Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last Week's Results

This is coming a couple days late...for that I apologize.

Lately the trend has been for me to have a good week, and follow it up with a lousy week.  Take the first week of the year.  I had a good week, then had a lousy week.  Granted I was sick, so I spent a lot of it recovering, but I digress.

Last week though, I stopped the trend.  I had a good week the previous week, and continued the good streak.  I was just under 4 hours of fitness, 3.97 hours.

Here's the numbers:

- only one bike session, but it was 1:00:50.  13.5 miles.  A tempo set DVD, Spinervals 29.0
- 3 runs outside for a total of 8.27 miles.  1:25:30
- 2 swim sessions.  1800 meters total.  37:18
- 2 strength training sessions, totaling 56 minutes
- one off day, due to just needing a rest

I know it may be a bit premature, but I already see myself looking a bit better in the mirror, and a pair of jeans is fitting a bit looser.  It's a bit premature, yes, and I have to make sure I don't get ahead of myself.  But I'm happy right now.  Feeling great. :-)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Week Four: 1/21-1/27

With this week, I feel back. Kind of.

Monday, January 21: Run: 2.39 mi in 25:01.50 - 10:28/mi
- neighborhood loop
- 1st run since 12/31!
- forced myself to take it super easy
- Didn't die! Also listened to my lungs/sinuses VERY carefully so as not to completely over exert myself. Also: had yearly physical - healthy! A few of my high numbers from last year went down thanks to a few dietary changes, so that makes me REALLY happy.

Tuesday, January 22: Off - sheer exhaustion
- Decided to take a nap when I got home ... ended up being over 2 hours and was sluggish rest of night. Still learning how to nap and I think my body just really wanted and needed the rest.

Wednesday, January 23: Swim: 1200m in 26:48.37 - 2:13/100m
- 100m, 5x200m, 100m
- 1st 100 - 2:08; last in 2:04
- 2nd 200 hurt; did not feel good at that point
- last 200 felt awesome
- Moved this from yesterday. Was supposed to ride as well, but the 1200 killed us. And maybe because it was gloomy? Can't really pin down why today was what it was. Regardless, we got something in today and I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, January 24: Swim: 600m in 13:41.62 - 2:17/100m
- 100m, 200m, 200m, 100m
- 1st 100m in 2:02
- died in the 1st 200m and knew i had nothing in me. did what i could.
Lift: 23:00, Mark Allen phase one
- 1/15/50 lat pulldowns; 1/15/60 leg extensions; 1/15/60 leg curls; 1/15/45 bench press; 1/15 squats; 1/15/5 lat db raises; 1/15/10 calf raises; 1/15/5 db pullovers; 1/15 backward lunges; 1/15/20 bicep curls; 1/15/8 tricep extensions; 1/15/130 leg press
- first few exercises hurt a lot. so did tricep extensions. leg press may have been the only thing that felt "good."
- Ate Taco Bell ... 20? minutes? before swimming. Burrito and cheese roll-up had no effect on the workout, but I think the Diet Pepsi did. Ugh, never doing that again. We thought swimming two days in a row wouldn't be a problem, but it was harder than we thought. In any case, this workout killed us and I now have zero energy.

Friday, January 25: Run: 3.48 mi in 36:49.42 - 10:34/mi
- Dayton addition
- purposefully took it pretty slow
- completely bombed one of the downhills
- There were times on that run where I felt absolutely awesome and other times, where not so much. But the times I felt like I was having fun made this run worthwhile. Plus it was the longest run I've done in a looong while and it wasn't as slow as I thought it would be.

Saturday, January 26: Bike: 6.89 mi in 32:49; avg cad 80, 12.6 mph
- 23.2 mph max; 164 max cad
- Spinervals 23.0 Time Saver I; workout A: technique
- Was hoping for core, too, but a meeting with family ended up going later than we thought (and worse food was consumed than should have been). That being said, glad we got in the trainer ride. This also confirms that workouts need to get done right away.

Sunday, January 27: Run: 2.39 mi in 24:12.97 - 10:07/mi
- neighborhood loop
- stops and starts due to Brandon's calf
Lift: 26:00; Mark Allen phase one
- 1/15/60 lat pulldowns; 1/15/60 leg extensions; 1/15/60 leg curl; 1/15/45 bench press; 1/15 squats, 1/15/5 lat db raises; 1/15/5 db pullovers; 1/15 backward lunges; 1/15/20 bicep curls; 1/15/8 tricep extensions; 1/15/130 leg press
- wasn't as fatigued as I thought I'd be
- Didn't feel ready for a treadmill speed session, so got out in the sunshine. Solid week of training - just would have liked more cycling. Ate bowl of Cheerios between workouts today.

Weekly training time: 3:28:23
Weekly training mileage: 18.27 mi
Yearly training time: 8:31:11
Yearly training mileage: 44.09 mi

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another week down

After a week in which I was pretty sick, last week was quite the nice rebound in terms of working out.  It included a fast run, a ride outside, and some hockey.

Numbers:

30 minutes of walking and 15 minutes of hockey (ice was bad)
2 rides, one on the trainer, one outside.  14.2 miles, 1:09:29
1 run.  2.41 miles, 22:13 for a 9:13 per mile
2 lifting sessions, 57 minutes
1 swim, 900 meters, 19:08, 2:07 per mile.

So obviously not huge numbers, but given that I was rebounding off a tough week of sickness and whatnot, I'll gladly take it.  This week is shaping up nicely thus far.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week Three: 1/14-1/20

So: improving, but still not 100%.

Monday, January 14: Walking: 30:00
- in and out of CCSP
Ice Skating: ~15:00
- or trying to on the res
- Really wanted to try and do some core work too, but I'm exhausted. Didn't sleep well last night and am falling asleep in front of the couch. Still, I was active today and I'll take it.

Tuesday, January 15: Bike: 6.18 mi in 32:47; avg cad 77, 11.31 mph
- Spinervals 23.0 Time Saver I; workout a: technique
- 21.4 mph max; 154 max cad
- fatigue set in on rep 4 of the 1-legged drill work
- highest cad yet on this one; may be due to lack of trainer resistance
- Felt good to do this, but oh man am I hacking a lot now. Still figuring out this trainer resistance thing ... last time I did this workout on 1/1, I had a higher speed, more mileage, but not as high as a max cad.

Wednesday, January 16: Swim: 900m in 18:51.67 - 2:06/100m
- 3x50m, 2x100m, 1x200m, 2x100m, 3x50m
- 1st 3 50s: :52.70, :54, :57
- 1st 100m in 2:05 - hit wall
- last 3 50s: all in :58
- lots and lots of rest
Lift: 27:00, Mark Allen phase one
- 1/12/50 lat pulldowns; 1/15/60 leg extensions; 1/15/60 leg curls; 1/15/45 bench press; 1/15 squats; 1/15/5 lat db raises; 1/15/12.5 calf raises; 1/15/5 db pullovers; 1/15 backward lunges; 1/15/20 bicep curls; 1/15/8 tricep extensions; 1/15/130 leg press
- upon further review, we may still be in phase 1 ...
- this hurt. a lot. ow. random under left shoulder blade pain during bench press.
- Sprinty 50s! Not doing much for the distance sets, but I'm hoping it'll translate eventually. Today was a bit rough. Little bit of a cough (damn bike) that is a bit of a hindrance, but felt great.

Thursday, January 17: Off - sick
- Cough came back to a point where my scheduled workout (a run) wasn't going to happen. So, took the time to rest. Sucks, but I need to get healthy.

Friday, January 18: Bike: 8.4 mi in 38:10; avg cad 72, 13.21 mph
- 26.4 mph max
- CCSP and back
- definite chill in the air - awful headwind on way out of park. aero bars help, but being out of shape and kinda sick doesn't. :(
- Cough is back. Awful. Probably aggravated it badly with that ride (will we see the return of bronchitis?), but it was 60 freaking degrees out! Totally fine switching today's workout with Sunday's to get some outside bike time in.

Saturday, January 19: Lift: Core, 8:00
- 3/10 supermans; 3/15 crunches; 3/45 bicycle crunches
- sweet and simple
- Not really what I wanted to do today, but running in my condition is not wise. So, since I know I need to do core work, why not?

Sunday, January 20: Lift: 25:00, Mark Allen phase one
- 1/15/60 lat pulldowns; 1/15/55 leg extensions; 1/15/60 leg curls; 1/15/45 bench press; 1/15 squats; 1/15/5 lat db raises; 1/15/15 calf raises; 1/15/5 db pullovers; 1/15 backward lunges; 1/15/20 bicep curls; 1/15/8 tricep extensions; 1/15/130 leg press
- not as fatigued as last time, but i also didn't swim beforehand. upped the weight a bit on the leg extensions.
- Waited too long so didn't end up swimming. Can't do that in the future, but since I'm still recovering, I'll condone it. For now. Also attempted to foam roll shoulder out ...

That shoulder (almost under the left shoulder blade) has been bothering me all week. Part of it is probably because I've spent the night on the futon a lot this week due to the hacking cough of death (poor Brandon can't deal with me). I'm hoping as this cough goes away and I get back to sleeping normally, so will the shoulder pain. If not, though ... going to try tennis ball rolling it out and if that doesn't work ... suck it up and pay for a massage. Don't want it turning in to something worse.

Weekly training time: 3:14:49
Weekly training mileage: 15.14 mi
Yearly training time: 5:02:48
Yearly training mileage: 25.82 mi

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Goals and Aspirations

Last year, I also did a goal post. I recapped it earlier this month. I'm not going to do quite the same thing this year, but similar. Basically, I have some specific race goals and some really specific Ironman goals.

So, without further ado ...

T's 2013 Race Goals

Running:
5K: Break my six-year-old 5K PR of 26:27.
10K: Sub-59:00 at BolderBOULDER (or another 10K, but probably BB).
Half-Marathon: 2:10 (die, rnr denver half, die! i will conquer you!). Stretch goal: 2:00 flat.

Triathlon:
5430 Sprint: sub-1:50. Ideally: sub-1:45.

5i50 Boulder Peak: sub-3:30.
There is no ideal. I've been chasing 3:30 for a while and may have hit it last year had it not been for Bob breaking on me.  The key to the PRs on these Boulder courses will be riding and riding and riding the first few miles of the bike courses. I am always so slow on those first few miles exiting the Res; they're a gradual uphill and they just suck. For Peak, this will also include killing myself with hill repeats up Stage. The thought kind of makes me want to puke, but I know it will make me stronger - for this, and IMAZ.

IM Boulder 70.3: sub-7:30. Ideally: sub-7:00 or even sub-6:45.
With a single-loop bike, this may happen. No matter what though, I have to get my run better if I want to do this. Sub-7:00 would mean chopping almost an hour off of my 2011 time, but I kind of died in that race, so I know it is actually possible ... especially with the power of MX12 behind me.

Ironman Arizona: FINISH
Okay, so obviously that's the goal in any Ironman for we age-groupers, since you never know what can happen in a race that damn long. That being said, I have each section broken down:

Overall:
1. FINISH sub-17:00
2. Finish sub-15:00
3. Finish sub-14:00
(I've heard that around 14:something is pretty standard for most people, but I don't want to tempt fate. I've also done the math and know that sub-13:00 is feasible if we have a great day ... but I'm going conservative with IM numero uno.)

The Swim:
1. Finish sub-2:20
2. Finish sub-2:00
3. Finish sub-1:40
(Obviously my first goal in every category is make the damn cut. Right this second, my pool averages get me out in my stretch goal ... but it's me and open water. We don't always get along. This may be revised depending on how my 2.4 mile practice swim on 8.31 goes.)

The Bike:
1. Finish pre-5:30pm (so 10:30 race time)
2. Finish sub-7:00
3. Finish sub-6:00
(That stretch goal is HUGE. I would have to have the ride of my life. But the incentive? Not spending that damn long sitting on my freaking bike. Poor ladybits just hurt thinking about it.)

The Run:
1. Finish pre-17:00
2. Finish sub-5:11
3. Finish sub-5:00
(The second goal is kind of an inside joke/reason between the two of us that I don't particularly care to share here. Truly, though, I just want to survive the run as it will be my first-ever marathon.)

Transitions:
Ideally I'd like to keep these under 10:00. I think that's pretty fair ...

There is a part of my brain that knows I can kick some serious ass if things go well for me this year. There is also part of me that's completely petrified of the possibility - "There's no way I can be that fast," and I hope and pray that my own self-doubt doesn't hold me back in training and racing this year like it does in so many other aspects of life (professional, anyone? neeeeeeeeeeeed a job change so much ...). I have a great support group behind me if I choose to use it (MX12VIP for the win) and I'm thinking they'll help me out.

Wish me luck and success, everyone; I'm gonna need it this year more than ever ...

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 7-13...a week of sickness

If you follow me on twitter, and you should (@bgeist111) you know that I got sick last week and spent the good part of it recovering.

My swim last Sunday was pretty awful and the lifting simply wore me out, which I attributed to being sick.  I was planning on taking Monday off to recuperate and rest, and resume working out Tuesday.  I ended up resting the entire week, trying to shake what was a pretty bad cold.  Mercifully, I didn't have to go to work all week, as I was on reserve and they never called me.

By Thursday, I started to feel like I was at the tail end of my sickness, and Friday, I COULD have done something small, but we made the prudent decision to take one more day of recovery.

Saturday we worked our way back to the gym to resume lifting.  We pulled off the Mark Allen Lifting Plan Phase 2, and while I can tell I've lost some muscle mass, it didn't go as badly as I thought it would.

On Sunday, we got back in the pool.  I did my standard 900 meters, of 100 warm up and 800 main.  I was surprised at how fast I went.  I averaged a 2:09 per 100, which was 5 seconds per 100 faster then I did it the previous Sunday.  Yes I was stronger in the chest and head, but still, I was happy to note the progress.

So obviously my numbers are not good for this week...

0 miles of running
0 miles of cycling
19:26 of swimming 900 meters
36 minutes of strength training.

However.  However.  I think by being smart and forcing ourselves to rest, it has allowed us to recover (we're not 100% I might add, but I digress) and get back on the horse of base-building. This week will not see big numbers, but we will be back to working out consistently and getting in some mileage in every aspect of triathlon.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week Two: 1/7-1/13

Week two can be summed up succinctly: sick, but getting better.

Monday, January 7: Off - sick
- UGH. still sick. Dr.'s office full - going to try to get in tomorrow. A week is long enough w/ this bullshit.

Tuesday, January 8: Off - sick
- Diagnosis: I worked (no really, couldn't take time off. stupid job) through the flu and am now apparently on the cusp of a sinus infection.
- Good news: I have antibiotics and liquid vicodin (cough syrup) which should hopefully get me back on track soon!

Wednesday, January 9: Off - sick
- Too soon to tell if the antibiotics are working, but the vicodin cough syrup did jack-poopy. Still woke up in the the middle of the night coughing.
- Still resting.

Thursday, January 10: Off - sick
- Still not feeling up to par, but I can definitely tell I'm on the road to recovery!

Friday, January 11: Off - sick
- Went down to a 3 (rather than a 4/5) on BeginnerTriathlete, so definitely feeling better - still coughing a little, still more mucusy than normal, but the vast majority of my energy is back.
- Still, taking it easy. Hoping to do something tomorrow!

Saturday, January 12: Lift: 36:00, Mark Allen phase two
- 2/12/60 lat pulldowns; 2/12/50 leg extensions; 2/12/60 leg curls; 2/12/45 bench press; 2/12 squats; 2/12/5 lat db raises; 2/12/15 calf raises; 2/12/5 db pullovers; 2/12 backward lunges; 2/12/20 bicep curls; 2/12/8 tricep extensions; 2/12/130 leg press
- Felt really good to get back in the gym. 1st set of leg extensions - ugh. Leg curls easy-ish. Hard exertion (lunges) got lungs going. Easy cardio for me ...

Sunday, January 13: Swim: 900m in 19:29.48 - 2:10/100m
- 3x50m, 2x100m, 1x200m, 2x100m, 3x50m
- 1st three 50s - :57, :58, :57
- last three - :57, :56, :56
- flying in the 50s; everything else, not so much
- Can still feel the sickness in my throat, but this felt good. Cardio this week will have to stay at a lower intensity. Also! 167!

So yes, most of this week was taken off due to death plague (or, y'know, the flu). However, I'm crawling back on the proverbial horse, albeit carefully. I have a full week of workouts scheduled, but nothing too crazy until maybe next Sunday.

As for that last note about the weight, I forgot to blog about it here, but late November/early December, I discovered that I was back at my college hockey playing weight of 175. Which is bad, since I had stabilized at about 168 for the longest time. So, even though I gained 8 pounds, I noticed those 8 pounds. I felt them running. I felt them in my clothes. I felt them mentally. So, the fact that they're gone? Happy. I know a good chunk of it is partially due to me being sick and my body fighting off those germs, but I'll take it. I just need to take care of myself, making smart food decisions and keeping active, to keep it that way (and maybe make it drop some more. I don't know what my ideal IM racing weight will/should be, but I think it's gonna be lower than 168).

Weekly training time: 55:30
Weekly training mileage: .56 mi
Yearly training time: 1:47:59
Yearly training mileage: 10.68 mi

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Week One: 12/31-1/6

Well, week one of 2013 is in the books and it has been ... disappointing, to say the least. Read on!

Monday, December 31: Run: 2.92 mi in 30:10.78 - 10:20/mi
- BRC-DTC New Year's Eve Run.
- I really need new shoes - Cortanas seriously giving me blisters ... aaaaaand my lungs hate the cold.

Tuesday, January 1: Bike: 6.74 mi in 33:11; avg cad 77, 12.19 mph
- Spinervals 23.0 Time Saver I; workout a: technique.
- 23.7 mph max; 144 max cad
- higher cadence tricky lately - [trainer] resistance? lack of bike fitness? not hitting numbers like I used to.
- Woke up feeling like poo and [it] never really went away.
(also felt like puking soon after my lunch at work; didn't really eat dinner)

Wednesday, January 2: Swim: 900m in 20:06.85 - 2:14/100m
- 3x50m, 2x100m, 1x200m, 2x100m, 3x50m
- 1st 50m in :59! 200m was rough; last three 50s in 1:03/ea.
Lift: 29:00; Mark Allen phase two.
- 2/12/60 lat pull downs; 2/12/55 leg extensions; 2/12/60 leg curl; 2/12/45 bench press; 2/12 squats; 2/12/5 lat db raises; 2/12/10 calf raises; 2/12/5 db pullovers; 2/12 backward lunges; 2/12/20 bicep curls; 2/12/8 tricep extensions; 2/12/90 angled leg press.
- I have felt like crap all day; headache [got it as I was leaving the house for work] maybe only disappeared when swimming. Workout was surprisingly awesome.

Thursday, January 3: Off - sick
- Woke up still sick; but cough has some depth now - able to hack some stuff up. Worried this might be an off day. Had coffee in the am; did NOT work out.
- Trying to talk myself into believing that just an easy spin on the trainer - not even a workout - would be okay, but my throat hurts that much. My legs might feel better after, but I just don't know. HATE taking the off day, but rest may just be the best thing for me. :(

Friday, January 4: Off - sick
- NyQuil didn't even help me sleep through the night - woke up coughing [several times]. Not sure I'm going to be able to train today either.
- Chose to take another day off due to death plague 2013. :(

Saturday, January 5: Off - sick
- Taking one more day ... also going to buy a cough suppressant from the store today. And maybe a saliva/mucus one ...

Sunday, January 6: Off - sick
- Hoping to go to the gym today, but my body was having absolutely none of it. If I'm not a lot better tomorrow, I'm giving up and calling the doctor. Went through an entire box of Kleenex today.

Weekly training time: 1:52:29
Weekly training mileage: 10.12 mi
Yearly training time: 1:52:29
Yearly training mileage: 10.12 mi

Monday, January 7, 2013

First week of January in the books

I'm trying to be more consistent in a lot of areas in my life, and one of those is going to be blogging.  I get the feeling it'll keep me honest.

The first week of the New Year (and January 31st) was positive for me.  I managed a workout every day, and aside from Sunday, where my swim had to be cut short due to an ear problem (I am prone to ear infections and didn't want to risk it), I felt it was a good week.

Here's the numbers:

1:02:12 and 6.05 miles of running
52:56 minutes of bike trainer
31:01 minutes of swimming for 1400 meters
1:20 of strength training

Most important, for me, at least, there was no off day.  I did not need one this week.

Now my goal for this week is to improve next week and get the other half healthy.  We may see my first outdoor ride of the year as well.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

IMAZ Volunteer Recap

So, I said I'd get to this and HERE. FINALLY.

Since my typical photo uploading site went stupid (Webshots; see the dang "temporarily unavailable" tag EVERYWHERE), I am now back to photobucket. Which I hate. If anyone has a better option for photos (Speedo????), I am all ears.

Anyway. This will mostly be a photo story with a few comments interspersed.

imaz_zps9680a26e
Mill Ave with the welcome banner.

imaz2_zpsb9a8cf6d
Quiet transition.

Working bike check-in.
Working bike check-in. Bike check-in was an interesting experience. There were some very nice people; I actually learned some useful tips for next year (like don't inflate your tires the day before; they might pop overnight). That being said, some people were giant a-holes. Please don't yell at me because I'm trying to help you put your bike on the rack correctly. Me touching it will not give it bad juju or whatever. Besides, you DO realize that a volunteer will be manhandling your precious bike AFTER you get off it, right? So it really doesn't matter if I touch it now. THANK YOU.

Still, the nice people outweighed the douchenozzles.

Post-working bike check-in.
Post-working bike check-in.

Race day.
Race morning! Ready to strip wetsuits. SO MUCH FUN.

Athletes entering the water.
Athletes entering the water. NOTE TO SELF: be one of the last people in so you don't waste energy treading water for who knows how long.


Aaaand, GO!
Ready, set, GO!

Mike Reilly.
The voice of Ironman, Mike Reilly.

Wetsuit stripping (peeling, whatevs) was one of the most fun things I have EVER done. If you volunteer for a triathlon and peeling is an option DO IT. It is mass insanity and chaos and a ton of fun. I saw $20 fall out of some guy's wetsuit (um, okay?). A few of us helped massage the cramps out of the legs of an older guy and he gave the four of us a very wet hug in thanks - made my morning.

It was also nerve-wracking. You knew the time for the swim cut. You could see the athletes still in the water, knowing they probably wouldn't make it. We saw an older lady miss the cut by 8 seconds. Mike Reilly was talking to the volunteers, asking if he could make the call (last woman out), but they said no; she was just a bit too late. I saw her crumple to the ground in tears. I do not want that to be me.

Getting ready to sunscreen..
Getting ready to sunscreen.

Sunscreening ... wasn't as fun as I thought it'd be. A lot of time with gloves on rubbing lotion on people's bodies. Not bad ... just not as fun. Maybe it's because it didn't have the energy that wetsuit peeling did. Maybe because the heat and the long day started to kill me at that point.

Still, it was good to learn that the sunscreen they have out for the athletes is crappy and to definitely have a lot of my own on hand.

Working the 'fro.
Working my 'fro.

Human disco ball.
Brandon the human disco ball.

Disco aid station.
Disco aid station.

Disco couple.
Disco couple.

The last station we volunteered at was Run Aid 7 ... a.k.a. the TriSports.com aid station and DISCO PARTY! As you can see, I went all out for the disco theme and we decided to make Brandon into a human disco ball (didn't work out quite as well as I was envisioning, unfortunately).

This aid station shift ran from 7pm to midnight ... the depressing hours. We handed out water, Perform, coke, chicken broth (sodium!), gels, shot bloks, food (it is astounding how many people like cookies on the run) ... anything to help people get through the race.

We were located about three miles from the finish and as it got later into the night, you could get a sense of who was going to make it and who wasn't. Brandon and Debbie (our fearless leader), helped out a woman who essentially collapsed as she hadn't taken in ANY nutrition since the bike. They forced some electrolytes in her and got her on her way, but she was a broken woman by that point. I don't know if she finished or not. As I had earlier that day at the wetsuit station, I felt anxiousness for those I knew probably wouldn't finish. That feeling literally brought me to tears at several points that day ... and also made me vow to myself that I would not come that close to failure.

On a happier note, we saw Fireman Rob come through our aid station, so that was cool.

Fireman Rob.
We were freed of our duties at around 11:40ish because by that point, if they hadn't made it through us, odds are they weren't making it at all. We helped Seton and Debbie clean up and then got to our car to change and park closer to Tempe Beach Park so we could get in line for volunteer registration. We parked and got to the tent right before midnight (passing kind of by the finish line; I do regret not spending any time there). A few people showed up at 12:15 - we weren't the only crazies camping out! - a few more at 1:30 and then quiet until about 3:30, 4am.

Still, it didn't matter because we were FIRST IN LINE! WOO!

Camping out for registration.
After a surprisingly cold night sleeping in the park and the volunteers so nicely opening up registration earlier than we thought, we paid our $700 each to put ourselves through the special kind of hell that is Ironman in November.

Now, if I could only shake this damn cold so I can properly start base-building ...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Yearly Recap

Morning everyone.  Welcome to 2013.  We're 3 days into this new year, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a good one.  Of course, when we have a congress passing tax increases on us and debating gun control, the future is murky for America at this point.

But I digress.

Anyway, 2012 was, in my terms, just an okay year.  It featured some good things in terms of both fitness and life, but quite a few bad things too.  T wrecked on her bike and the financial hit was quite significant from that.  We both fell ill at inopportune times.  My company payroll operates with 1950's technology (I swear this is true) and they mess up my pay way too often for my liking.  But some of the positives included a lot of PR's, volunteering at the Ironman we will do later this year, meeting some new friends, and for me, ending the nightmare of commuting and finally getting based back in Denver, bringing 2 years of hell full circle and making things right.

I'll touch on what we're looking for in 2013 both in life and fitness in a later blog post.  For now, let's recap 2012.

It started off poorly, quite frankly.  We had just moved into a new place and were less concerned about fitness then we were about getting our new home settled.  Without a big A race in 2012, we kind of winged our fitness, and it definitely showed in both our bodies.  I had a DNF for the first time ever in the Cherry Creek Duathlon due to a nagging sickness I couldn't shake.  

In March, we began ramping up the fitness.  Our friend Mike came out for a visit and he's quite the cyclist.  We took him for a spin in Cherry Creek and he was unable to keep up with us.  That may have been one of those AHA! moments for us.  We began to take our training a bit more seriously.

April saw us run a great race in the Cherry Creek 5 mile run.  We both PRed and felt great.  I should mention at this point we both were starting to embrace the mental side of pain.  Instead of running from it and quitting when it got hard, we began to embrace it.  Enjoy it.  We realized that to be fast, to be aggressive, you have to work hard and pain is just part of the equation.  

The Rockies Home Run For the Homeless 5K was another solid 5K.  Although we didn't PR in the 5K distance, we both race PRed and ran a great race.  Around this time, I started realizing that the mental shift was having an impact.  We saw this further in the BolderBoulder, where we both cracked 60:00 in the 10K.

Our first tri went off without a hitch and definitely saw gains on the bike.  Running for some reason took a step back but we both PRed again.  Same with the 2nd tri, which was the Boulder Peak Triathlon and I got to embrace Old Stage Road.  Wheeeeee.  Regardless, I hit an 11 minute PR in the Olympic distance triathlon.

Then came my last tri of the season, one where an important lesson was learned.  At the Rocky Mountain Triathlon, which was up in Silverthorne, where the altitude is 9500 feet, I struggled on the swim for the first time since my first triathlon.  I realized I hadn't gotten in a warmup swim the day before and had I, I could have adjusted my strategy.  Instead, I had to hang on a kayak, humble.  Shaking the bad swim off, I had a great bike and a great run to place for the first time in the top 50% overall.

That ended my tri season and the last race I had was the Denver 1/2 marathon.  Unfortunately, after the tri, I was pretty much done with fitness.  We had our honeymoon and just overall more life events that interfered with working out.  We paid for it dearly in the Denver 1/2, where T essentially blew up early.  I don't think I could have PRed either.

November was definitely a huge highlight, when we volunteered at Ironman Arizona.  We checked in bikes, stripped wetsuits, applied sunscreen, and manned one of the last run aid stations.  There were moments of joy and moments of heartbreak.  Most importantly, there were moments of motivation.  Big moments.  I remember at the aid station a woman crying and sitting on the curb, knowing she had 10 miles still to go and 90 minutes to do it.  She knew she was finished.  I don't want to be that person in 2013.  I don't want to be broken.  I want to train well so I cross the finish line!

December saw both of us slowly regaining our fitness.  Slowly but surely.  

As I said, overall, it was not a great year.  No one's fault, really.  Just reality of life sometimes, I guess.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December and 2012 Round-Up

I've been so busy updating my personal blog, that this one kinda fell by the wayside. I still want to do my IMAZ volunteer post and will do so in the next few days.

Anyway, if you recall from the beginning of the year, I had a lot of lofty goals. I hit some, failed on others. I'd like to recap those ... right after I do my December numbers.

Running: 20.58 mi
Swimming: 0m
Cycling: 28.09 mi
Lifting: six sessions
Other: nothing

Running ... wasn't bad. Everything else ... well ... one should not try to implement a new training plan in December, what with the holidays and craziness and all. We had a guest, which never helps (unless they're of the athletic persuasion themselves) and the stress of the season wore me down to nothing. Last week? Was a whole lot of nothing except for a very short run on Christmas day.

Now, let's recap the 2012 goals, shall we?

Running:
Sub-60:00 at BolderBOULDER: 59:16 says YES!
PR at Denver RnR Half (2:00-2:15): That was a no. I had a race PR, but not a 13.1 PR.
28:00 5K: Does 28:27 count?
Yearly total of 500 miles: 266.2 says major fail.

Cycling:
Average at least 16.5 mph at every in-season race: Only one that fell short was Boulder Peak. But I also broke my bike in that race, so let's call that a wash, shall we?
Yearly total of 800 miles: 642.93 says fail.

Swimming:
Average a 38:00/mi: I really should have done a x/100m time goal, but I think I did this in Tri for the Cure, so we'll go with it.
Yearly total of 60 miles: 54360.91m (33.78 mi) says fail. But it's also the most I've ever swam (swum?) in a year, so I'm still kinda happy with it.

Triathlon:
Post a 1:40 or lower at Tri for the Cure: 1:34:08 means success!
Post a 3:30 or lower at either Boulder Peak Triathlon or Rattlesnake Olympic: Well, Peak was the broken bike and a 1 second PR for a 3:41:06 and I never ended up doing Rattlesnake ... so I'm going to have to say a fail, because even without the bike disaster, I'm not sure if I would have done a 3:30.

Strength:
Lift at least twice a week (preferably more in off-season): Ha, no.
MORE CORE in the off-season: I did some ... but I wouldn't classify it as "more."

Flexibility:
Do yoga at least once a week: I was good at this for a while ... and then nope.
Get back into stretching again - before/after workouts/competitions: My injury in September says that was a fail ... but the injury ironically did get me back stretching a little more, so we'll say kinda.

Other:
Play hockey an average of once a month: My skates and sticks are still collecting dust in the garage, sad to say.
Walk more - particularly in the warmer months - like to the now super-close grocery store: This I did.
Hike more - do at least five hikes this summer: Didn't get up at all to hike.
Snowshoe more - at least three trips this winter: We kinda did once. In the park across the way. It was awful.

Overall ... not that great. I missed the mark on a lot of things (particularly my mileage). I also have to say though ... that a few things happened that helped that failure along. The main one being, obviously, me crashing my bike back in April. That put me out of commission for a while and, in some ways, kind of derailed my season. It did financially - having to cut a hopefully heavy racing season down to a fairly light one since hospital bills meant I couldn't register for races. Training also fell by the wayside as a result.

That being said, I did hit a couple of my goals in a big way. I not only cracked-60:00 in BB, I made it so there was no question (44 seconds helps). I also had a HUGE PR in Tri for the Cure which was nice. And while I didn't necessarily PR at every distance I raced this year, I had at least a race PR in every race (yes, even my disastrous Denver half performance was still a race PR), which is a nice consolation prize.

2013 will bring new challenges ... and new goals - probably later today. For now though, I'm just glad 2012 is OVER.