Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi

Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.
--Mahatma Gandhi

I think I'm in the drudgery stage. I went for a run this morning, and was fortunate to be able to run at the park rather than the usual treadmill. I was pretty slow, but feeling good the entire time. I ran for about 50 minutes and went 3.8 miles. If still felt good on the walk back from the park, showering and eating breakfast. But then it just happened. I got this kink in my neck which has now spread to my back. I'm really stiff and feel like a robot when I walk. It's painful to turn my head. Now the stiffness has now reached my chest muscles. I have been trying to stretch and use relaxation techniques, but so far I have not had any luck. It is not really painful, just really annoying, and I have no idea what caused it.

On a positive note, I am back on track with my nutrition. This morning I weighed 241 pounds (down from 264!). Yeah!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Week 15 Progress Report

Wow! Week 15 already. Originally my first triathlon was going to be the San Diego Triathlon which is on June 25th or week 20, but after adding in a decent taper I just felt I was not going to be prepared as I would like. I haven't yet done an open water swim, and haven't prepared for my transitions yet. So I signed up for the Santa Barbara Sprint, which gives me plenty of time. It takes place on August 27, at the end of week 28. That means I have about 11-12 weeks left to train and get ready. That does not seem like much to me, and I'm getting a little nervous.

Here is a rundown of last week's training.

Monday: Did a slow run for one hour. I only did 3.9 miles. I wanted to do more, but I was coming back from an entire week off and did not want to push it too much.

Tuesday: Swam 1800 meters in 45 minutes. Once again I limited my self to 45 minutes, because I was coming off of an entire week off. I was faster than normal though which was encouraging.

Wednesday: I did a hard 60 minutes on a spin bike. There was not a class at the time I was available, so I just put on some headphones and enjoyed an episode of Get Your Geek On! I think everyone was wondering who the guy laughing his ass off over on the spin bike was.

Thursday: I ran another 60 minutes on the treadmill and pushed a little more. I was able to do 4.5 miles.

Friday: I was a little burnt out on Friday, and did not sleep well. My daughter has been having sleep issues, so that means I have sleep issues. It is just hard enough to get out of bed at 5am when you get the full seven that I try to do. On just 5 hours sleep it is really a struggle. And when I don't get up early I hit traffic on the commute to work which really grinds you down. So I skipped my morning swim. I was feeling really guilty about it all day, so I left work early and headed to the gym. I was able to swim 2500 meters, which is the longest I have ever done, and I was able to do it in 63 minutes. I felt much better, especially because I knew that I would have little time to train over the holiday weekend with all the family outings.

Saturday and Sunday: relaxed and did no training.

Monday: Ok, Monday is really part of week 16, but I did the bike ride I had planned originally for Saturday, that I just didn't have time to do. So I'm going to include it here. I rode up to the Rose Bowl, did 5 laps and then rode back. My neighbor rides up to the Bowl on occasion too and gave me a new route to try. It is mostly back streets with few lights, but there is one log section on a main street with lots of lights. Here is a chart of the ride from my Polar S625x. I took out the heart rate info, because there were too many gaps. For some reason I have been having trouble with the heart rate data on my rides, but the speed and cadence sensors have been working great.

The red line is the altitude. You can see the five peaks on the chart. Those are the five laps at the bowl. I love the down-hills. I cannot stay in aero position for too long, but I do get down into aero on the down-hills. Then I just put it in the highest gear, and just jam down the hill. It is a blast! You can see the speed (blue line) just jumps way up on the downhill. Coming back on Arroyo is also great because no only is it downhill, but there are lots of curves as well. Carving the corners is a lot of fun.

I do have a hard time holding a line while in aero. I know that it is a skill that I need to work on, but I also think that the geometry of my bike is not helping. I have a road bike with a short top tube. This allows me to have a full set of aero bars, but also means that my weight is very far forward on the bike and the ride is a bit squirrelly. I always try to give other riders a wide berth.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Starbucks Rant

Yesterday I promised some bitching about Starbucks so here goes. First I think I should give a little background. I was first introduced to espresso back in 1992 when I worked for a coffee shop during college. A grade school friend hooked me up with the job, even though I did not know a thing about coffee. But she taught me everything she knew, and I started to really get into it. I read several books on the subject and did a lot of experimentation. It has become another one of my obsessions.

While I worked at that shop, I happened to make a latte for the cousin of the owner one day. He thought it was so good that he started to pass it around to the rest of his family to taste, and the next morning I was made shift supervisor. I developed quite a following and had customers who keep track of my schedule and would insist that only I make their drinks. Since then I have continued to study the subject. To my wife’s chagrin I have seven espresso machines in my home. I buy raw coffee beans from Brazil and Ethiopia and roast them myself. I guess what I am saying is that I know at least a little bit about coffee.

I also have to admit I am a purist when it comes to coffee. So my comments only really apply to the traditional espresso drinks such as espresso, macchiato, cappuccino and latte. I won’t touch a frappuccino, caramel-thingamabobs or whatever else is on the menu. I do not drink the drip coffee either. I do not like to add flavors to my coffee, so I will drink only pure coffee and milk, perhaps with some sugar if I’m having espresso.

My first problem with Starbucks is the paper cups. When I worked at a coffee shop at least 80% of the drinks were served in porcelain, and I took pity on those who had to consume their beverage in their cars. It took me a while to get used to the idea of drinking espresso drinks out of a paper cup. Would you drink champagne from a paper cup? Would you foie gras off a paper plate with a plastic fork?! Paper cups are so rampant now that if you asked for a "regular cup" at a Starbucks, people just look at you like you are crazy. Unfortunately this attitude has spread throughout the industry and now it is hard to find a place that uses a real cup. I like to have an espresso mid-afternoon, so I will sometimes stop by a local independent shop near my office that makes good coffee, but I have to bring my own demitasse.

In the last few months I have taken up the unfortunate habit of drinking my morning coffee on the way to the gym in my car. Like everyone else I am pressed for time. It is unpleasant, but gets the job done. I find the milk has a good mix of carbs and protein to fuel a morning workout and the caffeine helps boost my energy. I used to make the coffee myself, but the pump on my machines are loud and will wake up my two year old daughter, so I am forced to go to buy my coffee. Unfortunately, where I live Starbucks is the only game in town.

The second problem with Starbucks is the poor quality of the coffee itself. Sure they can add enough sugar, chocolate or whipped cream to make drinks people will want to buy but, the basic espresso base to their drinks is just terrible. I will never order a simple espresso at Starbucks because frankly it is just disgusting. The beans are over roasted and the shots are too long (watery) with no crema (the beautiful golden cream that floats to the top of a perfectly drawn shot of espresso). Nowadays, the baristas don’t even make the coffee anymore. They just press a button and it comes out a spout, and frankly for all the money these machines must cost, they suck. I could make better coffee with a moka pot on a stove top. Not only that, they will serve the infernal concoction in a paper cup! It is no wonder the drinks are so laughably large. People have to dilute the coffee with a liter of milk just to mask all the bitterness. So I will usually order a latte which is mostly milk. It is the hardest drink to screw up. You just heat the milk up and throw the coffee in. How could you screw that up? Well, they burn the milk. They keep the milk out too long making it separate and get watery. They sometimes dilute the coffee with water. Yes! I actually saw a barista topping off the coffee with water before adding the milk!

If Starbucks cannot get the quality right, you think they could at least get consistency down. The one thing that Starbucks is supposed to have going for it is consistency. It is like the McDonalds of coffee. Sure the food can suck, but at least you know what you are getting, and you can go to any Starbucks and know exactly what to expect. Well that is the story at least. I always order the same thing from Starbucks, a tall double latte, and it never tastes the same. Sometimes it will taste ok and other times it is just horrible, and that is just from one location!

Ok, enough ranting about Starbucks. I feel better now.

Oh, and BTW, I ran for an hour this morning. I have to check my HRM again, but I think it was 4.2 miles total. Tomorrow is an hour swim.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Inspiration from Marcus Aurelius Antonius

"It is a shameful thing for the soul to faint while the body still perseveres." --Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
I have been having a hard time recovering from last week. Last week was a recovery week, so what am I talking about? Well, last week I not only blew off training for nearly the entire week, but I let myself eat anything. I was really bad, eating fast food, ice cream and just all kinds of junk. It was pretty scary, and even in the last two days I have let my self eat way too much. My target is 2500 calories, but I have been eating around 4000.

How did this come about? Mostly I think it was a combination of stress from work, lack of time to think about or prepare food at home, and the fact that my regular routine was disrupted by attending court.

One thing I know about myself is that I have a one track mind. I can really only maintain control in one area of my life. Once I focus on that one area I can accomplish amazing things, but everything else tends to fall apart. For the last three months I have maintained my focus and dedication on my triathlon goals, and I am proud of that. But in the back of my mind I have a concern because I do not know how long I can keep this up. Balance is really the key, and I think one of the benefits of training for a triathlon is learning how to manage your life more efficiently and learn the discipline it takes to balance the various life demands that we all have, but I know that real balance is an issue for me, and something that I really need to work on.

Work demanded my attention and focus last week. It really was a test for me. Could I maintain focus and put in the effort to do what I needed to do at work and still keep the rest of my life in order? Well, I got the answer, and it was a resounding no! So now I am going back to put my training back in order. I had a good run on Monday, a good swim on Tuesday, and today I hit the spin bike hard for an hour. So I am back in the game as far as the training goes, but my eating patterns are still out of control. It is really hard to get back onto the path of eating right after enjoying a week long binge. Actually enjoying is not the right word. It was actually suffering. Eating all that bad food made me feel really disgusting and gave me a lot of gas. Then why do I eat all that stuff? In stressful situations I just eat compulsively. It does not make any logical sense and is something lurking in my subconscious that comes out in stressful situations, like when I'm worried about my family or my job.

It is all mental. The body is ready, but the mind is weak. Shame on me!

Ok, enough ragging on myself. Starting today I'll do better. Tomorrow, I'll bitch about Starbucks.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

LA Tri Club

I have decided that I need to meet more triathletes, so I joined the Los Angeles Tri Club. I can really use some training advice, and I guess I feel I have trained enough to not be embarrassed to call myself a triathlete. I'm hoping to get out to some of their events soon, particularly an open water swim. That is definitely something that I would not want to try out on my own.

Speaking of swimming, today I had my first swim since last Monday. I had to share a lane with two strong swimmers. I was really working to try to keep up and this was probably exactly what I needed. Since it was my first workout in a while I kept it to forty-five minutes, but I was able to fit in 1800 meters. I am still pathetically slow, but making improvement.

After 15 minutes I noticed that there were a few guys there that seemed to be trying to race me. I had to restrain myself, because my workout will not last very long if I start sprinting. Sure, plenty of people in the pool are faster than me, but I can put in the time. After fifteen to twenty minutes these guys are getting out of the pool when I have already put in thirty minutes and will put in another fifteen. And that is a "short" workout for me.

I have been looking around for other swim venues to augment my training. SCAQ offers swim technique lessons and offers training sessions at some fifty meter pools, so I think I might take them up on their offer of a free training session.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Week 14 Progress Report

No progress! That's right I did nothing, absolutely nothing! OK, I did something. I did swim for 45 minutes on Monday morning. That seems like such a long time ago. It was supposed to be a "rest" week, but that is just pathetic. I could list a bunch of excuses, but instead I'm going to focus on jumping back on the wagon.

Today, I started right, with a nice 55 minute run. My weight is still around 244, so I have stalled somewhat, but I brought my meals to work today, and I am ready to go. As I mentioned last week I have actually signed up for some races, so now it is really firming up. Here is a short list of the basics I need to cover before my first race.

1.) Wetsuit. I need one. Do I rent or buy?
2.) Open water swim. Really this can be the scariest part of a triathlon so I should practice a few times. I'm hoping I can try it out at least three times before my first triathlon in August.
3.) Practice transitions. I have done some bricks, but I really haven't practiced laying out my stuff and the order of doing things.

So that is what I am thinking about. This week is going to be busy. Work is busy. Home is busy and now I have to keep busy with training. I am aiming at going back to running on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday; swimming on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings; and biking on Tuesday and Thursday night and Saturday morning. If I get something in each day, then I will take Monday off. Wish me luck!

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Week 13 Progress Report

It has been a while since my last post. My work has overwhelmed my life lately and I has negatively impacted my training. Last week was supposed to be a heavy week, while this week is a recovery week. Unfortunately I didn't get the volume that I wanted last week and this week I have barely been able to train at all. Today, the court is dark so I can take a breather and catch up with the rest of my life. That means signing up for triathlons!

As you can see from the side bar, I have changed the triathlons that I am training for. I have taken the official plunge and signed up for three. Now that is one thing less to worry about. There is one problem. I did not realize that the Carpinteria race is only one week after the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. The Malibu course is only a sprint, but it is a longer sprint and I am just a beginner. I'm not sure I can recover from the race in just a week. But there are no refunds so I just have to go for it. Hopefully by September my conditioning will be sufficient to do it.

For the record, here is what I was able to accomplish in week 13!

Monday: Swam 45 minutes in the AM (1500 meters). Tried to run intervals in the evening, but I had problems which cut it short at 15 minutes, 1.4 miles.

Tuesday: Brick of spin class for 45 minutes followed by a run for 25 minutes (1.9 miles).

Wednesday: Brick of swimming for 37 minutes (1500 meters) followed by a run for 55 minutes (4 miles).

Thursday: Brick of spin class for 45 minutes followed by a run for 30 minutes (2.4 miles).

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Run at the park for 1 hour (4.5 miles).

Sunday: Long bike ride. I rode from my home to the San Gabriel River Trail. Then I rode down to Pico Riviera and took the route connecting to the Rio Hondo Trail. I then took the Rio Hondo trail back to Arcadia and then back home. I must have seen at least a hundred rabbits out there. There were also clouds of gnats which are not fun to ride through.

Total miles 34.5
Total time: 2 hours, 32 minutes
Average cadence: 64
Ascent: 541 feet

I really was limping back from the bike trip. I probably was a bit over enthusiastic on the first part of the trip and I just did not have the energy in the second have of the route on the way back (up hill). I tried to spend more time in the aero bars, which helped me stay at around 20 mph on the first half of the route. However, I just cannot stay in aero position for very long. The steering is just too unstable. Also, the design of the Aero bars puts my weight in front of the handlebars. I have the bars as tightened as they will go, but even still the Aero bars tend to slide down. I almost totally lost control and ended up in a ditch because the aerobars gave way under my weight. I need to upgrade. I guess this is my next project.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Family Outing

The wife was not too happy that last weekend, when I had to go into work both Saturday and Sunday, I spent my remaining time training instead of with her, or at least a good portion of it. So for my run today I brought the whole family along. We went to a local park where I ran around a fitness track, and my wife pushed the baby in a stroller. Every time I lapped them, my daughter would call out, "look Daddy!" So that was fun. I got a good run in, but I had a hard time keeping my heart rate down. The fitness track is a one mile figure eight that is positioned north-south. It is relatively flat but there is a shallow grade running south. When I went north I couldn't really feel the grade, but it would definitely show up on my monitor. My speed would drop about .5 mph and my heart rate would shoot up 15 bpm.

Tomorrow I have a bike ride. My daughter has come down with another cold, so I'll play it conservative and just go for two hours. I think I'll head down the Rio Hondo this time.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Inspiration from Epictetus

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. --Epictetus

I had another good workout this morning. I did 45 minutes on a spin bike and then a thirty minute run at 4.8 mph. The gym had some problem with their air conditioning system so it was hot. I mean really, really hot. I tend to get pretty sweaty on the spin bike anyways since there is no wind, but with no air it was brutal. Sweat was literaly pouring off of me. I think I drank about 48 oz of fluid and still felt thirsty. The locker room was even worse. I really hope they have it fixed by tomorrow.

The plan for tomorrow is a swim/bike brick, Saturday will be a long run and Sunday a long bike ride.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back in the Game

So yesterday I decided to regroup, and today I came back strong. I pigged out yesterday and ate almost 4000 calories. I also drank over 100 oz of water. I gained nearly a pound. This morning would be the test of whether this was going to be enough to get my body going again. I planned a swim/bike brick, but instead decided to do a swim/run since I haven't been able to get a decent run in lately and just had a spin class yesterday. I was not worried about the swim, because swimming just does not tax your cardiovascular system like running does, but I was concerned about the run.

I decided to do a straight 1500 meter swim and then run 4 miles. The swim went well. I think my time is actually improving. Normally it would take me around 45 minutes to do 1500 meters, but I finished in 37 minutes. Then I quickly toweled off, threw on a shirt and my shoes and ran upstairs to the treadmills. I ran the 4 miles in 55 minutes. I could have definitely gone faster, but I was concerned about having heart rate problems and wanted to keep my heart rate under 143 (80% of max). But I finished with no problems and felt really good. Now I'm ready for the rest of the week. I just need to keep eating enough and getting that water down.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Let's Reconsider

This week I hoped to ramp up my training and really move it to a next level, but I think I may have to scale back. Yesterday I had another discouraging experience while running. I had swam 45 minutes in the morning, which is shorter than the full 60 minutes I normally do. I did the shorter swim specifically because I wanted to leave some energy for a run in the PM.

After tucking in my daughter, I went over to the gym around 9:30pm. I don't like to run outside at night for safety reasons so I figured I would do some intervals on a treadmill. I set the treadmill for a heart rate interval with a max heart rate of 165 bpm. That is about 93% of max for me, and a good level for a hard interval. The max speed was set 7 mph (real speed is actually around 6.2). The warmup was ok, but the first interval was rough. My legs got tired faster than my heart could accelerate, but it is supposed to be hard. I just pushed for it. The speed was not enough to get the heart rate up pasted 160, so the incline bumped up to 3 percent. My heart rate finally got up to 165, but then the treadmill really took its time to slow down. I felt like I just could not take it anymore and was having a hard time breathing so I manually slowed down to a walking pace. When my heart rate recovered to 120, I went for my second interval, but every time my heart rate started to increase, I could feel this pressure in my chest and had a hard time breathing. I struggled for about another ten minutes and then called it quits.

Readers of this blog know this has happened before, and actually have a pending referral to a cardiologist about a prior incident. This is very discouraging, because I have only just started to ramp it up this week. Now it looks like I am going to have to take it easy.

This morning I went for an early spin class. I kept my heart rate mostly under 145. I wanted to do a brick, so I figured I would spin for 45 minutes and then run for 45 minutes. The spinning was fine other than the fact that I forgot to bring a water bottle and was dying of thirst. But I did not have any chest pains or anything. After 45 minutes I made a quick transition to a treadmill for the run. I did an easy 4.6 mph at around 140 - 146 bpm. After about ten minutes I started to feel some pressure so I backed it off. After another ten minutes I felt more pressure and backed off further. I was then going about 3.9 mph and had my heart rate at 130. After 5 more minutes I could start to feel more pressure in my chest and I just threw in the towel.

There very well could be something seriously wrong with me, but I suspect that it is just my body saying it is overtaxed. I had a long bike ride on Sunday, but did not really eat the calories needed to replace the energy stores. Then on Monday, I also had a significant calorie deficit and did not drink enough water. Sometimes, my office runs out of bottled water and I am too busy to run down to the convenience store to get more so I just do not drink enough. That is a bad mistake. I probably should have eaten something last night so I would have more energy reserves for this morning.

So today, I am going to pig out a little and give my body a break from all the calorie deficits and am going to make sure I drink at least 64 oz. of water.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Week 12 Progress Report

I was a slacker this week. I gave it a lot of effort, but just could not fit in the training that I wanted with the way work has been going. I was forced to choose between seeing my wife and daughter and training, and for the most part I picked the family. I say "for the most part" because I did take a long bike ride on Sunday, which meant that I did not see them much at all on Sunday because I had to go into the office for the rest of the day. My wife was pretty upset about that. In my mind, I have not been able to do even the minimum I set out for myself so I had to do the ride. I know it is hard for my family when I have to work so much, but it is just temporary, and I cannot let it derail all my progress. I have to keep going. Here is a summary of my pathetic week:

Monday: Rest day. Boy was that a mistake!

Tuesday: Swim my now classic 2000 meters. Missed my spin class.

Wednesday: Run 30 minutes. Ugh!

Thursday: Spin class for 60 minutes followed by a fifteen minute run. I tried to make up for the short run the day before with a little brick, but I could only afford 15 minutes, which is really nothing.

Friday: Nothing. Ugh! I felt like such a slacker.

Saturday: I ran 5 miles at a nearby park. I felt good and somewhat redeemed. The park has a rubberized running trail which is crowded with walkers, but it felt good on the legs and felt fast. I think I averaged 5 mph, which is very fast for me, and it was not even on a treadmill. Yeah!

Sunday: I decided to drive over to the Santa Fe Dam to ride the San Gabriel trial. I could ride there from my house, but that would be half the ride, and I wanted to see more of the upper San Gabriel so I rode out to Encanto Park in Duarte and started from there. At first I went north along the river, but I quickly came to a dead end in the bike trail. I saw some people heading up highway 39 into the Angeles National Forest, so maybe I'll try that sometime. I definitely could use the practice on the hills.

This time I went back done the San Gabriel River trail to El Monte and then back up to Duarte. It is about 30 miles round trip and took almost exactly 2 hours. There was water in the river for most of the way, and plenty of flowers in bloom. On the downside, there is an equestrian trail that parallels the bike path, and unfortunately some of the riders prefer to use the bike trail. I'm more than willing to share, but they do not clean up after their horses. The smell of horse dung is quite strong along most of the way.

On the way back up, you have to head up a steep hill to the top of the dam. It is not very long, but it is steep. I have never been able to ride the whole way up before, but I promised myself I would do it, and I did. My heart rate went up to 173. That is 98% of my max. I felt like I was going to die. At the top I had a long shallow downhill to cruise and recover. Overall, I would say it was a great ride.

On the weight front, I have good news to report. I am currently at 245 pounds (down from 264 pounds) and am have 32 percent body fat (down from 39%). I still have long way to go, but now I feel safely under 250. It seemed that after passing 250 the pounds just flew off.

This week is supposed to be an intense week. I am supposed to have been building for the past three weeks to this one. I am going to try my best to fit in as much as I can, but I still have all the scheduling problems of the past week. There is no way I was going to let myself have a rest day after what happened last Friday. Here is my schedule:

Monday: Swim 45 minutes; Run 45 minutes
Tuesday: Spin 60 minutes; Run 30 minutes
Wednesday: Swim 45 minutes; Spin 30 minutes
Thursday: Spin 60 minutes; Run 30 minutes
Friday: Swim 45 minutes; Run 30 minutes
Saturday: Bike 2.5 hours
Sunday: Swim 45 minutes; Run 45 minutes

Wow! I am scared just writing this. Let's see what happens.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Inspiration from George E. Allen

"People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to." --George E. Allen

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been struggling lately with my training. Part of the problem is that a case I have been working on for the last few months has now gone to trial and that means more work and a change in scheduling. We work late to prepare for the following days witnesses, so for example, I missed my spin class on Tuesday. Coming home so late also means that I cannot reasonably get to the gym early in the morning, so it knocked out my morning run, yesterday. I did run a bit Wednesday evening, but only for 30 minutes.

This morning, I just decided that I will be late for work. I took a spin class this morning and followed it with a short run on the treadmill. It was my first brick of sorts. I really pushed on the spin class, so there was not much left of me on the treadmill, so I cannot really call it a real brick.

For those of you who do not know, a "brick" is a workout in two of the three triathlon sports back to back. The most common form is a bike/run, but you could do a swim/bike or even a swim/run.

I thought maybe I could get in a swim tonight, but it is already 8:30pm and I have not even had a chance to eat anything yet. Tomorrow and through next week my schedule should me more normal, so it is a swim tomorrow morning and a run tomorrow night.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Week 11 Progress Report

I can only say that last week was an ok training week. I allowed myself some slack because I just came off of a recovery week and my intention is to ramp up each week for three weeks, before I have another recovery week, so I have to leave myself some room. Here is a rundown of my training for the week:

Monday: 5 mile run, 65 minutes.

Tuesday: Swam 2000 meters, 60 minutes; Spin 60 minutes

Wednesday: Ran 4.5 miles of intervals in 60 minutes around the neighborhood.

Thursday: Slept in and missed my swim. I also had to work late, so I missed my spin class. I felt like a total slacker!

Friday: Swim 2000 meters. I am getting a bit troubled by the fact that the distance I can cover in 60 minutes is not increasing. I feel like I am swimming better, but the clock is telling me that I am not swimming any faster. Either I need to take some classes and get some coaching, or perhaps I am just not pushing myself hard enough. I probably should add in more sprints. I do sprints, but probably not enough, as I have been focusing on long endurance sets.

Saturday: I felt pretty bad on my run. I only lasted 47 minutes and 3.5 miles. I think I have been lacking in the nutrition department. Lately I have been working more and have not been able to prepare meals for myself, which means that I stop off at the drive through. I do tend to make more healthy choices, but if you eat too much of that stuff, even the more healthy items will do a number on you.

Sunday: I had a great ride of about 26 miles in two hours. I could have gone longer, but like I said earlier, I have to leave some more room in the training plan to build intensity and length during the next few weeks.

My weight has been dropping rapidly in the last few days. As of Monday I was 246 pounds. I think it may have been the bike ride, but I also think it is mostly water, as my body fat percentage has actually increased to 35%. Today, I am actually 244 pounds.

I have already started week 12, but it has not gone so smoothly. I had a rest day on Monday even though I do not feel I deserved one. Since I ended up not training on last Thursday, I really should have run on Monday, but I am running out of things to wear. My suits are getting way too big around the waist, so I took four suits in to the tailor on Monday morning, so I would have something to wear to work.

Tuesday, I swam, but it was crowded. A bunch of "head bobbers" just jump into my lane. That is what I call these senior citizens who supposedly are swimming, but actually are just standing in the water socializing. They do not even stay to one side and fan their arms out when they tread water, taking up the whole lane. So I had to swim around and through them for almost the entire hour. No sprints were possible. I also had to miss my spin class, because I couldn't get away from work. Not only that, but because I did not get home till a few hours past my normal bedtime, I was too beat to get up and train this morning. I spent some time with my wife and daughter instead and hopefully can get in a run or something tonight. We will see.

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