Monday, August 31, 2009

Monthly recap - or - 3 Freaking miles? Are you kidding me?!

August was a pretty good month, training-wise. I finished with 114.7 miles running at an average pace of 10:20, 116.6 miles biking at an average speed of 14.4 mph (keep in mind that virtually every ride this month was in City Creek Canyon -- that is, climbing practice), approximately 1500 meters swum, and 1 hour, 42 minutes of weights work.

And did I mention that last week I ran all of 3 miles? That's not to say that was all I did, but that's all the running I did. Yeah, I had 50 on the schedule, and I did 3. Cool. I ended up doing weights only on Monday, biking on Tuesday, letting Wednesday's workout fall through to bring my wife lunch (take that all you ladies that think that my exercise always comes at the expense of doing nice things for my wife!), Thursday I got up early to run, and due to some surprise GI issues had to make a beeline for home when my previously-well-frequented porta-pottie wasn't at it's designated location (curse you, progress!), I did bike at lunch on Thursday, it's much easier on the tummy than running, and Friday I woke up with some weird back pain, which sidelined me Friday and Saturday.

So, in case you missed it, that's 3 miles running, 40 minutes in the gym, 26.9 miles biked. I did a little swimming Saturday, but I didn't keep track of it.

Yes, I'm 5 weeks from marathon day, and I ran 3 miles last week. Huzzah.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A dose of humility

You know, lately I've been feeling pretty good about myself, fitness-wise. I'm getting thinner, I've had a couple of really good long runs, I feel pretty strong on my bike, and I'm even putting in some time in the gym and even starting to see the beginnings of the results I want. So when the opportunity came for a free open-water-swim clinic in a new little reservoir in Herriman, I jumped on it. Swimming in a 15-yard pool just hasn't been conducive to getting into a rhythm that will let me know whether or not I can do this swimming thing. I need a bigger pool, so to speak, and a nice big open lake should give me that opportunity, right?

Well, sure. But it was cold. I was one of about 2% of the "class" that didn't have a wetsuit. And it was opaque. And deep. And I freaked. I swam what I could, and just had a hard time finding any sort of rhythm. I wasn't prepared for how completely different it is. It basically sucked.

But the good part is it gave me a demon to slay. A challenge to overcome. And one that's necessary for me to be able to complete a non-pool triathlon (or several). I think triathlons are a big part of my future, but I've got to nail this swimming thing down. I think my technique is pretty good, finally, but I've got to get the endurance and the open-water confidence down. Lots to work on, I'm definitely not there yet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekly recap

Time for a weekly recap. I did bag a couple of early morning runs, which I fit in later in the day, which means I did zero in the weights department. I'll get back on them this week, but it was good to have a run-focused week, I think.

Monday - Early run, 6.15 miles, 1:03:52, 10:24 pace. Lunchtime bike ride, 11.4 miles, 48:51. Avg speed 14 mph. Had derailleur difficulties that still need fixing, hence no more biking during the week.
Tuesday - nada.
Wednesday - Morning interval run. This was fun. 7.2 miles, 1:11:49, 9:59 pace. Afternoon swim, 850 meters.
Thursday - Lunchtime run, 6.1 miles, 1:03:05, 10:21 pace.
Friday - Lunchtime run, 6.1 miles, 1:00:55, 10:00 pace.
Saturday - Long run in the morning. 20 miles, 3:31:48, 10:36 pace.


Running: 45.6 miles, 7:51:29, avg pace 10:21/mile.
Biking: 11.4 miles, 48:51, avg speed 14 mph.
Swim: 850 meters
No weights.

Total time exercising: 9 hours 25 minutes 20 sec.

Would have been a killer week had I not slacked. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Kicks

So, yesterday was my birthday, for those of you that didn't know already. And my wife and kids went all out to make it awesome, for which I will forever be grateful. My present was a new pair of running shoes. Since I'm always looking for bargains on closeouts, etc., I rarely end up with the same model twice. (There have been exceptions, I've run in 3 pairs of Asics Fortitudes, and a pair of New Balance 1060s followed by 1062s - a later incarnation of the same shoe). This time, I ended up with a pair of Nike Air Zoom Vomero 3. These are some pretty soft freaking shoes. They're like running on pillows. I took them out for a 6 mile run today and was consistently amazed at how cushioned they are. Cushioning may or may not be a good thing in the long run, but man, it sure is comfortable. I will keep you posted on the long-term results. I'll put in a couple of good long runs on them then stick them in the box and save them for marathon weekend, now just 56 days away!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A "cutback" week, sorta

This last week was my first easy week of my new and intense training plan for St George. Basically, that means there was no weights and no 2-a-days. However, after letting my long run last Saturday slide, I really wanted to squeeze in 21 miles of running between Monday and Friday so I could still end July on a double-century total (and I did, 100.7 miles running, 142 miles biking). And since I let that aforementioned long run slide last Saturday, I figured I'd tack it on to the end of my easy week, so I did 18 yesterday.

First, the July recap:

100.7 miles
avg pace: 10:29

142.0 miles
avg speed: 14.8 mph

Total weight training

Approx 2800 yards swimming.

Total time exercising: 32h 19min 26sec

Not bad.

Yesterday's 18 miler was really good. I tried Clif Shot Blocks for a change, cola flavor. I really like them. The deal is that 3 shot blocks are the approximate equivalent to one gel. So I took a shot block every 2 miles, and it worked out really well. I didn't feel like bonking at all. In fact, I felt rather strong the whole way. The last 2 miles of my route were uphill, and they were the only 2 miles where I was below an 11 minute pace. Average pace for the run was 10:49. If I can hold that pace for St George, I'll be very very happy. That would be a 4:43 marathon, or a 20 minute PR. I took 18 minutes off of my first marathon PR in my second, and 14 minutes off my PR in my third marathon. If I can PR by even 5 minutes I'm going to be thrilled -- 20 would be incredible. I am training my guts out, so hopefully it pays off.

Oh, and I'm down to 198 lbs. too. I'm hoping 200 is in the rearview mirror for good, and continues to fade.