Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moments of "Inception"

(The new header picture is a pic I took on our ride at the Red Rock loop just outside Las Vegas, NV.)

If you havent seen the movie "inception" it is a movie that takes place mostly in the mind. It is about how a team of people plant an idea or decision in a persons mind for another persons benefit. In a series of conversations with my good buddy Karl I had an experience that reminded me of that movie. It actually was just what I needed. My training so far had been moving so well I needed a check. The conversation was basically about how as a coach or athlete you are trying to walk that line of how intense is appropriate intensity. Too easy and there isnt enough training effect and too much and you run the risk of injury or bonking. Karl planted the seed and I tried to walk the fine line. I wondered at every minute if I was giving enough. As fitness changes and perception of what youare doing changes do you give enough? I have had some experience with crashing and I have had the experience that I held back too much. What would I do today? Here is my week.

Monday-Rest Extra day off during recovery block
Tuesday-Swim. I met my new Marathon Bar Buddy at dinner tonight. I swam 800 meters secondary to time.
Wednesday-Bike Quality, Hill repeats. I was able to ride longer on my repeat hill. I did 5 repeats and consistently traveled longer I just wish I had my watch charged.
Thursday-Hopefully this is NOT where my silverman build up went awry. I had a 4 mile easy run scheduled but I decided to stay in bed. Doenst sound too bad right?
Friday-Woke up to take yesterdays run. My inception moment begins. Here I am so recovered and out for an "easy" run. I think to myself I have some in the tank, lets go. I had it a tempo run. First mile 9:29, 9:15, 8:54, and 9:12. Now doesnt sound that fast but the last 2 miles were up a small to moderate hill. So I pegged it. I was sore and tired all Friday. Had a great run but quads were thrashed.
Saturday-I had a 20 mile/4 mile run planned. With a group forming of about 9 of us it turned into other things with thrashed legs. 26 miles and not just any miles. The Red Rock loop. Here is the post of the first ride at the loop. 26 miles, Ave speed 16 mph, max speed
42 mph. Reached 134% if my max HR. Hmm might have to rethink what I posted as my max HR. 2000 foot elevation gain. Not too mention there were parts with gnarly wind. It was a challenging ride. The transition was slow and we spent some talking and enjoying ourselves. Then the run. I planned for a 4 mile easy run today but turned into 5 mile super hard run. Might be the hardest run/hike I have done. I need to go back and do this run recovered and fresh. LOTS OF CLIMBING. Even though it was more hike than run and more walk than run I definitely got stronger today. Very loose footing, some rocky some sandy gravel. It was tough and frustrating. Grind it out. I had awhile of the old Ron. What am I doing out here? This is too hard for me. I am not fit enough for this. But I fought through it and I am stronger for it. I pushed it when I had nothing left. I got stronger today. I am sore today and tired.
Sunday-Long OWS. No data except 1000 meters. Super windy and hella choppy but not anything like Oxnard. Good swim though to recover from a tough workout yesterday.

I am happy to have another Marathon Bar sponsored athlete in town. She is quite the skilled cyclist and came out with us for a tough brick. Here is me and Jen at Red Rock. Hopefully she will be racing here in town soon and I am looking forward to watching her race and train with us! Welcome Jen! Quote:

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Plugging Right Along....

Have you ever had an experience out on what seemed to be an ordinary run/bike/swim that turned out to be totally different? That happened to me this morning. Out for a straight forward 6 mile run. I decided I would go for the first six of the Silverman course. It turned out to be a walk down memory lane from last year. I remembered people, sights, sounds, smells, and feelings. Today was the first time I have been on that course since last year. Has that happened to anyone? It was surreal. It seemed so fresh, so present. There was not a soul in sight yet I remember passing the amputee on the top of stephanie, I remember Jennifer passing me looking like death warmed over, I remember walking a TON, I remember looking for Judy and not seeing her, I remember where the aid stations were and what they had and how bad I wanted whatever they were selling, I remember hearing the crowd reacting to finishers, I remember telling myself it is only 1/2 mile GEEET GOOOOOIIIING, I remember overcome with emotion to see the finish and to know I was going to finish, I was able to use that as fuel today. Not for today. For this whole experience. I wasnt sure until that moment that I was going to do it. Today I ran the same course some 30-45 min faster than that day. Sure there was no bike or swim this morning but I am a totally different athlete. I am competing at a different level for me. Sure it will not blow any doors off but I dont care about that. What does shaving off an hour and a half in a half Iron distance triathlon say about a person? That seems logical to me, I can do it. I finished my second building block and began a recovery block in the last week. I would rate this block a B+. I got all my workouts in, with no issues, and I am getting stronger with each discipline. Here is how it went.

Monday-Long swim. My goal was to swim 2000 meters in 250 meter blocks in 6:30 or better. I averaged 6:23, each lap at 5:55, 6:28, 6:30, 6:25, 6:28, 6:34, 6:27, and 6:21. For a total of 51:11. I am able to go faster longer with a few details. Head deep in the water, full arm push, and high elbows. I felt very strong.
Tuesday-Short run. Watch died. 4 miles with the wife. I was back in less than 40 min with small cool down outside. Must have been 9-930 pace.
Wednesday-Weight training.
Thursday-Swapped days off with friday. REST
Friday-Running intervals. 1 mile warm up, 3 X 4 min, 1-1.5 mile cool down. Overall 4.88 miles in 49 min total. I had trouble keeping the interval pace for 4 min. After 3 min I went down hill. The on ave speeds were 8:24, 8:53, and 9:03. I also chose a hillier course. Overall I became a stronger runner. Marks end of block. Rest block to ensue.
Saturday- Recovery long ride. 30 miles towards Red Rock. Ave 16 mph, with a head wind for the first 15 miles (out and back). Art and Julie went along.
Sunday (today)-Recovery long run. The first 6 miles of the Silverman run course. This is a course that I tried to run all last year to train and I never was able to do it without walking. Did it today with a blast from the past around every corner without walking. Total 6.01 miles in 1:02. My 10K PR was just a few minutes faster. That course is no where near as hard as this one. For the race, the first half is harder than the second half and If I can hold this pace I will shave 45 min off last years run time. That would be awesome. I thought about my favorite quote of all time this whole run. I was out the door by 5:15 and running at 5:30 not another runner out there. QUOTE:

"Champions are made when no one is watching."

I think a lot about what next year will be compared to right now. What If this is my crowning achievement, what if I crush next year I am going to crush this year? JUST WHAT AM I CAPABLE OF?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Trying to remain an even keel

I had some time this week to read some of last years posts. What I noticed is that this year I am more consistent. Last year I spoke a lot about a roller coaster that I was on. I dont feel that anymore. I feel my body changing. It is very fun. I feel faster, I am recovering easier. I am waiting for the scale to tip the other way. I know enough about endurance training to know that it is not all sunshine and roses all the time. Right now I feel strong. I am grinding it out better. Here is how my week went.

Tuesday-Quality run. When I say quality I am going to use those days as some specialty run. This particular run was intervals. I love them. This run was no different. However, I had some watch difficulty and didnt have data. I felt very strong though. 1 mile warm-up, 3 bout of 3 min on/off, 1/2 mile cool down. 4 Mile total. I havent ran them in a while so I thought I would introduce myself slowly. I definitely could have gone more. I ran the first mile in about 9:30, interval speed was 7:40, recover at 10 ish. I look forward to more of them and more intensity. Then softball at night.
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday-Bike quality. I rode 14.5 miles on a new loop. I did a loop very similar last year. This year 2 mph faster on the hill and I climbed them. So for 2010 lets just say sisters 0, Ron 6. I climbed them easier with less HR, less fatigue, and more speed. I love that. Another thing I was thinking is I am going to stop talking about them like I am afraid of them or automatically a challenge. I own them.
Friday-Plyos, abs. I was able to jump higher, lift more weight. I just feel stronger.
Saturday-Bike/Swim brick. Since there were some events going on at Lake Las Vegas (where I wanted to swim since that is race course) we went to boulder beach. I had planned a swim of 30 min, easy to transition, then ride between 30 and 40 miles. Actual 33 min swim about 800-1000 yards, slow did some education on OWS with a couple of newbies. T1 slow 8 min, again with some education. Bike ride 35 miles, I have set a new times for checkpoints. This one was 6 min faster then the last few times I rode this course. This was only 14 miles of Silverman course but good hills nonetheless. I encountered my RAGE climb this time some 20 miles more under me then when I ride this hill. Crushed it. I am so surprised how much better I feel. Overall it was a 3:20 min effort. I am significantly bigger than in terms of minutes, miles, and speed then I was last year.
Sunday (today)-Long run. I planned 8-10. Actual 8. I woke up late and it was hot. I probably didnt have more in me anyway. I FELT STRONG THOUGH. My watch seems to have a mind of its own. I thought I had the autopause on I didnt. So the per mile and the overall pace is off. It says that I averaged 9:46 but I think it was more like 9 because I had 3 stops at lights. I feel good out there. I am using a more forefoot strike with a non-valgus position. I think those are my keys. Quote:

“Celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in, the eagles soar while the small birds take cover”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Loving the build up...

Now that Silverman training is heating up, I am enjoying myself. I am faster, smarter, and more experienced than I was a year ago and I am enjoying that as well. My nutrition has been good and I have been recovering a lot better with more sleep. It is amazing what happens when the "other" stuff is on how good it makes training. I think I went sleep deprived (although self inflicted) for too long. I have been in constant control over my blood sugar and eating timing has been spot on and that is the key to continue my weight loss. Another 9 pounds in the last month and under 20% (18.7%) body fat since 1995 in college. Which brings the total now to 70. I am hoping to run Surf City at or around 215 or less. That would be another 10-15 pounds off. Here is how my week went last week and I am finished with my second training block. This one I grade a B. I had some quality work but I scratched a brick with a long run.

Monday-Swam 1150 intervals. 5 laps warm-up in 6:33, 3 laps "hard" 3:31, 2 laps recovery 2:59, 3 laps "hard" 3:30, recover 2 laps 3:06, 3 Laps hard3:27, 5 laps cool down 6:09, with a total of 29:19. I felt strong. Pretty even too.
Tuesday-Softball and abs/core.
Wednesday-Late with patients and I forgot my light for the bike so I went about 10 miles in 45 min or so. Made it a hard effort on some hills around the clinic that are the same hills I run for silverman.
Thursday-Plyometrics and accessory muscle strength. A moderate effort workout on things I dont normally get to. Went well.
Saturday-Softball tournament. Played 4 games and hit the ball very well. I kinda tweaked my knee in the outfield though. Nothing too bad
Sunday-Pushed the brick I had planned when I woke up with knee pain. It was gone by noon and gone this on monday am.
Tonight-Long swim of 1750 m. I would like to Ave 6:30. Lets see.

This next block will be more miles than the one before. In order to space out the recovery blocks to peak at Silverman I will have a recovery block shortly after this one. I have been looking at my running plan within this plan to see if there is potential for more as Karl has suggested we will see how I feel. P.S. Thanks Karl for the shout out on the Marathon Bars. I am glad you enjoyed them. Quote:

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”
Ralph Ransom quotes

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Off to a good start, block 1, and anouncement

So I spent last week out of town/recovering from Strawberry Fields. I scheduled the 2 days following Strawberry Fields just to be plain off. Then to officially begin the road to Silverman. I began with a recovery block. When I say block, I train 8/10 days. A 10 day work week, instead of 7. Per 10 days, I strive for 3 runs (one recovery, one long, and 1"quality"days), 2 bikes, 2 swims, 2 workouts (accessory muscle day/global muscle day, with core 3 days), and 1 brick (alternating between swim/bike and bike/run with 2 bike/runs per swim/bike). The other 2 days off. Then every 4th block will be a recovery block and prior to that a big block. Each big block progressively bigger finally culminating in a PR at Silverman.Usually I recap the weeks training on sunday and occasionally have a long post on sunday then a short one during the week. I am going to try to review the blocks instead of by week.

Block 1: Recovery/Colorado
Wed: Easy 1250 swim. No time just go and swim. What a crazy feeling it was to be the first swim after the ocean. Very still and predictable. Feels funny like after you get off the treadmill.
Thursday-Travel day to Breckenridge, CO.
Friday-Was supposed to run an easy 3 miles. Altitude sickness prevented that. I couldnt sleep much less run. Crazy Nausea, fatigue, headache, and inability to sleep. The lodge we stayed at was 12,600 feet. That is a 12,600 feet gain in 4 days (since I raced at the ocean). Problem? I think so.
Saturday-Ran 4 miles. Very slow, as my HR was waaaay out of control. Here are some pictures.

Sunday-Travel home and recover.
Monday-1500 m swim. 5 lap increments. 6:14, 6:43, 6:56, 6:53, 6:55, and 6:54. Avg 6:46, Total, 40:38. I wanted a slow-moderate paces long swim. Got it. Nice and somewhat even.
Tuesday-Softball and 4 mile run. A very hot and muggy night run after softball. Mistake, I need to do that in the morning. It is still over 100 degrees at 8 at night. Sweltering.
Wednesday- Meant to be a quality hill night on the bike but the bike fit took too long and I forgot my change of clothes bag at home. Good news I feel fit to my TT bike and I will sprinkle that bike in. I have not decided If I am going to use that bike for the race or not. Its shaky, I dont turn well in aero, and its very fast. Equation for lack of confidence. I need to strengthen to be able to command that bike.
Thursday-Long Run. 6 miles. 1:10 min. Super hot. It was 90 at 5:30 am. I need to get up earlier. Was about 20 min slow out the door and the heat got to me at the end.

Beginning block 2 I am pumped to be starting to get bigger stuff in. My confidence is soaring at this time compared to last year. Now that I know I can go the distance and my conditioning has allowed me to do more than the race distances I am pumped to race this year. Dont hang on, RACE. I think that 1 hour PR is doable. Sub 7. Here are a few days of block 2.

Saturday-Long bike. 40-45 miles. Actually got 40 miles in just around 3 hours. Took some breaks, took some pictures with some new riding buddies. I cruised it. It is amazing my stronger I am than the last time I was out there by the lake. I did all bike course. Over half of it miles wise but did not include the sisters. I felt strong. The long climb out Lake Mead National Park wasnt even hard this time. Last year I could hardly ride it. I am looking forward to this. The header is taken on way on Sunday, sure makes it hard to ride with all that going on.
Sunday (today)-Rec run of 3-4 miles. 3 miles in 28 min. The fastest I have been able to run in weeks. It was overcast and not humid or hot per se. I mean 92 at 5:30 in the morning is still hot. Not overwhelming though. No walking. My new goal with EVERY run is going to be able answer the question: "Did I become a stronger runner today?" YES, Today I did.

I have struggled in the past with my performance at the LA Marathon. Its kinda hard to expect yourself to do better than I did at my first one, its just I did. I thought I would have handled it a lot better. My training runs went without issue, except now I know that the walking I do at the end of those long runs do not make you stronger. I signed up for another one. Surf City Marathon, February 6, 2011 I will run my second marathon. I have 12 weeks after Silverman to get ready. I have been recovering so much faster, I have already trained that much, it fits into the training year very nicely, and its a fabulous race. Done. I think may be I will 3 or so half Irons in 2011 and may be 2 marathons to get ready for IM SG or IM AZ. That for me is the ultimate goal. Quote:

"Confidence is not a guarantee of success, but a pattern of thinking that will improve your likelihood of success, a tenacious search for ways to make things work."

Dr. John Elliot

I can feel it growing.