, of course.


Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
200- 3:00
300- 4:30
400- 6:00
500- 7:30
400- 6:00
300- 4:30
200- 3:00
1 x 100- Cool down

total- 2550yds

I fell off pace hard at the first 400 and never really got my groove back. Guess I need to watch that movie about Stella again. I'm not sure why, but I couldn't pick up the pace today. I was all right at the start, but once I got lost I got really lost. I was never too far off my goal time, but I did miss it for both 400s and the 500. And then I got confused about if I was starting the next one on the :30 or on the :00 even though I knew when I set was just a mess.
So I swam hard but this was not a great workout. The positive I take away from it was I managed to pull my stroke back together every time it started to go, and got some really good, strong laps of quality freestyle in. Really digging in, anchoring that hand, and climbing over with good shoulder rotation and a decent turn-over rate.
I can't race at this speed, but a few workouts like this won't kill me. Need to pick up the pace. I keep telling myself that it'll come.
Stomach got a little gassy during the swim too. I will blame some of the speed problems on this. And those bubbles during flip turns...

Run Day

time- 35 minutes
distance- 4.1mi

Ever have one of those runs where you go out and a few minutes in your brain manages to gasp out, "You know, I think we might be going a little bit fast," but your legs ignore your brain because what does it know anyway? That was today. My legs knew what was going on but they wanted to see where it would take me.
Well, let's fast-forward, shall we?
Minute 17- Turn-around point. Feeling all right, but breathing heavy
Minute 24- Starting to think maybe I should be cooling off more than I'm naturally fading. Also starting to wish it would rain just a little.
Minute 27- Thinking I am not finishing at anywhere near this pace and in fact am feeling somewhat ill
Minute 30- I need to slow way down now or I'm going to hurl into the grass. So I do.
I finish at a much much much slower pace than I set out. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect example of poor pacing. It also taught me a valuable lesson about how hard and far I can push before I feel that sick. A feeling which, by the way, is only now starting to fade. I'm actually proud of my pace and my distance, and I need to be smarter about how I split my run, but just over four miles in 35 minutes is, for me, not too shabby.
Now, I will sit very still on the couch and wait to feel Dirtbag Strong again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Racing the Sun

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
6 x 100- 1:30
1 x 50- Easy
4 x 200- 3:00
1 x 50- Easy
1 x 200- All out
1 x 100- Cool down

total- 1950yds

It was all about the sprint day today. It was also all about getting mentally tough. Workouts after a significant event like the Great Aloha Run are tough because I feel like I've done this big thing and now I deserve a break. But I didn't and I don't. The GAR took me an hour and twenty minutes. I got up at 3:30am, but had a nap. If yesterday had been a normal day I would have swum at 4:45am for around a half hour and then ridden 15.5mi, at least 50 minutes. Time is equal. Effort levels actually might have been higher had I done Monday's normal workout. And I wouldn't have had the nap. So I had to talk myself into the morning swim today, but with this irrefutable evidence I only argued with myself for a few minutes before crawling from bed. I make good points. I hate that.
As I detailed in my GAR post, since I ran Monday, the rest of this week is flipped. So today should be a run but its Monday's ride instead, and so on.
I made all my time standards this morning, some by a wide margin. I would drop the standards but by the fifth and sixth 100 I start fading hard and am only getting five or seven seconds rest. Nailed the 200s the same way. Stroke is keeping together longer without going to pieces too, which is great news. As I keep saying, the key to a strong swim is strong technique. That last 200 at the end was a 2:40, which means I split the 100s at 1:20 if there was no fade, which there was. Call it 1:15/1:25. Maybe 1:17/1:23. High school me hates this time. It feels slow. Current me isn't thrilled but is quietly happy. It's well under a 1:30 pace and I can build on it. To hit a 2:40 200 at the end of 1650yds is nothing to scoff at, and bodes well for my swim.
I have a meeting after school today, which will zap my will to live. Gotta fight through that shit.

Ride Day

time- 55min
distance- 15.7mi

Today felt excellent. Legs were freshy-fresh, which shocked the hell out of me considering I Great Aloha Ran yesterday. Felt quick though, good cadence. My meeting meant that I was racing the sun during my ride, trying to get it in before it got too dark.
The sun won. Bastard cheats. Went downhill the whole time.

Great Aloha Jog Race Report

Great Aloha Run Day

distance- 8.15mi
time- 1:24.55
pace- 10:26/mi

Yesterday was the Great Aloha Run, an annual event here in Hawaii where thousands of participants run, jog, walk, wheel, jog/walk, and stagger the 8.15 miles from Aloha Tower in downtown Honolulu to Aloha Stadium in Aiea (those of you not from here go ahead and try to pronounce that, I'll wait.).
As of 365 days ago I had no interest in such an event. Wake up pre-dawn to run? Eight miles? Yeah, no. In the words of Johnny Rico, "Some changes have been made." I've since decided that getting up in the am dark to push my body is somehow fun. Now, I'd rather swim and ride before I run, it seems I'll take what I can get. I have become a whore for endurance event t-shirts.
To be honest, participating in the Great Aloha Run wasn't even my idea. Stitches, Team Dirtbag's Official Super-Awesome Wife, Nutritionist, and Photographer, brought it up. She wanted to walk it and I figured that if I was getting up that early anyway to get her there I might as well play too. Then I could be both moral support for her and I could get a nice long run in. Because for some reason getting a nice long run in is now fun. No, I'm not sure when that happened.
Let me be clear about my goals for the GAR. I wanted to have a smooth, pain-free, good jog. I did not train for it. In fact, I barely thought about it. My focus is completely on the Honolulu Tri. This was a good training opportunity. I've never run eight miles before. And the tri will be six. Seems like I should get as many miles as possible in. Having no goal is both a blessing and a curse. If you look at my pace my Ego says, "Gaaa! You are so slow. 10:30!? Lame. Lame lame lame." But my Training Brain says, "Listen: Saturday you ran five miles. Sunday you rode 35 miles. Tuesday you are back in to your training cycle with an am swim and an afternoon ride. And so on. This was not the time to blow out your legs."For once, Ego lost out. I kept a calm, smooth pace. Slower than I would have liked, to be sure, but I have a long way to go yet.
We woke up at 3:40am and were out of the house by 4:something. We drove to the stadium, which is the end point, and got on a bus. Why? Think about the course. It's one-way. So either we bus from the stadium in, or after the race we have to bus back to the car in Honolulu. Dirtbag hates the bus, but the bus post-run would be worse. Dirtbag sometimes refers to Himself in the third person.
We milled around the streets of Honolulu with a mass of humanity preparing for the run, checking out the other runners and walkers. I saw a bunch of Vibram Fivefingers in the crowds. The minimalist movement is catching on! Me like! I mean, Dirtbag like. I mean, Dirtbag means, Dirtbag like. Damn, this third person stuff is hard.
At the start it still took Stitches and I ten minutes to get from where we were to the actual start, where our race chips activated and started timing us. I took off and she started her power walk. In all, I'd say my run went well. No foot pain, good stride, and I had fun for most of the time. Hawaii locals walk exactly like they drive. That is, slow and in the middle of the road with no awareness of the people around them. And sometimes two or three across. Dodging did occur for the first few miles. They had high school marching bands stationed around each of the aid stations (miles 3, 5, and 7) who were playing inspiring music. The first one was rocking a horn section version of Iron Man. Hell yeah. Some jackass kept yelling at the bands, "Stairway! Play Stairway!" (Oh wait, that was me.)
Some people love stuff like this. So much so that they dress up or bring toys. I saw a Forrest Gump, complete with long beard, long hair, and Bubba Gump hat. Pretty sure I saw a Navii (seriously, dude was painted blue. Full on.). Saw some guy dressed as an anime character I've never seen, but that was what it had to be. And the dragon people. This group made a long yellow dragon out of balloons and hoisted it up on poles, running with it the entire way. It was probably six people long, with the pole-holders trading off as they ran and some crazy dude in the front shouting, "Make way for the dragon!" and smiling. Shouting! And smiling! Jerk. I ran by them for a while. Crazy people help.
Running through the stadium parking lot and down the tunnel on to the field to the finish is a pretty cool thing. Final time was, if you skipped the beginning, 1:24.55. Meh. Not bad for not having set a goal. Inside the stadium there was entertainment, including the Marine Corps band rocking out. What were they playing when I passed by? "Walk This Way." Not sure if that was a joke or not. I followed the herd, grabbed a water and a banana, and went out to the stadium front to stretch and keep an eye out for the wife. Even walked up the course a little ways but didn't see her. Along with bananas they were handing out DingDongs and Cupcakes! Yeah, because after I workout I want a huge shot of fake sugar and crap. Stitches power-walked by and I shouted encouragement then went to meet her by the water and banana people. She was under her goal time by nearly a half hour! Go baby, go!
So it was a good run. I didn't swim yesterday but I figure my swim is the strongest discipline and missing one day wouldn't hurt. Since Monday was supposed to be a ride the rest of this week will be backwards too, with a swim/ride today, a swim/run Wednesday, and a ride Thursday.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting It...then Dragging Ass

Ride Day

distance- 35mi

Disclosure: Today was supposed to be 37 miles. I overestimated how far parts of my planned ride were and, by the time I was again close to home, I was tired and figured who cares about two more stupid miles. So there.
Today started well. Ripped down Pineapple Hill, so fast in fact that I got to pass a few cars. They were stuck behind someone going very slow because, well, this is Hawaii and that happens quite often. It's cool to pass a car on a bicycle. But don't wave. Front end wobble will ensue. This is scary.
Did my normal thirty mile course around Haleiwa and back up Pineapple Hill, doing my best not to look up the climbs but just past the front tire or at the computer instead, willing it to stay above seven. Which it did when I remembered not to stare up the hill. Kinda kills the motivation when you look at how much further you have to go. Better to just look in front of you and push. Made it from the base to Dole in 28 minutes, I think, which isn't too bad at all. Even stopped for a moment to help a man and his wife on a rental Harley figure out where the nearest gas station was. Dirtbag Civic Duty!
The problem once I passed Dole was I thought a lap through Wahiawa and by the base would get me those seven miles I was missing. Turns out I was missing more like 12, because I'd forgotten that 30 mile course wasn't actually 30 miles, I always have to add to it. So at the end of my lap through Wahiawa I still had, you guessed it, seven miles to go. How was I to know? I only ride my bike on these roads three days a week. Dope. So it was back to Dole and then home, which still wasn't long enough but I didn't care at that point. I was already thinking about mowing the lawn after my ride. (Potentially Offensive But True Side Note: I am not Mexican enough to be good at yard work.)
Tomorrow is the Great Aloha Run so instead of an early morning swim and then a ride in the afternoon I'll be jogging eight miles with thousands of other people. Only goal is to enjoy myself. I figure I swim strongly enough to miss one day in the pool.
I also see purchases in the near future for Team Dirtbag, stay tuned for that. And a Big Charity Ride Announcement is also forth coming. I know you're on the edge of your seat. Try not to check back too many times in one day. Your boss will notice.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Give 'im the Beans

Run Day

time- 45 minutes
distance- 4.91mi

Today was my first interval run of this training cycle. Much like last time, I ran five minutes, sprinted five minutes, jogged five minutes, and then repeated. As expected, everything gets slower as the run time goes on. On the whole, though, I'm quite happy with how my final sprint went. I really felt like I was pulling through my hamstrings, having a quick cadence, and holding on to a good speed for most of that five minutes. I do, however, think that five minute chunks might be too long. Its too much recovery time on the jog and its too easy to fall off of on the sprint. So next time I might drop it down to two or three minutes and see how that goes.
Back to selling my board. I now can afford to register for another tri and purchase aerobars for my bike. Which means, of course, I'm now having doubts about doing either of those things. I think it would be better for me to get another race in rather than the 40 miles ride I would have March 5th if I didn't register, mostly because the point of all this running about is to race, and the more races I do the better I'll get at them. So I think I will register. Just haven't yet.
Aerobars are trickier because I'm not sure what kind to buy. Should I hit and get from there? Should I go to my LBS and get from there? Are there specific sizing options that I need to think about, making buying online all the more difficult? I know I think I want (what a tortured sentence so far!) clip-ons so that I can have them on or off, but I don't know how that changes things. These questions, you would think, could be answered by the helpful people on forums and message boards, which is the second reason for the internet (behind, obviously, porn). But when you ask this many questions to a large community of cycling and triathlon people you get many many many answers, most of which conflict. Which means I'll probably end up at my LBS and trust them not to rob me blind, which they haven't done so far.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Board Sold

Sold my long board today. With the money I plan on registering for the March 5th Sprint tri and possibly investing in some aerobars. Sorry to see the board go but I haven't been using it all that much. Dirtbag yard sale.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wardrobe Malfunction

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
2 x 300
2 x 500
2 x 400

total- 2550yds

To start with, I forgot my watch at home today and the gym pool has one clock, on a far wall, which is not well lit and hard enough to see in the daytime, let alone in the early morning darkness. So while I wrote the sets to include time standards, I'm almost positive I didn't make them and have no idea how far off I was. This is annoying.
Also annoying- I bought a new suit Tuesday because with all the swimming I'm doing now I'm pretty sure my other suit will be eaten through by May if it has to work every day. After some trying on and debate I went with a very comfortable Nike short trunk. They fit great and I was looking forward to swimming in them. Yeah, well they don't swim great. I bought "Look nice on the beach" trunks, not functional trunks. They have no tie, which should have been a clue, but the fit was so snug against my waist I didn't think it would be an issue. Wrong. No tie, snug fit or not, means I'm either not pushing off the wall as hard as I would like or I'm doing quick adjustments before everyone gets waaay more out of their swim than they anticipated when they got to the gym. This screwed up each end of every lap. If it had been Tuesday, Sprint Day remember, I'd have been screwed and pissed. So I ended up not swimming as fast because it felt like my trunks were making like a stripper paid by the hour. I'm not naked yet...but its coming. So I spent money on sun bathing trunks. Which is great if I wanted to go out for Jersey Shore: North Shore Edition. Luckily, I have another pair at home that I wasn't swimming in because *section redacted by wife*.
I love being early to the pool because it means I get the middle lane. The middle lane is nice because the old ladies that bounce and float around will avoid it. If I'm forced to use either side lane I have to play Dodge the Non-Swimmer/Struggling Swimmer. These women (always women, I'm not being sexist) will park in on the wall where I'm putting my feet for a flip turn or aqua-aerobic right into my stroke path. This morning that wasn't an issue because, like I said, I got the middle lane. Did feel bad for the girl who showed up near the end of my set who looked like she really was trying to swim and had to deal with the obstacles.
Also bought clear goggles. These are wonderful. I've known I needed them for months and haven't gotten around to grabbing a pair. Finally did and I can see! My other pair have a light tint, but its enough to make seeing my sets and my watch kind of hard. Also, races start at dawn and clears will make the whole "seeing where I'm going" thing much easier. So I've got that going for me.
Lastly, yes these were some boring ass sets. But they will be good for me. Gotta mix it up some, I know, but days like this are needed too.

Run Day

time- 30min
dist- 3.33mi

Ok, I'm happy with this pace. I know it's not blazing, but it felt like a good run. Especially because when I got home I committed the cardinal sin of sitting on the couch for a few minutes before changing to run. Nothing zaps your will to workout like a few minutes on the couch after a long day at work. But I fought through that shit, talking to myself the whole time, got it together and had a surprisingly good run.
Yay for rest day tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Am Now Tired

Ride Day

time- 1:44
dist- 24.6mi

Rode home from school again today. Nearly the exact same route as last Wednesday, but I had to tack a few extra miles to the end of it to get to my goal distance of 25. I was fine the whole time. Can't say I pumped it, because I'm not sure I ever really got in to it hardcore, but I didn't loaf. It was, for the most part, a comfortable pace. I know comfortable doesn't equal lots of gains, but sometimes that's the kind of ride the day is. Suck it, Hyper-Competitive Me. Go gnaw on a Cliff bar. Hit Kolekole Pass at around 16 minutes (meh) and finished the 18.5 mile course from last week a minute ahead of where I was last week, so that was neat. Felt fine coming home, fine while I stretched, fine in the shower...and now I want to fall asleep. Morning swim tomorrow. Need to get some of the wife's yummy lamb chop dinner in to me soon then crash out.
Wish I wasn't so tired most nights. I love The Daily Show and Colbert, but sometimes I just gotta lay down. Those are on at 9 and 9:30 here! Hello, I am Old.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Team Dirtbag Supports Cycle Dirtbag

Reposted from Team Dirtbag Cycle Expert- Mike Linkletter (aka- Cycle Dirtbag):

Hey everyone. This year I am riding 100 miles in the Portland, OR Tour de Cure. All donations collected from this ride go directly to helping the American Diabetic Association. I'm willing to bet everyone knows and loves a diabetic. Anything you can donate to help me reach my goal of raising $500 or more for the ADA would be hugely appreciated!
Follow this link for his donation page:

Trying to Go Fast

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
5 x 100- 1:30
1 x 50- Easy
4 x 200- 3:00
1 x 50- Easy
1 x 100- All Out
1 x 100- Cool down

total- 1750yds

Hard swim today, but I got all my sets done under my time standard. One or two more swims like this and that standard drops to 1:25. Shocked myself with how quick I felt early in that 100 set and how long I was able to hold a good stroke. Even the 200 set went well. By three and four I felt like, "Oof, I'm going to be pushing this time standard." But I wasn't. Had at least ten seconds most of the time. Good feeling.
And that final 100? 1:09. Not as fast as I've ever been, but very not bad for an end of the workout.

Run Day

time- 24:30
distance- 2.83mi

Ran hard today. Foot got a little sore towards the end. No pain, just sore. And, like I've said, I'm paranoid. Probably took a little off when that happened. Oh well, still a decent run for me. Hanging around a nine minute mile, which is slow in general but good for the Dirtbag right now. I'm pushing these runs, trying to get times down. Ideally, I'll be getting three miles in under 25 minutes easily by training's end. That way, even with a fade, I'm still doing the six in under an hour. There's the goal. 8:30/mi is the big goal, but six miles under 60 at the end of an Olympic tri is a good goal too, I think. Knowing me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Love Workouts (Plus Special Bonus Dirtbag Safety PSA!)

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
5 x 150- 50- 5, 7, 9/50- fingertip drag/50- stroke count
3 x 200- Pull
1 x 300- Form Focus

total- 1800yds

Drill day today. Stroke feels better but my head is all over the place and I lose my core tightness after a while. I've got to focus on that rod running from the top of my head out my feet, rotating on it as one piece, and holding my head still. I catch myself looking too far down, then too far up, creating all kinds of drag. I know proper head position, just having trouble keeping it.
Forgot that I meant to throw some IM stuff in to Monday workouts to get all around stronger as a swimmer again. Other strokes will also indirectly help my free, building muscles and cardio. Mental toughness too. Plus, my ego wants to be sure I haven't completely lost my fly. Next week.
My stroke count hovers around 14 strokes per lap, which is about two more than I'm happy with. If I can get across the pool with 12 powerful strokes, holding a 1:20/100 pace I'd be happier than a pig in whatever pigs are happy to be in. (Can it really be shit? I thought pigs were one of the more intelligent animals. Is it just that, "Pig in mud," doesn't carry the same kick? This is one of the many idioms that will be reworked or abandoned when I become King. I'm looking at you, "bee's knees.")

Ride Day

time- 56min
distance- 15.9mi

****Special Dirtbag Safe Driver PSA****
Are you confused about those yellow lights next your headlights and tail lights? Do you wonder what that lever by your steering wheel does? Wonder no longer! Team Dirtbag is here to help.
You see, those lights are called "turn signals." Also known as "blinkers" and "turn indicators" these magic lights warn those on the road around you of your intent to, you guessed it, turn. They "signal" this by "indicating" the "turn" by "blinking". See where those terms come from? I knew you would. "But Dirtbag," you say, "how does my vehicle know when I intend to turn or change lanes? Sometimes I'm not even aware I'm going to do it until its already done." Simple. Remember the lever I mentioned earlier? Sometimes it's part of the windshield wiper lever. Whats that, you in the back? You don't know that lever either? See me after class. For the rest of you, that lever activates those magic lights. Push it up to show the world you intend to go right. Push it down and everyone knows you are a left-heading person of interest.
"But why?" you ask. Well, my dangerous road-companion, if the people around you are aware of your intentions they will not try to interfere with your actions. However, should you refuse or forget to indicate, another vehicle may attempt to occupy the same space at the same time. And physics tell us this is an impossibility.
So please, go out to your car, truck, motorhome, or scooter and practice making those wonderful lights flash. Grab a friend and see if you can get them to blink in sync. But don't forget to turn them off once you've completed the turn! This too can lead to confusion. No one wants that. So practice and remember. The world will thank you and you will be one step closer to avoiding any pesky accidental vehicular homicide charges.

This has been a Dirtbag Fitness Safe Driver PSA: Helping drivers through kind words and single finger suggestions.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rain or Sweat?

Cycle Day

time- 1:51
distance- 30mi

Powered up Pineapple Hill today better than last time. From base to Dole- 28 minutes. That's about six miles, so I'm not flying but I was better able to focus this time. I fear at that some point during this cycle I'll decided I need to spend the day getting two scoops of Pineapple. That willbe a long day. But make Dirtbag strong. Grr.
Pace and cadence fell off midway through the ride but I found it again before the climb started. My right shoulder gets really tight during these longer rides too. Not sure what that's about, must be tightening up more than I think I am. I try moving it around and shifting positions, as much as one can and not fall off the road, and that helps for a short time. I'm sure I'm still re-adjusting to longer rides and getting comfortable on the bike. I'd say it was a fit issue, but my LBS said the bike fit was great. Oh well, fight through that. The engine is getting stronger.

Oh, and it was sweat. Humid today.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Registered for Lanikai!

I have been registered for the Lanikai Sprint Tri on Sunday, April 17! This will be my tune-up race before the Honolulu Olympic distance. Yay! Many much thanks to Dirtbag Mom and Dirtbag Skip, Primary (but, surprisingly, not sole) donors to Team Dirtbag.
Still thinking about getting in on the Guard Dog Sprint in March. I'm glad I have a race prior to the longer one to get set up.

I Run Slow

Run Day
time- 40 min.
distance- 4.22mi

I need to be picking up the pace on my runs. Also, the run times from the training plan I'm working from only go to 60 minutes, and that will not be long enough of a long run for me to feel prepared, since that will be, at best, seven miles. So at some point soon I'm going to have to extend the recommended run times. I'll also have to pick up the pace. The best way to do that, from what I found last training cycle, was interval work. So maybe next weekend my long run will be a run, sprint, jog. Need to pick it up during the week too.
Found another tri I'd like to do. This one is March 5th, a Sprint up on the North Shore called the Guard Dog Triathlon. Haven't registered yet, but I'm working on it. Put my longboard up for sale on craigslist to fund my race habit. Hope it sells...but kinda don't. Its nice to own a board even if I don't use it nearly as much as I used to.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gettin' Wet

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
3 x 300- 4:30
2 x 400- 6:00
1 x 500- Stroke Focus

total- 2350yds

Distance days are going to be all about maintaining stroke quality over time. The key to swimming a long way fast is preventing the stroke degradation that can come with muscle fatigue. I have to train my body to hold that stroke no matter how far I'm going or how tired I am. Speed days will work on holding on to technique when blown out. Distance days will work on holding on to technique when my muscles are worn.
I made nearly all of my time standards today, missed the second 400 by about 15 seconds, but I was fading hard by then. I'm having trouble keeping focused for that long still, staying on top of the intensity. That'll come. One more distance day goal.

Run Day
time- 25 minutes
distance- 2.86mi

I should have left my swim suit on. Almost as soon as I got out the door it started raining. Just a little at first. But before long it was raining pretty hard. Luckily it kept up for only about ten minutes of my run. The hard rain. It rained in some fashion the entire run.
Never the less, I pressed on and, for the most part, pressed hard. Set a good pace for myself up until the end and cooled it off the last four minutes or so. Lost my edge and the bottom of my left foot tightened up. I am an Injury Paranoid Runner so any little thing and I'll check down. Still, happy with the run.
Oh yeah, it stopped raining when I got in the shower. Practically sunny now. Stupid chirping birds.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In Which I Underestimate Distance

Ride Day
time- 1:16/1:27
distance- 18.5mi/22.7mi

Here was the Grand Plan: Wife drives bike and I to school. I ride home.
My problem was that it is only about 10 miles from school to the house, so I had to find eight and a half miles to fill in the goal distance. This wouldn't be hard, I pass by the military base I normally ride on on the way home. After seven miles, that's where I was. So I went on base figuring I had eleven miles to go and that should be up Kolekole (my second favorite hill near my house) and back down, plus home. Because I've done this ride dozens of times and I still, for some reason, don't know how far it is.
It is longer than eleven miles. D'oh! Oh well, its not like going over on miles is bad for me. So I checked my watch at 18.5mi to get that time then finished the ride. Of course I finished, I was five miles from home. Couldn't just stop. "Well, guess I'm staying here tonight. Hope it doesn't rain."
The climb burned today. But from school to base is a positive altitude ride, which in my mind means I finish higher than I start, even if parts of the ride may roll (I'm sure there is an official cycling term for this, but I don't feel like looking it up). So I had already been climbing, either steeply or subtly, for a while. My goal time up the hill was 15 minutes, I did it in 18, but that's not bad considering how slow I felt like I was going. My bike computer doesn't help. It's cool to see 35+ when I'm ripping down the decent. Not as cool to see 9...8...7 while I'm climbing. Like I said before, that just means climbing gains will be very clear, and motivation will ensue.
The rain held off, which was nice. And I felt strong nearly the whole ride. If I can keep up my intensity I should be plenty ready for race day. 18.5mph average is the bike goal. We can do it. (That's right, I'm so sure I'm going to start speaking in the third person plural, also known as the 'royal we' when I talk about it.)
The Dirtbag hath spoken.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Weight Debate


1 x 150 Warm-up
5 x 100- 1:30
1 x 50- recovery
3 x 200- 3:00
1 x 100- Cool down

Gotta be honest, my fast was fading hard by the second 200 there. And by the end of the 100s set. But I made both of them solidly within the time standard. Do it here a few more times, up the reps and distances, get it solid there, then start dropping the time standard to 1:25. I'm not looking forward to that mostly because :30 is really easy to count by when oxygen starved, :25 is harder.

Run Day
time- 20 minutes
distance- 2.29mi

Happy with the speed, need to get quicker but that'll come. Good stride too.
I've been thinking hard about weight lifting for this training cycle. My original plan was that I would lift on run days, doing all the nifty exercises I found in my books. But I'm tired, man. Swimming in the morning three days a week, plus all the other stuff AND, you know, teaching, I'm burnt by the end of the day. I could find the energy if I needed to, but I worry that it would take away from the disciplines I should be focusing on. After consulting with Sister Dirtbag, Official Trainer of Team Dirtbag, I decided that I would avoid overtraining and burn out and skip lifting for this race cycle. Once I have a few more races under my belt and I'm better adjusted to the higher volume of training I'm doing, then I'll start getting actual gym work in. So I'll be finding time for core work, because that's very important, but I'm not sure how often I'll be picking up something heavy and putting it back down. Strange not to be lifting.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hold the Rain

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
4 x 200- 100- 5, 7, 9/100- stroke count
4 x 100- Pull
1 x 100 Cool down
total- 1450yds

Pregnant Lady was swimming next to me again today. I stole a look at her workout sheet. She's doing many much yardage. Her baby is going to be born swimming faster than I do.
That 200 set is a really good way to mess with the cardiovascular system. Eventually breathing on the 5, 7, 9 gets hard. This normally happens when the four count of a nine stroke section intersects with a wall, which ends one of two ways. Either flip turn and keep it together keep it together relax stay cool nine breathe OR flip turn fivesixseveneightbreathe! And the second way completely screws up the next lap as you (I) try to re-find the rhythm. But following 100 of that with 100 of stretch it out to get as few strokes as possible in to each lap lengthens the stroke out nicely. Also, right now I'm hovering at about 15 strokes per lap. Too many, but it'll drop.

Bike Day
time- 54 minutes
distance- 15.5 mi

Every time I do this distance it feels better and quicker. I'm trying to focus on cadence up the inclines. Getting there. If I can stay strong and quick while climbing, I will be in a hugely better position come race day, when the course is mostly flat.
Other than moron local driver making a right turn from the far left lane reeeeeally close to me it was a fairly uneventful ride. Not too much rain, sprinkles is all. Pouring now. I'd like that to stop by tomorrow. Not so much for the swim (wet anyway), but the run. I'd rather not treadmill it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Death to Slow Leaks!

Ride Day

Needed to get a ride in before the Super Bowl, woke up early, got all ready to rock. Then grabbed the bike and realized my front tire was flat. Damnit. My schedule was tight with kick-off on its way. So I was going to head to the gym and ride there, but time didn't really work with me for that. So instead I fixed my flat. Damn thing was caused by a teeny-tiny hole due to a small staple-looking thing similar to what flattened my back tire last time. So no ride today.
At least it was a recovery week.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Final Recovery Run (and a Helpful Tip!)

Run Day
Not a whole lot to say today so I'll keep it short. Beautiful weather (sorry to anyone in, well, the rest of the country). Moderate effort.

Helpful Tip!
If you spend hours on your rest day sitting on the couch playing videos games after school, your legs will tighten up some. You will feel it the next morning during your run. (I know, I know. Bitch, moan, and complain)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Enjoy Recovery Week & A Swim Plan

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
1 x 200- 3:00
1 x 300- 4:30
1 x 400- 6:00
1 x 500- 7:30
1 x 100- Cool down

total- 1650yds

I have developed a swim plan. Monday will be stroke day, so the focus will be drills and slightly slower pace. Tuesday will be speed work. Self-explanatory I think. And Thursday will be distance day. Thus today's workout. Now, these are basic themes for each day's swim, not overriding rules. So there will be speed work on each day, distances will grow as the training cycle gets deeper, and I will need to be keeping on stroke drills of course. But those days will have extra focus.
As for today's swim, I made all the time standards except the 400, I was about six seconds off. So I waited, and then hit the 500 and made that modified time. Good stuff. Hurt, but not that bad.

Run Day
time- 20min

Second to last real cruise day today. Nothing special to report. Concentrated on squeezing the hamstrings and glutes and nice even breathing. Also did some mental work, visualizing racing, thinking about performance. It's never too early to get the mind right.
Happy tomorrow is a rest day.
Happy birthday to the wife! Love you, honey.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Ride Day

dist- 15.6mi

*dope forgot to start and stop my watch at stoplights so this is a good guess

I am stronger than my mind thinks. After school, when I've been up all day, teaching, trying to pour knowledge in to little heads, I am tired. I want a nap. I want to sit on the couch and exert just enough energy to grab the remote, and no more.
Why am I so tired? What have I done today? Physically. Mentally I've been kicking my ass. But even with the high-wire, wanna-be rock star way I teach I'm not really expending a ton of energy. But, damn I'm tired at the end of the day.
Why? Because my brain is taking over my body. My brain is tired, and its sending that message to my body. So my body reacts accordingly. This is when I get stronger. This is when break it down.
Because this is when I have to depend on what I Know. I Know I'm stronger than my brain is telling me. I Know that two minutes after I get on that bike I'll be fine. I Know.
Knowing is how I fight through that shit. I love Knowing. It makes me feel stronger than I am. And it readies me for race day, when I need to Know after that swim I'm strong enough to get on the bike. Know that when my legs are wobbly off the bike I'm strong enough to get those first running steps out of the way. Know when I'm halfway through the run that I'm trained for this and I have its measure. I gotta Know.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gettin' Busy With It

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
3 x 200- Pull
3 x 100- 1:30
1 x 100- Cool down

Swims feel strong right now. During that pull set I was focusing on finishing my stroke and activating my tris all the way through the flick. This creates soreness, which creates muscle. Yay, muscle!
Body position feels wobbly. I should be swimming on a rail, everything moving in a straight line, and I'm not. I blame a weak core. Next week I'll be starting core work on a regular basis to help take care of that problem. Strong core with make everything better.

Run Day
time- 20mi
dist- ? 2.3mi

Picked up the pace today a little on my run. I know its a rest week but the run was only 20 minutes long. Concentrated on pulling through my hamstrings and glutes. Stride was good, even if my turn-over is still too slow. Cadence gets worked on soon.

Side Note:
Dear Meetings I am constantly going to,
Stop bringing food! We do not need to snack that much. We will not die and will, in fact, get more done if we do not eat. My willpower hates your cookies and chips. Knock it off. Then you won't be counting points at lunch.
Love and Kisses,
The Staff