Monday, March 28, 2011

Sick of Being Sick

This year has held so much promise, so much optimism.

Then March happened.

Both T and I have been effectively useless in March, due to illnesses that have swept over us. T has dealt with bronchitis, and I have dealt with the flu on multiple occasions.

Basically, I'm tired of this, and April will be epic

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sick, Not Lazy

... which is why I can justify the ever-growing number of off days in my workout log.

So I usually don't get sick. I used to, about once a winter in January. I'd get what I'd affectionately call the "sickness of death," it'd knock me out for about a week, and I'd be good to go the rest of the year.

However, I haven't gotten said sickness since January '06.


This year, I thought it came back a bit later in February in the form of a cold.

That turned into a sinus infection.

That has now, in turn, turned into bronchitis.


Obviously you can tell I'm thrilled. After I was finished with my meds for the sinus infection, I was better for about a week. Brandon and I went out to Minnesota for the Final Five, life was good (except for the fact that i still wasn't getting good sleep, eating well or finding time to work out). Then, couple all of the parenthetical information with driving in a car straight home (so 12.5ish hours) and, well, I apparently got sick again.

Luckily, the medication I'm now on only includes five days' worth of pills. Five days and I should be better. Five days to hopefully find out that it's not something worse. I've got another trip to Minnesota pending in nine days and perhaps a 5K to b.s. my way through in two weeks. Plus Boulder training.

It's time to get better, damnit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Adventures in Bike Ownership

While we're the proud owners of two entry-level Trek road bikes (Brandon's and mine, Bob (bucket o' bolts)), we are not proud to say we're not the best when it comes to bike maintenance. This is definitely something that we would like to remedy here coming up, but for now, we do what little we can (essentially, lubing up a chain).

Well, it recently came time for Brandon to replace his grip tape as it was getting worn and chewed up. He ripped off all his old stuff and picked up "melon bubble" grip tape - a delightful lime green. The following sequence of pictures show Brandon attempting (and succeeding!) in retaping his handlebars.
Handlebar Retaping
Naked handlebars!

Handlebar Retaping
Trying to figure out the knobs.

Handlebar Retaping
"Hey look, I think I've got it!"

Handlebar Retaping
One side done!

Handlebar Retaping
Starting side two.

Handlebar Retaping
Trying to finish stuff off.

Handlebar Retaping
Taping things off.

Handlebar Retaping

Once done, it was time for Brandon to hop on Skippy for a little while. We checked out early Troy (Spinervals 1.0) from the library, so Brandon decided to join Troy in all his 80s/early-90s glory.

Skippy Chronicles
Getting started.

Skippy Chronicles
Remember, just because a Spinervals DVD may have a lower number, it does NOT mean it is easier. Unless it's maybe Spinervals 101: Intro to Troy's Worlds of Hell (not actual name). Still, Coach Troy's fluffy hair is amusing.

Skippy Chronicles
Once again, death by Skippy (and Coach Troy).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Losing my cool

Normann Stadler once lost his cool in Kona to the point he threw his bike over a cliff. I didn't quite go to that extreme yesterday, but I did learn a valuable lesson in keeping focus and not letting frustrations get the best of me.

I've always prided myself on being a good weightlifter. I build muscle very easily and have some decent muscles for a 5'9" guy. Yesterday we went to the gym with the intention of doing some swim drills and then following it up with the Mark Allen Lifting Plan that we are incorporating into our training.

We went to SwimLabs to try to buy a pull buoy. They didn't have any. And they don't know whey they are getting any in. Frustrating. Ok, so we go to the gym. We can swim without it for now. Check the pool. Full to the nth degree, and more people are lining up to swim. More frustration. Ok, fine, we'll lift and then swim. Hopefully the pool will be cleared out and then we can do it. But as you can guess, I'm already somewhat frustrated with the day.

So we start lifting, and it goes well, although it's sad how weak I am now. I used to be able to bench sets of 210. Now, I'm struggling to bench 135. :-( We get to tricep extensions and the way Mark Allen wants us to do them, I, for whatever reason, couldn't do it. Not physically. Literally. I could not manage this lift. T was trying to help me get the elbow hinging motion down, but to no avail. I finally got so frustrated I snapped at her and berated myself in many ways. We finished off with the leg press and rode home in silence, any hope of swimming long past as I was too mentally out of it to even think about it.

I can laugh about it now, because it's a stupid thing to get frustrated over. I can easily get this motion down with a little work and thinking. There was no reason to lose my cool over it. Thankfully, I plan on rebounding tonight with a tough swim and tomorrow by pain caving it. :-)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Race Qualifications

T and I were attempting to come back from our illnesses and run yesterday, and you can guess how that turned out. We turned that more into a walk-run because neither of us can do a lot of running without coughing (fun, huh?). While we were walking back to our place, we got to discussing racing and specifically, how some races have a qualifying time that you must make to be allowed to race in that event. Boston Marathon and Kona specifically come to mind.

Is it fair that these events only allow a certain group of individuals into them? I mean, if these races are the greatest events of their sport, shouldn't they open themselves up to allow everyone a chance to see the prestige and glory that they are all about?

No. And here's why. Races like Kona are so special and sacred for a reason. They are exclusive. People spend a lot of time and effort for the chance to say "I ran the Boston Marathon." or "I completed Kona." What if you were at the gym and nearly everyone there was wearing a Boston Marathon shirt? Would the race be special then? Not at all. It's the challenge of getting to these races, the dedication of it all, the journey, if you will, that makes these sacred.

Now, obviously, both Boston and Kona allow people in that don't qualify, through lottery drawings or certain special exemptions. The air traffic controller who guided US Air Flight 1549 into the Hudson is an example, as he ran Boston the following year. The pilot was invited, but politely declined, saying he wasn't a runner who could do the event.

My point is in all this, is our sports, our endurance sports of glory, are special and important to us. I like the fact that there are still races out there that don't just allow anyone to do them. As much as I want our sport to grow, at the same time, I like it being a niche sport that isn't for everyone out there.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Round-Up

Oh lordy this is going to be depressing to write. :(

So February. I'm so glad it was a short month and I'm so glad it's OVER. It was rough working out this past month due to two major factors:

1. The cold snap early in the month which made it hard to run.
2. The two rounds of death plague that hit me.

Yeah. As a result, the numbers ain't pretty.

Running: 9.62 mi (average went down ~20 sec./mi)(lowest mileage total since December 2009)
Swimming: negatory on the mileage, but swam twice. One lesson, one other.

Cycling (outside): 10.48 mi (average went down about 1 mph)
Cycling (Skippy): 21.36 mi
Lifting: four sessions
Other: one Wii Fit, one yoga, one snowshoeing

Still, I said back in my January Round Up post that if I could limp through February, I could "start March with new hope, new focus and new plans." Well, I definitely barely limped through February (13 off days. that's near half the month!), a month that had my lowest run mileage in over a year, so March can go nowhere but up.

I aim to do a lot more than I did in both January and February (probably combined; let's not kid ourselves here) and I know that it's going to be tricky, especially since I'm driving out to Minnesota for about a week for the WCHA Final Five. That week will most likely be a run-heavy week as a result. Still, this is probably our last good month of base building before Vry Srs training begins for Boulder, so I've got to make it a good one. We've got to make it a good one.