Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two intense workouts

Last night I had bike tempo intervals (5x6 minutes at tempo pace, 30 min warmup and 30 minute cooldown), and it was INTENSE. Really enjoyed doing it with my new crankset. It actually makes a difference. The pedal strokes seemed smoother and I didn't have to shift during each interval, which felt awesome. Definitely my best tempo interval workout on the bike yet. I hate the trainer, but I'm getting more and more comfortable on the bike, not to mention stronger.

This morning was a really REALLY hard swim workout. Descending 300s at an aerobic pace (1:33 pace). Five of them. Did the first one too fast (at 1:28 pace) and paid for it on the last two. I was keeping at 1:30 pace until #5, when I felt like my arms were going to explode like two 50-megaton atomic bombs. I had to really force myself to do that last 300, but I got through it at 1:33 pace, which is WHAT I SHOULD HAVE STARTED AT! Ratdangit!

But the intensity was awesome.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 goals/results and 2010 goals


Goal -- 4:45
Actual -- 4:38
2010 Goal -- 4:32

Goal -- 16:30
Actual -- 16:25
2010 Goal -- sub 16:00

Goal -- 28:30
Actual -- 28:15
2010 Goal -- 27:15

Goal -- 34:45
Actual -- 34:05
2010 Goal -- 33:30

10 mile
Goal -- sub 1:00:00
Actual -- 1:01:28
2010 Goal -- 59:00


Goal: Win age group in at least one race
Actual: Won age group in 6 races
2010 Goal: Win age group at Columbia and sprint races

Goal: Place top 10 in at least one race
Actual: Placed in top 10 in 7 races
2010 Goal: Win a sprint triathlon

Goal: Win a multisport race
Actual: Won the Hagerstown Duathlon
2010 Goal: Qualify for Duathlon Worlds

Goal: Get sub 2:15:00 in Oly distance triathlon
Actual: Best time was 2:18:10 at Colonial Beach Oly Triathlon
2010 Goal: Get sub 2:08:00 in Oly distance triathlon

Monday, December 28, 2009

15 hours!

I'm really happy that I was able to put in 15 hours of workouts last week. And they were hard workouts too, lots of speed and hill related stuff and 2 long rides.

Had a great swim this AM. Did the same workout as on Saturday (1200m of t-pace intervals, 1000m of drills) and I felt much better this time around. Was able to keep the 100s right on t-pace and even down to my new t-pace of 1:26 (haven't been able to get back there right away because of my week off) and average under 1:30. Life is back to normal and so is my fitness. Sweet!

I had a dream last night that I was swimming with Ian Thorpe, the Thorpedo, my favorite swimmer. I was perfectly emulating his freestyle form, something I have been working on the past month. The Chicken Tender Runner appreciates Ian Thorpe.

Tough week of training ahead. REALLY long rides this weekend and freezing temps, high winds, and freezing rain and snow. ARGH. Give me a break. I'm sick of long trainer rides.

Well, I gotta do what I gotta do to reach my goal.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Regaining what I lost

Today was a long day of workouts. Morning swim, noon hill run, afternoon endurance ride.

The swim was short intervals, with 1000m of drills followed by 1200m of t-paced 100m and 50m intervals. This is my least favorite workout of them all. I'm usually dead tired after I finish the drills, and I'm not even halfway done! The isolated arm drills are really tough, especially when I'm not at 100% fitness. Lots of kicking too. But I held pace today and was able to get through every drill and interval at the correct pace (between 1:26 and 1:30 t-pace). I'm getting back to where I was, although the process of getting there is painful and tedious.

The run was relaxing, with Steve, Scott and Philippe, a pro triathlete. Got some good tips from him as we took it to the hills of Seneca Creek State Park for about 8.5 miles. I learned about how I shouldn't take race failures hard and ways to prevent myself from doing so (I have a bit of a problem with that). He advised me on other aspects of triathlon training and goal setting that should prove to be very useful.

The ride was fine, uneventful, as it was a 2 hour trainer ride. Got a little dizzy at the end but I was hungry and tired. Early bedtime for me tonight!

My week totals will be back in the 15 hour range, thank goodness.

Oh, and I got a new car! Same as the mashed-up one, but the color is a little better. A dark metallic gray. Cooooool.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Death by plow and Drunken Wu Tang!!

Last night's Famous Dave's run was slow for the snowy parts, good pace through the neighborhoods.... and speedy through the lights at Seneca. Jordan, Scott and I were running with the line of cars at Seneca until we passed a park employee in a snowplow. Jordan looked into the plow, caught the eye of the driver, who realized we weren't supposed to be there and shouted "hey... HEY!!" We ran out butts off to get out of there! Scary! We were half expecting to see the plow chasing after us through the trails and closed-off part of the park. Mr. Plow-man wasn't happy to see us, that's for sure.
Got to do a trainer hill workout prior to the run and it felt pretty darn good. I felt strong. I watched Drunken Wu Tang, my favorite kung fu movie, during the ride and it inspired me to dominate.

Old Devil of Drunken Wu Tang displaying his balls of steel.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday Swim and Run

I was able to get to the pool, finally, after missing about a week of swim workouts due to my cold and the blizzard over the weekend.

My schedule called for 5x300s, which, at least to me, didn't sound like the best way to get back in the water! They were as tough as I thought, but I was able to keep pace (1:30 t-pace) and do the 300s in 4:30 with 30 second recoveries. I wasn't able to do the 5th as I was pretty tired, but at least my body is capable of the workload still, just my fitness needs to catch up, but should be fine after a few practices. Totaled around 2000m with warmup and cooldown.

Ran with Jordan and Scott on our normal Monday run, nothing of note here except that it was icy and fun as always.

So I'm feeling good overall, I just want to get back into full swimming shape and regain my "feel" of the water, which I was really starting to build up before last week.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A new week

After last week, I'm really looking forward to this week... I did only around 9 hours of training out of 13 planned hours. I have close to 15 scheduled for this week, so here's hoping I'll meet that.

This is of course barring any car accidents or illnesses, both of which I hope I don't encounter again (or at least for illnesses, not until the next season's ailment).

Biked for about 90 min yesterday after a long run through plowed road and untouched trail. Definitely gave my hip flexors a tough workout this weekend!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

9 miles of snow

I got out into the 7 or so inches of snow and put in a good, albeit slow 9 miles. It felt like I was pushing a TEMPO pace, but really was chugging along at 8-8:30 minute miles. That's probably the slowest yet most strenuous run I've ever done. It actually felt like I was biking as my strides were circular.

It was surreal. Aside from my iPod, there was absolute silence, save the occasional plow or SUV. I've had so much noise in my head this week and the silence was welcome.

And just got off the bike from a trainer hills ride. I could feel the effects of missing 5 days of biking, but it was nice to be back on the saddle and I look forward to quickly returning to form.

Back on the trail

Finally got out for a run yesterday, 10 miles on Greenway. First run since Monday, and it felt amazing. I wasn't particularly worried about feeling out of shape, and it really felt like I was fresh. Not necessarily rested due to all the stress of the week, but I wasn't tight or hampered physically.

I took uphills hard and flats and downhills easy as part of the workout. I was able to find focus during the run for the first time in a while as well. All this week was full of frustration, confusion, depression, anger at myself and all of what happened to me. But after a mile or so I found myself imagining Columbia, DuNats and VICTORY.

And that felt AWESOME.

Looking to continue that in the snow today.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tough week

A tough week as in bad week, not tough training, unfortunately. I got sick on Monday evening, so I didn't get to do my planned bike, strength or swim workout Tuesday and Wednesday morning...

And then the unthinkable happened on the way to track practice... got in a pretty bad car accident. Car pretty much totaled, but I'm undamaged except for a bruised thumb. Needless to say, no track last night either.

Got in a strength workout today but was still too sick/tired to bike. I should be ok tomorrow to make up one of the rides and get a good 70 minute run in the AM.

Just a rough week overall. I got a few days off so that's nice, but I didn't want to HAVE to take them off.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

JAW 10K = PR!

Today was the Jingle All the Way 10K and my last chance of 2009 to achieve my 10K goal of under 34:30. Conditions were favorable, at most a very light drizzle and mid-30 temperatures. No wind either, which is rare for West Potomac Park / Hains Point.

Met up with the team, got my number and warmed up. Slightly tight from the run yesterday, but I think it was more nerves. Decided on my DC Tri shirt rather than my usual racing jersey, due to my string of luck wearing that shirt in races. The Chicken Tender Runner is a little superstitious, after all.

Got to the starting line and lined up about 3 rows from the front, so I wouldn't be tempted to sprint out with the Chris Sloanes and Wilson Komens of the world. Good idea. I started fairly far behind them and had no intention of catching up.

Miles one and two were right on target, both clocking in at 5:29. Mile 3 seemed a little harder, 5:31... but I still felt great. Hit the 5K at 17:08. Right on target for a sub 34:30! Now the key was to keep it up. This time, I had no problem with that. I started to negative split and when I hit mile 4, I felt good enough to really start racing, not simply run for time. I put distance on the first Pacers girl (who of course drove the opposite running runners wild! I was nothing but chopped liver!!) and caught up to one guy and stuck with him for the next 2 miles. I negative splitted, as well, running them in 5:27 and 5:26. I tried to catch up to Matias in sight as well, but he was just a little too far ahead and I was too tired to make that much of a surge...

But when all was said and done, I looked at the clock... 34:05!!! Hot diggity! I crushed my previous PR (from a month ago of 35:16) and far exceeded my goal for 2009. I feel really awesome about this. Really sets me up for next year getting into the mid to low 33s. Maybe under 33? We'll see! I'm feeling pretty confident now. I finally solved the unsolvable 10K.

Splits... 5:29, 5:29, 5:31, 5:30, 5:27, 5:26, 1:01

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sub-35 10K, second attempt

Time for another PR-friendly 10K. Hopefully I'll make good on my long-yearned goal this time of a sub-35, with the epic goal of sub 34:30. I'm not a very good 10K runner at the moment. Never had much practice and have only run 5 or 6 of them. But I've PRed in 4 straight. I'm going to make sure that trend continues!

Now if only Mother Nature can hold off that "light wintry mix" for a couple hours...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bike 3 mile TTT and tenders

Yesterday was the second of my three time trials this week: the 3 mile bike tempo time trial. 3 miles on a flat (or in my case, slightly rolling) course at 9-11 bpm below HR zone 5A. I last did this trial in early November in 8:08 (22.2 mph). It was warm and not windy that day, optimal conditions. For this TT, it was cold, but fortunately not windy. The cold though affected my breathing a little and my legs felt a little stiff.

I warmed up and started the TT... My HR went up way too fast and I had to back off on the uphills. Not sure why my HR rose so much during this TT, but I managed to get it under control about halfway through. When all was said and done, I finished with a 7:59:56! Another improvement! That puts me at around 22.6 mph at sub-race pace on a rolling course. Getting ever closer to my goal of 23.5 mph race pace.

Fairly easy and confusing 6-mile run with Jordan, Scott, Steve and Jamie in the evening followed by extremely delicious Famous Dave's chicken tenders.

The chicken tenders were awesome... Definitely the way I'm used to. No spilt honey mustard, well-seasoned, and the fries that came with them were better than usual. That definitely made my evening.

I accept the challenge.

Monday, December 7, 2009

1K Swim TT

Today was a 1Km time trial for swimming. I did this last month and clocked in at 14:52. I felt good about my time then and it gave me a 1:30 t-pace. I expected a little improvement, maybe 5-10 seconds for today's TT with how much swimming I've been doing (at least 3 workouts a week).

I kicked off and immediately worried that I was going too fast. I felt really fast... but to my surprise not really tired after 300m. Hit the halfway mark and quickly glanced at my $5 waterproof CVS digital watch... 7:15. On target for a 14:30... exciting! I started to feel a bit tired in my shoulders around 700m, but I kept pushing and began to pick up the pace with 200m to go. I didn't sprint it in, as I didn't want to hurt myself. I was shocked when I finished and looked at my watch... 14:24! Sweet!! I improved my 1Km race pace time by 30 seconds in only 4 weeks!

That puts me at a 1:26 t-pace for my workouts now and about a 24:30 mile. I finally am beginning to feel really strong in the water...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Frozen Slopes XC 6K

Just what I needed... a cross country race! I hadn't run one since November 1, and that's 4+ weeks too many! I love cross country races because of the terrain navigating and the variety.

So this race lived up to its name... low 30s, snow, wind, already saturated trail conditions... exciting. I went into the race not expecting much, doing it to secure my placement in the MCRRC cross country standings and to have some fun. However, after being confronted by a couple of rivals who challenged my manhood, I decided that I needed to get serious, without getting TOO serious.

I went out slower than usual, which I considered practice for the road races. A teenager took it out very fast and was breathing (panting, rather) quite heavily by mile 1, but continued to push the pace... but it was clear he was fading. After a couple last ditch sprints to keep the lead, he fell behind me and Mark Hoon quickly. It became a showdown between Mark and myself. I had a winning streak against him so I hoped I could keep the lead through the finish. At the same time I knew he's a very experienced XC runner, so I made sure I kept my head and stayed patient, not panicking if I heard him get closer to me.

Halfway through, I was feeling wonderful. The snow provided some slippery conditions, but I was wearing my trail running trainers, so I felt sure in my footing. I wasn't tired and felt I would have a strong second half. Mark was still within 5 seconds of me. I remained patient. Then I saw the 5K marker... only 1K to go and I'm still strong. I begin to pick up the pace and lengthen my stride. I heard Mark behind me... and then I didn't. I looked back and I didn't see him. I cruised to the finish in 25:35(Something like that... a pretty good time for the course), winning by at least 15 seconds with a little energy to spare.

That's race victory #5 on the year! And I still feel great physically. I'll definitely be at full strength for Jingle All the Way next weekend.

This victory was exactly what I needed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Good start to the week

I always am happy when I can start out the week with two strong days of training. Monday and Tuesdays usually entail all three sports plus strength training, so they are usually good gauges of how I'll do the rest of the week.

Monday I swam and ran. 300 repeats at t-pace (1:30), with kick recoveries. I was surprised how good I felt. I often do 100s at t-pace, and am dead tired after 3 or 4. For some reason, I felt fantastic doing t-pace for three times as long! Strange! My body must not get used to the pace after only 100 yards. I'll take it!

Ran around 7 miles with Scott from WJ and took it harder on hills. A little rain and chilliness didn't hurt too bad.

Today was strength, which was good as usual (my back felt like nothing ever happened to it, yes!), and bike tempo intervals. The tempo intervals were fun. I was able to keep my HR in zone 3 without a problem. Re-adjusted my aero position and it felt much better in the neck region.

So a good start to the week. I'm excited for Frozen Slopes 6K this weekend, as it is my second to last race for at least 4 weeks!