Sunday, January 31, 2010

I was proud, but......

Two workouts today. First was 250 squats for time and the second was swim intervals. I will admit that I was trying to beat Christina's time on the squats, but failed. My time was 8:34. I may have started too fast as the first 100 was done in no time, but my legs were burning after that and I slowed down considerably. Not to mention that I was still feeling the effects of Helen, but that's no excuse - we are all on rigorous programs. So, apparently Erica and Ariel blew me away as well.

Second workout was a swim. It would have been easy to skip this workout. Had a busy afternoon and ended up getting invited to the in-laws for dinnner. REMEMBER THE GOAL!! That's what I told myself. If it is under my control I will not miss a workout so I didn't.

This was a hard interval session. 1 100, 2 200s, and 3 300s -rest for same amount of time as work effort. These times are approximate as I never stopped my watch - 100 - 1:30, both 200s at 3:20, 300s as follows - 5:05, 5:10, 5:10. I knew I was going to be late for dinner so I abbreviated the warm-up and warm-down - 200 warm-up and 100 warm-down. Total yards 1700.

I'm a little upset with these times as I feel that my 300 times should have been around 5:00; however, I am a bit sore and tight from Helen. I worked as hard as I could and I'm proud of that.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Double Ouch!

First workout 1 hour bike TT. Covered 18.25 miles on trainer. Compared to 9.1 for last weeks 30 min TT I would say that I am making progress.

Second workout was fran. Did entire first set with the 95 pounds for the thrusters. three reps into the second set I stripped down to 75 pounds as I was all over the place - can't afford another injury. Total workout time was 14:50 compared to 15:37 back in October with entire workout done with 70 lb thrusters. The 14:50 includes the time it took me to strip the weight down to 75 (takes me a while since I have the screw on plate holders). I consider this a huge success. Fran is not on my plan again until 2/24. I'm going to try to do it with 80 lbs for the entire workout - based on today's result I should be able to do it.

In summary, I appear to be getting physically stronger and faster on the bike and the swim. I have yet to see more speed on the run. Upone reflection, I don't care if I don't get faster on the run as long as I can hold my pace over a long distance. True test is Hyannis 2/28.

Paleo for Athletes book arrived yesterday. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it. After One read I will go back through it and outline the key points. One of the key points that it brings up (more than once) is that it is probably a good idea to get some protein during long races. Carb to protein ratio should be about 4:1. I have been wondering about this for quite some time and am reconsidering my nutrition for Hyannis. I was planning to do Powerbar Gel as that is what is handed out at IMLP, but think I will try Accel as that has protein in it. As far as I'm concerned, Hyannis is a practice race, so practicing nutrition works in this case. Besides, I don't see many other opportunities to practice nutrition on my schedule.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Screwed up again!

Well, I was just looking at tomorrow's workout in the plan - you know, preplanning the day and I realized that I did today's wrong. The funny thing is I usually recheck the workout before I head out, but I had turned my computer off and thought I had a good idea of what the workout was.

What I was supposed to do - treadmill, 10% grade, one min on, one off, pace = 2 min slower than fastest 10k pace.

What I did - treadmill, 10% grade, two on, one off, pace = 2 min slower than fastest 10K pace.

Funny thing is I was questioning myself on whether I worked hard enough or not. Apparently, I worked plenty hard enough. I even bumped the pace up on the final interval - got the HR close to 170. It was fun anyway.

Tomorrow looks like a fun day. Fran and 60 min bike TT. I did Fran in 15:37 last time with 70 lb thrusters. I will try it tomorrow with the prescribed 95 lbs and still try to beat my time. Wish me luck!!


Well, I didn't have a lot when I got home from work last night. I wasn't tired and my energy was good (mark that one up to good nutrition & hydration all day) - I just wanted to spend some quality time with my family. I did - I gave them a whole half hour and then went to the basement to do my workout.

I really do enjoy bike intervals. I'm not kidding! This one was standing for two minutes with one minute rest (sitting) 10x for distance. Pushed this one hard. Workout was over before I knew it. Almost did a few extra sets, but decided that I better stick with the program. Total distance 8.25.

Talk about motivation. I read Ariel's log and if anyone ever had an excuse to skip a workout it was him. I will remember that one when I'm thinking about skipping for some lame reason.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

one down one to go

Deadlifted 5 sets of five this morning. Did not go real heavy due to it being morning (all my injuries happen in the morning) and due to having tired legs and other body parts from yesterday's row. Results: 170, 190, 210, 230, 230.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rowing the day away

5000 meter row - this is the first time this has shown up on my plan. Furthest row so far was 2500 meters which I did back in November. I had no base line, but I figured that 20 minutes would be something to shoot for. I came pretty close - I was on target for 19:45 up to the half way point, but lost some power going forward. Finished in 20:21 - avg hr 156, max 169. I finished the 2500 meter row in 10:20 - I would call the 20:21 5000 m row a success.

Worked a long day and put this at the very end of the day - got to LAF at about 10:00 p.m. There was actually more people there at 10:00 p.m. than there were at 2:00 p.m.

Random thought - do you know how big a four block salad is? I need to get bigger bowls.


I was sleeping soundly, actually having nice dreams and all of the sudden I jolted awake with a cramp in my right calf. I hopped out of bed and rubbed it out. When I was convinced it was not coming back I took a swig of water and went back to sleep.

I did my swim workout at about 2:00 p.m. (sometimes it pays to be self employed). I was the only one in the pool for a little while. I warmed up with a 500 doing some one arm pulls and some catch-up drills. Did the 800 yard TT in 13:57 (1:44 per 100) - last time 14:42 (1:50 per 100). AND I KNOW I COUNTED RIGHT TODAY!! Was warming down with an easy 500 and my damn toe cramped - curled under my foot and it was painful. This was on lap 9 - scrapped the rest of the warm down. Took a good five minutes to work this one out.

I know what the problem is. I sweat more than normal during yesterday's workout due to LAF being hotter than normal. I did not hydrate well during the workout, but made up for it afterwards. I did not pay any attention to my electrytes before during or after the workout. My fault - one more thing I will try not to repeat going forward. I got a big bottle of gatorade after the swim and have been sucking that down for a couple of hours. Hopefully I am fine before I do workout number two.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How Naive I can be

Second workout today - which I'm pretty sure I did right! 10k on a treadmill 5% grade. First I get to LAF and the damn parking lot is full. I must have gotten there at happy hour. I was worried first that I would not find a locker and second that finding equipment would be a problem. As soon as I walked through I knew there would not be a problem with equipment - there were quite a few people in excercise classes. Had to look pretty hard for a locker though.

O.k., the workout. On paper does not look so bad - yes I knew it would be challenging due to the incline, but I still figured it would be an hour of pain and then I go home. Pain does not even begin to describe what I went through. First I started on an upstairs treadmill - My god was it hot up there! Plus I had a regular water bottle vs. a squirt bottle and hydrating was a chore. I figured I would set the speed for 6 mph and just hold it - WRONG! I held it for about a mile and then had to drop it down to 5.7. After 5K I was totally soaked and was not cooling at all so I TEMPORARILY quit to see if the one and only downstairs treadmill was open - it was. I hopped on an set it for 5K at 5.5 mph figuring I would get back to 5.7 after a few minutes - WRONG AGAIN! O.k. and the damn stop botton is in the worst freaking (keeping it clean) place. I accidently hit it twice while trying to get this very painful workout done. I cussed pretty loud the first time - I don't cuss that much but the brain doesn't work the same when it's oxygen deprived. I had just looked at the mileage so I knew I had completed .6 and had 2.5 miles to go. I did 1.25 miles and hit the f____ing button again! Set it for 1.25 and finished. I was pissed off at this point so I actually bumped the speed up a little. I was doing 6.2 by the time I finished and did the last .25 at 6.5. I had to piece meal my time together for an overall and can only come up with what I think is a decent estimate. I believe, all told, I completed this workout somewhere in the neihborhood of 1:05:30 to 1:06. Would you believe that I found a squirt water bottle buried in my gym bag as I was getting ready to leave?

One down

10! of squats, burpees and situps - 15:42. I have no idea of whether or not this is a good time - first time I have seen it on my plan. I felt like I was moving pretty good. Total = 100 squats (200 because of burpees), 100 burpees and 100 situps. Legs were burnning by the end of the workout.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rest day

Its a good day for a rest day. It's very gloomy outside - the kind of day that just steals your motivation. Guess what? I don't need any today!

I've been thinking about my diet and nutrition a lot lately. The zone has been pretty good to me - my energy is good and I have leaned out quite a bit. I've done a little research on Paleo, but have more research/reading to do before taking the plunge. One of the things that I have learned is that anything processed is out. No more bread, cheese, etc. Peanuts are out. If it is toxic without being cooked, then you don't eat it on Paleo. Legumes - out (peanuts are a lugume, not a nut as many people, including me, seem to think).

With the little I know so far (I ordered Paleo for Athletes - should have it soon), I have decided that instead of taking a plunge, I am going to morph into Paleo. Or in other words, eat myself out of the zone. When I run out of cheese - I won't buy any more. I ate the last of my peanuts today.

Here's what I know - meats are good, eggs are good, fish is good, fruits are good, nuts are good, wheat is bad, dairy is bad, certain veggies are bad.

I assume certain veggies are good, but I don't know which ones yet - I suppose the ones that you eat raw.

I do like my yogurt - easy to fix a smoothie. Yogurt is out.

More to come on this topic..............................

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I was Smokin

First and foremost - congratulations Dan! That was an awesome half marathon.

I'll start with yesterday. After work (yeah I'm working Saturdays now) I went in the basement to do the first workout - the 30 minute bike TT on the trainer. I warmed up for about 12 minutes, had a light sweat going and had done a couple of hard efforts to get the HR up a little. I am proud to say that this hurt for a good 27 minutes of the 30 minutes. I seem to have found that spot where any harder and your legs will seize and any easier and your just not going hard enough. I think I'm getting a little stronger as it was hard for me to stay in the gear that I used a couple of weeks ago (and one down felt too easy). Total distance for the 30 minutes was 9.1. Here's the "I was smokin" part. After I finished the bike I had steam pouring off of me. I knew my basement was a little cool, but it's not that cold down there!!

After about five minutes rest I started my second workout. 50 thrusters with 75# for time. I only managed to get 12 reps up the first set. I considered taking a little weight off as this felt pretty heavy to me, but Max said 75# so that is what I used. I tried to keep my rest periods short and get as many up each set. total time was 9:46. I checked my workout log and the last time I did this (12/18/09) I did it in 8:45, but it was a stand-alone workout.

Today I did max squats x 7 and a swim 6 100's on four minutes rest. Squats were as follows: 155, 175, 185, 190, 192, 185, 185. I believe my max last time I did this workout was 185.

Unfortunately I only got 5 of the 100s done. When they shut the lights off at the gym I think that means it's time to go home. If I knew I was going to be this tight on time I would have shortened my warm-up. Too late to change anything now. Results - 1:28, 1:26, 1:27, 1:30, 1:31.

Tomorrow is a rest day - almost forgot what those are.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sometimes workout out at the gym is a drag

Rowing and running - so much fun! Rowing machines are downstairs and treadmills are upstairs with the exception of one that was in use. I clocked the distance around the building and it was about a quarter mile so I was going to run outside. I did the first 500 then ran my 400 outside and upon coming back in the manager told me he did not want me coming and going - too confusing for them. Rather than get in a agrument with the bozo I decided that treadmill it would be. I got lucky, the woman that was on the downstairs treadmill finished right before I finished my second row - I hung a towel on it to claim it for the rest of my workout. I pushed real hard on the rowing and fairly hard on the treadmill. Now don't have a coniption Max! I really did not know what I would be capable of running as I had no leg speed the last time I ran. I ran at 8 mph, but increased it to 8.5 on the last couple of sets and pushed it all the way up to 9 on the last set. My lungs were definately searing after this workout and it took me a half hour to stop sweating even after my shower - I worked hard enough. Maybe I had 2% - 5% more to give. Total time 25:32. Tranition time killed me - total workout time was more like 20:00 even.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Sorry about the rant in the prior entry. Tonight was two 5ks on the bike. First was done in 9:28 and second in 9:45. I really fried my legs on the first one - surprised I was as close as I was on the second. Best time on December 29 was 10:07. I'm curious to see how this relates to riding outside as I really find it hard to go fast on the trainer that I have.

Crabby wife

I said that I would not write about my wife unless she pissed me off - well she's doing it! She has been a little cold to me for the past few days and I confronted her about it. She claims that I never help her out due to the fact that I work too much (please keep in mind that the hours just started). Personally, I feel like I have been doing more around the house in one of those overcompensating type of ways - i.e. I know the time will come when I can't do anything but work.

O.k. to add insult to injury she mentions that I always find a way to get my workout in. This pissed me off!! I looked at my plan and I don't have an awful lot of long days in there and they usually happen on Tuesdays or on weekends and I do them around her and my daughter's schedules. If I can't fit 30-60 minutes of training into my day then something is significantly wrong with the world we live in!

I think she's projecting - she anticipates that I will not be able to help out going forward and she's taking it out on me now.

I asked her what she is doing now that she was not doing a couple of weeks ago. Upon reflection the answer was "nothing." UGHHHHH!

Wed - second workout

I had nothing!!

Workout was 20 Box Jumps, 20 Squats, 20 Pushups, 20 Situps, run 1 mile x 2.

Did this at home and on treadmill. Legs felt like lead. Everything but run felt good - real strong on pushups - legs had no turnover speed. Got my HR up just fine, but could not find any speed. Total workout time = 21:30. Felt like quitting but didn't - I win again!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm a bozo

I can't believe that I can't keep count for twenty silly laps. I mean - it was a relatively short swim. I got to 12 just fine and then I don't know if I counted 14 twice or not. As always, I picked the lessor of the two numbers (is it 14 or is it 16 - I picked 14). I think I made the right decision. Assuming I made the right decision my 500 time was 8:37. This makes sense as it puts my pace per 100 at 1:43 - I would rather it be the 1:34 that calculates out if I indeed did a 550 vs. a 500, but my pace per 100 for the 800 and 1000 was about 1:49. I definately felt strong for this workout, but I doubt I took 15 seconds off per 100 - 6 seconds sounds more like it.

Warmed up and down with a 500 - worked on stroke mechanics - nice long stroke and good pull. Swam as quietely as possible.

You better believe I will keep a good count next time!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm going to write the excuse book on this one

Today was a double. I would have liked to do the 50 burpees in the morning, but last night was a late night (the long work hours are starting) so I opted to sleep as long as possible.

Tuesdays are always hard. I have to leave work early (another reason I work super late on Mondays) to pick up my daughter at school, get her home, fix her supper, make sure she gets ready for gymnastics, feed the animals (sometimes she helps, but I'm usually on my own), and get myself ready for my workout(s). This all occurs in about a half hour from the time we get home.

Well......I did pretty good except I left my running belt at the house. By the time I figured that out it was too late to turn around. 9.3 miles is pretty far to run with no water and I was planning on a gel about halfway through as well. I opted to do the run with no water and no gel - it was cool and very damp so I figured I could get away with it. Speaking of the very damp - man! I could not get enough air. My average HR was 149 for this run and it was not because I was too fatigued to run harder - it was totally related to not being able to get enough O2. Water would have been nice - drank over 40 ounces since the run and still feel thirsty.

All in all it was a decent run though. distance actually came out to 9.4 -pretty darn close to a 15k. Total time was 1:30:35. My average pace was 9:39 - I've done better, but this was a decent run and it certainly beat running on the treadmill.

SOME PEOPLE ARE SO RUDE! I started off running on sidewalks as the starting place for the run was pretty congested. Three times people pulled through the sidewalk to the street to wait for traffic to clear and cut me off. I know they could see me as I am very bright when I run at night - running vest and flashing light. First time I let it slide but the second and third times I blasted the drivers - course they had their windows up and probably could not hear me.

50 burpees for time were done a couple of hours after the run - ouch! Pushups felt strong, had decent spring to the squat position and then ouch! The squats hurt. Four minutes even.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Squat results

135 x 5
155 x 5
160 x 5
165 x 5
170 x 5

Last time only got 3 of the 170s. I'll take it!!

Max's Army


It took me a while, but I finally have it figured out. Max is building an army of highly fit individuals. I haven't figured out what for yet - perhaps world domination. He knows he has you when he can send you to the pool and have you do pushups and squats between each set of 200s. He especially knows he has you when you don't even care about the stares you are getting - the only thing going through your mind is Max said to do it so I will. Can I be a Captain in your army?

All kidding aside, I don't know if anyone was staring or not because I don't care. I was there to do my workout and go home. I finished the workout (five sets) in 24:14. the pushups were extremely hard between 200s. Squats - not so much. The most positive thing that I can take away from this workout is that my stroke felt pretty strong. It weakened after each set of pushups, but it seemed to come back after about 50 yards. Warmed up with a 200 and down with a 300. Worked on stroke mechanics during warm-up and warm-down.

The second workout was Tabata knee pushups, squats, situps and burpees. I had my daughter call off the starts and stops - she seemed to enjoy this. I felt like I was getting stronger and faster as this workout progressed was shocked when she told me I was done.

Notes on diet. I was strict this weekend - did not want a repeat of last week. Yesterday was hard as Alicia had a gymnastics meet in Boston. I did not eat anything I wasn't supposed to, but I got a little behind on my calorie intake - I decided that a little behind was better than eating crap. My energy was good yesterday and feels pretty good today - will see when I workout. I did a little research on Paleo and think I will take the plunge - just not sure when. It won't be too long.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

40 K TT on trainer

I heavily weighed the option of doing the TT outside as it was a pretty nice day, but I talked myself out of it for a number of reasons. The number one reason is that the data would not be indicative of how I am doing since all of my recent TTs have been on the trainer.

This one really hurt. No matter how hard I tried I could not get my HR over 152. I was having a miserable time and contemplated quitting more than once - everytime getting mad at myself for even thinking it. I kept pedelling, and pedelling.............I was convinced that this was going to be an absolutely miserable result. In the end I took 56 seconds off of my last 40k tt which was about two weeks ago.

More torture tomorrow.

Conclusion - I'm beat up

Last night was four 1 mile all out efforts with 8 minutes rest between. Warmed up with a moderate mile, rested a couple of minutes and got right to it. Times are as follows:
Time Avg HR Max HR
1. 7:35 157 164
2. 7:30 157 167
3. 7:50 156 167
4. 7:55 152 164

I generally run my miles pretty even and have run the mile as fast a 6:45 within the past six months. Course was rolling, but flat by CT standards - can't blame the course.

I am definately beat up. I can feel the effects of the last couple of days in my legs.

Positives, there are always positives. I ran at night - it was pretty mild for a winter night in CT. It was beautiful - stars were out, partly cloudy, snow on the sides of the street very little traffic.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wifey thinks I'm insane

I told Carol that I was contemplating another diet (Paleo). She already thinks that I'm a little crazy with the Zone diet.

So, I did the bike workout yesterday before we had to go pickup our daughter at gymnastics. We went and watched her for a little while and then we all came back home. She asked me what I was going to do when we got home and I told her I had to workout. She looked at me like I had two heads - she said "isn't that what you were doing before we left." Of course I blamed it on Max - Max made me do it!

I finished this morning's workout in 9:22 - 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 situps decending down to one. Doesn't sound bad, but I could really feel yesterdays workout in my legs. Yesterday was all hard, but I think what I felt most was the modified wall balls. Today's workouts will not be back to back.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The pain, the agony

I was going to skip the blog tonight, but I must admit I'm a little addicted to it. I had, you guessed it, two workouts to do today. Bike 1 mile 12x 1 min rest intervals and run 400m, 20 box jumps and 20 wall balls 5x for time.

I did the bike workout first. I made sure that I was in pain for this workout. Time per 1 mile is as follows: 2:59, 3:01, 3:06, 2:58, 2:57, 3:01, 3:00, 3:01, 3:11, 3:10, 3:10, 3:01. I will explain about 9, 10 & 11. I was doing most of the intervals by starting in one gear and shifting to a harder gear half way through the interval. On number 9 I tried to ride the whole mile in the harder gear and burnt my legs out before the end. I guess I do know my capabilities. Number 10 - still recovering from number 9. Number 11 - well I sweat alot when I ride indoors. I sweat right on top of my bike computer and it shorts out - I have to remove it and dry the contacts before it will work again - well that's what happened on number 11. Number 12 - last one, naturally I put everything I had left into it.

I had about two hours between workouts. I thought that was plenty recovery time to get another good effort in. Well, it was a good effort, but I was not fully recovered (I didn't really expect to be, just wishful thinking). Finished in 24:23. Substituted 25lb plate for wall ball - obviously I did not throw it.

Two more tomorrow. Probably have to do back to back - that's o.k., it adds character.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The back is back

I should probably wait until tomorrow to report that the back is fine as there could be a latent effect from today's workout.

I started with the swim. 1,000 yard TT. I am happy with the result. I swam it in 18:14. The last swim TT I did was 800 yds 1/6/2010 and I completed that in 14:42. By my calculation the pace was exactly the same. Additionally, my back did not bother me at all.

Hey, does this happen to you? Do you sometimes lose count of your laps? - sometimes I just start to daydream and suddenly I'm asking myself "was this lap 16 or 18?" It didn't happen today, but it drives me crazy as I always pick the lesser of the two numbers and then wonder if my time was right in the end. I hate to admit this, but sometimes it happens more than once in the same swim.

I deadlifted after the swim. I have not deadlifted heavy since the injury so I did not know what to expect. I started light just to see how it felt - started with 135 (did not count that in the 7 rounds). Felt good so I put two more 45 lb plates on and did 225. I counted that one. Then 245, 265 and I tried 275 but could not do it. Probably being over zealous considering that I have not deadlifted heavy in quite some time. I went back down to 265 and could not do that either so I finished up with 255 for three rounds. I did a couple of sets of five with 135 to practice form. I want to go heavy but I also want to stay injury free so working on form is a good investment as far as I'm concerned.

Tomorrow looks like fun - no, really, I mean it. Would like to do one of the workouts in the morning to break them up, but that is probably not going to happen. I love bike intervals - always have.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm bummed

Today was a 5k for time. My rest was good, diet back on track, hydrated well, etc. I felt good going into the run - did a good warm up with a couple of pickups to get the HR up. I ran an officially marked course. Everything felt right. I felt my running technique was good - I concentrated on quick feet, hip placement, etc. I even felt real strong on the hills. Like I said everything felt right. I gave it my all - I could not have possible put any more into this run. I concentrated real hard on the second mile as this is where I usually relax. I can't seem to find a single mistake on this run which is strange as I can find fault with just about anything I do - I'm my harshest critic.

So why am I bummed - my time was almost a minute higher than my best time on this course which was in November. And since then I have come pretty close. I truly believe that this is the hardest I have worked on a run in a very long time and I was convinced it was going to be a PR until I looked at my watch. 25:19 on a 5k. I know not every workout can be a PR, but everything felt right this time.

This truly troubles me as I realize that running is my weakness. Due to this, I felt it was the greatest opportunity to improve my overall times - I'm not so convinced any more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A little more motivation

I think it was definately the diet. I was out way too much over the weekend starting with Friday and g0ing right on through breakfast on Sunday. I tried my best to stay in the zone, but unless you actually go in the kitchen...... Plus there's the grease - did I mention that buffalo wings are my weakness. I just can't say no - the hotter the better!

From lunch on Sunday to now I have been strict with the diet. I actually find it much easier to stay on the diet during the week than on the weekends, but I will get better especially after seeing what it can do to go off for a day and a half.

My energy was mostly back today. Can't say I was 100% but I was looking forward to my workout which I cannot say the same for yesterday. Glad I looked at my plan because I actually thought I was doing a different workout today. I must have jumped forward on the plan when I was reading it last.

Today was Helen with 35# Kettlebell. I actually got a 35# Kettlebell for Christmas so this was great - I finally got to use it. I finished in 11:11. I would say "BEAT THAT DAN!" but he probably already did.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not into it, again

I have vowed that I will get all my workouts in unless I am sick, injured or there is a damn good reason other than I did not want to do it. I was not feeling into it today. Could be from good efforts yesterday or perhaps a poor diet over the weekend stole some of my energy. The one thing I did do right was hydrate - I miss that one too often.

No, I did not skip the workouts in case you were thinking I was leading up to that. Dan did the first workout (500m row, 15 pushups, 4x) that I had on my plan in 9:35 yesterday. I decided, unwisely, to try to beat that. I thought about what steals my time on these efforts and decided it is messing with the rowing machine's computer. I remember seeing a setting the says "just row" so I used that one so I did not have to reset it after each 500. I figured I could average the 500's at 1:50 which would get me done with the rowing part in 7:20 leaving me 1:15 for the pushups. I figured it would take me about 10 seconds each set of 15 pushups - boy was I wrong! I don't remember the pushups being this hard after rowing - something to do with trying to catch your breath and doing pushups don't seem to go well together. I finished the entire workout in 11:05 - row portion was right on the money at 7:20 (first 500 done in 1:45). I also lose time getting out of the rowing machine to do the pushups as I have to loosen the staps - I think next time I will wear my running shoes with the elastic shoelaces and just slip out of the shoe - should be able to pick up a little time there.

Second workout was 12x 50 in the pool. I did this after about a 10 minute rest. I never saw the pool at LAF as busy as it was today. I shared a lane with, luckily, a decent swimmer who swam straight - and about the same pace as me as well. I finished the workout in 19:50. Swim time was 8:50. average 50 done in 44 seconds. Warm-up was a 200 - no warm-down - just stretched real good.

On a good note, my back feels no worse than it did yesterday so the deadlifts did not aggravate the injury. I think its been about three weeks since I injured the back. It is still a little sore, but only when I move certain ways. Believe it or not, swimming aggravates it the most.

Tomorrow's workout will be done at home vs. the gym. The treadmill, area for box jumping and wall ball are in three different areas of the gym. I will have to subsitute something for the wall balls - I'm thinking thrusters as the movement is similar - I will use a 25 lb plate vs. the bar. Besides, LAF does not have any heavy balls - heaviest I believe is 12 lbs.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quick post

Workout 1 (morning):

30 deadlifts at 1/2 bodyweight. Decided it was time to test the back since the weight was not up there. Put 80 pounds on bar and did 30 reps. So far so good - we'll see how it feels tomorrow. This was followed by a 1000m row for time. Whole workout took 8:35 keep in mind that the deadlifts and row are in different locations in the gym. The 1000m row took me 3:41.

Workout 2:

20k bike time trial on trainer. 41:20. avg HR 155, max 163. Big pickup in pace from prior two time trials - found a gear that felt comfortable - avg cadence 90. Think I'm just a little bit stronger which got me into a gear that was a bit uncomfortable the last two TTs. Definately need a new seat for the bike - plan to pick up next week.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Ariel's question from yesterday caused me to pause and think about a few things, plus I had a couple of beers with dinner so I am a little loose. I don't drink much anymore so a couple of beers has a pronounced effect on me. The following will be a scattering of random thoughts.

It is the beginning of a new year. A time many folks make new years resolutions. I've rejected that notion many years ago and have basically been on a quest to constantly improve myself professionally, personally, physically, etc. It's hard to balance it all, but I'm not happy with a just a piece of it.

I'm a happily married man. A happy union is something that some people never experience in their lives - I feel bad for them. Unfortunately, not all of our interests are in synch; however we support each other in our endeavors and we both agree that our daughter is our biggest accomplishment. She amazes us every day. My wife, Carol, is a private person; therefore, you will not see much information included on my blog regarding her (unless she pisses me off and I need to vent). Though I will say that she finds humor in some of the things that I go through preparing for the Ironman. She has not met Max yet, but I am sure she is a little curious about the guy who tortures her husband. She must also find it curious that I do pretty much anything that Max tells me to - she could only wish she had that kind of control over me.

Well, this is supposed to be a workout blog so I will discuss today's workout. This was the speed work pyramid that would best be done on a track but my misfortune had me doing it on a treadmill. Can I start calling it a dreadmill too or would that be copying? Here's how it went - 200m at about 10mph, 400m at about 9.8 mph. I tried the 800m at about 9.7 mph as the 400m was quite successful - I failed. I was 600m into it and had to hit the abort button. I know the workouts are supposed to be painful and don't have a problem with that, but this was feeling dangerous - I was starting to get lightheaded and was worried about flying off the back of the treadmill - gym wasn't real crowded, but there was enough people there that I would not have been able to show up again if that happened. I refused to miss a distance so after resting the prescibed time I did the 800m - I backed it down to 9.5 mph and that made a world of difference. It hurt, but I did not feel that I was about to lose control. I came down with the 400m and 200m and cooled down on a lifecyle (I had enough of the treadmill by then).

I did not record times for each effort. They would have been distorted anyway as it is hard to mess with the buttons while you are concerned about flying off the belt - I thought it best to just be concerned with making sure it was a good effort and forget about trying to time it. I was spent at the end of the workout so I am fairly confident that it was a successful workout.

Both of my calves are sore - the left one moreso. This is the calf that cramped during my swim. I'm going to use the foam roller, but what I really need is a trigger point kit.

I can't wait until most of my workouts can be done outside - I much prefer the fresh air to just about anything indoors. Jan 12th looks like the most likely day that I will run outside - hope it's decent.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ariel's question

Ariel asked what motivates us to be an Ironman. That's a very good question and one that makes a person pause in reflection.

Two years ago I thought that anyone doing this kind of stuff had a screw loose (and I might be right). I was doing sprints and one international and had no desire to do an Ironman.

I'm not quite sure what started to change last year, but I did my first half and performed relatively well. I had a much larger sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after the half than I ever did after a sprint. Additionally, I had a friend training for Ironmans and I was intrigued.

Another factor is that I'm not getting any younger - I am turning 45 this year and what better way to celebrate my youth than with an event that really pushes the limits.

I signed up to be a volunteer at Lake Placid last year partly because my friend was racing and partly because I wanted a slot. I still hadn't said it out loud, but it was there on the fringe - I was one step closer to making a decision that would drive me for a year and maybe longer.

I know I'm rambling, but it is not an easy thing to answer - I did not make the decision on a whim, but can anyone ever say the decision to torture yourself for more than half the day (for us mere mortals) is a reasoned decision?

Then there Ego. I know that it takes so much more than just being in top physical shape to succeed at an Ironman event (though that helps). There's proper pacing, nutrition, hydration, electrolyte replacement, gear selection, etc. I consider myself a relatively intelligent person and my ego tells me that I can get this right if I put in the proper amount of training, research and preparation. I have to test this theory - I can't just put it out there and not back it up can I?

I have to earn the right to call myself an Ironman and I intend to do it!

I need more weight

Today was a long work day - the first of many. It was a productive day so I would not say it was stressful, just long. I got home around nine and immediately headed to the cave. I tried out a couple of deadlifts at 70 pounds and although the back is feeling much better I could feel the pull on the bad spot and decided not to risk it and did leg presses instead. I warmed up with a relatively light weight and then started stacking it on. I ended up with about 350 pounds on the press and I was out of weight. That was o.k. for today as I was only able to get two of those up, but this is about 30 pounds more than the last time I leg pressed. I'm going to pick up a couple of 25's next time I'm at Dick's or Sport's Authority - I could use them for the deadlifting as well. Based on my recovery rate I should be back to full functionality in about a week.

Tabata Bike 32x - don't know what to say about these. They hurt so good!! They were really hard in the middle as it still seemed like there was a long time to go, but I was able to push each and every one of them. Got to 4.7 miles. I think I am getting the hang of this Crossfit stuff. It hurts like crazy for a little while and then you go write your blog.

Tomorrow's workout would be best done on a track (200, 400, 800, 400, 200) but I will probably end up on the treadmill.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hurts so good

Well I lied a little yesterday - I said today would be back to back workouts, but it did not work out that way. I had a meeting at 2:00 p.m. that was going to last until 4:30 so I planned on leaving the office around noon and banging out both workouts before heading to the meeting. I left later than expected so I only had time to do one. I did the Row 500m, 50 swings, row 500m, 40 swings, row 500m 30 swings, row 500 m workout. I do so enjoy the rowing machine - brings back memories of the college days. I finished the first 500 in 1:48 and the last one in 1:50 so I was able to remain pretty consistent. I finished the whole workout in 15:35 which in my mind is pretty damn good. I was in excruciating pain and deep into oxygen debt when I finished. I think I'm starting to get the hang of this crossfit stuff. Funny though - I no longer feel weird doing the cross fit workouts at LAF. Of course, I do the more obnoxious ones at home.

Second workout was 800yd swim. I was having problems with the goggles again and actually stretched out my warm-up trying to get them to stop leaking. I tried loosening them, tightening them and then finally turned them upside down - that's what worked. I completed the 800 in 14:42. That's not bad for me especially considering that I had to stop momentarily to rub out a cramp in my calf. Don't know what that was all about - I think my hydration was good today. I warmed down with a 200 - 100 breast and 100 freestyle. I am really starting to appreciate the benefits of a good warm-up and warm-down - I felt nice and loose after the warm-down.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good? bad? I'm not quite sure

I started the day with Cindy - 5 pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats AMRAP 20 minutes. When I say started the day, I literally meant started - I was at it no more than five minutes after rolling out of bed. I was able to get 13 of these babies done which I thought was pretty good until I heard Dan did a few more. I won't stoop to name calling, but.........

Second workout - 10k for time. I dropped my daughter off at gymnastics and ran a course in Windsor right out of the gym. I was fairly sure that I mapped this once in the past, but after finishing the run my GPS told me it was only 5.8 miles. I was bummed as this would have been a pr if it was 6.2 - four tenths of a miles makes a BIG difference. I finished in 51:57 which does not please me now that I know the distance (I reclocked it and the GPS was right). So here's how the run went - I took off at a moderate pace getting my breathing down in the cold air before taking it up a notch. After about a half mile I took it up a little and at about a mile I was at full speed. I could not see my HR monitor so I had to go by feel - breathing and how legs felt. About three miles into the run there was a well lit area and I checked the HR - it was at 155 so I picked it up a bit. I had a lot of juice left when I got to 1 mile to go so it is pretty clear that I did not push the pace as hard as I should have.

So, as bad as I feel about how the run went here are the positive factors. I felt good throughout the run - legs felt fantastic before during and after the run. My form felt good. In some areas I ran on icy sidewalks which slowed me down - not tryng to make excuses - just saying! My average HR was 156 and my max was 167. I will be more careful about measuring the distance in the future.

Tomorrow looks like a fun day. They will be back to back workouts - will probably do swim first.

Creative writing

Max sent out an email and suggested that his other athletes blog as well. A few have sent links to their blogs and after a quick read it is quite clear that they are more creative in their writing. Some I find funny and some just plain interesting.

Well....I'm an accountant by trade. I'm trained to be concise and to the point - not a lot of flowery build up or interesting inuendos - I know that flows over to my personal life as well. So, as much as I would like my blogs to be more interesting, perhaps a little funny, and certainly thought provoking, they will more than likely remain dry/clinical at best.

Kathy Robbins I'm waiting for a link to your blog. I find you to be a truly funny person and enjoyed reading your blog entries on Max's site.

Thank you for the links that have been sent - I truly find motivation from reading what others are going through - after all we are more alike than different.

I have completed one of my WODs today and will get the other one in after I drop my daughter off at gymnastics (10k for time). Hopefully my next blog discusses a successful training day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I feel good!

I woke up a little slow this morning, but that's no real surprise as I am not a morning person. I ate a good breakfast, snacks and lunch (its almost dinner time) and hydrated throughout the day. The lethargy that I felt yesterday is pretty much gone. I have a sense of energy pulsating through by body. I hope this feeling stays as I have a couple of workouts tomorrow that I would like to push hard. Today was a rest day and based on how I felt yesterday I need it. I'm using the day to get caught up at work.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I did not feel into it

I woke up feeling lethargic this morning, plus something I ate last night was not settling in my stomache well (hot wings). I did not go to town on the wings as I'm trying to get the diet back to where it needs to be, but I went with the extra hot.

I also think I was a little dehydrated waking up - I sweated buckets during the TT workout yesterday and I feel I'm only now starting to feel properly hydrated (more than 24 hours later). I drank 32 ounces of fluids during the 40k TT and plenty after, but I think it takes a while to absorb the liquids.

I went down to the cave to do my first workout which was 10, 20 and then 30 rounds of box jumps, knee pushups, burpees and pullups. Who knew knee push ups could be so hard. Like I said, I did not feel into it - so what did I do - I pushed it. Days like today are a mental game - it would have been just as easy to talk myself out of the workout as into it, probably easier. I know I need to keep my eye on the prize so I forced the issue. The workout took me 27:25 to complete. The holdup was the pullups. On the first set I did eight then two - no real hold up here. The second and third set was broken into fives. The last two sets of the third round was four and one then three and two. I finished!!!!! I remember a time when I would have allowed myself to shortcut the workout and say it was good enough - not any more!

The family and I then went to meet a friend for lunch and I stayed in the zone - not hard to do with a brunch menu. I was going to clear the snow from my driveway and then head out to LAF for my second workout. It didn't quite work that was because as we were heading home my wife got a call from a friend of hers that she had not seen in a couple of months inviting her to the movies. I didn't want her to miss it as she really wanted to see the movie and she had been talking about missing this particular friend for a few weeks. I think it would have been pretty selfish of me to hold her back. So.....what did I do? Skip? NO WAY!!! I had just enough time to get to LAF, get the workout in, and get home for her to leave for the movies. The snow just had to wait.

The not feeling into it went for the swim workout as much as the other workout, but I had it to do. The workout was four 400s with one minute rest. I completed the workout in 33:10 which includes three minutes of rest time. I finished the first 400 in 7:17. I think the average per 400 was about 7:33 so I definately lost power over time. On top of not wanting to be in the pool I was having issues with my goggles - The goggles have been good to me until recently. I swam the first 400 with water in the right side. It would have been so easy to stop, but something just would not let me (perhaps Max's voice in my head). I got my goggles adjusted after the first 400 and still started the second 400 on time. The goggles still leaked a little, but much slower than the first 400. A little tweak after number two and they did not leak anymore. I warmed up with 6 laps and down with 4 for an overall yardage count of 1850 (is this enough or should I include more warm up and warm down?)

All things considering, this was a very successful day. The lethargic feeling was strictly environmental and not due to any illness on my part. I am going to continue to be strict with my diet and fluid intake and expect that my energy level will come back up.

On the plus side - my back is no more sore than it was yesterday and I squatted heavy. I was very careful about my form. As a matter of fact, I think I could have done 5 reps of the 170, but I would definately have broken form. I felt the back more swimming today than doing the squats yesterday. Deadlifts don't hit my plan again until Jan 9th and they are not super heavy so I will definately be trying them out.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Indoor time trial

If you have read many of my blogs then you know that I am not fond of the treadmill or the indoor bike trainer. Well, today did not make me any more fond of the confounded trainer. The speed is so out of synch with how fast I ride outside - it's frustrating.

It took me 1:29:49 to complete the 40k TT. I believe I would have finished this in 1:15 - 1:17 outside. The important thing is that I pedalled TT intensity. I could not get my HR much over 150, but every time I tried to increase the intensity I could really feel the lactic acid building up in my legs. I also had trouble finding the right gear - one gear felt too light and the next one up felt too heavy. I almost never have this problem on the road.

I drove to the gym to do the squats. I warmed up with the bar and then started with 135 - the progression was as follows: 135, 145, 155, 165, 170. I was only able to get three of the 170s up. I wonder if this would gave gone different if I lifted before I rode. I'm going to look back in my log, but I believe I have increased the weight on this workout by about 15 pounds.

Monday's a day off so I am going to push tomorrow's workout to the max.

Rare before workout post

I registered for the Hyannis Marathon yesterday. This happens on February 28th and will be a great test to how my body is adopting to the workout protocol. I am thinking about doing a half January 24th in NY.

I was hoping to get outside to do my 40k time trial today but its snowing. Until recently I was still contemplating it as the roads are clear just wet and sandy. I talked myself out of it as cars surely would not be expecting to see a bike on the road today and the sand would kill my bike. I would not have ridden my new bike, but my other bike is still a decent bike and I would like to not ruin it.

I will be heading to the basement in a few minutes to get on the trainer and do the 40k time trial. I plan to put the music up loud and crank it out. I am ready to suffer so I am going to get to it. Hopefully my next blog discusses an awesome workout. I will still need to get to the gym to do squats - I'm thinking about getting a squat rack for my house so I don't need to make a special trip just to do five sets of squats.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Starting the new year off right

I'm actually going to backtrack a couple of days first. Wed called for 100 deadlifts and I really did not think the back had it in yet. I called Max to discuss alternatives - he looked at my program and noticed that the 100 deadliftst weren't supposed to be Wed - I had slid my whole plan over a day at the beginning of November and kept it that way. I actually cancelled a rest day in order to do it this way. To make a long story short Max told me to do Thursday's workout on Wed and just slide the workouts back a day. I think Max had a crystal ball as I ended up skipping a workout and am back on the schedule.

Wed was an extremely busy day for me -we were doing some last minute tax planning for a handful of clients and the day totally got away from me. I went to the Gym at about 9:00 p.m. - I stopped for a new battery for my HR monitor on the way as I was doing a treadmill workout and needed the feedback. I had a 5k time trial to do and after last time I was determined to get it finished. I warmed up for a mile and then get right to it. I set the pace for 7:30 pace as that is how fast I generally run my first mile in a 5k. I was just going to try to hold it for the duration of the run. I don't know what I was thinking as my best 5k time is around 24:20 and this would have blown it away. as I approached a mile and a half I had to take it down a bit - my HR was at 170 and still rising. I took it down and picked up the pace in the last half mile to try to salvage the run - I finished in 24:52. In the famous words of Dan Belmonte - they can't all be PRs.

I do know that I will use a different tactic next time I do a treadmill 5k. I will set the mph for 7.8 mph and try to hold that for the duration. That will get me finished in just under 24 minutes and is not as lofty of a goal as trying to hold 7:30 pace. I was just trying to take way too big of a bite.

Now, after getting the new battery for my watch, the time on my watch was off by about a half hour. I was a little disoriented after the run so when I looked down at my watch I thought the health club was going to be closing in a few minutes so I went home without doing my second workout. As I was driving home I looked at the clock and felt like a real moron.

December 31st - skipped the workout. Ended up working later than I expected and had to get home to help my wife get the house ready for guests. Sorry Max, but my marriage is more important than a workout.

So that brings us to today - New Years Day!! Two workouts on the schedule - 1) 5 rep dumbell thrusters (15#) and 5 pullups 5x for time and 2) four 800s with 2 minutes rest. I did the 800s first and I must say they were very painful. My lungs were screaming for mercy after each 800. 3:15, 3:16; 3:25; 3:17 - I'm not sure what happened with number 3 - timing malfuntion? It hurt just as bad as the other three. Warmed up and down with a mile - total run four miles.

I did the second workout shortly thereafter and finished it in 4:44. I just rechecked my plan to make sure I did not miss anything - this was definately the workout.

I must say that I am glad the holidays are over. There is way too much bad food and drink around. I was more disciplined than in years past, but come on!! My wife only makes her Peanut Butter Bon Bons once a year. A lot of the other sweets only come around once a year. It's impossible to say no to everything. Oh yeah, and the parties. Wine and beer everywhere - I'll just have one - right! I weighed myself this afternoon - four pounds up. I will minus a pound since it was afternoon, but that's still three pounds and that's unacceptable. Like I said, I'm glad the holidays are over - it's time to get serious. Speaking of, I will be registering for Hyannis as soon as I close this entry.