Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still Here, Just Slackin on my Posting

Well I have definitely been slacking on my posting while at the same time actually keeping up on my running. When I started my new job I thought I was going to have all kinds of extra time in the mornings to work out, which I do, but unfortunately my weak side tells me that I need to use that extra time for more sleep instead of more working out. I have been running four times a week to prepare for the San Francisco Half Marathon in February and it has been going fairly well. The only hang-up I have right now is that my shin muscle is still bothering me from time to time on my runs. I usually can feel it tightening up around mile one and then it will either get worse or gradually loosen up and not really bother me for the rest of the run. Yesterday I massaged it after our evening run and then gave it a quick rub before my run this morning which seemed to help (today, not yesterday). On the run yesterday evening it was really bothering me – it wasn’t really tight and painful but it was consistently irritating through the whole six miles. Oh well, I guess there isn’t much I can do about it except stretch, massage it, and get back in the cross training groove. I had this problem a couple of years ago but not at all last summer when I was running a lot. I think the main difference between those times (and now) is that I was cross training a lot during the summer months. This morning I had a good run and my average pace was 7:42 for four miles. I tried to pick up the pace on the last mile and it came in at 6:50. Also, one positive thing I have noticed is that legs are giving out before my lungs so I know my cardio is still in great shape.

Jen and I went to New York the week before Christmas and had a great time. We stayed in Midtown at the Waldorf Astoria and went all over Manhattan while we were there. One of the mornings we got up and went for a run in Central Park – it was really cool. Jen has posted a link to some of our pictures on her site; I would say check them out if you have time but chances are if you are reading this you have already been to her blog and you have probably already seen the pictures.

After the 11th of January I will be moving into a new workspace which should enable me to keep up on my posting and blog reading. As it is now I am right next to my supervisor and being a new employee I am keeping the extra curricular activities to a minimum for now.

Oh yeah, Jen gave me a great gift for Christmas this year (in fact I will go as far as to say it was the best gift) – a Garmin 305! I have not yet used the heart rate monitor but plan on doing so in the near future. Just having one along with me for my runs is great since I can now vary my route instead of having to run the same course every day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

First week - Check

Last week was my first week on the half marathon training plan and so far so good. During the first three runs of the week (Mon, Tues, and Thurs) the muscle on the outside front of my lower leg was cramping up around the one mile mark and I was having to stop and stretch it out for a couple of minutes before starting up again. It would remain fairly tight for the rest of the run but wouldn’t be so bad that I needed to stop again (although I wanted to a few times). By Thursday I was getting pretty frustrated; I would say discouraged, but I think it was more just general frustration since I have not had this problem for a long time. That combined with the fact that I have been eating poorly (lots of cookies, chocolate, and other holiday treats) had me frustrated with myself but I am focused on getting back on track and into a groove. We are heading to New York next week so we will be eating out while we are there but I think I can make some good choices when ordering and stay away from treats and sweets.

In total I ran four times last week:

Monday – 4mi in am
Total Time: 32:40
AP: 8:10

Tuesday – 4mi in am
Total Time: 32:37
AP: 8:09

The first two runs of the week were pretty much the same – start running, stop around the one mile mark and stretch out my leg for a couple minutes, continue running and analyzing my tight/sore “shin” (I say shin because it’s not really my calf, but since there’s no muscle in your shin it’s not really that either), try to make my foot land differently to see if that is the problem (smart, I know), think about it obsessively for the next three miles, then finish up and stretch.

Thursday – 4mi in am
Total Time: 31:07
AP: 7:47

Same situation as above except I decided that I was going to pick up the pace to prove to my leg that it had no business cramping up and dictating the pace of my run – I was going to show it who was boss. Fortunately this did not lead to any additional injury, but I’m sure it didn’t really help either.

Saturday – 6mi in am
Total Time: 51:40
AP: 8:37

Jen is still in her post-marathon recovery phase (in my opinion a huge accomplishment as she is usually chomping at the running bit and inevitably presses her luck and runs too early) so she joined me for this run on her bike. We took the iron horse trail so I could run on the asphalt since Jen thought that one of the things causing my leg issues could be that the first mile of my morning loop is on concrete sidewalk. I started out at around an 8:45 pace and as we neared the mile mark I could feel my leg starting to tighten up. I maintained the pace I was at but just kept my foot and lower leg relaxed and didn’t try to change my stride at all. After a few minutes the “pre-tightness” let up and my leg didn’t bother me for the rest of the run. I kept the pace right around the 8:40’s for the next three miles then picked the pace up for the last two miles.

This week I have four miles on Monday and Tuesday, six on Thursday, and either six or eight on Saturday (can’t remember which one it is).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Getting Back on Track

I started off the week with the almost getting sick feeling; sore throat, stuffy nose, sort of cough, etc. Since I knew we were heading up to Sacramento this weekend for the CIM (I am watching, Jen is running) I wanted to be sure not to get sick. It seems like I get a case of this every year and it hangs around for a week or so. This year I was on top of it with Vitamin C, tea, OJ, and plenty of time in the steam room. For some reason when I really wanted the steam room to be filled with the smell of Eucalyptus it wasn’t, go figure.

My training for the half marathon starts next week and I am really looking forward to it. I feel like I have been drifting along on the periphery of working out for the last three weeks; getting in a run here, a lift or a swim there, while making sure to eat as much crappy food as possible (yeah, makes a ton of sense I know). I think the problem started with not really having a goal to work towards and was compounded by my starting a new job. It seems like life changes like that always throw a wrench in the best laid plans. Of course if I look at it in a positive way I guess it has given me motivation to pick an event and get back into training and eating right which will be a really good thing come Christmas. I will have a good reason to avoid all the candy, cookies, and other delicious but deadly treats that show their faces around the holidays.

Toward the later part of the week I got in a couple of swims and a run:

Tuesday pm swim at 24 hr. – 500m
Total Time: 8:57

I was feeling like I needed to do something Tuesday evening and I also wanted to hit up the steam room so I headed up to the gym for a swim. I only did 500m but it was nice to be doing something and I felt pretty good. After swimming for 9 minutes I sat in the steam room for 20 minutes or so.

Thursday am run – 4mi
Total Time: 30:16
AP: 7:34

Well the good news is my legs had trouble keeping up with my lungs; the bad news is my legs had trouble keeping up with my lungs. I set out for my first run in a while on Thursday morning and I decided just to run and not try to push myself very hard. I could tell right away that my legs were feeling heavy but I figured that as long as I didn’t push myself too hard I would be fine. Turns out that was easy enough given that my legs felt pretty heavy the whole time. I was happy with my pace when I finished up and I stretched out pretty well but this morning when I jumped out of bed I could feel that I didn’t stretch well enough because my legs were sore. Sore! After 4 miles!

Friday am swim at 24hr. – 500m
Total Time: 9:22

Up to the gym again this morning for a swim steam combo; 9ish minutes of swimming followed by 20ish minutes of steaming. I focused on keeping my stroke count low and was successful the whole time – 14 on the way down, 15 on the way back. I also tried to feel myself pulling the water with each stroke instead of letting my hand “slip” through the water. After the swim my legs felt better and I stretched out really well in the steam room; however, while I sit typing this I can feel that my legs are pretty tight again. I think I’ll take a little walk at lunch and then stretch them out again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wonderful Thanksgiving

Not much new to report – I took the days over the Thanksgiving break to relax, do some golfing, and decide on a goal for the next couple of months so I can get some motivation back. I’ve decided to do a half-marathon in the beginning of Feb. and will start training on December 3rd. My goal for the race is to beat my previous PR which is an AP of 8:12. Jen will be running the race with me which will be pretty cool; in the last half-marathon we did together she was up ahead of me for all of the race. This time I should be able to hang in there for the majority of the race. This week I am planning on running, spinning, swimming, and maybe getting up to the gym for a lift. Jen is running CIM on Sunday so I am not planning on getting in any rides this week at all.

We spent Thanksgiving down in San Diego again this year and once again we had a great time. Dinner was at my Dad and Step-Mom’s place this year so we didn’t have to worry about driving which was nice. The food was great again this year, we had turkey, stuffing, roasted potatoes, cranberries, salad, soup, and a very delicious lemon cheesecake that my Dad made from scratch. In addition to Jen and me were my parent’s friends Mary and Murrough with their two children Conner and Jack, and their two friends Jonathan and Dave. All are from Ireland with the exception of Dave who is Scottish. Jen and I took the opportunity to ask them where they thought we should go when we take a trip to Europe and they all said Italy was the best place to see. Later on when Jen and I were talking about it we both thought it was funny that no one mentioned Ireland or Scotland.

I’m working on my schedule for the half marathon now and will start posting the weekly plan during the first week of training. I think I might finally have to break down and buy some running tights since it has been getting down to the low 40’s/high 30’s in the mornings and that is when I will do the majority of my training (the only exception would be my Saturday runs since I can sleep in a bit that day).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Ok - so for some reason the computer at my new office was bookmarking my blog from the first time I visited it so I couldn't see my updated post from yesterday - so you will see that today I repeat much of what was said yesterday - freakin technology confusing me for no reason!

Back in the Gym

This Sunday Jen and I went up to the gym, did a quick lift, then had a nice long steam. It was really foggy that morning (visibility was a couple hundred feet if that) so I decided to skip the group ride. It was nice to be back in the gym and we are planning on getting up there a couple of times a week.

Monday am swim at 24hr - 600m

Yesterday morning I got up and headed up to the gym for a swim before work. I did 250 warm up then 5x50 sprints w/ 20 seconds rest in between. The first couple were good and I felt great but then the Sunday lift caught up to me (and the fact that I really haven't done multiple sprint laps) and the last three were pretty tough. I averaged :41 so I was pretty happy with that. I think I will keep the sprints in my routine at least once a week and will build them up to 10x50, 15x50, etc., etc.

I had my first day on the new job yesterday and everything went well - pretty much just a "watch and learn" day. From the sounds of it I will ramp up over time and they will take me step by step until I have a grasp on the big picture - much better than just being thrown into the mix and trying to keep my head above water.

Tuesday am run w/ Jen - 5 mi.
Total Time: 43:12
AP: 8:34

Was up around 6:10 this morning and headed up the Iron Horse trail with Jen for 5 miles. She continued on to do eight but I had to stop at five to get ready for work. It was pretty cool when we started out but we warmed up after the first half mile or so. Not too many people out on the trail, I think we only saw three people on bikes and no runners. The muscle on the front part of my shin was a bit tight around mile two but it loosened up after a while. After that nothing else was bothering me.

Today is my Friday which is pretty cool - we will be heading down to San Diego for Thanksgiving so I took tomorrow off.

Well probably no more updates until next week - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lifting Again and Yes, I am Sore

Sunday afternoon I headed up to the gym with Jen for a lift and steam (it's been working for a few days now!). We just did some light weights but I am still a bit sore this afternoon. It was nice to be lifting again, I forgot how much I liked it.

Monday am swim at 24 hr - 600m

This morning I headed up to the gym for a quick morning swim - I did 250 to warm up then did 250 of sprint drills where I just swam 50m hard then rested for 20 seconds. I could tell right away that I was sore from lifting yesterday, but I'm sure a lot of it was due to my slacking on the swimming lately. The drills did make the time go by a bit faster so I think I will do 5x50 w/ 20 seconds rest for a couple more weeks, then move up to 10x50, 15x50, etc. During my warm up I focused on keeping my stroke count low but that went to hell once I started the drills. The first couple were ok, but the count increased by about 5 per 25m after that. I averaged about :41 for the 50m "sprints".

Well, it's the first day on the new job so I'm going to wrap this up - I've got some reading to do (non-blog) but will get caught up on my online reading over the Thanksgiving weekend. Tomorrow is my Friday so this week was short and sweet!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Off Week in Review

Well the end of my "vacation" week has finally come - I start the new job on Monday. I'm really excited about starting in the new role, learning new things, and working at a big office again. This first week is going to be pretty relaxed - I have to be there at 9am on Monday for my new employee orientation then I work a full day Tuesday and the rest of the week I have off. Jen and I are heading down to San Diego again this year for Thanksgiving and we are both really excited. She is going to run a 5k on Turkey Day and I will do some golfing with my Dad on Friday while Jen and my Step-Mom do some early morning shopping. Following is a re-cap of my week off:

Monday - Ran 5mi w/ Jen - Total Time: 44:32 - AP: 8:54
Tuesday - Had lunch with some former co-workers from Fisher Investments
Wednesday - Went to LA w/ Jen - Watched Hockey at Patrick Malloy's on the Strand and had many, many drinks (2 for 1 happy hour) and dinner.
Thursday - Ran 6 mi w/ Jen on the Strand in Hermosa Beach - Total Time 53:29 - AP: 8:55 - Flew back to Bay
Friday - Slept in - Played golf at Callippe Preserve in Pleasanton w/ my buddy Chris (I shot at 45, he shot a 54 (9 holes)) followed by dinner and drinks at the Dublin Sports Bar
Saturday - Rode 16 miles w/ Jen while she ran on the Iron Horse - lounged around while she made Thanksgiving dinner (pre-Thanksgiving dinner since we will be in San Diego for actual Thanksgiving)
Sunday - TBD

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tale of the Two Part Ride and the Magical Multi-Directional Head Wind

Sunday Group Ride w/ Cyclepath and solo ride - 45mi total
Total Time: 2:31:19
Avg mph: 17.7

Sunday morning I went out with the Cyclepath group to ride mines road/Del Valle but about 9 miles into the ride I got a flat tire. I had a feeling it was coming because we were on a section of road that had several large rocks on the shoulder and I couldn't move over to ride into the road because there was someone riding next to me on the left side. I tried my best to avoid most of the rocks but ended up hitting a few. Sure enough, I eventually had the wobbly feeling of a flat and I pulled over to the side. I told the group not to wait for me since I figured I could have it changed in a few minutes and I knew the B group was coming up behind us so I could always join up with them then catch back up to A. I got the tire changed and was pumping it back up when I noticed a thumbnail sized split in my back tire. I put a dollar bill inside between the tire and tube but even then I was a bit nervous about riding further out away from town with the split in my tire. I called Jen and asked her to come out and pick me up because I didn't really know exactly where I was and like I said before, I was worried about the split in the tire.

As I rode to find an area to wait for Jen to arrive I came to a road that I knew would take me to the LBS so I called Jen and asked her to meet me there. I figured I could get the shop's opinion on the tire and at least have them check the pressure and add more air if necessary. When I arrived at the store they said I "could" keep riding on it but it would need to be replaced in the near future so I just decided to buy a new tire and have them put it on so I didn't have to worry about it coming apart on a future ride. Once they had the tire on Jen had arrived so I put the bike on the car and rode with her to the grocery store at which point I headed out on a solo ride.

For the first two or three miles the going was great then I turned onto Dougherty Road and hit a monster headwind. This continued for the next few miles as I rode along and even kept up as I turned from North to West on the road (it has a long bend in it where it changes directions). I finally came to a junction and turned North again and the wind was still in my face. I knew that in about a mile I would hit another junction and would be able to turn East and hopefully out of the wind, but noooooooooooo that was not the case. I made the turn and the wind changed with me. I rode into a headwind for the next 10 miles, even after making a couple more turns. Finally the wind ceased and I finished out the ride with no wind to speak of.

Overall it was a great ride and I'm glad that I just replaced the tire so I don't have to worry about it when I'm 20 miles out of town and don't have any cell reception.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Back in the Pool

Friday morning swim @ 24hr.
850m - 500, 100x2, 50x3, plus 50 side/sweet spot drill (so actually 900 total)
500: 8:52
100's: 1:31, 1:37 - 30 seconds rest between
50's: :42, :54, :50 - 15 seconds rest between

Man I slept good last night. I woke up feeling great, so great in fact that I wanted to curl back up and enjoy it for a few minutes longer. After considering that for a few I got up, grabbed my gym bag, and headed out the door. Once I was in the water I felt pretty good and worked on stroke count and high elbows. Of course once I started pushing hard my stroke count went to hell but hopefully that will improve as I start putting more time in.

Oh yeah - the steam room was back in business today too! I hit it up after my swim and was even a bit late for work because I stayed to get in a few extra minutes of steam. I figured that with the way things go there it might be broken again after today so I should get in as much as possible while I had the chance.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Last week of the old Routine, Upcoming Goals, and a bit of Rambling

Tuesday am loop solo - 4mi
Total Time: 29:12
AP: 7:18

Tuesday Morning I was up for the morning loop. It was a clear night on Monday so it was COLD. After the first quarter mile or so I was warmed up a bit and settled into a groove. I kept a nice pace which felt pretty even for the first 3.25 miles then picked up the pace at the end.

Wednesday am Spin at 24hr.

Wednesday I was up at they gym for the morning spin class. The bike I picked turned out to have a really crappy seat that I kept sliding forward on which was driving me up the wall. Finally after about 10 minutes of that I got off the bike and pulled the seat and seat post out and changed it with the bike next to mine. When I climbed back on it was sooooooooooooooooooo much better. After that I was able to focus on the spinning instead of the crap seat. I sat over to the side of the class for the first time and received direct air from the fan. This was nice because it dried the sweat off my arms and hat (I was still sweating up a storm but it didn't seem nearly as bad as in previous classes). The class has been pretty full for the last couple of weeks; there was probably about 35 people this time but I still have a good selection of bikes to choose from when I arrive so I don't really need to worry about getting there any earlier at this point.

Well this is the last week of my current job and with the change in jobs will come a change in my workout schedule. Really the biggest changes will be the length of my morning runs/swims and the addition of some evening weight lifting and possibly some swim workouts. I could potentially get in some morning rides while there is light for the next few weeks - but that puts me on the road w/ the morning commuters and their eating, shaving, make-up, etc. while they are driving routines so I don't really see myself getting out there on my bike.

I've decided to register for the two races I mentioned a couple posts ago - The NAPA Sprint Tri and The Vineman Showdown at Sundown (Sprint that starts at 5pm). Jen will join me for the Showdown but I will be doing NAPA solo. Last night we were talking about our plans for the upcoming season and the training that will go along with it. Tri will definitely be my priority this year but I have a buddy in Seattle that recently got into cycling and we have talked about doing a Century ride in Northern CA or Oregon in late August/September. I would also like to get in a couple of running races including a half marathon. There is a half marathon in San Francisco in Feb. that I might do and I think it would be nice to get it out of the way now so I don't have to think about doing one in the summer and using up training time focusing on the run. I'm not really sure what my goals are for the seasons so putting those down will definitely help in making a plan. Now that I have picked two spring/early summer races (they are in May and June) I need to find a couple more in July and August. In September we plan on going back down to San Diego for the Mission Bay Tri and there I hope to beat my time from this year (which hopefully will be pretty easy given my short unorganized training this summer).

Now what about specific race goals? I could say that I want to place in my age group at my races this year and that could be feasible, but you never know who is going to show up at a race so I think I should focus on me and my performance time wise, not place wise. Since I'm pretty new to it all I have been thinking quite a bit about what I can do performance wise this year and what are realistic time expectations. For the bike I think I can average 22/23 mph in races, I would like my swim time to improve to where I am averaging 1:30 per 100 and be able to hold that for 800-1000, and for the run I would like to get my AP down to a 6:15-6:30 range for at least 4 miles after coming off the bike (current 5k PR is 6:37 AP). If I can accomplish these goals I would consider it a great season even if I didn't place in my AG in a single race.

Once I get a training plan put together and get a few weeks into it I'm sure I will realize how practical these goals are but at this point I think I just needed to write it down so I have something to work with - if I'm setting my sights too high then lesson learned, if I'm setting them too low then I'll have more to work with the following year. Either way I will gain performance and knowledge which will help me no matter what.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Weekend Rides and an Increase in Training Time

Saturday Solo Ride - Sycamore loop - 25.5 mi.
Total Time: 1:23:32
Avg mph: 18.2

Saturday I rode the Crow Canyon to Sycamore loop solo and after warming up for the first few miles my legs didn't feel too heavy. Overall I felt a bit sluggish/tired on the hills in the beginning but toward the end of the ride my energy picked up and
I was able to maintain 22/23 mph for the last 9 miles or so. That afternoon we just relaxed around the house then went to Yoshi's, a jazz club in Oakland, to see Eddie Palmieri; it was a really great show.

Sunday Ride w/ Cyclepath Group - 30.2 mi. - Palomares Road loop - CLIMBING
Total Time: 1:47:40
Avg mph: 16.7
Top Speed: 45.2 mph

Sunday I once again headed out with the Cyclepath group and this time we went on a new route (new for me at least). The shop owner was driving a van and had a photographer along with him so hopefully in a couple of weeks I should have a couple of pictures to post. There should be at least one of me cruising in the pace line and one of me near death on the climb up Palomares. So yeah, the climb was tough. I like to think of myself as a pretty strong rider but that is really called into question on rides with climbs. This was the toughest climb I have ridden on so far (granted that is not saying much) and I was humbled at the end of the climb to learn that the first guy up (who was right in front of me when we turned onto Palomares) was 60 years old. Friggin awesome is all I can say about that. Anyway - back to the ride. In the beginning of the ride the van passed us and two guys took off to ride in the dead air behind it. I took off after them and sprinted hard to get there, standing up out of the saddle at one point and hitting 33 mph on a flat/slight uphill stretch. Once I caught up (maybe 60-90 seconds later) I was very glad to see the van had dropped them and they were down to about 26/27 mph; my legs were screaming at this point.

After the initial stretch we turned onto a two lane frontage road that made me a bit nervous even though there were probably 35 riders in the group. At one point this ass&@le in a green suburban flew past us swerving into the opposite lane honking his horn the whole time. Most people in this area are very tolerant of bikers but this guy (or girl) had some sort of personal issue with sharing the road. Thankfully he just looked like an ass and no one in our group was put in jeopardy. Once we turned onto Palomares the climb started right away and the group spread out. I found myself at the back of the A group with one other guy and we stuck together for the rest of the climb. On this road there were maybe one or two cars so I was able to focus on climbing without having to worry about traffic coming up behind me. The total climb was about 4 miles and I'm not sure how much elevation we gained but it sure seemed like a lot to me. Once we got to the top the rest of the A group was waiting and re-hydrating so I drank some water and ate a pack of my transformers gummy snacks.

After a few minutes of talking a couple of guys started heading down the hills and I wanted to go with them since I was not familiar with the road. I had been told that there was one big turn then I would be able to open it up and pick up as much speed as I wanted to. Right away I could tell we were going pretty fast but I didn't dare look down at my speedometer. Later that day I checked and saw that I hit 45.2 mph; next time I'm pretty sure I will break 50 mph now that I know where the big curve is. Once we got to the bottom of the descent I grouped up with a couple of guys that were trying to catch the leaders (a tandem and one other rider) but fell off after a few minutes because I couldn't hold the pace (30/31 mph on rolling hills). After a couple more rollers I caught up to them once they realized they couldn't catch the leaders and they dropped back too. On the last climb of the day I saw first hand why you should never cross wheels with the person in front of you. I was riding uphill talking with another guy when the wind picked up so I dropped back two riders and got in the pace line. Two minutes later I saw a guy two riders in front of me go down hard and fast. I swerved to avoid him then stopped to make sure he was ok; thankfully he didn't get hurt (other than some scrapes and cuts) and his bike was ok. He said that he had gotten too close to the rider in front of him and crossed tires which caused him to go down. Luckily it was on the uphill stretch and we were only going about 15 mph. Overall it was a great ride and even though the hills were hard I am looking forward to doing that ride again.

On a side note, I had a bagel and coffee before the ride and afterward I was surprised at how not run down I felt. I think the carbs/calories and caffeine might have helped me during and after the ride.


So I got a new job which is walking/biking distance from our house. This will give me about an hour of extra time in the morning and at night. I am excited about going back to work for a big company. For the past year I have been working at a small firm in San Francisco; I didn't find the work all that interesting and the challenges were few and far between. The thing I like about larger companies is that usually if you work hard and prove yourself there is plenty of opportunity to take on more responsibility and move up within the organization; this was something I did not see at my current firm. There were some positives to working at a smaller company but in the end the potential opportunities, better pay, and shorter commute made it an easy choice. I will have a few days off in between and I hope to go on a couple of longer group rides during the week; something I have never been able to do in the past (and won't be able to do once I start the new job).

Friday, November 2, 2007

I Can't Wait to Sleep In!

Haven't posted for a few days because I really didn't have too much to post. The morning workouts were, well, morning workouts. Here's a quick rundown of the stats for the last three days:

5am Spin Class at 24hr

Solo Run on morning loop - 4 mi
Total Time: 29:47
AP: 7:27

Swam 550m plus 50m floating drill
Total Time: 10:31

Spin class was pretty hard on Wed. since we did a lot of climbing drills (out of the saddle) with heavy tension. I took a few extra minutes after class to do some extra stretching and that seemed to help since my legs didn't bother me during the rest of the day. The next morning I was up for my run after getting eight hours of sleep for the first weeknight in a loooooooooooooooooong time. I was actually asleep at 9:15 and up at 5:20 so I felt pretty good. After starting out on my run it took me a few minutes to figure out why my legs felt heavy - ah yes, it was spinning yesterday. I kept a pretty quick pace during the run but didn't try to push it too hard and after the first mile my legs warmed up and felt a bit lighter, but just a bit. This morning I got up and drove to they gym to get a few laps in. Today I focused on my stroke count and was able to keep it around 14/15 for most laps. I worked on speed once I got the count down but was resting between each 50m so now I'll focus on staying fast while keeping a low count. Yes, yes - it's a work in progress but hopefully one that will help me next season. Ideally I would like to get down to 1:30/1:20 per 100m and be able to sustain that for at least 800m. We'll see how that goes :) I was looking forward to a nice steam after my swim, but as usual the steam room wasn't working - boooooooooooooooo! Oh yeah - I've also noticed that it always takes a stroke or two more to come back down the length of the pool. Jen said she has noticed that too - I find it very strange but at least I am not alone.

This weekend I'm planning on getting a ride in on both Saturday and Sunday. I'll go with the group again on Sunday so Saturday I may just get in 20ish easy miles.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Morning Run and Potential 2008 Races

Morning loop w/ Jen - 4 mi.
Total Time: 35:09
AP: 8:48

Ran the first four miles of Jen's 11 miler with her this morning. I was hoping to do five with her but we got a bit of a late start. It was overcast so the temp was a bit warmer than it has been on previous morning runs. By the end my left hamstring was feeling a bit tight so I made sure to stretch it out right after the run and again in the shower. By the time I was walking to the train it was not bothering me at all. Might be due to my shoes, good thing the new ones will be here in a few days. Overall it was a good run. Tomorrow I'm heading up to spin class then I plan on running Thursday and Friday mornings.

So I found a couple of races that I am thinking about doing next spring/early summer. Still haven't found an Olympic/international distance but I will keep looking. That's the nice thing about CA, there is always a race somewhere near by.

May 2008: SUN MAY 4th, 2008
10th annual
1/2mi swim, 15mi bike, 4mi run
Lake Berryessa, Napa

June 2008 with Jen: SAT JUNE 7, 2008
Vineman Showdown at Sundown 2007
1/4mi swim, 9mi bike, 3mi run
San Rafel, CA

The Showdown at Sundown (gotta love the name) can be raced as an individual or as part of a team so we need to decide which we want to do before registering. We would race as part of the Forward Motion Racing Club (still need to sign up) depending on how many others are going to be at the event.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Out with the Group

Sunday Ride w/ Cyclepath Group - 40 mi.
Total Time: 2:22:23
Avg mph: 16.9

This weekend I did get out for a ride on Saturday but it was on the old bike since I accompanied Jen on her 20 mile run in the South Bay. It was a leisurely pace for me so I didn't really think of it as a "ride", but it was fun to go with her (and we went out for a great breakfast when we were done). That night we went out for a really good dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House with a couple of friends (one of them was celebrating his birthday).

Sunday morning I got up and headed over to meet up with the Cyclepath group for a ride. They were doing the same ride as the last time I was there so I knew I was in for some climbing and some nice descents. This time I rode with the A group and there was about 25 people to start. After about 7 miles there were 10 or 12 of us in the pace line, then it dropped to seven, then four, then there were three. We were keeping at around 19/21 mph but slowed a bit before beginning the climb. This time the pace on the climb was a bit faster and I think we averaged around 12/13 mph. When we were about 3/4 of the way up the climb one other person caught up to us and then I fell about 150/200 feet behind on the final ascent. We stopped at the top and waited for the rest of the group to catch up; I took off my arm warmers at this point too since the sun was out and I was warm from the climb. A few folks headed back but around 15 of us decided to go a bit further. At this point the road was rolling but consistently climbing; it gave me a good chance to practice cornering with some speed then standing up out of the saddle to carry the speed into the next climb. One thing I have really noticed when riding with the group is that I pick up a lot from just watching the more experienced guys riding with me. I've learned some riding techniques as well as some of the common hand signals such as obstacle in the road, slower rider or walker on the side of the road, and stopping - along with verbal signals such as gravel!, stopping! (when suddenly stopping), car up!, and car back!. (I'm sure I will learn a lot more as I join in on more group rides). At mile 20 I stopped to turn around since I wasn't sure how much further the group was planning on riding; turns out they were just going another 500 yards or so but I was fine with where I stopped since the views over the valley were spectacular. After getting a drink and eating a couple of clif blox the group came back by and I joined up with them for the ride back to Pleasanton. The descents were great and I got in some good cornering practice by riding in a line behind the more experienced guys and watching them take the same line into each corner. Once we hit the steeper hills the group spread out quite a bit and I was riding alone for a while so I took the opportunity to practice picking my own line into the corners. I'm not quite confident enough to get into my drops on the really tight corners but I did get down in them for some of the softer corners.

When I got back onto the rolling stretch at the bottom of the hill I was by myself and was trying to push it hard to catch up to the pace line. After a couple of minutes I noticed a helmet shadow on the ground under my bike and I knew someone had come up behind me. I continued to pull for another minute then pulled out to the side (after looking for cars) and moved back in to draft for a moment. This was the first time I really appreciated drafting. I had been going along at around 19/20 mph but now we were up to 23/24 and when he moved to the side and it was my turn to pull I was able to keep that pace. We rotated a few more times then he (I later found out his name was Tim) fell back and I was on my own for the final 8 miles back to the starting point.

Friday am swim at 24 hr. - 750m
Total Time: 14:12

Friday morning I was up at the gym to get some laps in since I have been slacking on the swimming lately. My speed didn't really suffer too much but I could definitely tell that I have not been in the pool much lately. I will try to get up there a couple times this week and maybe once on the weekend. After the swim I was looking forward to taking a nice steam but the steam room was out of commission so I settled for a few minutes in the sauna.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spin on Wed, Recovery Run on Thurs

Wed am Spin at 24hr. - 1 hour

Was up early on Wednesday for the 5am spin class. It was hard but fun just like last week. I arrived about 5 minutes early this time instead of 20 minutes early like last week so I didn't have to stand around at all.

Thurs am recovery run w/ Jen - 5.5 mi
Total Time: 49:59
AP: 9:05

Jen joined me this morning since she had to do 12 miles again and we kept a nice pace on our loop around the neighborhood. My legs were a bit sore from the spin class yesterday but after about a mile or so they loosened up and felt great. I had planned on just running 5 with her but we ended up at 5.5 so I was scrambling to make it to the train on time (My schedule in the morning is pretty tight; a delay of even a few minutes throws me off). It was a nice clear morning and the moon gave us a little extra light on the streets that were lacking lamps.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Saturday Bike Ride, Tuesday am run w/ Jen

Saturday Bike Ride - 31 mi. - Tiburon Loop
Avg mph: 17.5

Hills, Hills, and more Hills! I rode the loop we normally run in Tiburon on Saturday while Jen did her 18 mile run. It's about 6 miles of slow steady climbing with a couple of short but steep climbs mixed in. The nice thing about this ride is that after gaining all that elevation you lose it in about 3/4 of a mile on a steep descent - I hit my fastest speed yet on the bike, 40.6 mph. I also used my new arm warmers for the first time and they worked great! I ended up leaving them on for the whole ride which was nice because I didn't need to stop by the car to put on sunscreen. After the ride I drove the car up to our breakfast spot where Jen met up with me a short time later. That evening we went to a Halloween party with our friend Maritza and her boyfriend Matt.

I was planning on going for a ride with the Cyclepath group on Sunday but ended up going into the city with Jen to check out the Nike Women's Marathon (she ran it in 2005 as her first ever marathon). That afternoon we ran some errands then watched the Red Sox beat the Indians.

Tuesay am run w/ Jen - 6 mi
Total Time: 46:10
AP: 7:42

Jen joined me for 6 miles this morning (she was doing 12 total) so I changed the morning loop a bit to add some distance. We ended up having to do some small loops at the end to get in the last .4 mi. so I need to figure out a way to add that distance on so we can avoid that next time. As usual it was nice having someone with me, it always makes the run go by faster. Jen had her GPS so I am looking forward to hearing our mile splits since I have a feeling we sped up toward the end. It was on the cool side this morning but not really "cold".

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Catching Up

Ran 3.4 mi Thurs am
Total Time: 27:12
AP: 8:00

Cut the run a bit short on Thurs because Jen was heading out of town and I wanted to get back to the house before she left for the train station. It was cool so I wore one of the long sleeve technical shirts we picked up at Primo's for placing in the top 50 in our races last Sunday.

Today (Saturday) I rode my bike in Tiburon while Jen ran her 18 miles. Will post about it tomorrow or Monday. I hope to get out with the group again tomorrow but we are heading to a Halloween party tonight w/ an open bar so we will see how chipper I am tomorrow at 8am.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stationary Saddle

5am Spin class at 24hr.

Last night I set my alarm for 4:35am and got my stuff together thinking that I would get to the gym a few minutes early in case of a crowd. When the alarm went off I got right up, threw on my clothes, grabbed my water bottle and keys, and headed out the door. A couple minutes later I was in the car and based on the time I walked out the door I figured I had about 18 minutes to get to the gym. Once I was in the car I glanced down at the clock - 4:28. Huh? Looked at my watch - 4:29. Huh? Now sometime yesterday the power went out so the clocks were screwed up when we got home last night. I was soooooo happy that I didn't have to reset mine since I have the battery backup, but now I am questioning it's ability. Either the world went back in time about 15 minutes yesterday afternoon around 3pm (time of power outage) or somehow the battery backup pushed my clock ahead. Either way I ended up arriving at the gym about 20 minutes early; getting a bike was no problem.

The class was great. I remember the last class I took nearly killed me but on the train ride into the city today I realized that when I took that class it was because I thought I needed to get some cardio (I was only lifting at the time) and had not done any running, biking, etc. for months (I would run now and then but obviously it did not prepare me for spinning). We started out just spinning then we were up out of the saddle, back down, back up, spinning fast, spinning slow, out of the saddle, back in, back out, back in, etc., etc. for 50 minutes. By the end my shirt, hat, and shorts were soaked with sweat, my legs were burning, but I felt great! It was really nice to have fast paced music and someone changing up the workout every few minutes. Much better than just going to the gym and riding the bike.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

General Training

Tuesday am run - 4 mi
Total Time: 32:00
AP: 8:00

I got up this morning to do my before work loop and just ran and maintained a pace that felt easy. Since I don't have any events planned any time soon I am just going to try to get in a little bit of everything each week. Tomorrow I am planning on getting up early to make it to the gym by 5am for a spin class. I haven't done one for a couple of years and last time it nearly killed me so we'll see how it goes. I think I will look for a couple more running events in my area over the next few months before gearing up for my first full Tri season. Not sure what tri events I will do this year - any suggestions would be appreciated.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New 5k PR

Primo's Run for Education - Sunday, October 14, 2007
Total Time: 20:30
AP: 6:37
AG: 3rd of 26
Overall: 44 of 3,015

Well I set a new PR for my 5k, but as Jen has pointed out before I now have a fast PR and it might take me a couple of attempts to beat it. We got up around 6:10am on Sunday because the half marathon (which Jen was running) started at 7:30 and they were passing out the timing chips the morning of the race instead of at the expo on Saturday. After dropping her off I stopped back by our house to get ready for my race which would start at 8:30. Both races finished in the same place so I knew I should be able to finish my race in time to see Jen come in. I arrived at the start area about 30 minutes before the race was supposed to start so I found a little spot of sun which I stood in for a few minutes to warm up. Once I was warm I walked around a little bit and checked out the vendors. Clif had a tent set up and they were giving away bags of clif blox - I grabbed two bags and ran back over to the car to drop them off (can't pass up on free clif blox). By that time it was about 10 minutes to the start so I headed over to the start area and ran up and down the street a couple of times to get warmed up.

The start was your typical 5k start crowded with little kids and people that don't really give off the "I'm planning on running fast" vibe. I stood behind a guy I have seen before and know is fast so when the horn sounded I was able to get out away from the crowds before it got jammed up. This was the first race where I actually planned on running fast and it made me nervous at first; would I keep a good pace? Was I running too fast? Too slow? etc. etc. etc. My heart was pounding and I felt anxious as I ran through the first half mile or so. When I am out by myself it seems fairly easy to set a quick pace and stick with it, but when there are other people around my perception of my pace/speed gets a bit warped. After a bit I settled into a good groove but at the same time noticed that we had passed the area that I knew to be approx 1 mi from the start so I just kept my eyes peeled for the 2 mi marker. The run was starting to get a bit harder at this point but I kicked myself into gear by thinking "Gee, how do you think Macca felt at mile 20 of the marathon yesterday - HTFU Zach, HTFU!!" Right about this time I passed the two mile marker - miles 1 and 2; 12:58.

Right about this time I started getting the familiar feeling of "here come the dry heaves" but I just focused on the people in front of me and kept on running. The last mile comes around a corner where I could see about a half mile or so down the road. I knew that around the next corner was the finish so I pushed hard and started passing a few people. Now these weren't fly by passes but more like running right behind, then with, then slightly in front of, then past people. I rounded the last corner and pushed as hard as I could across the finish line. Last 1.1 mi; 7:31. As I crossed the line the volunteers pulled my tag off my number and put a sticker on my bib. I needed to get out of the chute ASAP since I could feel my stomach telling me that it was mere seconds till it took matters into it's own hands. I rushed out and walked toward the street and away from the crowds, took a few breaths, then walked it out for a couple of minutes. I am happy to say I remained master of my body and did not experience the dry heaves of last week.

After walking back to the crowds I saw the table with the technical shirts for the Top 50 finishers. Right about then I heard one of the ladies at the table say "be sure to mark their sticker once they get their shirt." I looked down and thought "holy shit! I have a sticker" Sure enough I had placed in the top 50 so I received a short sleeved technical shirt (the green shirt in the pics) and a long sleeve white technical shirt. Both are by Brooks and are really nice. At the end of the day I ended up with two more technical shirts (one short sleeve and one long) because Jen placed in the top 25 women in the half marathon but they only had large and med shirts so she gave her shirts to me! You can read her race report here. Be sure to check it out - she also placed 3rd in her AG and set a PR!

It was a great race for both of us. Here are some pics from after we were finished:

Sunday, October 14, 2007


AG 3rd place in the 5k for me; AG 3rd place in the half marathon for Jen. Race reports should be up tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sleepin in

Total Time: 1 extra hour
Enjoyment: 100%

I went home early yesterday with a horrible headache (which also makes me nauseous) and climbed into bed around 3:30. I didn't really "sleep" but got to the happy half sleep stage and after a couple of hours I felt quite a bit better. I'm not sure if I was just run down or what but I'll tell you that getting 8.5 hours of sleep last night was freakin awesome. Tonight I will either head up to the gym for a quick swim or just go on an easy bike ride. Jen is going for a run after work so I might ride up the trail and meet her toward the end of her 11 miles. Tomorrow I plan on sleeping in again then going for a short easy run on Saturday before racing on Sunday. My race goals are as follows:

Pleased: sub 22:00
Excited: sub 21:30
Ecstatic: sub 21:00

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Breaking Seven

am Run - 4 mi
Total Time: 27:48
AP: 6:57

Today was my last hard run before the 5k this weekend and I hit my goal of sub 7 minute miles. It's true that I do have two stops in the run, one at around the 3 mile mark and another around 3.75 but I know I can hold that pace for at least 3 miles without stopping. This morning I was sooooooooo looking forward to that second stop but someone was already at the intersection and as I got close I saw the light change to walk. Since it gives you 30 seconds to cross I didn't stop but continued running into our complex. I had to stop at this point because my stomach decided it was time try and empty itself - fortunately I don't eat before the morning run so all I had was air. Sort of like dry heaves during a hangover without the hangover (Come on, you know you've been there before). After about 30 seconds of that I finished off the run and was excited to see that I had broken the 7 minute mile mark. It was a bit early to let out a Woo Hoo! so I settled for some fist pumps in the air. I am looking forward to the race this weekend and hope the weather is nice (we had our first real rain yesterday evening).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pull Buoy is Strange

am Swim at 24hr - 1150m
500m - 9:02
500m w/ PB - 10:41
3x50 - :45, :42, :41

Ok - so the pull buoy is strange. I'm not sure what I was expecting it to be like but for the first couple of laps it just felt awkward. My legs felt like they were sinking a bit even with the buoy between my legs. I moved it down toward my ankles but then it pulled my feet too high. Eventually I noticed that once I was moving my legs sort of pulled themselves to the surface, but it was still a strange feeling. For the next couple of laps I really focused on pulling myself through the water and keeping my speed up. I was able to go six or seven strokes before having to breathe; a change from the three I normally take. At this point my opinion of the buoy is neutral - I'm going to try it out a few more times before making any real decision on it. After swimming 1000 I decided to do a couple of quick laps with breaks in between. This was a nice way to end the swim and I think I will start adding speed work to a couple of swims each week. Today was the first morning in a while that the steam room wasn't working - I had to settle for a stretch in the sauna.

Monday, October 8, 2007

First Group Ride

This weekend I planned on going for my first group ride on Sunday so on Saturday I headed up to the gym in the morning to get a swim in.

Swam 1650 @ 24hr
Total Time: 29:55
1500 @ normal pace, 100m in 1:19, 50m in :40

Wasn't really sure how far I was going to swim when I got to the gym but finally settled on 1500m. I felt good the whole time and tried to focus on my form and stroke count. Lately I have noticed that floating is becoming easier for me as "pushing my buoy" becomes more natural. At the end of my swim I decided to do a fast 100m which I did in 1:19 - the last 25m were tough but I pushed through and finished strong. I rested for a couple of minutes then did 50m fast which took me 40 seconds. I was bummed out when I went to the steam room and it was not working but a couple of guys from 24 hr. worked on it and got it working. The downside was that it was REALLY working - the steam was coming out for 15 minutes without pause!

Group ride with Cyclepath on Calaveras Road
Total Miles: 28
Total Time: 1:42:54
Avg mph: 16.2

This weekend was my first group ride on the bike and it was great! I headed down to Cyclepath in Pleasanton not really knowing what to expect when I got there. I arrived around 8:40 and was one of the first people to arrive. One of the guys from the group (Scott) introduced himself and then I looked around the store for a bit. I was wondering if I should have worn a long sleeve shirt since many of the other people arriving had on jackets, long pants, long sleeve shirts, etc. It was a bit chilly out for sure (around 50) but I knew that once I was out riding in the sun I would heat up (and I was right). Once everyone arrived and was ready to go we headed out as one big group (around 25 riders) and took over the road. This was pretty cool to me since I am used to riding in the bike lane solo - these guys took over the whole lane and cars had to wait to pass us or go around when they could. There was not much traffic out so this wasn't really a problem. For the first 7.5 miles we rode at 24/25 mph then stopped at the intersection of Pleasanton Sunol Road and Calaveras Blvd. (Hwy 84). At this point the A group took off on Calaveras and I hung back with Scott and two other guys (John and Chad). We waited for the rest of the riders to catch up with us and once they arrived we took off up Calaveras with one addition (Don). Scott, Don, Chad, John, and I formed a pace line and were going around 20/22 mph when all of a sudden Don moved to the side and it was my turn to lead! I wasn't really sure of what to do - was my pace ok? Too fast? Too slow? I just kept on at the pace we had been going and after about 5 minutes John overtook me and picked up the pace for a couple more minutes. We stopped again at the beginning of the hills and waited for some people to catch up. Scott and I headed up the hills at a nice easy pace and shot the shit for a while. After climbing for about 20 minutes Chad and John caught up to us and we climbed the last 1/4 mile together. When we stopped at the top Scott explained that it wasn't actually the top, there was another 6 miles or so of climbing then some rolling hills followed by a steep descent known as "The Wall". After about 5 minutes we turned around and headed back down the hills we had just climbed and it was FUN! I didn't push it too hard since there were quite a few twists and turns and it was my first time on these hills. At one point I came flying around a corner to see a deer standing in the road about 100 feet ahead of me. He moved out of the way in time but it was a good reminder to keep alert at all times. I came out on the bottom of the hill to see Scott, John, and Chad up ahead of me and I pushed hard to catch them. I took me about 5 miles to close the gap and I was working the whole time. We got back to Cyclepath around 11:45 then I took off to get some breakfast. Next Sunday I have a 5k race but I will definitely be back for another ride the week after that.

Morning run - 4mi
Total Time: 30:26
AP: 7:36

After riding hard yesterday I decided just to run fast but not too fast this morning. I figure I can push myself on Wednesday then do a recovery type run on Friday before racing on Sunday. It was chilly this morning but not too bad so I was still in short sleeves and shorts. I picked up a long sleeve technical shirt this weekend at Sports Basement but probably won't be wearing it for a couple more weeks.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mission Bay Triathlon Pics - a bit late

I noticed today that the swim pics are posted so without further ado here are pics from the swim, bike, and run.................

(pics removed)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Starting to get chilly

AM Run - 4 mi.
Total Time: 28:17
AP: 7:04

Well the time for me to start putting on a long sleeved shirt for morning runs is fast approaching. Not that I really have much am running experience, but I know it was cold when I was walking to BART in the morning last October. Getting up this morning was tough since Jen is out of town; she does a great job of pushing me out of the bed with her feet in the morning. Once I was up and out the door I warmed up and settled into a groove. The plan was to run fast this morning which I think I did for the first 1.5 and last 1 mile. They were probably all pretty consistent but once I am a ways into the run I always feel like I slow down a bit then pick it back up at the end. I haven't run with the GPS lately so I'm not sure of my splits; it will be interesting to see what they are like in the race next weekend. I read today that the top 25 males and females in each race (there is a half marathon and 5k - Jen is doing the half) get a technical tee afterward. I checked last year's results and to be a top 25 male in the 5k I would need to run sub 6:20 - yeah, that's not going to happen. I do think I have a good chance of getting a PR (22:21) which would be pretty cool.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back at it

Morning run - 4mi
Total Time: 31:43
AP: 7:54

After the tri this weekend we took Monday as an off day and then yesterday was a nice short swim followed by an evening off. At this point I am not really training for anything specific (well I have a 5k next weekend where I'll go for a PR but nothing else planned after that) so I need to put together a new off season plan. I will be running in the mornings w/ Jen two days a week and solo one day; then swimming the other two mornings. I'm going to keep biking on the weekends and try to get to a spin class or two during the week and maybe throw some weights into the mix. So basically I have a bunch of ideas that need to form themselves into some type of plan.

This morning I was planning on running a nice slow pace since this was my first post-tri run but I ended up running sub-8. I wasn't really trying to run fast and the pace didn't feel too hard but I definitely was not running slow and relaxed. Friday and Monday I am going to do some faster runs then slow it back down on Wed and Friday of next week before the 5k which is on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mission Bay Triathlon Report

Official Time: 1:08:03 - 29/116 in AG, 307/1500 overall

This weekend was my first Triathlon (excluding the Tri for Fun in August) and it was awesome.

We left Dublin around 5:45am on Saturday after making a mandatory stop at Starbucks for a Mocha and Lattee. The traffic was fine the entire way down (LA had the customary traffic, no surprise there) and we made it to the pre-race check in 7:37:42 (yes, I used my stopwatch).

After checking in and getting our shirts, swim caps (yellow for me, pink for Jen) we headed down to the race start to drop off our bikes. This was a great decision since we both ended up getting great rack position and it saved us some time in the morning because we did not have to load the bikes onto the car. That evening we had a nice pot-luck dinner with my parents and some of their triathlete friends; ribs, pasta, garlic bread, Caesar salad, and carrot cake - it was delicious.

The next morning we were up at around 4:50am and arrived at the start around 5:30 - parking was already getting crowded but we managed to find a spot and head over to the transition area to get set up. After spending a few minutes over there we made a restroom stop and went over to the car to get our wetsuits on before walking over to the swim start. Jen started 5 minutes before me so I watched her swim out and start the race. Right when her wave took off mine got in the water and swam over to the start line.

In this picture I am directly above the guy in the foreground on the left.

Official Swim Time: 9:45

T1 went well but I'm sure I can cut some time off of it in future races. Getting the wetsuit off was not too big of an issue and I was fairly organized but I did have to keep reminding myself to move quickly (I felt like I was taking my time with drying my face, putting on my shoes, etc).

I took off on the bike and started passing people right off the bat. This lasted until about the halfway point when I saw Jen. I rode past her and said hello and we wished each other good luck; a few seconds later - woosh, woosh, woosh - the 30 somethings started blowing by me. These guys were fast and it was quite a humbling experience to see them go by; however, it also gave me some encouragement since I knew most of those guys had been riding for a few years and I saw what I could work towards. Once we were off Fiesta Island and back into the Sea World area I got stuck behind a couple of guys in the tight areas but was able to get past them and back to transition. We found out after the race that the course was longer this year - instead of 9.1 mi it was closer to 10.5!

Official Bike Time (plus T1 and T2): 35:25

T2 was quick - shoes off, shoes on, helmet off, hat on, go, go, go!

My first thought on the run was "crap, I'm going to have to walk at some point" but that never happened. I guess my 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 from miles .5 to 2.5 carried me through; for some reason counting really helps me stay focused. My first mile came in at 6:45 and I thought it must have been a bit short, mile 2 was 8:07, and the last 1.1 was 8:01 - I may have been off a little bit since my official time came in a few seconds longer than that. The run was pretty much flat overall but there was a bridge we had to go up and over twice; it wasn't too steep but it wasn't flat either.

Official Run Time: 22:53

After I was done I hung around the finish chute for a couple minutes and then saw Jen come in. She looked strong and had a smile on her face. We hung around for a while cheering on other finishers then went to the beer garden and met up with some of the San Diego Triathlon Club members. They were all really friendly and we enjoyed meeting them. Then it was off to a post-race brunch and some relaxation before heading home the next morning.

This morning I decided to do a short swim at the gym and then take a steam.
500m - 9:20
Legs = Heavy, quads a bit sore

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Off Day"

OWS w/ Suits - approx 280y
Time: 4:23

Jen picked me up at the BART station yesterday after work and we headed out to Shadow Cliffs for a swim in our wetsuits; they are freaking awesome! I felt very buoyant in the water and it seemed like I could pull myself through the water much easier than without one on. We got out there as the sun was going down so we only stayed in the water for a few minutes. Getting them off was interesting but when they are wet they seem to come off a little easier. We messed around with them last night to test out the break-away zipper which is pretty cool. Tonight we are going to practice getting our legs out of them since that is the most challenging part. Oh yeah, they are QR sleeveless - the fit great but seem a little tight around the neck. I think we may try the blue-seventy suits before buying to see if there is much of a difference.

The "Off Day" Run
am run w/ Jen - 2.25 mi
Total Time: 20:51
AP: 9:26

Well today was going to be a rest day for me but Jen decided she was going to do her long run this morning instead of after work. Now she decided this a couple of days ago but she somehow left out the fact that I would be joining her for the first couple of miles. So at around 5:15 I got out of bed and we headed out; since she was planning on doing 14 total this morning and she has a 12 mile loop in the area we just needed to get in approx. 2 miles before she headed out on the loop. I was planning on doing 3 or 4 with her but when we got back by the house she decided to put on shorts really quick so I decided to end my run there - I figured I got up and got the blood moving so I really didn't need to do any more than that w/ the Tri coming up on Sunday.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yeah, I got up late - besides, it's a taper week

Morning Swim at 24hr. - 500m
Total Time: 9:11

This morning the alarm went off at 5am and for the first time in a few weeks I hit the snooze and fell back asleep. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!!!!!! It's 5:10 - Crap! I got myself up, dressed, and out the door as quick as I could but I knew I was running a bit behind. I had planned on doing 750 but figured 500 was fine since that would allow me to get in the all important steam and stretch at the end. I ended the swim with 25m on my back just kicking with my legs and alternating one hand by my side and one leading - I've noticed it's getting easier for me to float the more I am in the pool.

Tonight we are heading out to the lake to try out our wetsuits (Jen is picking them up at lunch) then tomorrow we pack and get ready for the Tri!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Riding and Running

Tues pm ride - 13.9 mi
Amador - VP - AL - FH - Nor - AL - Stage - IH
Total Time: 45:39
Avg mph: 18.3

Quick ride after work yesterday and the distance got me very close to the darkness cutoff. I haven't picked up any clear sunglasses but really they would probably only add 15 or 20 minutes onto my ride time. I guess that's enough time to get in a few extra miles so I'll keep an eye out for them. Overall it was a nice hard ride that really wasn't all that hard (if that makes sense).

Wed am run w/ Jen - modified loop - 3.4 mi
Total Time: 31:18
AP: 9:12

Nice easy run this morning which was perfect after last night's hard ride. I cut it a bit short so I would have time to do a nice long stretch before getting in the shower. It's so nice running with someone in the morning, really breaks up the routine. Really it's not that we're talking the whole time but being with someone you enjoy being around while doing something you enjoy is one of the best things in the world. No pains or soreness to speak of other than stiff legs for the first half mile or so. Jen continued on to do 11 total and from the preliminary reports it was a good run. I think this may be my last run before the Tri on Sunday but I will still get in a couple more swims and maybe another ride.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Nice Long Steam

Morning Swim @ 24hr. - 1000m
Total Time: 18:47

Last night I set the alarm for 4:50am but then thought I may only swim 1000m so I really didn't need to get up until 5:05. After thinking about it for a bit I decided that some extra time to steam means more in the morning than a few extra minutes of sleep. Turns out it was an excellent decision as I was able to steam for about 12 minutes before showering and heading home. The water was fine this morning, cold at first but fine once you push off the wall for the first lap. I only have one more planned swim before the Tri but we will take our suits out for an OWS on Thursday after work just to get in a bit of swimming with them on. Saturday we plan on getting to San Diego early enough to do a swim in the ocean and check out the course. Since I have not swam in salt water before this will be a nice way to check it out before race day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Swim, Bike, Run - Just not in one day

Saturday Swim @ 24hr. - 2000m
Total Time: 38:04
500 Freestyle at Faster Pace: 8:41
1250 Freestyle at regular pace
200 Breast
50 Back Stroke

Saturday morning arrived with rain showers and cold. I decided not to ride since I do not have any experience riding on wet roads; so I headed up to the gym for a quick swim. Jen was heading off for a long run so I was going solo to the gym. I got my own lane when I got there and wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do for a workout. My first 100m felt strong so I decided to keep swimming hard for the first 500m and then maybe do something else. After the first 500m I did 200m of breast stroke and then 50m of back stroke (which is very hard on the ole leg muscles). The last 1250m of freestyle I did without taking a break and every lap felt good. I ended the morning with a nice long steam.

Sunday - solo bike ride - 27.3 mi
Total Time: 1:28:01
Avg mph: 18.5

Sunday morning came with sun and no rain but it was still pretty chilly out. I headed out for a bike ride since I had not been on the bike since Monday and needed to get in a long weekend ride. I did the usual long loop but added on CT to Diablo to El C then to FH. It was a great ride and I never felt that I was putting in too much effort, just nice solid spinning. Got up to 36 mph on a downhill stretch, the fastest I have gone yet.

Monday - am solo run - 3.25ish miles
Total Time: 28:00
AP: approx 8:30ish

I was planning on having a nice easy recovery run this morning, especially since my bike ride was pushed from Sat to Sun. I did have a nice pace but had to cut the run short due to a pressing matter that sprang itself on me around mile two. Now I have had to go to the bathroom during a run before but this was something that I have never experienced, and hope I never have to deal with again. Fortunately I made it back to the house in time but it was tough - running only made it worse but time was also against me so I had to keep running!


Total Run: 12 mi
Total Bike: 58.55 mi
Total Swim: 4,250 m

Friday, September 21, 2007

Oh ho it's Friday

Oh, ho, ho it's Friday, you know
Never believe it's not so
It's Friday, you know
I am so glad that it's so.

Ran 4 mi solo - morning loop
Total Time: 28:52
AP: 7:13

Slept in till 5:15 this morning, woo hoo!! We were in bed last night around 9:45 so I felt well rested when it was time to get up. Still a bit sleepy at first but I am now feeling like I am pretty much awake by the time I am putting my shoes on instead of when I start running. It was a nice morning, temperature was perfect and there was no wind blowing. I wanted to run hard since this will most likely be my last fast/hard run before the tri next Sunday; and run hard I did. This was the first time in my running that when I stopped at the light to cross the street (at both crossings) I actually looked around while waiting for the light to change and considered where I would puke if it came to that; and it nearly did. I also had a shoulder cramp from miles 1 to 3 so I tried rolling it out, massaging it with my left hand, and letting my arm hang slack for a few steps. For some reason this never seems to work then all of a sudden I notice that it hasn't been bothering me for a while. I am usually so happy that it has gone away at that point that I really don't think about what caused it to start or stop.

This weekend we will be trying on the wetsuits at FoMo and reserving them if they are a good fit. If not then we will just go with the Blue Seventy from Sports B.

Thursday pm bike w/ Jen - IH and Neighborhood
Total Miles: 6.25
Total Time: 28:04
Avg mph: 13.4

After work Jen and I decided to get in a quick bike ride before it got dark - I took out the 7.3Fx and we headed up the Iron Horse. When we got to the turn around point Jen wanted to try a new route back through the neighborhood so I followed her on the streets and we found our way back home. It was a relatively easy ride but was a lot of fun.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Windy Wednesday - Thursday Morning Swim

Last night I got off a bit early since I was down at a conference for work but when I got home the wind was blowing, and I mean really blowing, so I decided that a ride was not going to happen. It's not that I was worried about headwinds (even though they do suck); what I was worried about were the blow you into traffic or traffic into you winds.

Thursday am swim @ 24hr. - 1250m
Total Time: 24:41

Set the alarm for a few minutes earlier than usual (4:50am) and was out the door at about 5:01. I was thinking about swimming over 1000 but hadn't decided for sure. During the swim I felt that it was hard to breathe on my right side; I'm not sure why, maybe just because I was thinking about it. For some reason I felt a bit slow in the water too but this also could have just been in my head. I was about 30 seconds slower on 1000 than I was on Tuesday and averaged 1 minute per lap on the last 250. As I think about it now I realize that getting hung up on my time like this is a waste of time. I mean if I had been 30 seconds slower per lap then I would wonder wtf was going on, but 30 seconds over 1000m - that's only 1.5 seconds slower per lap. So really I'm just whining and feeling bad about what was actually a good swim. Also, this was the first morning I have gone over 1000m so that's awesome. I might try to get out on a ride after work but we need to get up to FoMo to try the QR wetsuits and reserve them for NEXT WEEKEND!!! I suppose we could do it tomorrow but the sooner the better in my mind.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Morning Companion

Ran 4 mi loop w/ Jen
Total Time: 36:41
AP: 9:10

This morning Jen decided she would get up and join me for my run. Of course she continued on to do an additional 7 miles after I stopped but that's no surprise given that she is a running machine. I really enjoy running with her and I think we bring out the competitor in each other. This morning she commented that she really wants to be a faster runner; after she said that I found myself wishing I could cruise through 18, 20, and 22 mile training runs (not to mention marathons) with strong legs and a positive attitude like she does. Looks like we both have some goals for this next training season! This morning's run was great - it was a bit cooler than the last few days and there was a slight breeze which kept me from getting too hot or sweaty. We were planning on running a new loop I found but unfortunately Jen's GPS was on the fritz this morning so we ran the known loop instead.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Since I was out of the office yesterday I wasn't able to post my weekend or Monday morning workouts. Then yesterday I was done a bit early (at a conference for work) so I was able to get in a ride after work and then this morning I was up for my swim. So without further ado......................

Saturday solo bike ride - 26.9 mi
Total Time: 1:35:00
Avg mph: 16.9

Jen is back on the marathon training regimen so I was off for a solo ride on Saturday morning. Rode the Al-CC-Syc-FH loop but added some distance on the end by heading back up FH to Amador then over to the IH. Overall it was a good ride with some nice hills and some good flat stretches to get in a good groove. About 2/3 of my way through the ride I was going down what I perceived to be a downhill stretch but my bike seemed sloooooooooooooooow - I stopped twice and checked the tires, they seemed ok but I knew that something was off. Fortunately my ride took me by the LBS and I stopped to ask them about a small slit in my tire (small and nothing to worry about it turns out) and also to have them check my tires and put in some air if needed. Well, it turns out both tires were low and the back one was about 30lbs under inflated!! Once the air was back in the tires the bike felt good so I decided to add a little extra onto the end of the ride.

Monday am solo run - loop - 4 mi
Total Time: 30:42
AP: 7:42

Up early for the Monday morning run and feeling a bit better now that I am used to getting up at 5am. The bad thing about that is now my eyes pop open around that time on Saturday and Sunday mornings too; fortunately I am still able to smile and fall right back asleep (until 7:30 or 8). The weather was great for running - mid 50's with a small wind to keep me cool. I tried to keep a strong pace but didn't want to run really hard so it was a balancing act the whole time. I was hoping to come in around 8 or a little under so my AP was great. No pains or problems (on the last two morning runs I had a bit of a shoulder ache one day and a side cramp on the other).

Monday pm - bike ride - 25 mi
Total Time: 1:23:35
Avg mph: 17.8

I was heading out of the city early yesterday thanks to a work related conference and I was excited to get in a few extra miles with the additional sun time I had. Jen was kind enough to pick me up at the train station before heading out for her run so I was home, dressed, and out the door quickly. I really didn't know exactly where I wanted to ride or how far so I just set out to see where I would go. I ended up doing the same loop as Saturday except for the end (I doubled back to do some extra riding after my tires were filled). It was a nice ride and the temp was perfect, nice and sunny with little wind, prob. in the high 70's. I felt stronger on the hills and thought to myself that it always seems that I feel stronger in the afternoon when compared to the morning. I kept a strong pace through the hills and was excited to hit the downhill stretches now that my tires were filled. When I reached the section of road where I thought I had a flat on Saturday I thought the same thing again! I decided it must be the pavement, maybe since it's sort of rough (surface wise, not bump wise) like sandpaper it slows the bike down a bit. Once I was off that surface I felt good again and was cruising along (I was riding the rough surface around 21/22 mph) at about 24/25 mph. My right leg started bothering me on the side right down the middle so I just kept a nice easy spin for the remainder of the ride. I stretched good at the end and am happy to say that this morning it was not bothering me at all.

Tuesday am swim at 24hr - 1000 m
Total Time: 19:09

Had my own lane this morning which is always nice; I don't mind sharing but I also don't mind having my own lane to cruise in. I felt good today and I don't think I had any laps go over one minute (typically I have one or two that go over one minute). I set the alarm for 4:55 am instead of 5 am and that gave me a few extra minutes to steam - Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Nothing beats an early morning post swim steam - ok, a nice steam after a hard day of skiing is hard to beat but unfortunately the 25 minute drive home from the ski hill is a thing of the past; now it's a 3.5 hour drive home in traffic and by the time you get home you aren't even cold anymore. Anyway, I digress - this morning's swim was great and I was surprised that my legs didn't really feel heavy like they have the last couple of weeks.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ahhhhhhhhhh - Recovery

Thursday pm bike w/ Jen - 6.9mi
Total Time: 31:38
Avg mph: 13.1

Jen and I went for a ride yesterday after work on the ole Iron Horse. I didn't ride (Name not yet chosen) since he/she was having shifting issues but thankfully I still have my old Trek 7.3Fx so I took that out. When I grabbed the bike I noticed that the front brake was rubbing on the rim so I played around with it for a bit. Finally got it to where it was not rubbing but then the brake was really loose - I decided it was fine for the ride and we took off. Typical headwinds on the trail but at about the three mile mark we turned off the trail and rode back through the neighborhood, sort of a choose your own adventure type of thing. It was a nice ride and a nice pace - but I miss (Name not yet chosen) and will be getting him/her to the shop today hopefully. This weekend I am going to play around with the break on the 7.3 and read about break adjustments. The ultegra components on the Madone are a bit different but I think that once I understand the basic adjustments I should be able to adjust those as well.

Friday am solo run - 4 mi
Total Time: 33:36
AP: 8:24

Up early for my run this morning - I was glad it was going to be a recovery run, this week has really worn me out. I think I am still getting used to the early morning workouts combined with after work workouts. I headed out and planned on running a nice comfortable pace and not push myself. Once the run was underway this proved to be an excellent idea. I felt good, wasn't sore, and my heart wasn't pounding like a drum. Now I can't take any of the credit for deciding to do a slower run today. My running mentor Jen has pointed out that the best way to get an injury is to go too hard and over train. Well with the Mission Bay Tri coming up in two weeks I definitely want to avoid any injuries so I took this advice to heart. I'm glad I have her keeping me in check.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Evening Ride; Morning Swim and Steam

Bike solo - Al to CC to FH - 15.2mi
Total Time: 50:57
Avg mph: 17.9

Was off work a bit early so I was able to get in 15 miles before it got too dark. I have a feeling that post-work rides are coming to an end until next April. It was a good ride but my chain was making a bit of noise and I had trouble shifting in one of the gears (RD) - not sure what is causing it but I am going to try to get it in the shop today or tomorrow to get it fixed before my long ride this weekend. I also focused on being one with the bike and tried to think of the pedals as an extension of my body instead of something that I am pushing on to move the bike. I kept thinking there is no me and the bike - when I am riding I am the bike and the bike is me. This also helped me relax my upper back and shoulders - not sure why, maybe it was just because I was more relaxed in general.

Morning Swim - 750m
Total Time: 14:26

Up early for a swim - I wasn't as quick to get out of bed as usual, maybe because my "sleeping in" day, (up at 6am instead of 5) which was supposed to be yesterday, turned into a running day. Once I was in the water I woke up a bit but my legs did feel heavy. About halfway through I really focused on keeping a long body and that helped me feel more streamlined in the water instead of feeling like my lower back was sinking. I think part of this was a lack of buoy pushing on my part as well. I ended at 750 and headed into the steam room (which was filling up with steam right as I walked in) for a few minutes of stretching and warmth.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Morning Run on the Off Day

Wed am run - 4 mi
Total Time: 30:02
AP: 7:31

Ran the loop this morning since tonight will be a bike ride to cover yesterday's missed ride. I decided to stay home yesterday after work instead of riding and I was anxious and felt bad about missing which I took as a good sign (I used to not care at all if I missed a workout). Today there was a cool wind blowing and it was right on the border of becoming a headwind but it never got that bad. About mile two a side cramp set in and it took a while for it to go away. I was really looking forward to the two places I have to stop to wait for a light and I took full advantage of the crossing, walking all the way. Overall it was a good run.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, Monday, Monday - and Tuesday am

Monday am run solo - 4 mi
Total Time: 31:10
AP: 7:47

Was up at 5am for my run and was pleased when I walked out into some cool weather. It must have been in the mid 50's and there was a very light breeze to cool my head when I took my hat off. It was Jen's birthday so she was sleeping peacefully and planning on getting up for her run around 9am. During my run I decided that it was a wonderful day for a sick day so when I got back home I sent an e-mail to work and climbed back in bed with Jen. It was a wonderful way to start out the week.

Tuesday am swim - 1000 y/m
Total Time: 19:10

I had an off site meeting for work today but I was still up at 5 to head up to the gym for a swim. The nice thing about this was that I would have some extra time to sit in the steam room after my swim to relax and enjoy the heat. The swim was good; I felt relaxed pretty much the whole time and kept a nice steady pace on my laps. I am going to try to get out for an OWS this weekend since I have not been in open water since the Tri For Fun at the end of August.

On a side note I am getting excited for the Mission Bay Tri which is fast approaching. I know I am ready for it but getting in a couple more OWS would be nice just so I am back in the sighting groove. I don't really have any specific goals for the race, just to do my best and finish strong.

Saturday Bike and Weekly Totals

Sat bike ride w/ Jen - 13.16 miles
Total Time: 1:00:00
Avg mph: 13.16

We threw our bikes on the car on Saturday and headed up to Walnut Creek to get a ride in. We did a nice relaxed ride on the IH and some of the roads heading up to Mt. Diablo. When we decided to turn around I made the turn in the road and for some reason decided that I was going to stop really quick - well stop I did, right into the ground! Frick! I couldn't believe I fell again! I was more worried about my bike than the gash on my ankle that had re-opened. So Sunday afternoon I spent some time on my bike inside in the door jam. I would start tipping over then try to pull my foot in time to prevent a fall. It worked pretty well but I think it would be best if I could set up between two couches or something since the door jam is not that wide.

Weekly Totals:

Total Run - 5.75 miles
Total Bike - 63.46
Total Swim - 1800 y/m

Friday, September 7, 2007

Quick pm Spin and Mid-Run Acrobatics

PM Bike w/ Jen - 8 miles
Total Time: 33:25
Avg mph: 14.4
Post Run Short Brick: .5 mi - 3:35 - 7:10 AP

Last night after work we took off on our bikes for a quick spin before darkness arrived. I knew we would have enough time since we were on the road by 6:30; my main concern was with my sunglasses. They are good for a while after the sun sets but eventually I need to take them off. If I take them off then my contacts dry out and I have to stop and put in drops. Basically I need to keep an eye out for a pair of clear wrap around glasses to wear in the evenings. Anyway, we spent most of the ride on the road and off the IH which is good for Jen since it is helping to build her confidence on the bike.

Once we were done with the ride we did a quick brick run to keep our legs used to the off the bike on your feet feeling. My legs felt good and didn't feel very heavy and I took that as a sign that they may be getting stronger (at least my biking muscles).

Friday am run w/ Jen - 5.25 mi
Total Time: 47:06
AP: 8:58

We were up at 5:05 and out the door by 5:14 - Jen was planning on running a Birthday Half Marathon so she was up early to join me which always makes the run a lot more enjoyable. We kept a nice steady pace through the run and were chatting away off and on. Well at about 3.5 mi I moved over behind Jen to avoid some bushes and the next thing I knew she was flying through the air then landing on her side and performing a commando roll before coming to a stop in a sitting position. She stood up and we checked her ankles, knees, wrists, and hands for any sprains or breaks; thankfully she was only scraped up a bit. Her hands took the brunt of the fall and when we stopped under a light a half a mile later she still had a bb sized rock stuck in her hand. She pulled it out and we checked the rest of her over once more, wiped the dirt off her arm and hands, then started back up to finish the run. I finished up my run at 5.25 mi and Jen continued on; I'm glad to report she finished the Birthday Half Marathon without any additional problems (unless kicking ass is a problem).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sandpaper Face is a Real Thing!

Swam 1050 y/m
Total Time: 20:18

Was up at 5:05 this morning to head up to the gym for a swim. I had to share a lane today so as I stood on deck I got a bit cold which made the water seem warmer than it did on Tuesday. I was letting my mind wander and the laps were clicking by, pretty soon I was at 750 and decided to do 1000. Well I thought I was starting lap 20 at the end but it turned out to be 21 so that's where the extra 50 came from.

Jen has always told me that my face feels like sandpaper for a couple of days after I shave and my beard starts coming in. I knew this was true since nothing makes a better itch scratcher than a new beard; however, I had no idea that it could cause pain and irritation. Today when I got home after my swim I noticed what appeared to be a rash on my shoulder - I thought it was strange but didn't think much else until I put some lotion on it and it burned. Right then I realized it was from my beard scraping my shoulder when I would breathe. I remembered feeling it during the swim but forgot about it right away after I was done.

I also found out today that Forward Motion Sports rents wetsuits and their location is much more convenient for us since they are in the East Bay. We were going to rent them from Sports Basement in SF but now we might end up renting them at FM since pickup and drop off will be much easier.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tuesday Evening Ride

Bike 14.3 miles solo after work - Al to Noris to FH
Total Time: 49:26
Avg mph: 17.3

Took off for a solo ride last night after work at around 6:50 and got home right as it was getting dark. I was surprised when I saw the sun halfway behind a hill and it was only 6:52! Seems like the day is rapidly getting shorter and I know soon it will be dark when I get to work and dark when I leave. Guess I need to get in as many rides as I can between now and then. I don't mind running in the dark but I have a feeling that riding in the dark is a different story all together. Before leaving for my ride I went to fill up my tire (the one I replaced on Monday) but right away I realized that we didn't have a Presta adapter for our floor pump so I gave my tire a good 100 pumps with my pocket rocket and decided it pretty much felt like the front tire. There was a bit of a headwind during the ride and it was nice to be able to use my drops - I noticed that it really does make a difference when you get in an aero position. Oh yeah - no flats on this ride either!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Super Awesome Wife Weekend

Well before I get into the details of what turned out to be a great Labor Day weekend some praise is due to Mrs. CAthlete who proved once again this weekend that I sure lucked out when she decided that I was her one and only. Allow me to explain. On Saturday we spent a majority of the day up at Del Valle (more to come on that later) and then at Jen's suggestion we stopped by our LBS to look at the end of season sales. I had been over at the other shop near our apartment on Friday and noticed that there were some great deals on road bikes. I didn't see anything in my size but seeing the deals was encouraging. So on Saturday we stopped by the store in Livermore but I was a bit discouraged because the only thing in my size (60 cm) was a Madone 5.0 and it was clearly out of my price range. I spoke with the owner for a while and he answered all of my questions about the bike and did a great job explaining everything. The whole time I kept looking at Jen waiting for the "well that bike is too expensive" look - AND IT NEVER CAME. Well I convinced myself that she was just being nice and waiting until we left the store but after getting fit for the bike and riding it around a bit I still hadn't received the look! We left the store and the first thing out of Jen's mouth was "Well, this probably isn't what you were expecting, but I think you should get that bike". EXCUSE ME? HUH! I SHOULD DO WHAT NOW?!?!??!?! - Needless to say I felt like I was falling in love with this wonderful woman all over again. This one small event that was taking place after a series of events was making a huge impact on my way of thinking - I needed to make my wife feel extra special more often, I needed to appreciate what I had, I needed to be thankful for all the little things that are easy to take for granted, I needed to be happy that I am able to get up early in the morning to work out, and I needed to stop worrying about little things that I can't do anything about anyway. The closure of the Bay Bridge led to Jen changing our plans for Saturday, which led to our being at Del Valle, which led to the suggestion that we stop by the bike store, which led to my new bike, which led to my realizations.

Saturday - Rented a canoe with Jen at Del Valle
Total Canoe Time: 2.5 Hours

Saturday morning we got up, got some breakfast, stocked up on lunch supplies for the cooler, then headed up to Del Valle to rent a canoe and have a fun day. We were up there fairly early and there were no crowds to speak of. We were able to get a canoe and we headed out on the reservoir at around 10am. We didn't bring our lunch with us but we did bring some snacks so after we reached the end of the reservoir we stopped in a nice shady spot and had our snack and Jen swam for a bit. I had forgotten how much fun canoeing is and we both had a really fun time - this was something we decided we needed to do more often. Once we were back at the docks we turned in our canoe and headed over to have our lunch. Sandwiches and beer - mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - we hung out for a bit and relaxed before heading back towards town and the bike store. That evening we rode our bikes over to the Sports Bar for dinner and drinks.

Sunday - NEW BIKE, NEW BIKE, NEW BIKE, NEW BIKE, NEW BIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Madone 5.0 - ultegra components - bontrager race lite tires - one happy happy man

Sunday was supposed to be day two of our weekend of fun hiking and events but instead it was to be the day of the new bike purchase or as I like to call it - The Day of the Super Wife. Jen had been looking forward to our big hike weekend for quite a while and now my bike purchase was screwing up those plans. She was being a good sport about the whole thing but I could tell that she was disappointed that the day was not going according to plan. My day was a mix of emotions - I was elated about the new bike but at the same time felt bad that it had upset our plans. Nothing gets me down quite like a bummed out or upset Mrs. CAthlete so needless to say I was in a strange emotional state.

Monday Bike 28 miles solo
Total Time: 1:49:35
Avg MPH: 15.4

First ride on the new bike - I headed out around 7:45 on Monday morning for my first ride on the new bike. It is one smooth cruising machine - I was able to cruise along at 19 or 20 mph at what seemed to be an easy effort. I saw a few other bikers out riding and rode with another guy for a bit (well, I passed him and he rode behind me for a while). About a third of the way through the ride I got my first flat tire; fortunately Jen had suggested I ask the guy at the bike shop to show me how to change a tire the day before so I actually knew what I was doing. I had it changed in about 20 minutes and was back on my way. About 100 feet down the road I wasn't sure if my computer was working or not so I stopped and checked it out for a second - it seemed to be working so I started up again but slowly. For some reason I turned to the left and realized I did not have enough speed to make the turn - then slowly, ever so slowly, I started to fall. Although it happened in a matter of seconds to me it seemed like I could have eaten lunch on the way down. I remember thinking - oh shit! This is happening - this is happening to meeeee! I should move my right foot all the way over to catch me, nope that won't work, oh well, here comes the ground - WHAM. I made the mistake of trying to reach out to catch myself instead of just absorbing it with my shoulder so my hand and wrist hurt for a few minutes after the fall; thankfully all I ended up with was a sore hip bone and a bit of a bruise (on my hip and mentally). The remainder of the ride went well, no more flats or falls, and I got home just in time to meet up with Jen and Maritza before going to breakfast. The bike ride was awesome and the new bike is great - the only thing I thought was a bit strange was my average mph - I thought I had been going a bit faster than that the whole time but I am new to the computer and maybe just need to get used to the way it tracks your time/pace/etc. I'll be sure to take it on a ride with Jen and her Garmin to check the accuracy of the distance and mph.

We ended the day with a nice ride up at the Sunol Regional Wilderness - it was nice to get out and do something together to end the day.

Tuesday Morning Swim
Total Distance: 750 y/m
Time: 14:34

Alarm went off at 5am today and I was up and out the door at 5:07 - my shorts, shirt, shoes, and pack were waiting by the door which makes the sleep to up and at 'em transition much much easier. I was up to the gym and in the water at 5:25 and got in a good 750 leaving me with about 7 minutes for the steam room.

So now we begin a nice short work week and we are headed into Birthday weekend (Jen is turning another year wiser and more beautiful) which should be a lot of fun.