Thursday, April 29, 2010

It’s that Zone 3 Time of Year

Finally, my favorite zone.  I’ve been basically holding back talking about and training in it because Cour10any said I couldn’t but now I can. 

So after my race, which not-too-surprisingly was mostly awful I figured it was time to turn the page on my training plan and get into the good stuff.  I was really going to start the harder stuff anyway – so it’s a coincidence and it’s not ironic that my race preceded my jump into Z3+ training. 

I really can’t be too disappointed with my race, my HR avg was 170 and I ran ok and I didn’t even bike too bad.  I basically went 20% faster than I have trained for (maybe more) and for about 30x longer.  I think the most time I’ve spent in Z3 to this point was 2 mins, honestly.  Sunday’s race was also the 2nd time I’ve ridden my race bike since Timberman 70.3 – back in August!  So now I’m using the TT bike in my regular training sessions and doing more of the fun but hard stuff.  Nothing like some steady-state HZ3 work followed by a little journey north into Z5.  My calves are rejoicing at this new stuff btw.  I’m glad to have pushed out a few cobwebs and move into this new phase, not to mention swimming starting May 1! 

Some people race better than they train and some people train better than they race.  This year, I’m training with really superb quality and my racing is perfectly inline with that training plus a little something extra for the effort.  I don’t have quite the extra effort and heart Ben does, but try and draw inspiration from my harder workouts and knowing that guys like Ben can draw on something deep and finish better than expected.  Sadly, I replaced him with a new drummer in my Rock Band pretend Band. 

IMG_2867 IMG_2866 IMG_2857

He never played in his underpants and I really needed some deeper commitment.

Good luck to my friend Meredith this weekend at Ironman St. George, her 3rd pro race and 2nd Pro Ironman (plus she just got her site launched).

Even more good luck to Piper in her ballet build-up to the great recital in June – we hope she can overcome the little Soviet kid who never does anything right in class – I’m guessing because she only speaks Russian.  Clearly the old Soviet state would have weeded her out quickly from the Moscow Ballet pool – can you find her?

Phone 004_a

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mt Rainier Duathlon 2010

I honestly have had 2 weeks of solid training, like riding 5x a week and running at least 4x a week.  That’s 10 bike rides and 8 runs. Before that I went when I felt like it and didn’t have any structure. 

So I did this race anyhow just to see how my program is working:

  • Short bike but 4 out of the 5 rides each week are on a trainer for 1 hour, no more, no less but 100% pedaling and quality the whole time.
  • Short runs, 20-35 mins max, 90% of which are on trails and about 30% of which is spent going at some level of intensity. 
  • I start swimming next weekend….

That’s it, consistent quality.

Plus I weigh 190lbs but should be in the low 170s, so that sort of hurts.

The race was like 1.6 mile run, then 14.5 mile bike then 3.6 mile run.  My goal was to run under 8’s (seriously) and to bike under 45 mins (it was flat except for this ridiculously long hill).

So I did a decent warm up which I started doing last year, which is about 20 mins of easy jogging, like EASY, add in about 10x 10 second accelerations and then do just like 5 mins of ‘running’, stretch and start about 5-7 mins later.  So I did that. 

Then we were off.  Oh, it was 39-40 degrees.  They also said the roads were crappy and not to bring your fancy wheels, which I think only I paid attention to. 

I know that in the run bike run races, the first run is usually run poorly – like a group of people going full gas head out but within 10 mins they explode, so I just went easy and sped up as I warmed up.  Sure enough I caught a few people who blew and hopped on the bike sort of.  I ran a 6:45 pace which was below my goal, which I just made up because if I can’t run under 8’s for 1.6 miles I should be beat. 

Then the bike was flat but so were my legs.  I could not go over 23mph and looked down at my HRM and noticed that the big number (my HR) was basically stopped at the top of the zone I have BARELY trained in.  So it sat around 168-169. It felt like 2nd gear and I couldn’t catch or pass anyone.  This is probably a result of having trained for 2 weeks.  I also got passed, but that was on a hill.  Which came later.  And it didn’t stop for a long time.  I should probably ride up hills more or maybe do some workouts that would give me a little extra something and I should drop 15lbs. I was mostly annoyed. 

See here’s my HR.  The dip around 47-50 was a part of the downhill where I was spun out in a 53x11, so I coasted a little.  My avg for the race was 170.  Normally, I’d expect to see >180.  I assume I’ll get there. 


Greta says I’m annoyed by everything.  Which is partially true.  Most everything is annoying.

Then after some 11 miles or so, I got to go down a hill to get back to the start and it was short and pretty steep and at 38mph I got the speed wobbles on my aerobars and then at the end of the downhill I turned onto the last little bit of the course over 30mph and just about hit the very tall and very rock-like curb.  Nearly a small poo in the chamois.  Thank you brake pads for being excellent. 


Then I ran again.  This time 7:21 pace.  And I saw 3 people in front of me miss the first freaking turn and then they saw me turn where the big red letters in the road said ‘RUN’ with an arrow indicating turn.  I also have the ability to find the shortest way home, so I sensed it. 

Then 2 of the people caught me, but I finished 10th overall.  Really 2nd in my AG but they did big ones 30-39.  But as Ben would tell me, overall is what counts. So that’s what I count. 

Instead of race t-shirts, they give us race photos.  Which I think is a nice change, except I looked on the site and didn’t see myself in a single race photo.   

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I’m Doing a Bunch of Stuff

I’m racing on Sunday the 25th – a short sprint duathlon, which is good because I haven’t swam since Timberman 70.3.  I think I’ll start around May 1. 

My training is short, but consistent.  My longest run is 40 mins and my shortest is 20 mins but nearly all are brick runs, so I don’t have to spend 10 mins warming up and for now, all of the runs start with a half mile uphill right out the door.  It’s like a hot slap in the face and a kick in the pants.

My short run is a race effort – all out.  One run is 30 mins with 20 mins of tempo, the other 2-3 runs are easy and all are also on the trails around my house.  I have to keep the running short in order to keep the knee pain at a minimum – anything over 40 mins and it hurts like I’ve been smacked with a bat in the knee.  I can ran 5-6x a week for 30 mins and have no pain, weird but true and the intensity doesn’t bother it. 

My rides are 4x a week indoor for 1 hour on the trainer – mostly Z2 and journeys into Z3 and 4 as per my training plan, but nothing too taxing.  Lots of slow and low RPM stuff to make the sticks strong (40-50 rpm) and also some higher cadence stuff >94 (for me this is fast as I tend to race around 83).  ON Saturdays I usually do a 2 hour ride outside not too hard but with a few power-based efforts and of course, enjoy 300-350w on the hills, but nothing too taxing. 

That’s it.

I also built a tree house for the girls, in a tree.  They want to put a rug in it.  So far: Piper fell out, Sada fell down the ladder, Piper got hit with a board in the head and I cut my finger. 

My race is pretty flat except for one sort of epic climb that is >1 mile and a good 8-12% grade.  It’s like 1.6 mile run, 14 bike and then 3.2 mile run or 3.6 mile run or something like that.  Since I am 190lbs and have been training regularly for a good 2 weeks, it should be just shy of a cardiovascular debacle. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Did a Bunch of Stuff

Piper's Art 004 This weekend I drove 900 miles and despite the police’s threat of more tickets and more patrols I took this as a challenge and set a new record driving home. 

I went to a funeral and that was sad but always good to see family.  Sometimes funerals are better than holidays like Thanksgiving because there isn’t so much yelling and traffic and more people show up and after a while I just remember the food and the people.

I wanted to run but didn’t because they had a lot of wine which meant I should probably have some along with the apple cake.  Plus, I didn’t have a ton of time and will have to run DOUBLE next time we visit. 

But I did take an extra day to recover from NOT sleeping at the Ramada Inn – all of the bottom sheets came off and I slept on the mattress after what must have been a whole two hours and I was certain I was being eaten by bed bugs because I believe that only really nasty stuff lives in hotel rooms.  Even the Westin.  But not the Four Seasons or Fairmont.  I toss and turn a lot, mostly turning clockwise and that sort of rips the bed up. 

There was a pool that was 2ft deep and the kids loved it.  I was certain that it was just full of pee, so I let my kids play in it because there was no way I was going in it.  There was also a bigger pool but it had a few people just sort of floating around in it – so no chance of swimming in it, especially since it was about 20 feet long and had a rope half way down the pool denoting the deep from shallow end.  Except the shallow end was 5 feet and the deep end was 9 feet.  It must have been 75 too.  Which means there isn’t a chance in the world that I’d get in.  My friend Tracy says pee in pools is what causes Pink Eye.  I believe him because he was a swimmer who probably peed a lot and got Pink Eye every time as a karmic result. 

Greta had to give a speech about her Grandma.  She isn’t a public speaker and living with me, there really isn’t much of a chance to even get regular style talking in much – but she did a really good job given the conditions of the whole thing.  I was proud of her, she’s even funny when she speaks in public (weddings and funerals are her specialties) and she didn’t read from a paper.  When I die, I want people to sit and read my blog start to finish.  Though I suspect people will really just race to the whole Dasha thing and stop after that.  Basically 99% of the people I know who read this blog always mention Dasha.  I’m sort of waiting for the next awesome thing like that because my life and training really don’t make for great content. I won some awards when I took a public speaking class at Microsoft with about 40 other co-workers.  Though, there was one guy who was insane.  My favorite speech he gave started off like this ‘so how many of you have ever been in a tear-gas chamber?’.  It went downhill from there.  He was from what I still refer to as the Soviet Union. 

I ate my first whole tomato yesterday. Ever.  I’m almost 37. 

I did a brick workout today which I like to follow 1x a week with a race pace run which begins with a 1/2 mile climb up the hill and I’m gassed out about 1.5 mins into the run and hold on.  Luckily it isn’t too long and I took 1:18 off my run time.  18:20 is my new record. 

Somewhere along the 900 miles of driving I also declared myself King and tried to use it as a motivator.  As in ‘can you run into Starbucks and get me coffee because I’m King’.  It sort of works but I will have to test it out.  I’m thinking that Greta would have got the coffee for me either way.  But it’s more fun to use my King title.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Don’t Love You

IMG_0923 (2)I get told that quite a bit when the kids are hungry, tired, or both.  Luckily, food fixes most of it, at worst, a nap or a good night’s sleep promises a new attitude by morning. 

Again, it’s like any race- there’s a bad patch and then you eat, drink, recover and you’ll find a good patch.  Sometimes the race is over and you hit the good patch – like when you step into Jamba Juice. 

I think I race in like 3 weeks but haven’t really trained more than 5-6 hours a week, so it should be epic and embarrassing but maybe just maybe 2 other people will show and I’ll still get a podium and feel good about that.  Bad if one of those two folks are on a 10 speed or a cruiser bike. 

I had a dream I had wicked ripped abs.  Must have been the 3 small peanut butter cups I had before bed.  For now it’s a dream and the 3 mins of core work I do every day is slowly creeping to 4 and then maybe 5.  There’s a bit more hostility I have to endure when doing core and it usually involves me being sat on by a child or two children or a cat or and probably worse, I get my face and ear licked by the dog.  It’s like a core workout under fire in real life conditions. 

I HATE food blogs. 

I hate them about as much as I hate home remodel and fix it up shows.  They make everything look so easy but after spending like 2 weeks building this arbor at our home I was pretty much never going to swing a hammer again. 

The same thing applies to food blogs and shows.  I can make smoothies pretty good and can probably throw down a pumpkin pie against nearly anyone but everything else, Greta or anyone with a food blog can do better.  I also hate the photos because that just makes me feel worse.  You can’t really present a smoothie or glass of wine badly – so I’ll stick to those.  But…

Here is a food blog that is not really a food blog because poop stories are mixed in.  So it makes the cut.  It’s mostly funny and probably PG-13 a worthy read at lunch. 

No one ever takes photos of me, well nearly never ever.  So I have about 1 per month to pick from.  So here’s one from the summer where the girls didn’t hate me but I think Greta did but more importantly, my legs look pretty good a bit chubby but still more awesome than 99% of those out there.  I also haven’t shaved for 2010.  I started to, but felt it was premature, so I basically have no hair on the tops of my thighs which has no purpose or point.  Except I now just feel bad for not finishing it with conviction and I have guilt for not training enough or being consistent. 

I’m also trying to convince my mom that I’m possibly adopted.  My VO2 Max is 67.  I also weigh over 80kg. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

And It Was Awesome

Skiing with Sada for a few days at Whistler was awesome and epic and people we spoke to (all of whom had British or Aussie accents, well there was one who said ‘eh’ so at least 1 Canadian) said the weather was the best they had seen in YEARs.  I now know why kids who live in Aspen or near Whistler or Park City can become Olympians – the skiing is amazing and hard.  We did a few top to bottom runs that took at least a half hour and we were going about as fast as we could in places – Sada’s skis only go so fast.  And again, after swearing it off forever we came face to face again with the Dave Murray Olympic Downhill course.  It was groomed and looked perfect and I said ‘want to try it again’ and off she went.  Amazing that you can see a kid try something they thought they could never do again.  She’ll then goes on to tell her sister about how she skied ‘THE DAVE MURRARY DOWNHILL’ as if she invented, owned and has the course record on it.  Awesomeness must be genetic. 

2068 (2)

Here is Sada at nearly the top of the whole place – she was one of the few kids there and certainly the one who had the chutzpah to shake her bootie and sing as she skied down – nothing quite like having nursery rhymes stuck in your head all day long.  I still don’t know how a 6 year old could ski as much as we did – I just kept filling her up with chocolate, apple juice, chocolate milk, cookies and pizza. Well, maybe I do know how she kept going…. 

She had a great time and the hotel gave her a key which she ran around using to open every door, elevator and lock she could find.  I just try and remember all the great things I got to do as a kid and ensure she gets to do all of that and more. I also whipped snowballs at her in the hot tub. 

2065 2070 2075 2078

On the way home we crossed through the border and I told Sada we were back in America and she said ‘it doesn’t look like America’.  Apparently, farmland and places of no particular character are not America in her mind.  She thought it was full of cities but I actually think it’s the opposite that that populated areas are the exception, it just so happens that we haven’t spent much time in the middle.  I also saw a sign for a company claiming to be ‘God’s pharmacy’ which looked like a real pharmacy or pharmaceutical company, except God owned it or someone named God did or someone who is probably going to have to answer some questions when they die owns it.  Apparently God isn’t big on SEO because I can’t find the place online. 

I’m back riding and running – though my runs will all be limited to not much more than 30 mins due to my tendonosis – I can run 4-5 times a week max without much pain after that it goes to 11 and it hurts and I want to cry. 

I don’t think I have any other stories than that, except for the bikini party that happened in my living room yesterday.  It’s spring and the girls know that in California you can wear a bikini in the spring, except here in Seattle…well, Mercer Island (which is better than Seattle) it’s like 43 out and raining.  But regardless, they had a party and laid out in the sun in the living room talking on their pretend cell phones and at some point they both decided they were pregnant and gave birth to stuffed animals. 

Their teen years should be cake.