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!


1 comment:

Madley said...

Welcome back!

I love your adventures AND your writing, silly Andrew... and don't forget, this is public, so you never know who maybe lurking and reading but not posting. I used to be like that because I thought I was "shy" (a-HEM!) but now it's impossible to shut me up!

Looking forward to more :)