Sunday, May 31, 2009

Training on the Hamster Wheel

Must be a BIG wheel!
For some folks when they are training for an endurance event, they go for long bike rides or long runs in an out and back format, running or riding to hell and gone.
I Like that too, but I'm not afraid of "The Wheel." Riding or running a shorter course in after another, after another, after another....
This weekends training is a case in point.
Saturday I rode 106 miles. All of it on a 7 mile rolling course. Some good little climbs and descents and NO flat areas. 
Took the first hour easy, getting out the kinks and making sure all felt well. Brought the pace up for four hours, sticking to a revamped eating and drinking schedule. and just hummed along.
The beauty of a loop course is that you can gauge how you're doing from lap to lap. You can go easy one lap and hard the see the same big hills each time and can gauge your performance 6 hours into a ride... I know what some of you are thinking. No, I don't listen to music while riding..that's just stupid. One must be aware of what's going on all around, with cars, dogs, walkers and who knows what else.
The real benefit of this kind of riding , for me anyway, is that it gets me ready for two fall events on the schedule. The 24 Hours of Booty, a fund raiser for the Lance Armstrong foundation, is ridden on a 3 mile loop for 24 hours. Several weeks later The Triple Ironman.   The bike portion is 336 miles on a 5 mile loop. I have found from years of training for Ultra marathons that the mental game is most important. Now, loops drive some folks insane, but I've learned to not even notice the loops anymore...I just ride.
A good point to point trail run is fun...Fastpacking large sections of the Appalachian Trail is just too cool...but stiff mental training can be found running a two mile loop for hours on end.
Running through the day and watching the light change and seeing wildlife drift in and out of the scene. Today's 2 and a half hour run in "The Park" next door ( a 6,300 acre state park and wildlife management area) was on trail and road loops...saw two fox, some deer, including the smallest button buck I'd ever seen, Some Great Blue, Turtles galore and the odd ground hog...and I mean odd. He at up to watch me run by. They usually tear off in another direction.
Loops rock.
Training is going well...the big bummer this week was that the school at my high school (where I can swim alone) is closed for repair. Now I HAVE to go to the local aquatic center to swim...laps.  My nutrition for the the longish ride yesterday was spot on.  
Taking a Medical Terminology class this summer which has started, so I've shifted my training week to run from Tuesday to Monday. Tuesday off for class and additional course work. Career change here I come.
One more week in this three week cycle. IMLP in 8 weeks.
12 days of school left until summer vacation. Wa-HOO!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where's the fork...

Put a fork in me..I'm done. Busy week and all went well...sort of.
Managed to get in 215 miles on the bike in the last eight days and I'm quite happy with that...hit the other Ironman training stuff, pretty much. 27.5 miles instead of 30 running and got in 3 swims with the longest at 1:15. Also was out for three hours of Trail work on the Greenway Trail Saturday with a crew including ML. (That's her in the pic) Lots of heavy lifting and digging and general manual labor.  The trail is the site of the Greenway Marathon and 50 K each spring. ML and I run on it often and we are overseers for a small section down by the Potomac.  We can reach it easily from our front door. Anyway, all that work made for a very interesting 76 mile ride in the afternoon. Todays 2 hour run just sucked. That's running...somtimes you have to "carry the bear."
Looking down the pipe line at a rest week this week. Will drop form 16 hours to 8. Yeah! Now don't get me wrong: I knew the job was dangerous when I took it, but rest weeks are great! Lower volume, a bit of a mental break and a chance to catch up on everything that slides by the way side when training is like a second job.
Mothers Day, today...what can I say. Mom has been gone since 2001. I miss her at times but more often that not, I don't.  To each their own relationship with their parents, I guess.
27  days of school left and it can't come too soon.
Signed up for the 24 hours of Booty this week...a fund raiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Ullman Caner Fund. September. Two weeks before the Triple Ironman and perfect for a last loooong ride before the taper.  If you'd like to donate to my total you can do so at  Thanks!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weak 14 (sic)

Week 14 of the current Ironman training cycle....was more like "Weak 14."
I'm feeling much better after having had a cold since the 24 hour run but am still building back up. Glad I was sick well before the piggy flu hit or I would have been off to the doctor and probably stuck in the house. Not a lot of energy at times.
Had some good rides this week for a total of 135 which isn't anywhere near where I wanted to be this week, As to running, I still seem to be a bit congested and running, while better isn't the best. Swimming was fine with a long swim on Thursday with a main set of 2000 meters sustained.
All in all, while I feel weak, I had no ill effects, muscle wise from the 100 kilometers I ran two weeks soreness, no aches and pains and the feet healed up wicked fast!
The coming week will have swims at the 1 hour 30 minute mark and I hope to crack 200 miles on the bike. Running will still be modest. Hour total for the week should be 16 to 20.
On the advice of one of the students at school I downloaded some Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and 12 Stones to the ipod. Not bad...