Friday, August 31, 2007

Early, warm, and dry

Ran 4 mi w/ Jen
Total Time: 35:29
AP: 8:52

Got up at 5:15 this morning and was out of bed at 5:20 - our running clothes were ready and waiting so we were out the door in 5 minutes. We ran the new route I did on Monday and had a fun run. It was warm out (maybe around 70)and the air was really dry so I was thirsty right away but Jen had her bottle with her (since she was doing 10 total) and I was able to get a drink. We kept a nice pace and chatted a bit during the run about glycogen stores, carbs, protein, and other nutritional things that a few months ago I could have cared less about. We got on the topic because last night we were watching the Track and Field World Championships and the announcer noted that the reigning world champ in the 400m hurdles did not eat on race days. Overall it was a great run - I had a bit of Blue 5 pain on the inside of my ankle above the bone. Sort of a shin splint in reverse. I was glad Jen joined me as running with her is always a lot of fun.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Change of Scenery

Ran 6 mi w/ Jen
Total Time: 49:53
AP: 8:19

Yesterday afternoon Jen went into the city with a friend to go to a Giants game and when the game was over she got a ride over to my office so we could do a run in the city. The weather was nice, maybe high 70's/low 80's, and there was quite a bit of shade to run in. We headed down to the Embarcadero then ran past Fisherman's Wharf and over to the Marina and Chrissy Field. We turned around down by Chrissy Field and headed back the way we came. Jen kicked up the pace on the last couple of miles and we ended up with 15:35 for the last two. The pace felt good and I didn't have any pain or soreness to speak of. My big toe hurt a bit when we started but that went away after a few minutes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Heat Delay

Bike approx 6 mi
Miles Tracked: 4.87
Time: 15:35
MPH: 18.6

Last night was a warm one out in the ole East Bay so we waited a bit before heading out for a ride. We ended up waiting a bit too long and it was a race against darkness to get in a few miles. I tried to keep my speed up since I knew it was going to be a short ride and I wanted to try to maximize the workout. Jen went too but we split up and I rode ahead; we planned to turn around after 10 minutes and head back the other way to meet up. I stopped and turned around after about 9 minutes and had a drink of water before heading back to meet Jen. I slowed down for a street crossing and noticed someone behind me on a road bike out of the corner of my eye. I thought they may pass me after we crossed but I immediately cranked it up to about 20 mph and kept that pace until we had to stop at a major intersection. The road biker stayed behind me and when I stopped at the intersection he went off in a different direction. As he rode by he gave me a nod that I interpreted as "nice pace".

Side note to self = I need to get some "sun" glasses with clear lenses for riding at dusk/night/dawn/pre-dawn (yes, that is a variety of times). Last night it got too dark for my sunglasses but at the same time if I took them off my eyes my contacts dried out in a few seconds.


This morning I was planning on getting up for a home lift but I felt really tired and wanted to lay in bed for a while instead of getting up. I really didn't fall back to sleep but just laying there was nice (Jen being back in town also made getting up difficult since she gives off a hug me vibe in the mornings). I've gotten to bed pretty late the last couple of nights too so I'm sure that doesn't help when it comes to getting up early. If we would have totally skipped the ride last night then I would feel bad about missing this morning - but we didn't so I'm not too broken up over it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday Evening Swim

Swam 1250 y/m
Time: 24:11

Headed up to the gym after work to get some laps in. I had 750 on my schedule but ended up swimming 1250 because I felt good and I only got in approx 500 on Sunday (schedule called for 1000). There was only one lane available when I arrived due to a water aerobics class so I shared it with one other swimmer. About 15 minutes into my swim the class was over and the other lanes opened up. I moved over and had my own lane for the rest of my swim. I felt good and tried to swim a nice pace that did not wear me out. Toward the end of my swim my stroke count increased a bit but my lap time did not - guess I was sacrificing technique for power and coming out the same - I need to find a good balance so I can keep the stroke count low and my form solid.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwn - it's Monday morning

Ran 4 mi solo
Time: 32:47
AP: 8:12

Got up this morning for a run and surprisingly I only thought about going back to sleep 5 times instead of my usual 14. I set my stuff out last night so I only had to roll out of bed, put on my clothes and shoes, and head out of the door. I ran a new route this morning which was a nice change from up and back on the Iron Horse Trail. It's very quite at 5:30ish am in our area and running in the dark cool air is a nice change from after work sun runs. I'm sure that once I'm getting up and it's 35 instead of 60 I'll be singing a different tune, but for now it's great.

Weekly Totals - Aug 20 to 26

Running: 13.35 mi --- Biking: 42.5 mi --- Swimming: 500 y

Weekend Mega Post

Saturday Aug 25
Bike 17.5mi w/ Jen
Time: 1:06:36
MPH: 15.8

After our Saturday morning bagels and coffee Jen and I headed out for a ride on a new route we wanted to try. We headed up the IH Trail then over to San Ramon Valley Blvd. where there is a bike lane. We rode up the road for approx. 9 miles then turned off onto the IH trail again and took that all the way back home. The ride was really nice and Jen did a great job riding on the road. There was one downhill part that she said she got a bit nervous on because we picked up quite a bit of speed; I was riding behind her on that stretch and I thought she looked good. It was warm and sunny outside so I was glad we had brought plenty of water. No T run after this ride because we were planning on going for a run the next day.

After the ride we hung out for a bit then headed into the city to go to Sports Basement to look at bikes, racks, and some additional riding clothes. Jen didn't have any biking shorts, just her Tri shorts and Capri bike pants, and I needed an additional pair of shorts and a new jersey to avoid the constant wash cycle that my other gear has been in. Anyway, we ended up getting some new gear but no rack (they did not have the components we need) and no bike (I wasn't impressed with the selection or service). I ended up with new bike shorts and a jersey (same exact shorts, same jersey in a different color) along with a new pair of TYR swim shorts and some new socks. Jen found a nice bike jersey, got some bike shorts, some hiking shorts, and a new swim suit. We also stocked up on gels, blocks, etc. We ended the evening with dinner at the Fog City Diner.

Sunday Aug 26
Run 4 mi Trail Run w/ Jen
Time: 36:33
AP: 9:08

Sunday afternoon we drove up to the Del Valle Regional Park for a run and swim. The morning started off cool but by the time we headed up the sun was out and it was getting close to 90. The run was a trail run and it was pretty tough - Jen took the lead through the hilly part and set a nice pace. We went out two miles then turned around and headed back to the car. My legs were caked in dirt at the end from all the dust but that didn't really matter since we were planning on doing a little swim next.

Swam 500 y/m
Time: 9:14

This was our first time swimming at this location and the first thing I noticed was that the water was shallow and MUDDY. You couldn't see a foot in front of your face from all the mud that was churned up by everyone playing in the water. The swim area did not have a separate area for laps so we were in the mix with everyone. Luckily no one was out close to the far rope so we were able to swim with little interruption. Not only were the people churning up the mud, they were also creating waves and chop. This made the swimming more interesting since you had to fight the water to keep a straight line.

Afterward we hung out on the beach, had a snack, dried off, and relaxed. It was a great way to cap off a fun weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Two in Twelve Hours

Thursday pm bike
Miles: 15
Time: 54:35
MPH: 16.5

Yesterday after work I got home, threw on the biking clothes, and headed out the door. Jen was bowling with some co-workers so I was going solo on this one; I was invited to join them but I had been looking forward to trying a new route all day so I declined. The start of the ride was on the Iron Horse and there was a bit of a headwind but it wasn't too bad. After close to two miles on the trail I turned off onto the streets and was on my way. The ride was a steady but not too steep incline for the first eight or nine miles, down for the next couple, back up again for another mile or so, then down and flat for the remainder of the ride. I rode down Dougherty Rd. which does not have a bike land for about 1.5 miles but there is enough room in the lane for cars to pass without having to move over to the left lane. Overall it was a great ride - can't wait to do it with Jen, I think she will enjoy it.

Friday am Run
Miles: 4
Time: 36:44
AP: 9:11

The alarm went off at 5:15, it was dark, the bed was comfortable, but it was Friday and I was inspired to get up and go for run by that fact and by the video posted below. Jen got up too so it wasn't as bad as getting up solo. We headed out for a nice recovery run, and thanks to Jen we kept our pace around 9/9:15 min/mi. I have a habit of trying to go full bore on each workout and not thinking about the fact that there are many more workouts to come. Jen is great at maintaining whatever pace she decides to run so going with her is awesome. This morning it was dark when we started and it was just starting to get light when we got back to the house. I headed up to shower and Jen filled her water bottle and had a couple of clif blocks before heading out for 8 more miles. Little pains here and there during the run but nothing that seemed out of the ordinary.

Friday morning inspiration

"Hey now all you lazy men - throw away your moans and groans - and why you out there sittin on a couch - so get off your ass and get out there - cause workin out ain't no chore man - to me it makes good good sense"!

I saw this video over on Tri Greyhound's blog and thought about it this morning when the alarm went off at 5:15. Good video - sound is a must.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Running Group Graveyard Loop

Run: 5.35 miles
Time: 43:09
AP: 8:04

Last night after work Jen picked me up at BART and we headed up to our Wednesday night group run. It is organized by a local running shop and has solid attendance every week; it's also a nice break from running close to home. We started out at a brisk pace and hung toward the front of the pack for a bit. At about the two mile mark we turned off to do the graveyard loop which immediately spits you out onto hills and into the nice warm, energy draining, make you thirsty, merciless Population I star known as the Sun. After a couple small rolling hills you get to a steady climb that goes for about a half a mile (give or take). Once you reach the top it's down and flat from then on and you get some nice shade for a majority of the second half of the run. We stopped and walked a couple of times which was nice as I was getting a cramp in the back side of my shoulder. What I really wanted was a drink of water, unfortunately that was going to have to wait until we got back to the store. We finished off the run at a nice steady pace, finishing the run in 43:09 or an average pace of 8:04. Overall the run felt pretty good except for the extreme thirst that set in at the top of the long hill. Tonight is a bike night, not sure how many miles I'll get in yet - schedule calls for 8 to 11 so I guess it just depends on how I feel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday Headwinds - Wednesday morning lift

Bike: 10mi
Time: 39:30
MPH: 15.2

Yesterday after work Jen and I took off on our bikes to get in 8 to 10 miles. We headed up the Iron Horse Trail and as expected we rode into a headwind. I used to dread riding on the trail after 10am because the winds kick up and can get pretty strong. Now I just look at it as another type of training; that way when I'm in a race or on a longer ride with no wind it feels awesome. We focused on our cadence for the first part of the ride and worked on drafting a bit as well. Jen seems to be more comfortable on the bike now and I noticed she was getting right in the pocket behind me when she was drafting instead of being back two or three feet. Overall it was a good ride - we were a bit slower on the way up due to the headwind but cruised on the way back. One other strange thing about the Iron Horse trail is that when you turn around the wind either stops or changes direction - so really it is very rare to actually have the wind blowing at your back.

Wednesday am - Lift at home

This morning I got up early to do a quick home lift. Nothing too spectacular; curls, shoulder press, triceps, push-ups, sit-ups, and some stretching. This was the first lift I have done in some time now and I could tell I had lost a bit of strength. That said, it felt great to be lifting, even if it was at home. My new schedule calls for a Friday post-work lift but I may not make it this week. My Step-Mother is going to be in San Jose for work so Jen and I will head down there to meet her for dinner - I would say that I will try to squeeze a lift in on Saturday or Sunday but the chances of that actually happening are pretty slim since Sat is our long bike ride and Sunday is OWS.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Swim, Bike, Run - It's the Tri for Fun!

Tri for Fun - Shadow Cliffs Regional Park - 08/18/07

400 y swim: 7:04
T1: 2:20
11 mi bike: 34:52 - 19.1 mph
T2: 0:23
5k run: 25:24 - 8:12 AP

Total Time: 1:10:04

Late to bed, early to rise - wait, that's not right. Getting up early was a must; the transition area opened at 5:30 am and we wanted to get there in time to pick a good spot and get our gear set up. Getting to bed early the night before was as usual a great idea, actually doing it was of course impossible. We got everything ready the night before and put the bikes in the car so we didn't have to worry about that in the morning either. I was up about 4:50 am and in the shower for a quick wake up before putting on my tri shorts, some warm up pants, and a t-shirt. The shirt I was planning on wearing on the bike and run was in my bag along with the rest of my transition necessities.

We arrived at the start area around 5:40 am and headed over to registration to check in and get our numbers. After that we walked over to the marking area and had our numbers written on our upper arm and lower leg. #1741 - my first triathlon number. After we were marked up we got our bikes and gear from the car and headed over to the T-area to get set up. The bars on the bike racks were sort of low so I decided to set up next to the fence where I could just lean my bike against it and set my gear up in front of my bike. Jen chose a spot on the rack for her bike. Once we were set up there we walked over to the Fleet Feet table so Jen could buy a race belt. Since she was swimming in the same gear she would be biking and running in she needed to get something to clip her number to. After that we milled about a bit and then went over to the car to share a clif bar and have some water. We were about 15 minutes away from the pre-race meeting where the race director would discuss the course, answer any questions, etc. I made a quick pit stop and we headed over to the beach for the talk. Well it ended up being a 20 minute speech which gave us plenty of time to get in the water and get warmed up. We were ready to get out of the water at 6:55 and head over to the start but the speeches ran over and it was closer to 7:25 before the race actually started. We stayed in the water since by this point it felt warmer than the air.

The Swim

I started in wave two which was men 16 to 39 - there were probably about 150 people in my wave (that is what they said they would let through the start gate in each wave). I knew I did not want to be in the middle of the pack so I started toward the front of the pack on the left hand side. I didn't really know what to expect but I had seen the first wave start and I knew it would be madness right at the start and also as the pack rounded the first buoy. After that the first pack had started to spread out so I expected our group would follow the same pattern. The gun went off and we were running out into the water. The guys on the right and left sides of me dove in right away so I took a few more steps to be sure of where I would land in the pack when I went in. Once the water was up to thigh level I dove in and started swimming. The first thing I noticed was that there was no way I could just put my head down and start swimming; for that to happen I would have had to be right in the front of the pack (mental note for future training and race planning). For the first 100 or so yards I basically swam with my head out of the water watching the buoy and the crowd around me. As I rounded the first buoy I could feel that I had used a lot of energy in the first leg of the swim so I rolled on my side and took a few deep breaths to relax and get my wind. Sure enough, the crowd had thinned out and I saw that I could now get into a good groove. I started stroking and focusing on my form and remembering to stay relaxed. About half way between the first and second buoy I was feeling good and then it dawned on me; I am going to run out of the water, get on my bike, ride for 11 miles, then run for 3.1 miles! I passed the second buoy and a wave of energy hit me as I realized I was going to be out of the water in about two minutes. I swam hard and soon saw that sand beneath me and noticed people standing up around me - I kept swimming until my hand hit the sand then took a couple more strokes and stood up.


Cap off, goggles off, run along the fence, there's the bike, lid off water bottle, sit down, wash sand off feet, dry feet (mental note: more absorbent foot towel next race), socks on, shoes on, stand up, sun glasses on, helmet on and clipped, bike gloves on, grab bike, hurry to exit (GENTLEMEN - PLEASE WALK YOUR BIKES), sorry :), enter mount area, hit watch to lap, go go go.

The Bike

The mount area was right at the base of a small hill (one of two on the course). I had put my bike in a low gear that morning so I was good to go as I started pedaling. At the top of the hill the course turned onto the road and I got into a good spin cycle. I passed a few people, some on mountain bikes, some on road bikes; and was also passed by a few people on road and tri bikes. There was no headwind on the first part of the course and really very little on the second half. The headwind that we did encounter was more of a minor inconvenience that required harder pedaling but no down shifting. Once we were about half way through the course I was passing a few people but not too many and I think I was passed only one more time. I kept reminding myself that I still had to run so it would be pointless to push myself beyond what I was already doing. After a nice long downhill we turned a corner and I recognized that the end of the bike would be approaching soon. I started preparing myself for the run and thinking about what I needed to do in this next transition.

The dismount area was in the same place as the mount - at the bottom of the hill. I came flying down the hill but still managed to stop in time to get off my bike without making a scene. Hit watch to lap, walk bike to spot, helmet off, bike against fence, stretch legs quickly, grab a drink, hat on, gloves off, head to exit, hit watch to lap, go go go.

The Run

You remember when you were little and you would get off a trampoline and try to jump on the ground? That's the best way I can describe the start of the run. My legs were heavy but I knew the only way to get them feeling better was to keep going. The run was on a dirt path and was hilly, so I knew there would be no speed records going in my log this day. The course zig-zagged through the park area and it doubled back on its self a few times so I was hoping to see Jen at some point. The bugs were thick on the trail and the hills were tough (up and down since you had to be careful not to slip on the loose gravely trail) but it was still a lot of fun. I saw Jen as I was on the final leg of my run (her wave started about 10 minutes after mine) and we high-fived as we passed each other. I was glad to see she had a smile on her face and a strong stride as we passed by each other. I ran up one more hill and saw the turn at the bottom to head to the finish line. The crowd was cheering as I headed across the finish line and I had a smile on my face - I had finished my first triathlon and was already thinking about the next!

Final Thoughts

Getting a good start in the swim will allow me to get out in the head of the pack where I can settle into a nice stroke sooner and get out away from the churning masses. I need to get more time in on the bike so my speed and leg strength increase; the speed for a better time, the strength to help with my time and also to carry me through the run. I need to spend some more time focusing on brick runs and running to increase my leg strength and speed as well. I hope to improve in all three areas on my next race and to have as much fun as I did this time. This was an awesome event and it got me hooked!

Friday, August 17, 2007

It Was Bound To Happen

OWS: 520 y
Time: 11:27

We went to do an OWS before the Tri for Fun this weekend and it didn't go that well, but eh, what can you do? The water was very cloudy and for some reason I got hit with a wave of panic at the start of the swim. After floating in place for a moment I started swimming again but by breathing wasn't really cooperating. Once I had gone about 250 y I started to get into a groove but never really felt like I was having a good swim. My back/hip was bothering me too so that was just one more thing for me to get frustrated with. I'm glad we got out to the lake so I could get this out of my system now instead of on race day. I think as long as I remain calm in the swim and just relax I should be good to go. On a side note - I have a fear of sharks that for some reason transfers to fresh water from time to time. This definitely played a part in the freak out yesterday - I realize there are no sharks at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park but in my mind there was something there :).

Oh well - all I can do is have a good swim the next time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday Run and Swim

Yesterday I got up early to get my run in. My wife was out of town last night so I knew the chances of me deciding not to run in the evening were pretty good. It's not that I don't want to run some evenings after work, it's that I don't want to run some evenings after work. Anyway - up at 5:15, out the door at about 5:23 for a nice 4 mile run. It was still dark out when I left and the only other person I saw for the first two miles was a biker who appeared to be heading to work (or he enjoys training in a button up shirt). On the way back I passed by another runner who waved hello as our paths crossed. By the time I got back the sky was getting light and I had just enough time to stretch before I had to start getting ready for work.

Total Miles: 4
Total Time: 31:21

I brought my swim stuff with me to work and lugged it from the BART station to the office and back again so I thought I might as well head up to the gym for a bit. Once I started my laps I felt tired and since I didn't really have a goal distance in mind I decided that 750m followed by a nice steam would be the perfect workout. It was.

Total Swim: 750m
Total Time: 14:04

Let the blogging begin!

The time has come for me to move up from a notebook training log and enter the blogosphere. I have been running consistently since May 2007 when I started training for the Wine Country Half Marathon. Before I started training for that event I had been doing some running on and off but was never very consistent - fortunately my wife is an awesome runner with four marathon's under her belt (or feet). She was kind enough to let me tag along on her runs with her, give me pointers, and most of all encourage me when I needed it. Our interest in running exposed us to a bit of the world of triathlon and we thought we would give it a go; and so far so good. We both got bikes from our LBS; a Trek 7.3FX for me and a Trek 7.2FX for her. They have both been great so far but I am already thinking about drop bars and clipless pedals for mine. Since this is my first post I will keep it short knowing that everything I have/want to say/post will be on here eventually. In the meantime if you want to read a great blog with a lot of great posts check out Running Stories.