Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Well, folks. I'm back. Yes, a long absence, I know, for which I have no excuse but sheer laziness. Not in my training. Just in the recording of it, which seems more and more absurd. I mean, who really cares if I ran a half mile in 2 minutes, or swam a quarter mile in 15 seconds, or whatever? Well, I've been sufficiently harassed by at least one reader of this blog--perhaps THE one reader--to get back to it, that I've decided to dive back in. Besides, it makes it seem official.

As usual, I haven't registered for any races, though many folks from the TRILAB group have been harassing me to get on the stick. Wildflower is the name that keeps coming up. A friend and I have officially decided to tackle Malibu. What I'd like to do, frankly, is try for a half-Ironman this year. Yes, I know. Didn't I swear--maybe even on this blog--not to do such an absurd thing? But old promises die easily, or some such nonsense. The Ironman looms. And the thing is that if you're training for half-Ironman distances, then Olympic-distance races become WORKOUTS and not peaks. So if I want to try to hit LA again--which I'd still like to do, hopefully getting my time down to below 2:20--I can. I can even do sprints here and there.

I think the whole season should really be peaking for a half-Ironman late in the season, and just throw in some sprint and Olympic distances throughout the season. Noooo problem!

Secretly, I've been back in training, though I haven't really been doing more than one sport/day...today I did 2000 meters in the pool, for instance; last week I did 2 25-mile rides and a couple of runs. One sport a day, focusing on form and endurance, taking it pretty easy for the most part, only pushing now and then when the urge is irresistable.

One troublesome worry: my knees have started hurting! Not severely, just some minor pain that makes me think, hmm, hope that just means time for new shoes! I do hope that's all it is...I was running a really easy 4.5 miles yesterday and the second I picked up the pace AT ALL, bango, the knees started feeling it. I eased off (though I didn't want to, I wanted to keep pushing the speed, of course!), and went in to get some new New Balance 991's, my personal favorite shoe. They were out, but that's okay; I was going to avoid running this week regardless. I'll cycle tomorrow and see how they feel. Hope that riding will be okay for now. Swimming is no problem. In fact, I'm almost ready NOW with my swimming distances for 1/2 Iron distance. I can probably get away with two swims a week once I'm into training hard again. The swim is 1.2 miles, a distance I more than covered in my workout this morning. I've got to just bite the bullet and do long weekend rides of up to 65-70 miles. Maybe more. Plus a long run on the other weekend day. Rest of the week can really be pretty similar to my training last year--some short speed bike and running work, a couple of swims, a couple of middle-distances biking and running. Should work out!

I've been thinking I will need to get together with a group to train. LA Tri Club, maybe? They do long Saturday AM rides that I've been meaning to do. If/when my knees are okay, maybe I should get into a running group, too? I'd like to do track workouts in Santa Monica if possible. And there's always SCAQ for swimming. But cycling has to be my focus for awhile. If I have a weak event, that would be it, just because I don't spend enough time on the bike...yet!!

Anyway, here's hoping again that my knees will be cool with the new shoes after a week of rest from the pounding of running, and that I'll find an event that will accept me...


Monday, September 05, 2005

LA Triathlon approaches

Well, now less than a week out from the Test of All Tests, the LA Triathlon. It's going to be tough, no question...I've been wondering if I've really been putting in the hours lately. Last week was a pretty good training week: some fast swimming (100 meters x 16 on the 2 minutes) followed by 20 minutes of bike intervals; speed work on the bike and on foot Monday; the LA Tri Club ocean swim/run brick on Wednesday; a long swim on Friday--the SCAQ 2350 meter workout, wherein I was able to keep my 150 meter pace at 2:30 for repeat after repeat, finishing with one sprint at 2:20. That actually turned into something of a breakthrough session--that 2:30 pace was solid, and makes me think I should be able to finish the .9 miles in 25 minutes or less...which would be great. Finally, Sunday, yesterday, I did the a bike-run brick on the actual course...slow on the bike--took me 1:40 or so, but there were lots of stoplights and the like slowing us down. My 10K time was about 50 minutes, again with stoplights and waiting and the like, so that was relatively encouraging. All told, I think I'm on track to finish AROUND 2:30--of course, I'm not including transitions and the inevitable fatigue. But hey, it sure would be nice to finish in that time zone in my first Olympic tri. Then next year I can seriously set my sights on breaking 2:20--a serious accomplishment for a triathlete.

After the brick workout, Eric Skelley, who also did the brick, asked Robert Keating from TriLab if he could borrow some racing wheels from the store, and after negotiating with Eric for a bit he asked if I wanted some. I said, sure, and he began quizzing me on my race preparation...I realized after a bit that he was asking me because he didn't want me dragging my butt across the bike finish line at around 4 hours with two TRIATHLON LAB disc wheels proudly spinning on my bike...

This week: tapering hell. I feel kind of shot today after the brick yesterday; I'll probably swim, easily, this morning, maybe just hit the treadmill for a few minutes, and then come home. Keep it under an hour or so. Robert recommended doing workouts that approximate the time I expect to spend in each event...so swim workouts of less than a half-hour, run workouts of 50 minutes, and bike workouts of about 1:15. Don't really know how I'll make it happen...but it's going to be an easy week!

This race FOR SURE feels like the culmination of it all. All 8-9 months of training wrapped up in this event. I feel pretty good! And excited. Doing the course yesterday felt good--it's really quite cool to bike and run by all those LA landmarks: Miracle Mile, MY HOUSE (of course!), Venice Beach, The Walk of Fame, Little Armenia, The Disney Concert Hall, Staples' Center, all the government buildings, LA River Bridge! So bloody cool. Hey, it might need to be a yearly thing for me! Shooting for 2:20.

All right. Off for a relaxing swim.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Back with the club...

Well--a good few days of training. Yesterday I cranked out 30 miles in a fairly leisurely (AHR 128) 32 minutes...I think my race goal of 1:15 for the bike leg may be feasible. Also had my bike refitted by Lloyd at TriLab (after my ride, so I haven't sampled it yet!). Today did an ocean swim of about 1000-1200 meters or so... cranked that out in 17 or 18 minutes--not bad--then did 5.6 miles in 38:57 AHR 140, MHR 162 or so. I think that my goal of 45 minutes for the run leg may ALSO be feasible! All in all, very encouraging. I WAS beaten on BOTH events by guys who were specialty runners/swimmers; one swimmer did the race in about 15 minutes; I'd guess the fastest runner finished a good couple of minutes ahead of me and Charles, a new TriLab guy who ALSO beat me by a few strides (I had slowed up to grab water on the last mile or so, but he still very well might have smoked me; he's a former track star, though thankfully out of my age bracket). I think I could have jammed it a little faster on that run; for most of it I was hanging back with Charles, Fernando, and Joseph from 101, who's quite fast himself, chatting periodically, not really pushing hard. I was almost 10 beats below my average heart rate from a few days ago when I was running an equivalent pace (though it was MUCH hotter that day). Was kind of mad at myself for not pouring it on with all I had in either event--though as always, ocean swimming is super-challenging...you can't really jam hard because of directional uncertainty; you just have to pick your way along. But my navigation was solid! No worries about going significantly off course...did get kicked and lost my goggles momentarily; kind of startling, but easily recovered. All in all, not bad.

On my desk right now I have a sticky-note with two columns: a low expected finish time and a high expected finish time (on the Olympic distance; I'm not really counting Arrowhead, which will be tough but with the altitude I'm really just trying to jam through it). My low times are (S,B,R): 30 min, 1:28, 50, plus transitions bringing my total time to 2:51. My fast times are 25 min, 1:15 and 43:30, plus transitions bringing my total time to 2:25:30. Very tough. That run time will be especially difficult to make. I actually might amend it to 45 minutes and say my fast projected time would be 2:27. That's only 7 minutes slower than the "benchmark" listed in TRIATHLON TRAINING as kind of a cutoff point for the strong finishers of 2:20. Gotta leave SOMETHING for a future goal. Haven't checked the site yet to see what that would get me placing-wise. But I'd love to try to break 2:30. Bragging rights.

Incidentally, I'm thinking it's going to be LA Tri and not Pacific Grove, simply for transportation/practicality reasons. That means 9/11...just a couple weeks away!

So, this week: Long Bike Mon, Long Run Tues, Long Swim Wed. Off Thurs. Easy all three on Friday. Race Saturday! That makes a full workout week, no misses. I'll be easy (ish) on my long work...getting base in line for the Olympic distance. Then jam on Saturday.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gonna Fly Now...

Training feels pretty good these days! Ran a 47:14 6.4 miles-about a 7:30/mile pace over those 6 miles. Not bad for this guy…I think I could probably score a 45 minute 10 K if I push it. Plus around a 1:15 40 K on the bike and a 30 minute 1500 meter swim. That brings my total up to 2:30 or so, plus transitions, making it around 2:35, barring accidents and hills and the like. Not too bad. Not too bad. I’d love to hit that 2:20 mark on an Olympic distance…That would be impressive. Long 30 mile bike ride a couple of weeks ago was stalled by headwinds, bringing that total time to 1:41 or so; but swimming is going well! Pretty speedy and my long workout is getting less challenging. I should by all rights be able to do 100 meters in about 1:30. That would make my 1500 pace around 22:30. Which is freakin’ fast, much faster than I’m used to doing it. I haven’t swum the full distance in a long time; I’ve been doing intervals. I should, though—do the full thing. Discovered a cool pool the other day-a 50 meter pool that has lap swimming 5-6 weeknights. I much prefer it to the 25 meter paltry thing I use at 24 hour, plus it’s closer! Might become a weekly thing…bike out there, swim, bike home and finish off with 7 miles of speedwork in the saddle.

So I feel pretty good about the Arrowhead race, altitude not included (it may be a huge washout without altitude prep. Just gotta be prepared for that!). The distances are well within my limitations and skills. Winners in past years were coming in around an hour or so for the full course-I suppose I will be thinking 10 minute swim, 40 minute bike, 21 minute run? Bringing my total to 1:11. Not bad. Not really in the winners’ circle, but not too shabby. Maybe an age group placing again, which would be nice. Of course, this is assuming that the altitude doesn’t kill me, which it very well might!

Also have to think about breakfast that day! Probably pack it beforehand.

Next couple of weeks after Arrowhead I’ve GOT to amp up my biking. Swimming and running distances of late are FINE, but I’ve got to bike more. Those 30 miles nearly got me the other day. I was sucking wind and the headwind totally boned me. Gotta get tougher on that. Maybe go out and do that distance on Westchester again.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Hard Run, EZ Swim

Well, pushed my 6.4 mile run down to a PR of 49:23. Not bad. First 1.6 miles completed in 14:21, the final one in about 10:30, which was as fast as I ran a SINGLE lap weeks and weeks ago when I did my first tempo run, and it exhausted me and caused calf cramping. Middle two laps were around 13 minutes each. Anyway, I'm getting to be a strong finisher. That appears to be a strength of mine, finishing. Meaning--that I need to take long warmups? I'm not sure. But I do jam well at the end of a race/workout.

On the down side, I suppose that means my pace was around 7:45/mile. My last lap was at a 6:30 mile. Crikey, if I could keep that up for all 6 miles I'd kill, but I don't see that happening. Pace in race #1 was 7:07/mile over 3 miles; in race 2 it was 6:45/mile over 2 miles. All in all, a good effort today. BTW, AHR was 142, MHR 167. My heart rate took almost the whole first lap to get up into the 130's, but then stayed comfortably in the 150s for the last two laps or so. And 167 may be my highest recorded rate yet. All good indicators, I think--fitness improving. I wonder what it means that my heart rate is so slow to respond to effort? Good or bad? In a race, I suppose, it will already be elevated by that point...

Recovery swim of 600 yards, plus 10 minutes of yoga took the edge off. Must keep stretching the calves! Why I haven't been more on top of that ever since it was pointed out to me that my lower leg flexibility sucks is beyond my comprehension. A video of me that I saw recently doing some fight work in bare feet convinced me: my feet point so much I look like Baryshnikov at every moment. But primarily I think I'd feel better and probably run safer.

Okay--tomorrow is a long ride day. Hurrah! Like those days, very medtitative. Maybe I'll put in 30 miles if I can. Need to be back by 10 AM, so start at 7 or so. Maybe a ride up and over Nichols Canyon, more hill work? That's a pretty decent loop there, though there's lots of pesky downhills as well. Too sodding easy.

Haven't gotten around to hitting up Arrowhead for a ride out there! Must do that, not so much for terrain, which I think I can handle, but for altitude! That may indeed kill me, or at least slow me down a lot.

All for now. A

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Update by negligent blogger

Well, it's been awhile, but again my training's been on. It's just that it's been a lot more of the SAME, I should say: one long, one fast, and one recovery workout per discipline per week. Basically I do four two-sport days and a fifth day reserved for a long cycling workout, where I go slowish but long, for about two hours or so.

I had to take almost two weeks off in early-mid July and only just now really feelack in the saddle, back up to my previous fitness level. I may have even surpassed it but to tell the truth, climbing out of that fitness deficit wasn't easy!

What happened is that I went on a five-day hike in the Presidential Mountains with my Father, his brother, and his brother's wife. It was a good hike, and very challenging at times, but it's wasn't like redlining it on the bike, foot, or in the pool--very steady-state, slow-moving type of work. I reasoned that the fact that we were going 8 hours a day would keep my fitness up. But it's that old SAID principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. After the hike Heidi and Kate and I were out in New England for a few days still, basically hanging out, though I did get in a nice lake swim--maybe 3/4 mile or so? Hard to say. Fun to do, and my first experience where, hey, if I don't make it across, I could actually DROWN! Or I could get shredded by a passing motorboat, of which there were many. But I faced down my fears, left my family on the beach for an impromptu workout. Took it slow and did just fine, actually--probably took me about 25 minutes, if that. Took a break on the far shore, hanging out on some rich guy's dock/waterslide/diving board float while I caught my breath between efforts. Swam back and joined my family, who hadn't seen my Armstrongian efforts and hardly noticed I was gone. Boo.

I digress. Not too much in the way of working out for almost 2 weeks. Then got back and foolishly dove right back into the full 9 workouts a week. Smart, eh? Well, NO. I didn't really hurt myself, but it could have been a much smoother transition back to my full workout swing if I'd ramped it up gradually. Welcome to the wonderful world of common sense, Mr. Heffernan, so glad you could join us. Most people brag to spouses about their accomplishments out there on their bikes, in the pool, on foot? (Okay, I do that, too--I mean, who else is going to listen? Who else can one legitimately BRAG to? One's BLOGGING audience of two?) And Heidi's very nice about it when I say, "Sweetheart, I ran 6.4 miles in under 50 minutes today! Don't you find me irresistable now?" She very kindly kisses me on the cheek and hands me our two-year old, Kate, whose diaper needs changing.

So I brag to Kate.

"Daddy swam 150 yards in two minutes twenty seconds!"

"Daddy silly."

She's right.

Anyway--more digressions. What really impresses Heidi (and Kate, too, probably) is the days when I show RESTRAINT. When I come home and say I only ran two miles. Or didn't break 15 mph on the bike. Or just decided NOT to work out. That's when Heidi's REALLY impressed.

Yes, it's a backwards world, that of an insane triathlete compensating for the gaping hole in the middle of my professional life, sweating buckets for refrigerator magnets (the ones that say "Redondo Beach Triathlon Award Winner") while my acting career languishes.

But the last few weeks have been pretty good: body's used to the level of stress I put on it again, and earlier this week I did my usual Griffith Park Loop in 50 minutes, 47 seconds, then threw in a run up to the observatory, which felt good so I took the long loop back, bringing the run time to 24 minutes or so--can't remember, so lax on the record-keeping now. Yesterday I did the LONG SCAQ workout and it felt the best it's EVER felt: no exhaustion by the end, and I DID in fact swim 150 in 2:20, which is pathetic, probably, for a GOOD swimmer, but decent for a recreational triathlete just hoping not to get smoked TOO badly in the swim portion of the race.

Last week also got together with the TriClub again. What a terrific bunch. Wow: Eric, Jim, Kirk, Diane, Joseph and two other guys whose names I never learned (nice journalism skills there) all were there, and there was much good cheer to be had among all of us. Also met a guy named Fernando who had a Softride bike and a pretty good running pace, though I finally got him at the end. It wasn't altogether fair, however: I was volunteering that day, and was held up on the run start by chaperoning some campers to the bathroom. In the bike leg, I broke a spoke and had to pull over to switch out my back wheel, which took about 12 minutes. Nevertheless--it was a good day of working out.

Had to get my bike serviced--to fix the spoke and straighten the frame a bit to allow my back wheel to go on and off easily. I did learn one thing: if I get a flat during a race, I'm dead. I mean, 45 minutes dead. I tried to change a tire last week and that's how long it took. Wow, I sucked at it. Mostly because it was so hard to get the thing back on, but I'm slow at everything. Maybe I should practice??

Anyway--Lake Arrowhead race coming up on August 20th--yes, I finally signed up. Wow. I need to get out there and practice that bike course! Don't know when--midweek next week? Monday?? Maybe Monday. 1000 feet of climbing, I'm told, isn't bad. It's manageable over the 10 mile distance. I climb that much in Griffith, and the speeds that people did it in in previous years indicate that it's not like climbing Everest, and I'm told that no, technical climbing doesn't mean I need a mountain bike.

Well, that's enough for now. Maybe biweekly (or monthly!) blogging is better than daily--I'm sure that my vast audience is tired of my little charts with Max Heart Rate and the like. Anyway--about the numbers, they are getting better. Save for the climbing and the altitude (!), I'm sure I'll be all ready to go!


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hard Ass run workout

Inspired by my HS pal Derek Dean, who wrote me that he has run a 5:03 mile, I put in a fast AND long run workout today: 6.4 miles, doing the four 1.6 mile loops as follows:
Loop 1: 15 minutes
Loop 2: 10 minutes
Loop 3: 15 minutes
Loop 4: 10 minutes...and 3 seconds.

HARD. AS. HELL. Average HR was 141, max 169, but in those fast loops I was in the upper 150s. Good news? I made it, and I feel okay now. Is a 40 minute 10K in the cards for me? Eventually?? Perhaps, though maybe not this year, and probably not after a 1.5 KM swim and a 25 mile bike! Anyway--a good workout. Realized that I could push myself pretty darn hard and still hold up okay. It's a question of shattering perceived limits.

Did 27 minutes of recovery bike after that--only did around 6 miles in that time! That's cool, though--felt nice to just go easy.

Don't know what I'll do tomorrow--long swim plus recovery run on the treadmill, I suspect. Then maybe I'll do my long ride on FRIDAY and go to TriLab orientation on Saturday AM. I'll see--that leaves a recovery swim and a fast OR long run for Sunday. Do-able.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Fast Swim and Bike

Short workout report: Biked to the gym, did 1500 meter swim, pushing for time the whole way. 100m wu, 4X50 on the 1:00; 4X100 on the 2:00; 100m catchup; 200m; 100m high elbows; 300m easy; 100m sprint. Fastest 100m time was 1:20, a personal best by 2 seconds--generally I was clocking the 100's at around 1:25-1:30; 50's at sub-45. Checked out some winning times at Ventura in past years: 1500 meters in 19 minutes. Inhuman.

Biked back from the gym, did an intense 20 minutes or so of Fastpedal drill, 2 min on, 1 min off for a total of 10 minutes fastpedaling, then cooled down. Did about 13 miles on the bike total (with trip to and from gym, easy riding).

Focus on speed and strength important! If I'm really going to improve and not just stay at the same level.

Don't know what I'll do this week. Don't know if I'll get up and do the ocean swim again. It's a little early for that, and Arrowhead doesn't have an ocean swim. But 2 intense workouts out of the way already on day one of the workout week. Well done. Felt good generally. Swimming speed getting a little better. And I think fastpedal will pay dividends...I tend to mash; this will keep me aerobic.

Tomorrow I run, but I don't know where or how. Possibly bike too. Maybe a
Griffith Brick? Hills on the bike + hills on foot?


Monday, June 27, 2005

A touch of restraint

Took a really tough run yesterday--up Runyon Canyon ALL THE WAY, over and down, then back UP the huge cliff-like path, then up and up to the farthest, highest paths until there was nowhere else to go. Finally jogged down the hill back to the car, continuing to go at a good clip down the hills. A tough, tough run. AHR was 140 and heart rate maxed at 163 after the cliff climb. A hard push--took me 1:06 or so.

So, right, where's the restraint? I had planned to do an easy, recovery swim of a few hundred meters, but when I got to the gym all 3 lanes were taken with 2 swimmers each. So I stretched and made a sit in the jacuzzi my recovery swim. Felt lovely.

So I didn't get a third swim in last week. Too sodding bad.

Today, Monday, I'm off on a break. Feels perfect, not too jumpy like I sometimes get. Don't really want to worry about planning this week's workouts; don't know if I'll go back to the ocean swim again. Maybe this weekend I can go to Arrowhead and check out that course? That would be a run/bike brick...

Not thinking about it. Easy day. Even declined to take an easy hike this afternoon with a friend.


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Long, Hilly Ride

24.89 miles on the bike, the Nichols Canyon/Griffith Park route. Was hoping it was longer, 30 miles or more, but still, a good, challenging route. AHR 124, MRH 150. Relatively easy effort--67% max hr average...just about what it should be for a long push. Finished in 1:51--the hills slowed me down--average speed was just over 14.

On those hills it's tempting to just granny it and spin, which I'm pretty good at--but must learn to push up the hills if I expect to do well in Arrowhead, esp. at altitude. Now that I'm familiar with that route maybe next time I can go for time and push into higher effort zones.

Clients on vacation! No one to train but me...

Tomorrow, Long Run and Easy Swim. Soon I'll be out of town again, cross-training with long hikes in the Appelachians...luckily the parents are amenable to my working out. And they have bikes!


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Swim Bike, feeling heavy...

Took an easy ride to the gym and put in 2000 meters--the SCAQ workout. Took my time getting it done as I was feeling kind of sluggish. May be because yesterday was two speed workouts together: the intense ocean swim and the sprint running. But got it done, focusing on good technique--long strokes, straight extension, nice, long gliding strokes. Didn't worry too much about time, though my fast 100 meter time was around 1:25--about 3 seconds off my top time a few weeks ago. So not a great workout but going back to basics on form is always good. Rode the bike back, making about a 6 mile bike ride all told, done at an easy, recovery pace.

So--long ride Saturday, long run and recovery swim sunday. Good week...

Kind of wondering if the current training sked might be a mite too intense given that Arrowhead is so far off. If I'm feeling spry, I might head out to Arrowhead on Saturday and crank through the bike course--maybe twice--to see what I'm looking at here, and how to train. Feel like I'm spending an awful lot of time training these days, though I feel pretty strong for the most part...


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

LA Tri Club Bonanza

Managed to haul my lazy butt out of bed this morning at 5:40 or so (actually
wasn't that hard--I was brooding on a recent audition disappointment) and head
out to Santa Monica for some ocean swimming. Same workout that I've done
twice before now: start at cone #1, run in, brave the breakers, swim 45 degrees
out to a buoy 200 meters out, right shoulder 90 degrees around the buoy, swim
in to cone #2, run about 300 meters back to the first cone. Repeat till all
major organs thoroughly vomited out onto the sand. Doesn't get any bloody
easier! I did four repeats, which most other people did (there were probably 20
people there today), though some freaks did 5. Every time I got out of the
water I was sucking wind big time. What's the deal? I wonder if transitioning
from swim to run is just hard metabolically...all the O2 is going to the upper
body for the swim and then you go into a run, asking for blood in the legs all
of a sudden. Told myself that it was good prep for transitioning, and that
the Redondo beach exit wouldn't have been as manageable without that practice.

I think the most noticable way in which my fitness has improved is that I
don't need as much recovery time after an anaerobic effort. I noticed this
further during my speed run: I did about 4 miles in 27:10, broken down as follows:
5 min easy warmup, 2 min fast run/1 min. easy jog, repeated 5X, then 2 min
easy, 1 minute sprint, 1 min easy, 2-3 minute fast run in. I was planning on
taking 2 minute breaks between the hard efforts but felt good enough--even
after my hard swim--to do 1 minute easy pushes. And all told I held my pace to
under 7 min/mile, even though overall pace was less of a concern to me than
getting good efforts on the sprints.

So it's good to know that my recovery is getting better, and that I can catch
my breath fairly efficiently after a hard push...just have to go into
recovery pace--biking, swimming OR running, and it kicks in.

All told it was about 75 minutes worth of pushing...completed the swim in
about 42 minutes and the run in 27, then did 5 minutes of stretching to round
things out. Wow...

Incidentally, I read about the Arrowhead Tri: 10 mile bike ride with 900
feet of climbing! A tough, tough ride. Moreover, the course is at 5200 feet!
Anyone who trains at real altitude will have a serious advantage. I suppose
this means a couple of things: that I need to keep working those hills, on the
bike, and that I need to get myself out there at least one weekend to work the
course and feel what it's like, preferably a few weeks out so I know how to
prep for it. But wow...it's going to be a toughie.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Random Afternoon Thoughts

I've been corresponding with an old pal, Kendra Nordin, who does triathlons and who reflected to me that in spite of her passion for the sport she finds it superficial. I strangely agree...there's a part of me that feels like I don't really fit the profile. I wasn't an athlete to speak of in high school (I lettered in TENNIS, and I went something like 2-5 for the season. Not much to crow about). I didn't really get into athletics until I found something I could do on my own. I always felt like a non-athlete in school--not into the standard sports at all, not into competing for goals that seemed unimportant (put this ball in that basket? WHY???). But now I'm totally hooked and insane. I'm the guy that people laugh at playing a friendly game of volleyball because I get a little TOO into it. Maybe it's because I'm making up for lost time. I think post-wimps like me probably make the fiercest athletes because we're compensating for our former poor performance on the field. Ex-jocks go to seed, thinking they've still got it, and pull hamstrings when they play basketball on weekends. Anyway, it's a mighty weird thing to get into, though in Southern California it makes a kind of sense...should we move I might have to find an indoor sport to play.

Most trainers have an evangelical streak...I think I've got one but I keep it in check, letting people ask me about it instead of boring people stiff with how important it is to do Seated Cable Rows with good form.

Sport makes a good metaphor for me...the lessons of discipline, dedication, delay of gratification, tenacity, etc. are all imbedded in sport. I feel like a cliche saying all this but of course the hope is that you can transfer some of these qualities to the rest of your life. To be honest I also find myself drawn to triathlon because one of my other major pursuits--acting--has not been going so well...the relationship between time invested and progress made (in the business, not so much as an artist) was out of whack. It seemed like the more effort I put in the less progress I made in the business. Triathlon and working out reward effort put in in a shamelessly one-to-one ratio. Put in the time and you will improve. It's perfect for a believer in the Protestant Work Ethic.

But it's also funny, and I sort of look at myself spending all this time and effort doing this activity and think it's faintly ridiculous. But I suppose I feel that way about life in general too...engrossing, fascinating, and faintly ridiculous.

Tough Brick...

Did a quick, hourlong brick today, consisting of 45 minutes of hard riding (13.06 miles, AHR 133, MHR 152). I did a total of 12 minutes of FASTPEDALING (a drill I took from Lance Armstrong's book, The Lance Armstrong Performance Program, which I'll plug here as if the guy needs any more help.) Basically you gear down and up your cadence to 108 strokes / minute or more...it's hard, but it does imprint the idea that fast feet are more efficient than mashing big gears all the time. I took minute long rests between efforts, finally doing a 2:30 fastpedal for a serious leg burn. It's this type of drill--very specific--that will help my speed at this point, now that I've developed basic, sports-specific speed and strength. Just gotta keep breaking it down more and more.

I suppose there's a similar drill where you use an extra high gear in order to build the leg power, so that your legs develop speed and strength at the same time.

I followed the fastpedaling with a recovery run--one lap of 1.6 miles. Was tempted to do another lap to make it a 5K but reminded myself hey, it's a recovery, not a full-bore effort. Legs a little sluggish after the drilling, no surprise but took it easy. Being specific about intensity, as determined by HR, will be a key in my improvement from here on out.

Tomorrow, I hope to go back to the La Tri Club ocean swim, followed by some real speed work on foot. IF I can get up early enough--probably at 5:40 or so. Thurs I'll swim long and recover on the bike, then do a long bike Saturday--finally, the Tri Club cycle, again, assuming I can haul my butt up at that hour!--followed by a long run and a recovery swim on Sunday--that's a weird workout, but that's what I'll have left after the week...hmmm, unless I invert it and do a long run tomorrow and speed work on Sunday.... Isn't this fascinating to read?

I must apologize to my web designer and pal Madley Katarungan for failing to mention her by name in the email about the triathlon, at which she was present and took photos. Without her all two of you wouldn't be reading this!


Monday, June 20, 2005

Back in the swing...

Well, though my blogging has been remiss my training has NOT. Last week, while in Santa Fe visiting my mother-in-law I eased back into training with a 40 minute easy run (though at Santa Fean altitudes an "easy" run isn't). On Wednesday I cross trained with a cantankerous but very knowledgeable chap, Carl Miller, who runs a Santa Fe gym called "Carl and Sandra's." For a few years he was the coach of the Olympic Weightlifting Team--and that's just the beginning of his accolades. Carl Miller For 90 minutes or so he regaled me with his hard-earned 35 years of weightlifting/training tips. He's a great guy and runs a great gym...understandably, he bases his clients' programs around Olympic-style weightlifting drills--and then supersets in ab work and more isolation-type drills (he would consider a bench press or a pulldown an isolation exercise! Hardcore...). He checked my form on squats, deadlifts, clean and jerk, and snatch, and gave me some useful pointers. Hadn't lifted for 7 months or so, but still felt strong. Missed it a bit, I have to say. The hardcoreness of it all.

Nevertheless, upon returning home I jumped back into tri training, though my next event is at least 8 weeks away: a hard swim workout on Friday the 17th; (2300 meters--actually got a pump out of it!--based on drills of 150 meters. Tried always to keep my time under 2:30, and succeeded all the way through. Can't remember my fastest time--2:10 or so?). On Saturday I got out the Specialized and put in a fairly easy 25 miles, though I included 4 one-minute uphill sprints at Griffith. Finally capped things off yesterday with my 6.4 mile neighborhood run, which I did in a personal record time of 49:30. I wanted to break 50 minutes and I just baaaarely made it.

This week I suppose I'll get back to a few bricky workouts: back to the ocean swim + run with the LA club on Wednesday--I'll make it a speed version of both events, leaving me to do a Fast Bike / Recovery Run tomorrow (Tuesday) and a Recovery Swim and Bike on Thursday.

I don't know if I'll continue the 9 workouts/week system all the way up through Arrowhead...I DO like the ONE DISCIPLINE/DAY for three days a week so I can focus it on three days of the week, where I can really put in the mileage or meters, but that leaves me with too much to do on the other two days of the week, assuming I keep the 5 days/week sked up. I COULD do SPEED day of ALL disciplines and then RECOVERY day of ALL disciplines?? Might be a little insane, eh? But with plenty of time to go for my next race maybe I'll do that, then do another ramp-up for September.

I'm thinking of tacking on a final race in NOVEMBER: the Catalina Island Tri: .5 miles S/12 M B/3 M R. Doable, and a nice excuse to go to Catalina Island, which we've never done.

That would make 5 races this season...a lot for my first season, but they're fun! Then I'd probably ease off for November and December and possibly January...maybe focus more on 1-2 disciplines for those months, do some lifting and yoga before resuming real training in February or March.

Of course, I have to ask myself, to what end? The Ironman distance events beckon, and though I swore I wouldn't try them, Eric Skelley, bless his heart, is seriously gunning for them, and it makes me wonder. Of course, he has no family--I think I'd really have to think hard about it before I plunged in--that's a part time job to prep for that race: something in the order of 20 hours/week of training. Wow...that would even test my freakyness. Right now I'm doing nine at most.

When it comes down to it, I'm not going to make MONEY doing this--I'm just going to have fun and get an ego boost or kick when I place high or low in the races. So I have to find the right place for this stuff in my life. Right now it's bordering on obsession.

Another alternative to pushing for longer distances is to push to WIN at the sprint level! Keep working on my shorter distance running, biking and swimming and see if I can get a top-five overall finish! Or maybe WIN one. Tough proposition.

I sure prefer this type of competing over boxing/martial arts which I did for so long, where there's a clear WINNER and a clear LOSER. And the loser is usually bruised at the least, bodily and psychically. That's why I always had cold feet about competing in those events. In triathlon, it doesn't matter! You can place 19th and still feel great.

Anyway--enough blogging for now. More later...


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Race Breakdown -- TRI #2 (Redondo Beach)

By breakdown, I mean a point-by-point description of how the race went, NOT that I broke down, at any point...

Quite the contrary, actually, though I DID have to adjust to the fact that there were hundreds of people in attendance (not the paltry 150 or so at San Dimas) and it seemed like 90 percent of them were badass swimmers. The good part, and the fun part, was that there were about 10 people from Triathlon Camp there--some competing, some watching: Eric, Joe, Diane and Kirk Anglin, Jim, Jason and a couple others competed; Peter, Joanna, Kirsten and a few others were there to cheer us on. It felt like a huge event, not the brief sprint that it actually was: lots of information tents, a real podium, race volunteers for days...


Once we got around to starting (there were some snafus around the buoy placement), it was, again, quite the land-grab for swimming space, but everyone was sportsmanlike: a few gentle whacks given and taken here and there, but none intentional. The swim was made much easier by the presence of lots of people around me: not only did I have wakes to swim in for drafting purposes, but I had the benefit of seeing people all around me heading in the same direction. I felt like one of an enormous school of migrating fish. The swim was long but manageable: easy to navigate and not too tiring: the wetsuit helped, I think, with buoyancy and hydrodynamics. Three buoys to swim around...




Getting back onshore was, as usual, a challenge: my legs didn't want to work right, and the run up to the transition area required a sprint up a set of stairs (bolstered by fans' cheering, god bless them, including Heidi and Kate and a few other friends), then a jog over the parking lot and to my bike. Robert Keating from TriLab told me I was 24 back, which seemed a looong way back (I was still hoping to match my 8th place San Dimas finish, but in a field of 600 fish, I was dreaming. Still, he seemed elated to be telling me, so he must have been reasonably happy about it). T1 was smooth, though looking at my time it could have been faster; I trotted out and started the bike course, knowing it was a short 6 miles, all out.

Passed a couple of guys on the 2 lap course--caught probably a dozen or so on my second lap who were just starting their first. I passed Eric, who had started with me, on the second loop--he didn't look happy, and didn't respond when I said words of encouragement to him. At one point one of those born-in-the saddle types zipped by me too, but I don't remember too many others getting past me. Overall, bike felt pretty smooth, though I lost a little time wondering where my turnoff was for the end of the course.

Transitioning into the run was quick and easy--choked down some water and bolted out, encouraged again by Heidi and Kate on the way in and out. At one point I also saw Melanie Haro, which was a surprise: I didn't expect to see them, or any other pals there so early! But I settled into a good running pace, passed a couple of folks early on, and then was passed by an Asian speed demon who I initially thought I could catch (hah!). As happened in San Dimas, I lost focus for a little while in the middle: the run is lonely and isolated, and you wonder, as tired as you suddenly are, why you're doing this, what's the point, etc. But I fought through it, knowing that EVERYONE would be feeling that way and THIS was where the wheat got separated from the chaff, the finishers from the real competitors. I soldiered on, with no clue as to my pace (I opted not to wear a watch), pushing for a speed that was just this side of agonizing.


Remembering the race director's instructions that "when you see a hill that you don't want to go up, you're almost there," I burst with speed upon seeing that monstrous hill, and passed a couple of last guys who were keeping their pace even. Managed a sprint out at the finishline. Somehow the race felt more effortful than San Dimas--requiring more mental toughness, even though the time spent racing (50:51) was SHORTER than in San Dimas.


Final results had me in 19th place among the men, 21st place overall (yes, okay, two Amazon women beat me. Amazing athletes, my hats off to 'em.) I was 4th among the 30-34 year olds. Not sodding bad, given the huge field. Looking at my final stat breakdowns, my swim was 16:41, on the slow side overall (around 25th fastest); my bike was average 17:27 (around 19th overall), and my run was on the FAST side: 13:31, meaning I was running 6:45 miles. Pretty good--better than San Dimas, where I ran over 7 minute miles for the 3 mile race.


Andrew, Heidi and Kate

Anyway--I'm proud of the results. Again, my second triathlon and scored in the top few percentiles. I would like to move up--who wouldn't--and I'd like to do longer races and see what that's like. A whole new challenge.

May do one called the Arrowhead tri in August. For now I'm resting. Will pick up workouts on Friday (tomorrow).



Saturday, June 11, 2005

Last day

Well it's the morning before the triathlon. Must be getting tiresome to read
"well I'm about to do the race..." I must go back and read my last prerace
stuff...was I this nervous? I think not; I think it was just plain fun. By
this time tomorrow--in fact, almost AT this time, I'll be finishing the

My goal is to have fun and do my best. That's it. Forget beating anyone.
Just enjoy as I did the last one.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Prerace oddity

Did a dry run of the swim this morning with Robert K. of TriLab, who met several of us at 6 AM. A pretty good strong swim, though lots of waves and breakers and seaweed made it tough. Best discovery: siting in the H20 suit--got in the rhythm of it and managed to get it down well. I swam probably about 100 feet further out than the others, but caught the leaders by the turnaround. Good to practice ocean swimming again...this one will favor left hander like me as I'll be able to see the shore on the way out.

So--one more easy bike ride tomorrow--if I can resist pouring it on at all--before race Sunday AM. Good god, taper week is awful. I wish I'd made it a normal, hard week!

Heard that Eric's running 6:30 miles. Wow--that's fast. Fortunately, he's out of my age bracket.

Going to STAR WARS tonight. A good break...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tapering Stress

New blogging style--apologies for the one-word blog.

Taper week is supposed to be the week of relaxation. Not having tapered much to speak of for the last race (I treated it just like a regular workout week, though I counted my "speedwork" workouts on all 3 disciplines as my race day workout). This time around I'm actually tapering: going easier, working out less time. Rather than feeling relaxed and good, I'm practically climbing the walls. Lots of pent-up energy, but when I go to put in my short, relaxed workouts, I feel sluggish and slow. Great way to build the confidence, eh? Maybe it's just my race-week jitters. The week before the last race when I was working hard up to the last minute, I was stressed then thinking I'd have nothing left for the race itself. Now I fear I won't be appropriately geared up for it!

For the record, and so I know next time to either repeat or avoid at all costs this particular system, I've done the following this week:

TUESDAY: Bike/Run Brick: started out easy but couldn't help myself and banged out 8.89 miles on the bike and 3.2 miles on foot, all in 55:36, just about race pace from last time, if you add the little extra time for transitions and water drinking, stowing of gear, and the 1/2 extra mile on the bike + .2 extra miles on foot. Encouraging that I was able to keep with the same pace sans the pressure and adrenaline of racing.

WEDNESDAY: Skipped the LA TriClub workout and hit the pool--did technique drills for 50 meter repeats, then regular stroke to ingrain the movements. Did 550 yards easy at one point, stretching out the stroke. A guy in the building, Wayne (did I blog this already?) is a Master's swimmer world-record holder!, and offered to help with my stroke. I'm still very befuddled about how to do it right--I know I've got way too much tension right now, but I'm trying like hell to stretch it out!...anyway, that workout was my first struggle workout. The Tuesday push took a lot out of me, it turns out.

THURSDAY (today): easy 2-3 mile run, almost walking dead pace. Oddly, going easy was HARDER because I don't want to exhert ANY effort and then anything feels too hard. So then I start to think, geez, am I not even fit enough to do 2 miles? When really it's boredom.

Plan for Friday and Saturday: Friday, drive to Redondo by 6 AM (AAAAoooorrrrgh), do an open water workshop with Robert Keating at the race site (maybe this will be a tradition! The Friday open-water scouting mission!), then Saturday, an easy handful of miles on the bike. Nothing pushed, just easy 6-8 miles.

Then lots of rest on Saturday, and up early on Sunday again for the race. Wow.

I'm feeling nervous about this one: when I was waiting in line to register in San Dimas, I remember hearing a guy say, "this is my second tri and NOW I'm nervous because there's expectation." I know what he means...especially after a good performance last time, now I've got to prove it wasn't a fluke, or luck, or an easy racing pool. There are certainly some tough competitors out there--Eric Skelly and Todd, both all-around fast guys who smoked me numerous times in races at trilab. Peter won't be competing, though he's tough as nails too, a fast runner and sprinter on the bike, and a focused competitor. And who knows if there will be ringers coming out of the woodwork, like those insanely fit guys who competed in San Dimas, like Jorge who won my age category. All told, it's impossible to know how I'll stack up. I know my approximate times--probably in the vicinity of 14-18 minutes or so for the swim, about 21-23 minutes for the bike, and about 13-15 minutes for the run. So my finishing time should be anywhere from 48 to 56 minutes. A pretty big spread there, but I don't know the course, and of course, I don't know what the water will be like and if I'll stay on course.

All told though, I feel okay...ready. Next week I'm going to do something completely different--no biking, maybe some swimming, for sure some easy long running, and some WEIGHT TRAINING...I've got a session set up with a former Olympic trainer in Santa Fe and I'm going to go and get some tips. Haven't touched the weights in going on 6 months. So I'm out for the week. Then I'll be back in the saddle--maybe starting easier and including some weights again, shooting for perhaps the Lake Arrowhead tri in August and eventually the Long course race, either the LA tri or the Pacific Grove Tri on the weekend of Sept 10th and 11th. Those are the biggies. July is going to be a weird training month with family reunions and weddings and the like. But I'm going to power through and shoot for those Olympic distance races and possibly Arrowhead, which sounds lovely.

That's it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Gearing Up for Tri 2

Well, haven't done such a great job keeping up lately--but I've continued the 3x/week/discipline pattern since that last tri effort, and it's been going well. My long workouts are getting longer and harder both--now on long runs I'll do a series of two minute sprints and maybe some stairs; on bikes I'll do 30 miles with some hills and some time trials in the 6 mile range (my next tri will be a 6 mile bike effort). I've been less diligent about keeping track of heart rates, or at least recording them...so we'll see on Sunday if geeking out is a genuine help or if freewheeling works just as well.

So the race--inaugural Redondo Beach Tri is on 6/12, next Sunday, a 1/2 mile Ocean Swim followed by the 6 mile bike and 2 mile run. If my usual times are any indication, it should take less time than the last race. The swim, of course, is the big question mark: how big will the water be? Big water, as I've discovered in weekly ocean swims with the LA Tri Club--which are really tough, incidentally, makes all the difference. I've learned pretty well how to navigate, and in the H20 wetsuit, which I've been using the last couple of weeks, it's easier to power-stroke up and see where the hell I'm going. Still, if big water blocks the buoy, you just don't know if you're straight, and I know I've swum longer and harder than I've had to in big water. Entry, of course, is that much harder--takes more time and requires more effort...so the swim could add a lot of time. Of course, it will add time to EVERYONE else too, but particularly inexperienced ocean swimmers, among whom I sadly still count myself. And finally, the flailing arms and legs will again be a factor, though hopefully the wave starts and the wide start area on the beach will alleviate too much herky-jerky. Seems like the most dangerous spot is among the gung-ho folks. I'm sticking with my strategy of taking the first turn wide and staying out of the fray. Too much effort at the top is wasteful anyway--the fittest swimmers eventually prevail nonetheless.

As with San Dimas, the short course is essentially a license to floor it from the get go, which I'm pretty decent at by now. The bike and run don't concern me that much...I've got the wind and the speed by now. Just have to remember to let it hang out on both events. Oddly, I haven't really worked with such a SHORT course, so the key will be in not pacing too much!

I hope I'm not getting too caught up in placing and time with this race--placing high in my first race was a bit of a mind-f**k, because now I have EXPECTATIONS, whereas in May I had no such thing. With no idea who will be there, I could win or get utterly smoked. My goal is to have fun again, not to worry about placing too much, and get a good, strong workout in with the added bonus of some friendly competition. Pollyannaish enough for everyone? GOOD.

This week: LSD of each discipline on TWR, with minor speedwork thrown in, then recovery on each on Saturday, followed by race day Sunday. Some concern about racing so soon after last time, but I know some people who are practically racing every weekend!

Will blog before then...feeling good, though.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Whole New World


Went out with LA Tri Club for the first time. A whole new world. Many of those guys are FISH. We did an ocean swim drill of 1/4 mile repeats: out to a buoy and back to shore at an angle, then running between cones. I wore my H2O Velocity suit—great for buoyancy. I needed it, as the water was colder than in Redondo from the last couple of weeks. Glad I have it. Anyway, repeated the exercise 4x for a total of a mile swim, then did about a 4.25 mile run with some 2 minute speed efforts thrown in on the return trip. Did this in Venice.

Overall, fun. Now that I know what the swim is and that I can handle it, maybe next week I can push a little more. I think I finished towards the middle or maybe the end of the pack…hard to tell as of course we got all spread out. But ocean swimming is definitely essential for me.

One great advantage of the H20 suit: it’s easy to do a power stroke to sight! So I won’t have to slow down too much and breaststroke in order to see where I’m going. But my stroke is also improving…getting straighter. So this will probably be a weekly thing: meeting the Triclub folks (who seem nice—got a couple of names: Nitra and Bouback. Good god, where are the normal names? Nice to meet others doing this event. Bouback, who ran with me and Nitra, did the San Dimas race a couple of weeks ago and finished a hair behind me. Anyway, fun, and I felt safe. Ins and outs…running between is a pretty good drill…you redistribute the blood in your legs.

This week will be weird; going out of town Sunday and therefore can only run. But I’ve already done two runs this week! (Yesterday was a speed bike: 10 miles in about 31 minutes), plus a recovery 5K.

Redondo is my next race and therefore I think I need to shore up my swimming…1/2 mile in the ocean is pretty far. Maybe add a swim workout per week, drop the recovery run? I have about about 3 weeks—so 2 weeks of hard training, one week of taper.

Tuesday: FB/RR
Wednesday: LS/FR
Thursday: LB (w/TriClub?) or RB/LS
Friday: LS OR OFF
Saturday: RB/RS—bike to gym, swim, bike home.
Sunday: LR in SD

That makes the 9 workouts. Keep up the intensity!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Race Results! Tri #1 (San Dimas)

Start Time: 7:36 AM
T1: 7:40
T2: 8:10
Finish: 8:31

Swim Time (200-300 yds): 4 min
Bike Time (8.33 miles): 30 min (3.6 min/mile; 17 mph avg)
Run Time (3 miles): 21 min (7 min/mile)

Total Time: 55:42
Place: 2nd in Age Group (30-34); 8th overall.

Good job! Very happy and pleased at these results.





Coming in
Coming in

Final Run
Final Run


With Kate, Heidi and Mom
With Kate, Heidi and Mom

The next week was back into the swing of it: one sprint, one recovery, and one distance workout in all three disciplines.

TRILAB workout on 5/21 was a FULL OLYMPIC DISTANCE effort: 1/2 mile swim (that’s a little short, actually) 23 mile bike, 6 mile run. Apparently I did it in 2 hours, which seems fast, but hey, I was first. Outsprinted my nearest competitor, who actually overtook me for a minute or so, by inches at the end. I just had something left and he didn’t. Fitting, it was Peter—who had been outdoing me throughout the whole camp. I was definitely not putting in race effort—really cruising on the bike, chatting with people as I passed them. The run got more serious as I realized that I had a real shot at winning, so I nose-to-the-grindstoned it. Anyway, lots of congratulations and back slapping on my effort at the San Dimas course the week before—no one but I really got the satisfaction of my intraclub win. But it was great to actually experience an Olympic distance event!

Just now I went back and reread my entire triathlon journal starting in January! Wow, what a ride it’s been. My times have certainly improved! Swimming and running are much faster now. And in San Dimas I was running 7 minute miles for 3 miles; I had been hoping for 7:30 at that race! So I’m definitely much faster.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Long Bike—Taper Day Two

13.7 miles in 57:32
AHR: 131
MHR: 146
Avg speed: 14.2
Top speed: around 33

Griffith loop again. Felt good, gave it a little more push than I was thinking I would. Still didn’t top my best speed doing the reverse loop with intervals about a month ago. But felt good. Tomorrow, long swim plus recovery run, then Saturday recovery swim and bike. Keep going!

[Rest of the week: easy workouts generally—practice triathlon with TRILAB group (2/3 mile swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run), in which I came in second without really trying. I especially took it easy on the run…really let myself ease into it. Was happy to be second even with that level of effort!]

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Long Run —Taper Day One

6.4 miles in 1:00:14
AHR: 129
MHR: 139

Good, easy run. Lots of stretching before and after. Kept HR in easy range, no pushes for speed. Mild discomfort in lower legs again, but not bad. Will put in a long bike tomorrow, a long swim and a recovery run on Thursday, Friday off, then do an easy swim and an easy bike with Trilab on Saturday, working transitions and easy form, sticking with the slow group, then race day on Sunday! Hurrah! Like this plan…it actually keeps me at my 3 workouts/discipline/week pace, one per speed slow, med, fast, assuming the race pace IS fast—that will count as my speed workout.

Good work again, mostly for the restraint. A couple of times I was tempted to go for it on the speed, really push—but I didn’t. I just went easy pace, though I went for the full hour…a slight negative split. Nice to feel how easy it can be. I could have run a marathon, I bet! Very manageable. Same thing tomorrow on the bike. Maybe do 90 minutes to 2 hours. Easy as pie.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Long Swim/Fast Bike/Fast Run

Approx. 2 hours

This was a long, fun workout—very tough, especially the bike/run, which were real effortful pushes. The swim workout was good: in the pool, with Gina and the advanced swimmers – Eric, Stefan, Goatee Mountain Biker Todd…was that all? Can’t remember. Anyway, we pushed through lots of drills—and hell, I was the fastest one! Too bad tri swims aren’t in pools, I’d do well. I did 150 yards in 2:16…pretty good—averaging 45 seconds per 50. When I started I couldn’t do a single 50 in 45 seconds, full out! Learned a type of wall turn that’s easier and faster than what I’m used to. We probably did 1500 meters. Drilling, drilling, drilling. Gina seemed to think my main problem was overreaching—what she called “disco fishing”—crossing my centerline on my overhead extension. So I worked on that and got better. Also got better at gliding, which she wanted me to exaggerate. And speed was good. Usually I’ve had to sacrifice form for speed, but soon I think they’ll come together. Gotta keep with 3x/week—it makes a difference.

As for the bike/run, we did a short course with lots of turns: a total of about 10 miles in roughly 1/2 hour…I averaged over 19 mph again AND—finished first, beating Eric at the finishline. He’s a fast starter, but he slows at the end. Same thing on the run—beat him in the last 3/4 mile or so, but was bested myself by goatee man Todd, who ran strong the whole time. He was good, that’s for sure! The run lasted about 22 minutes, and I averaged 149 hr. between that and the bike. I’ve learned that the bike will just be painful on the quads. It’s such a concentrated exercise. Fortunately there are ways to move the pain around…keep working the hams on the bike. MHR was probably in the 160s—my HRM got messed up again and is reading way too high. Funny, my exercise HR is WAY below that of other people. I can’t go to 175 like a lot of folks…

Anyway—the run was about 3 miles. So it was almost a mile swim plus 10 miles of bike plus 3 miles of run: pretty much a full sprint tri—plus a little bit, and with slower transitions. And I feel good today (Sunday). So—that’s good. I’m going to go for an easy bike after I train Scott this morning. That’s going to be it for me this week. I’ve DONE all 3 disciplines 3 times now! So this will be sort of a bonus workout! But I’m going to go easy.

Great work! This was really my final “hard work” week. Next week I’m going to follow the taper plan in the Harr book so I’m good and rested for the tri on Sunday in San Dimas. After that, hey, it will be back to hard training, maybe for Newport or Redondo? We’ll see.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

10 Days Out


Did 4.5 miles around the neighborhood. Easy pace for the first three, then tempo pace for the last 1.5 miles—finished that in 11 minutes. A good pace for after 3 miles. Nice job. Then went to gym and did 1000 meters of drills and one sprint—50 meters in 34 seconds. Personal best? Don’t know…would have to check. AHR at 128 or so; up to the 150’s for my last tempo run. Another good one…calves still a little tender from my fast run last weekend (!)—hope they do okay on race practice day (Saturday), though I still don’t know quite what we’re doing: a practice tri? Race day in 10 days. Yipes.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Long Bike/Hard Run

Griffith loop again: 13.71 miles done in 56:55 minutes. Then 25 minute run up to and down from observatory. AHR: 128; MHR: 146. Felt strong the whole way. Pre stretch and post stretch—good. “Long” bike wasn’t supremely long—didn’t and probably won’t get in a 2 hour bike this week, unless it’s Sunday. But bricks are important right now.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Long Swim/Fast Bike

75 minutes or so total

SCAQ swim again. Felt pretty good for most of it, then got tired towards the end and required a little more rest and slowed down. Maxed at 1:24 on my sprint 100, a second better than last week…almost ditched the last 100 meters of my workout, I was so tired…

Picked it up on the bike: 5 min warmup, then one-minute sprints at level 15, around 110 rpm, separated by 2 minutes of rest, 5 reps total, and a 3 minute cooldown. Good cadence drill. (oh yeah, this was a stationary bike effort, not a real bike effort—so sort of a cross-training thing). But it was a 10 mile deal in about 25 minutes (could that be accurate? Probably not…on the bike last week I did 10 miles in about 33 minutes, full out. This was not the same degree of intensity). AHR was 129, max was 149. Not bad…took 2 minutes between efforts.

Yoga stretching, 5 min.

Didn’t run today as lower calves still feeling last Sunday’s run effort. I SHOULD run tomorrow. Maybe a recovery run after a longer bike? Then a longer run on Thursday coupled with a recovery swim. Maybe I’ll do 4-5 laps at an easy pace, then go to the gym to splash around for 20 minutes. Should be good. But tomorrow, Griffith loop and an easy 20 min run? Sounds good to me.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Run/Bike Reverse Brick

Run: LONG DISTANCE, race effort: 6.4 miles, usual neighborhood route, flat.
Time: 45:55
AHR: 148
MHR: 164

Bike: Also 6.4 miles, recovery pace.
Time: 25 minutes

Hurrah! Nice effort! Averaged 7:17 per mile on a race-effort push. Finished the first two laps at 11:18 and then 22:48 – second lap just a little slower. Can’t remember third lap time, but I deliberately eased off as I could tell I was on my edge…last lap was another good effort though. So good work. Afterwards I took the bike out and did 4 easy laps, just to stay bikey and cool down. Run effort great though. I’m going to do well in this sprint thing if I just keep going and don’t get hurt. This next week will be my last hard effort week—next week will be a cooldown week, a taper week.

Monday: off
Tuesday: SCAQ swim/Recovery run
Wednesday: LSD Bike
Thursday: LSD Run—slower than today! Just run for an hour or so/Recovery Swim, drills + some longer distances. Work the 300-400 meter range.
Friday: off
Saturday: Speed: Swim/Bike/Run
Sunday: Recovery Bike

This is indeed assuming that we will be doing a triathlon-style drill at the end of the week with Trilab. If we don’t, I’ll pick up the slack on Sunday—whatever discipline I don’t do I’ll add it in on Sunday.

Anyway, good workout week!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Good Transition Work!

Swim: Same route as last time: ~ 2/3 mile in open water
Bike: 10.03 miles in 33:46 minutes.
Aspeed: 19.2
Max speed: 24

Yay. Phew. Swim course was same as last week but I managed to navigate correctly! Had someone to follow, yes, but also just stayed more aware: where the sun is, how the current is going, etc. Had to exaggerate the “swim to the right” thing which that beach seems to work against—it pushes you out to sea. But also sighted frequently and stayed the course…AND…I was second out of the water and FIRST overall after the bike. So I did really fucking well! Finished pretty far ahead of Eric and Peter, who was struggling hard after the long swim. Eric also is not a great swimmer and had trouble with his transition. Funnily enough, my transition was very smooth and fast.

You DO get a sort of “drunken monkey” feeling out of the water…your legs don’t work, and you’ve been horizontal so long that the blood has to work to go into your head. But despite that, my transition was strong! I think that all the windsprints I’ve done over the weeks—starting YEARS ago, actually, have helped a lot…with quick recovery. And all the full-body weight training stuff helps with redistributing bloodflow. For whatever reason, I had no real problems with transitioning. But I definitely need another bottle of water to spray down my feet! And I DON’T need socks, and I probably won’t wear a shirt.

Bike ride was solid, by the way—a good 10 mile sprint. Some sense of what those sprint tris will be like.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

1:00 Minute Intervals

6:45-8:15 AM


Pool swim, SCAQ workout again; easy 25 minute run on treadmill.

Easily was able to keep my 50 intervals at a minute. I don’t know if this pool is smaller or what, but my times were really great…I did 300 meters in 5:30 with very little effort, A sprint 100 meters in 1:25, a full 10 seconds better than my pace from a couple weeks ago. Seems unlikely somehow that that could be, but I don’t know. I am doing all 3 disciplines more often. Anyway, felt good—had a kickboard for the first time and did that in lieu of the drowner kick exercise prescribed by SCAQ. Also practiced getting in the groove with my sighting, doing a couple of breaststrokes with every lap. Got better and easier. Certainly easier than the version that GG showed us during the ocean swim weeks ago. Good work.

25 minute boring recovery run. Treadmills are just plain boring. Oh well…day off tomorrow. Maybe hike or another run with Margreta this evening, but tomorrow off for sure. Saturday: Swim/Bike brick! Hurrah! Gotta stay straight!! Very important. And can’t hang around too much afterwards. Gotta get back by 10:30 for sure. So it’ll be a good push. Nice 3 day effort! Then long run/recovery bike on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New Race Distances?


Distance: 19+ miles
Time: 1:29:23
Route: From lower Griffith (at Western) West on Hollywood to Nichol’s Canyon; up and over to Mulholland; down to Cahuenga, Barham, Forest Lawn, Griffith Loop up and over past observatory, back down the hill to my car.
Avg. Speed: 12.8 mph (hilly!)
Top Speed: 37 mph (the Barham Hill is fun!)
AHR: 124
MHR: 145
Comments: Good ride, as always. Nice route—recommended by my Doctor. Not actually that much longer than my usual route—only 5 miles over it—but fun. Nichols is a nice climb, though I saddled it the whole time up to Woodrow Wilson, which connects Nichols to Mulholland. Then the Griffith climb was a little easier, since I know it pretty well by now—spent a lot of the time out of the saddle on that one. Fun course, definitely…the long rides are fun and at times challenging—I certainly like climbing hills, that’s for sure. Getting stronger in the pins…keeping HR down, gearing way down and just spinning up. Must continue to work on Time Trial, flat stuff, though certainly the best routes I know are hilly. Bike chain came off once! May need to get a brief tune up before I do the race.

Question: will I taper for this race or no? I’ve been saying, oh, I’m going to train through it, and maybe I will…but I do want to do well at it.

Almost had a heart attack when I saw distances for the race: 1000 meters, 40 km, 8 km, until I realized that that was for a different, longer course race than the one I’m doing. Thank god. Considered dropping out at that point!

Tomorrow: swim swim and recovery run. Should I return to the ocean? I suppose, ideally, but I don’t like to ocean swim without company. Check LA Tri club for a possibility? Hmmm…Alternative (more practical) SCAQ or alternative workout in pool followed by 25 minute treadmill run, easy. Or outdoor run, easy (preferable). No problems…then Friday off, a Saturday brick and a Sunday long run/recovery. Bike. No Scott on Sunday (that I can remember) so I’ll be able to put in a good one in the AM.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005



Warmup+core: 15 min
Run: Warmup, 5 min then 2 2 min sprints, 2 1 min sprints, 2 30 second sprints, 1 1-minute sprint, separated by 2 min rest, 3 min cooldown. (total 1/2 hour, level 3-4)
AHR: 140
MHR: 161
Swim: 1000 meters in 50-100 meter segments. Drills for days, as planned: one arm, bilateral, fist, catchup, kick with board, sighting, eyes closed underwater, sprints. Sprinted 50 meters in 40 seconds! Not sodding bad.
Total: 1/2 hour, level 2-3
Yoga cooldown: 10 minutes
Total workout time: 90 minutes

Good workout. Sprinted FAST in that pool! 40 seconds for 50 meters is not freakin bad. Swimming straight is pigging imprinted on my body—I DO it. I just…I don’t know what happens in the open water. I know that when I get panicked I lose my line a bit. So on the Sat swim, that’s part of what was happening. Must learn to reset. Ease off. Then restart, swimming right. (and RIGHT, if need be).

As for the run: also good. Felt strong—not too long, pushed it, thought, high-intensity. Good work.

Tomorrow, long bike, new route. 20 plus miles, lots of hills. Hurrah hurrah.

Sunday, April 24, 2005



Biked a little, easily, out to the running track, jogged 3 easy miles with Margreta, then rode back. VERY easy. Good workout…maybe 10 miles overall on the bike…nothing special at all. Loved it; just what I needed at the end of this week.

NEXT WEEK (after Monday off)
Tuesday: fast run: sprints, etc./recovery swim (lots of drills—sighting, one-arm, eyes closed underwater. Bilateral breathing) ESSENTIAL! No worries about endurance here. Just get straight.)
Wednesday: Long bike
Thursday: Fast swim drills. Maybe ocean. /recovery run.
Saturday: Swim/bike brick (long swim, fast bike) -- with tri club.
Sunday: Long run. Recovery bike.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


LSD SWIM (2/3 mile—approx 1/2 hour—lots of waiting)
LSD RUN (1:04)

Open water workshop. Here’s the thing: I HAVE TO SIGHT, I HAVE TO SIGHT, I HAVE TO SIGHT!! I’m a good swimmer, but I’m screwed if I don’t take my time and learn to look ahead of myself, get a good grip on my surroundings and stay straight!

If I’m going around something counterclockwise, I’m going to go to the outside so I can see other swimmers. If I’m going clockwise, I’m going to go to the inside for the same reason. MUST LEARN TO SIGHT. It’s a pain because I like to get into my stroke groove, but I’ve got to get my awareness up. That’s my one stumbling block on the swim and possibly on the whole race.

Long run, did half with company, half without. Some along the water’s edge. Generally pretty good…though tired towards the end. The 2/3 mile swim was after a run/swim/run exercise that was sprinty in quality. SO it was a good workout overall! But, FUCK ME, I’ve got to learn to swim straight! I’m going to fucking swim with my eyes closed in the pool, do one-arm drills and everything just to learn to do it. I’ve GOT to fix this problem, NOW! Lazy bastard.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fast Swim/Recovery (Fast) Bike

About 1:15 all told…

Swim workout consisted of practicing in and outs in the ocean, swimming short distances (25 meters and less) in the ocean for 45 minutes or so. It was an acclimation thing; I didn’t really try to go that far or that fast; just body surfed a little and tried to get used to the motion of the ocean…Heidi and Kate came along. HR got up a few times, definitely, but was not as diligent about watching that as I was about just trying to get used to the sea. Form pretty good; kind of freaked out about the idea of paddling around in the ocean, man!

Later did what was supposed to be my recovery ride, but turned into a 25-minute tempo ride, really hammering on the pedals, around the neighborhood. Just did 7.17 miles—took me 23:56—five laps around 5th and 4th between Arden and Van Ness. Averaged 18 mph, even with all the necessary stopping and slowing.

Deserved day off tomorrow!! So what I have left is one more bike, really recovering, a long run, and my long swim, which I’ll do with the club. Then Monday off again. Good work this round! Don’t feel too exhausted! I think I’m progressing well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Base is Built and No Calf Pain


90 min or 2 hour effort, depending if you count the insane descent from the top of Griffith all the way home, interrupted by a trip to Roscoe’s with Chuck C. About 26 miles. AHR about 125; MHR 150. Felt pretty good. Stayed seated most of the back climb, took it pretty easy, though I was pushing it to make my appointment with Chuck…anyway, a good effort, right where I wanted it—and didn’t have trouble pushing through the hour mark. My base is officially built! Tonight I will most likely be doing a recovery run with Margreta—probably a walk-run effort of about 3 miles. Really easy pace.

Good news: even WITH the brick yesterday and the long ride today, no calf pain! Hope I’ve really licked it. Love that the body adapts. Am moving into tough workout territory: lots of doubles, lots of good pushes, leading up to May 15 effort. Another 2-3 weeks, then tapering off the final week before the real thing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Excellent Workout


: AHR: 141
MHR: 165
Time: 28 min
5 min w/u run
2 min sprint, 2 min rest X 2
1 min sprint, 2 min rest X 2
30 second sprint, 2 min rest X 2

Time: 35 minutes
Drills 50 yds, fisting, catchup, bilateral breathing (harder than ever), sighting (a huge pain). 50 yard Sprints @ 42 seconds. Total yardage, about 800. A recovery effort with some hard work sprinkled throughout. Stroke still feels fucked up.

Overall: excellent workout. Did core work for the first time in awhile, functional w/u and yoga cooldown. Felt good…90 minutes of workout, overall.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Getting into Cold Water

4/16/05 Saturday

Ocean Swim/Recovery Run

Learned how to enter and exit the water; used my new wetsuit for the first time (which I had to buy but got for a SONG; I’m going to see how the H2O one works and decide if I want to just send it back!). Exhausting! Very tiring, and tough to get acclimated to that cold, cold water. Wow. Hard. Did it in relays: run in, swim out 50 yards or so; swim back, run out, tag the next person. Did it just THREE TIMES and was SPENT. Spent a few minutes body surfing, which I got better at, but still have to work on a lot to get down pat. Ocean swimming is hard; will take some getting used to before I can fully relax. Must spend some time—maybe outside of class, even, working on it and getting so I can do it well.

Recovery ran for about an hour afterwards with a group. Felt good! Ankle/calf okay. Recovery pace, ran about 5 miles or so.

4/17/05 Sunday
Biked for about 1:13 at 130 AHR, 153 MHR around my area, to downtown and then back towards La Cienega. Early Sunday’s a good time for it! Roads are nearly empty for probably the only time during the week. Completed about 18.5 miles in that time, giving me about 45 miles of biking for the week…not bad! Would like to be up to 50 on a good week, but I got close.

Will run with Margreta another 3 miles tonight—recovery pace again. Good. Probably will take tomorrow off then swim/run on Tuesday, bike on Wednesday. More swimming on next Saturday, so, will have to be prepped for that, organize the week to allow for that. Would like to do a pool swim and an ocean swim before next weekend. Maybe run with one, bike with another?

Monday: off
Tuesday: pool swim/track run brick
Wednesday: bike, long
Thursday: ocean swim/bike brick
Friday: Off?
Saturday: swim ocean/bike or run
Sunday: bike/run brick

That would be nine workouts , 3/discipline at all 3 efforts.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Lights on Los Feliz

AHR: 130 (70%)
MHR: 153 (82%)

Uphill 1-min sprint intervals up the West side, down the East side of the Griffith Loop. 6 intervals: four going up the hill (after a 15-min warmup); then two on the flat. Nice job, generally. Got around the loop in about 7 minutes less time than usual (when I’m spinning; I stood for most of those intervals), even though lights on Los Feliz were killing me.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rest Day

Opting to take today off. Body feels and looks good—pumped. But a little sore, definitely. I think I could probably hack a workout today, but I want to stay juuuust ahead of the overtraining ghoul. And I think today is an ounce of prevention. Working out 4 days in a row should definitely be a rarity; 3 days is about optimal, especially since I tend to go pretty hard every time I’m out there. The last three days have been LSD Swim, Mid-Range BIKE w/hills, FAST RUN. SAT I’ll have my swim drill day, so FRI and SUN I’ll have to fit in a long run, a fast bike, and perhaps another long ride. Maybe tomorrow will be my long ride and Sunday will be my long run and fast ride. Or tomorrow will be my fast ride, and Sunday will be my long run, and I won’t do a super long ride this week, though they are very fun, aren’t they? OR…I could do a long ride that also has sprints WITHIN it. How bout that? That could be fun. Anyway, I don’t know exactly how I’ll plan it…running tomorrow is probably a bad call as I’ll be SAND RUNNING on Saturday. So maybe a long bike is in the cards tomorrow. Most likely…should I swim as well?

I am doing a semi-recovery run tonight when I train Margreta, and I shouldn’t discount that just because it’s at a relatively easy pace.

Anyway, going to enjoy the day! Lots of Kate time, I think!

Sure hope I get my wetsuit soon…otherwise it’s freeze my toes off day in the ocean…

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Month Out

6:45-7:30 or so


Level 3 workout
AHR: 128 (68%)
MHR: 155 (83%)

Warmup + 5 min easy jog
4 X 1 min. sprint at 80% or so, followed by 90 second rest.
1.4 mile jog cooldown
Yoga stretching. 7 min.

Good workout there…not too long. Damn leg still fucked up. Don’t get it…was sore this morning, warmed up into the workout. Was not bad during the run. But it’s messed up. Maybe it’s a muscle pull? What does that mean? What kind of rehab does it need? Weird. But glad to be doing some speed work; I think it’s good for me at this point.

Found the MEN’S HEALTH Tri workout program in their book. I’ve been looking for a program that’s right; one in COMPETITOR said ride 50 m/week, run 20. For a sprint distance! That seems like a lot—it must be for experienced folks. I’m pretty aware of my body and when it’s going too hard and when it’s going hard enough, and I’ve been playing that edge pretty well throughout, my leg notwithstanding. The program in MH indicates that I should swim and run on the same day, then bike alone on another day. The distances they suggest are fairly doable; usually under a mile for the swims, then intervals for the run and bike distances. I’ve been freewheeling the last couple of weeks, really just throwing it together, despite my obsession. Now that I’m a month out from Andrew’s TRI #1 (wow!) I think I’ll probably amp it up, get a little more structured about it. 3x/week of each discipline. The program allows for the fact that you can’t kill yourself every day…with my 5x/week sked I’ve been pushing hard every workout.

So what to do this week? Another swim on SATURDAY coming up…maybe I’ll swim/run tomorrow (THURS) and bike on Friday—intervals this time. Swim again on SAT with the group, then maybe my long, easy ride Sunday. Or if I want tomorrow off, I’ll do a bike/run brick on FRIDAY, with bike fast and run long, and then a long bike on Sunday. See how I feel…I’ve gone three days sans break so far, though I feel okay today. Also possible: long bike THURS tomorrow, long run FRIDAY, fast bike SUNDAY. Monday should be off regardless—I want to start the new-old program on Tuesday the 19th. That’s the night of that lecture I wanted to go to anyway.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Where to Look...

6:45 AM-8:00 AM

Standard w/u, core work, cooldown.
Dist: 13.66 miles
Avg. Speed: Around 13 mph
Time: 1:02 (?)
Top speed: 32 mph
AHR: 123
MHR: 141

This was the Griffith Loop again. Pretty manageable! Certainly easier than it’s been in the past—I knew what to expect more. Heart rate stayed pretty low, as you can see, though the descent, of course, threw it off. Speaking of, I’m getting better at descending! It’s a matter of looking HIGH UP—as far down the curve as you can. Always look at your path, not at the obstacles (ie, the edge of the curve, with the long, dangerous plunge). Look at where you want to go, not where you DON’T want to go. A life lesson? Eyes on the Prize, right? Not on the hurdles. So, yes, anyway—I did a faster descent.

AHR also thrown off by all these friggin’ gates that they have up now! Good god. They’re repaving—which is excellent! Above you can see how mad I am about the shitty state of the roads out there. But I had to walk my bike around all these pigging gates, which sucked hard, slowed me down, and pulled my HR down a lot.

The other day’s brick was TOUGH, definitely. That day I AVERAGED a HR that was my PEAK HR today. Now, my HR is getting lower as I build aerobic power, but that’s a testament to how hard I was working the other day. Anyway, feeling back in form today. Next time I do that loop I SHOULD add a trip or two up and town the flat track along the river. For time trials’ sake. Fast fast. Maybe my second ride this week will be time trials mostly…

I definitely feel like today’s volume was very much in the realm of my strength and speed right now. Not an exhausting workout at all. If it weren’t for my damn leg it could have been a brick…R soleus sore AGAIN, L also a bit. Not too bad after the run, but I’m trying to be conservative. Yesterday I did some running with Margreta—easy, light, but again, felt the pain. Weird. It’s muscle soreness, but it’s so localized and extreme. You would think it would be getting better as my running-specific strength improves, but it doesn’t seem to be happening!

Anyway, good ride today. I’ll check on my leg tomorrow morning and either take the day off or do a run on it. Warming up is key…easy run, increasing in speed gradually. Don’t really think I should swim, but who knows? Maybe an easy one with some biking or running as well? I’m improvising.

Monday, April 11, 2005

9 AM Workout

1600 meters in…33:58. Boo.

Well, I was feeling a little like not training today…not too fresh. Also worked out late—like almost 9 AM, which is when I’m usually long since done with my workout. So I was feeling sluggish, heavy, slow. Hadn’t really eaten, either. Lesson: don’t work out so late! Or skip the workout altogether when I’m feeling so slow. The Saturday brick was a pretty tough workout, and this, which was intended as a benchmark, was SLOW. Must check last 1-mile time…hang on…

Yup, the last mile swim I did, on 3/15 (wow, a long time ago!) was completed in 32:22. That was before all those SCAQ drills and miles yards! I’ve been putting in LONGER swim workouts, focusing on form, etc…and I lost 90 seconds in the swim. A shame.

Actually, when I think about it…It wasn’t that bad. 90 seconds isn’t significant. I failed to warm up, I hadn’t eaten, I hadn’t warmed up. Plus mentally I wasn’t there either: I was worried about an email I’d received about Gina ordering my wetsuit and how I’d gotten her in trouble by mentioning it to Lloyd, the triathlon lab owner and manager. AND my second 800 meters was completed in less than 16 minutes, so that 800 meters was on pace to beat my last best time. So I’m okay.

Lesson is WARM UP. And EAT or GET UP EARLY ENOUGH TO GET BREAKFAST by 7:30-8:00 or so. That will help.

Don’t really know how to organize this week: probably to a brick tomorrow—bike + run…maybe the Griffith Loop again. But I want to do some speed running this week and some speed biking too.
Tuesday: long bike
Wednesday: long run
Thursday: swim
Friday: bike/run brick: both for speed
Saturday: swim w/LAB
Sunday: bike. Long or hard.

Will also be running REALLY periodically for maybe 5 k or so now and then as one of my clients wants to run a 5k and I’m working with her. So I’ll have short runs for awhile in addition to my regular runs.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Hardest Workout Yet

7:45 AM- 9:30 AM or so

Time: 1:24:22
Dist: 13 mile bike in 40 minutes, Avg. Speed 19.7 mph; 5.2 mile run in approx 45 minutes. Quick transition. Total time is above.
AHR: 141 (75% mhr)
MHR: 154 (82%)

This was done along Westchester Parkway, the place where we’ve worked before. At last, the R ankle/calf was not so much a problem! I felt it, definitely, but manageable through the end. Paced myself on the run, for sure, in order to avoid the pain, and managed a nice negative split, completing all 5.2 miles. Still doing about an 8 min/mile pace; not bad, not great.

Definitely feeling competitive with a couple of these guys, Eric and Peter, who’ve been my rivals from the beginning. The good thing is they’re a little better than I am—Eric’s faster on the bike by a fair amount, and Peter’s probably a little faster than I am at both. Tough to keep up with them. I was foiled early on by a chain derailment, which took about a minute to fix…probably a reminder not to get so damn caught up in the testosterone of it. But that was a GOOD BIKE effort for me! Averaging almost 20 mph for 45 minutes is pretty damn good. And the HR at 141—75% of mhr—is pretty good. So I’m happy. I was hoping to keep pace with those guys today—but maybe it just ain’t going to happen! And that’s okay. Just have to keep my own thing going, keep steadily improving. Don’t let comparing get to me. I mean, there are guys out there who would SMOKE both Eric and Peter, so I’m not going to let it get to me. No, really, I’m not.

The main good news today: calf was manageable; plus, a 1.5 hour brick at a kick-ass pace! That was impressive for me. Hardest workout yet, I think, in terms of intensity and time. And I’ve worked out now 4 days straight. So, not sodding bad.

Tomorrow: maybe I’ll go to Trilab and look at my cadance/power output, get the bike fitted finally?? I’ll have time, after all…as for a workout, maybe another bike, easier and slower this time? Or maybe a day off…I deserve one at this point.

Don’t really know my plan this week for working out…I like doing an LSD of each sport alone on one day; then another swim and a bike/run brick with some speed work in there. That’s a five day plan right there, though I’d like to do another bike day…must keep progressing on the bike.

Good work!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Thinking and Swimming

Swim? Off? Sat is a brick with run bike so I’ll either bike or swim.

Actually, as it turns out, I did the full SCAQ swim workout again. Fuck, my form is totally off—thanks to Gina, et al, I feel completely at sea now. I did get all 2000 meters in, and kept on pace throughout, but now I’m thinking so damn much when I swim. It’s tough. Took me about an hour…started and finished in the normal way, though my core work has been suffering lately.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Run: LSD, approx. 6 miles—correct dist unknown.
AHR: 132
MHR: unknown

Ran flat alongside a nicely manicured lake in Tempe, where Heidi’s doing this conference. Neg. split it. Felt sluggish at first, but warmed up. Amazing how long it can take! R calf a little tight—ran on grass when I could. This am (Friday) I feel it a bit, too.

Afternoon, I did a level one for an hour or so in the pool: nothing focused, just playing. Stroke actually felt okay! Did a few easy drills for fun. Just trying to get comfy in the water and play with Kate a bit.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Hotel Pool

Swim: drills and some distance
1/2 mile of straight swim; lots of drills, some 50 meter sprints.

Hard because it was on a hotel pool—no exact distances—and I hadn’t brought my goggles. So eyes stung me and I switched to drills. Not bad, but not great either. Pool was short—probably 2/3 of a normal 25-meter, and having no goggles or black line was a pain, though the lack of a line was probably a boon. A 45-minute level 2-3. Had to keep stopping. My form still feels really awkward.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Biking as Warm Up

Bike Run Brick: 1:03
AHR: 137

12 mile bike ride, 3 mile run, mimicking longest sprint distance for both that I plan to do this season (if I do it: It’s Catalina Island, though I think that’s a hilly race—today I rode on flats almost exclusively). Felt good to go back to back—flowed nicely. I actually think that biking is a decent warmup for me for running. Little soleus pain, but minimal…on run that is. Biking doesn’t seem to bother it that much. Was glad that I cranked out the distances in just over an hour; think I succeeded in a neg split. Good work, though. Good workout!