Monday, July 10, 2006

Week 21 Progress Update

I lost a few weeks in there that will never make it to the blog. Things have just been too crazy. But I'm looking forward now and will put out there what I can. It has been a struggle to keep up the training lately. There always seems to be something that comes out of the woodwork to keep me from training. I think it also appears that as I become more experienced, my requirements for training grow. I want to run outside and not on a treadmill. I don't want to swim in the middle of the day, when I will get burned. I won't ride my bike at night where I risk getting hit by cars. The list goes on and on. These all add up to make getting the time in even more difficult. Sometimes you just have to let go.

So the bottom line is I am not where I want to be. Psychologically sometimes this is hard to take. I am not a natural athlete, I have to make myself go out there and do it. Because it does not come naturally to me, I have this constant voice in the back of my head that gets on my case when I'm not training. It's probably a good thing, but when I can't train, for whatever reason, it also causes me a lot of distress. I become grumpy and irritable. It's probably too much. There needs to be a balance between training and the rest of my life, but when I try to relax I usally will relax too much, because my natural tendency is to go sit on the couch and watch the boob tube. So I'm fighting my natural tendencies and trying to instill in myself some new habits, and yet at the same time not go overboard. This is really hard. I'm more of an overboard type of guy.

Over the Independence Day holiday, I went up to San Jose to visit with my parents, brothers and their families. It was a good trip, but I did not get done anywhere near the amount of training that I wanted. From Friday the thirtieth to Tuesday the fourth I only trained twice.

I had a really good run on Saturday the July first. I ran from my parents house to Vasona Park and back for a total of 6 miles, and I did it in just over an hour (1:06) which is really fast for me. I was encouraged to see a bunch of runners out there and other triathletes. It feels good to get out there early in the morning and see the other sloggers out there with you.

On the Fourth I had a pool swim for around 40 minutes. I lost track of the number of laps (again!) so I have no idea of how I was doing. Part of the problem was that I was annoyed the whole time because some teenagers kept hanging on the lane dividers and strolling in and out between the lanes without any courtesy to the lap swimmers. The sun was also really hot and I was concerned about getting sunburned. I did apply some sunscreen, but I have a distrust of sunscreens after being in a pool for any length of time. I didn't want to get burned so I bailed early.

On the Wednesday the fifth I tried to get back on track with my training. I did a spin/run brick with 45 minutes on the spin bike and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I seem to be getting fast (ok, relatively speaking!) on the run which is encouraging. I don't have any problem keeping a 11 minute mile pace anymore.

Thursday and Friday were a bust. I had grand plans to ramp up the training, but just could not crawl out of bed early enough. I guess that I just had not recovered from the weekend of very little sleep.

Saturday I tried to get on my bike, but turns out I had a flat front tire. I have been very lucky so far and have never had a flat tire before. Yeah, yeah, I'm one of those guys who are totally unprepared for a flat. Luckily the tire was flat at home and not out on the road. I was bummed, but when life gives you lemons you make lemonade. I figured I should use this as a training exercise to practice fixing the flat. I did not have a replacement tube (like I said, I'm one of those guys...) so I tried to use this patch kit that I had. I would never go for a ride on one of these patches, but it may do in a pinch in some race, so I went for it. I had a little difficulty getting the tire off the rim, but was finally able to get it off using a tire lever. The tire didn't have any holes, but the tube had a small hole. What is strange is the hole was on the inside of the wheel. I have no idea what caused it. I patched it up, got everything back together and pumped it up. I was feeling really proud of myself when all of a sudden I could hear the air rushing out of the tube. Time to head to the bike shop.

So I strapped the bike to my car and took it to my LBS. I got a set of new tires and tubes and had some new pedals installed. My tires didn't have all that many miles on them, but they were around four years old, so I figured it was time. I went with Continental Ultra Gatorskins, because where I train there is usually uneven pavement and gravel. These tires are a little wider and this is supposed to provide for less rolling resistance for a larger guy like me, at least that is what the guy at the shop said. I took the bike for a spin the next day, and I did go faster. I went 31.4 miles in two hours and seven minutes, which averages about .6 mph faster over the entire distance. But then again it could also be that I had three days rest!

This week I have a masters team swim scheduled with the Southern California Aquatic Masters Swim Club. I'm looking forward to trying them out, but I doubt that I will join just because of the cost. It is sixty-five dollars a month which is very reasonable if you can swim 4-5 times a week, but I probably couldn't attend a masters session more than twice a week. I think my money would be better spent on individual or small group lessons.

I also plan on doing my first ocean swim this week, so I'm scrambling to find a wetsuit. I'm certainly excited about that. I guess this week is going to be a swim week. About time!

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