Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Triathlon Spouse

Last night my schedule called for a short 8 mile run, 2 mile run brick. The timing of my workouts of my workouts revolves changes constantly due to dinner plans, work schedules, and sun light. Yesterday since I needed to ride I would need to begin my workout as soon as I got home from work in order to take advantage of the little light that was left. This also means me leaving the house before my wife gets home from work.

When I got home from the bike leg I quickly entered the house and started my transition. As I was changing* CB yelled from the bedroom "Are you done with your workout?",  I responded "No, I have a quick 2 mile run and then I'll be done". She then responded "I figured as much, I noticed you set up a transition area out there" and then I was back out the door.

As I ran I thought about how funny it was that she saw shirt*, shorts*, hat, and shoes and did not identify it as a mess I left on the floor, but as a transition area and then inferred I must be in mid-workout. This made me realize that although she is not involved in the sport, she is involved in the sport. She is not a fan of the sport, but a fan of me and therefore a natural supporter of triathlon. I should also note that she did watch and enjoy the Kona broadcast and thinks Macca is an ass; but I still can't get her to workout with me :)

When I got home, we headed out to meet her mom and lil' sister for dinner and had a good laugh about her noticing my "transition area". This got me thinking about how I have seen list like "you know you are dating a triathlete when..." but never have I seen a list about triathlon spouses.

This is something I would like to add as a tab on this blog. I would love to hear anecdotes from you seasoned vets about how to tell you are married to a triathlete. For example, although this is stolen from a "dating a triathlete" list it is still true for me..... You know you are married to a triathlete when he/she says I'm going to run to the store and he/she actually runs to the store.

I would love if anyone who reads this leaves a comment so we can come up with a list!

* I enjoy sharing the lessons I learn in training and in life. A month or two ago I purchased my first pair of bibs. I love them. I think they are great to ride in. Yesterday I put them on before my brick, and then when I grabbed my shoes and hat to stage I realized I was going to have a hard time running in the bibs. So then I grabbed a pair of shorts to change into. At this point I realized I would need to take off my jersey and vest to put on the shorts, so I might as well put on a running shirt so I grabbed one of those to stage too. Lesson Learned: On short brick days , just ride in running shorts or buy some tri shorts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 7 of HIM

This week was not as slow as last week, but not the high volume I had seen for the first 5 weeks.

S: 1800.00 M, 1h 05m
B: 11.00 Mi, 37m 28s
R: 3.00 Mi, 30m
Str: 50m

Swim: This week spent more time on drills than laps or speed. Always good to work on form, however when Sundays swim rolled around with 600-800m (my choice) I only did 600m because I could not find my rhythm.

Bike: Only one bike ride this week it was a time trial. Coach wanted Flat, but since I don't have that we used the local tri course. This is good since I have used it for all my time trials in my own training. I finished my 10 mile TT in under 25 minutes. This is the fastest ever for me. I finished the whole course in under 40 also a PR. I am very happy with this. I went hard without it feeling like I was going too hard. It almost feels wrong but it was Garmin timed. Either the rest, the spinervals (all two weeks worth), or the long rides have been paying off. My goal for the Statesville Rotary Tri would be 30 minutes on the bike leg. Just over 1mph more on my avg speed and I will be there. These kind of gains make me happy- I can almost touch a goal.

Run: Only 1 run this week. A recovery run on friday- 3 miles. I was told not to run any faster that 10 minute miles.It was perfect weather at 50+ and sunny at 09:00. I warmed up at a very low jog. I had a little pain on the outside and below my knee cap but after a half mile warm up it was gone. I did not push my pace, just enjoyed the weather. Even without pushing time flew by. I love when the weather is so nice.

Strength: One of the funny things to me is that last when I started training with Coach Chris he gave me the strength workout he wanted me doing and it was the same routine I have been doing since October. However, in the last few weeks I had fallen off out of time constraints. Now, he has it as part of my schedule which means I have the time. As a safety measure he had me do it without the lower body moves.

Weight: After two months I am still stuck at 190. Since I am still only 4 pounds from my 2010 goal it is starting to piss me off. Like I said before I started logging calories to make sure I was eating enough. This week I am going to start using the calculator for nutrients. If you know of a better website to figure out how many calories I need to lose weight and how to break down the nutrients please share. I feel so close, but although my weight hasn't changing I feel like I am getting father away. I also have the goal of below 180 by my first race. I want to buy the Racing Weight book but haven't got around to it as I have been buying gear instead.

Life: Work has been full of drama lately and this week has been a full load of duties. It has made me feel disconnected from my blog friends. For the last few weeks I have averaged 2 posts per week and only had about two days where I have been able to read others. I enjoy sharing and reading so I hope that I can up my free time sometime soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book review: Four Months to a Four-hour Marathon

About a month ago there was a snow storm here in the South. I spent two days off of work due to my road being covered in ice. In an effort to keep my sanity I decided to visit the local library.  For a small city/medium town that is far from qualifying as a fit or metropolitan and more likely described a combination of a want-to-be gangland and the extras list from deliverance I was surprised how many running books they had. There were even a few triathlon books and when I got home I checked and there are even more cycling books.

I put together a stack of books and checked out; on the way home I almost completly finished one. If it was that easy a read and held my ADHD in check I thought it deserves a review.

Four Months to a Four-hour Marathon
by Dave Kuehls

This book is a concise reference for introductory running topics and training.

Pros: The book is very reader friendly, and it does not contain a gross amount of technical data. It is a quick read and contains all of the informationn on training, stretching,  gear, and even race selection that a first time runner may need.

Cons:  The book is slightly misleading in that the average first time runner may not be able to realistically run a sub four hour marathon, however for this reason it also has plans for four and a half and five hour marathons. In terms of running clothes and form it may be behind the times.

Overall: I think this is a great starting point for a runner who has bagged their first few 5k's and wants to run a marathon as a part of their bucket list. It would work best when paired with an experienced mentor.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 6 of HIM training

Writing this feels odd since I just posted week 5 three days ago. There have been a lot of changes this week, I'll talk about the number, then the changes.

S: 700.00 M, 15m
B: 14.00 Mi, 1h 04m
R: 20.25 Mi, 4h 41m 45s
Str: 30m

The number feels very lite compared to what I have been putting up for the last few weeks, it almost looks like a recovery week. Except, my workouts were almost all hard, I did a lot of time trialing to set paces for future workouts.
Swim: One swim work a 200m time trial. I did it in 4 flat. This made me mad because I have done a few long workouts at a shorter pace. I may have gone out too fast on the first 100m; it felt like it was closer to me goal of 1:30. The second half was a struggle. I didn't like my results but I did feel like I was working at my threshold.
Bike: I did an hour on the trainer as part of a brick it was cake. It felt weird with no long ride for the week. I have gotten accustomed to it and except for needing a new saddle, I like the long rides. I had a time trial planned for Sunday but decided to pass in order to rest.
Run: The week started out well. My first workout for the week was a 1 mile time trial. I got it done in 7:13 setting a new PR for me by 42 seconds. Now if I can just string those together for 13.1 miles I will be in great shape. The rest of my runs were not so pleasant as described in my last post.
Long run thoughts: limping home sucks!!
Now for the changes: Last night I had a long talk with my coach, about 56 minutes actually. We discussed the pros and cons of a marathon. He was very encouraging to complete it just as a bucket item but to take it slow. Since I have run races from 5k to 15 miles I want go hard on this one. I want a sub 4 hour time. If I can't do it than I would rather put in more training and push it off until later. Since I am going to need some rest for my knee it will put my marathon training mileage down and he suggested I treat it like a training run. I really don't want to pay to do a training run. There is always the fall. After discussion we have decided that i am not going to do the marathon, however I may find something else shorter around the same time as a benchmark and a motivator. I may see if I can find a trail race.
With this decision I also made the request that if I am not working on building marathon endurance that it would be nice to work my half marathon speed.
He is also thinking this may be an IT band injury and gave me some stretches using a rolling pin to do at home.
I already knew I needed to replace my shoes. I looked at Kinvaras this past weekend but the sales people shooed me away from them due to the support level of my current shoes (Omni 9). They said it would n't make sense. Coach Chris brought up an excellent point, I was fitted for my shoes many pounds ago and and could use a shoe now with less heel padding because of this. Also, since we are trying to develop me into a forefoot runner, I should get a shoe that will encourage this as opposed to be current shoe that in a way encourages my to heel strike.
This week is going to be light with only one run in order to rest from the injury. We did discuss as we go from here also ramping up the cycling training. We feel I have the power to be a good cyclist I just need to get the training in to use it.
Although I was hurt last week, I am happy with the new outlook.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Bad and The Ugly

This is one my posts where I solicit the assistance of the expert runner and triathletes.

Tuesday my training plan had a 9 mile steady run. 6 miles in my right leg started to hurt around the knee and calf.  I ran/walked the rest of the way home. I read up on common running injuries that night.

Wednesday I had a brick with a 3 mile steady run. My knee bothered me a little during this run but not as much as the night before. I read up on running knee pain a little more.

Thursday, I had a tempo run. I warmed up slowly and although my knee was sore as I started, the pain diminished. I ran 4 miles at my tempo pace. My knee slowed me down but just slightly. I iced my knee and took Tylenol when I got home.

Today was my 19 miler. I did the run/walk plan as described on Jeff Galloway's website. I started my first few rounds slow as a warm up. My knee was sore but went away as I went. About 5 miles into my run  and on my slow run pace to the second when I came to an intersection where I had to wait for heavy traffic. As I took my next few steps I was in the worst pain. It felt like my knee cap was on the side of my leg. I tried to rest and run again with no luck and ended up waling 1.25 miles home. I am icing as I type this.
After a ton of research I have self diagnosed (because that's always accurate :/) that I have runner's knee.
After reading I am not sure what has caused it. All of my mileage increases have been under 10%, I have been running on and off including on a tack team since I was 15 and never had an injury, I also wear proper footwear. Of all the causes I found online, the only one I believe is likely is the fact that my shoes need to be replaced.
My first injury, of sorts, bothers me. It also made me aware that my priorities are out of order. Good biomechanics are important and being pain free is as well, but what bothers me most is that I have my first marathon a month away from tomorrow and this run is very important and I can't complete it. I want to be able to run a good marathon.
I was trying to decide what do to on my walk home. I thought that since I couldn't run anymore I should go home and ride the trainer. I decided against it in order to rest. Then I thought that I would rest tonight and try my long run again tomorrow. I don't think this is the best idea either. I thought maybe I would do some extra swimming but I don't want to do that either because it isn't on the plan and why pay for coaching if I am going to ad lib on it.
One of the most aggravating things to me is that it is going to be a pretty weekend in the upper 50's here and it would be great time to run, I was off early today so I could run in the nice weather. Not being able to get it done this weekend means I will have to do it in the dark and cold next week after work.
Here are my questions:
Have you ever had this injury?
I have read volumes on the topic now but want to know from other runners, not my nursing and EMT books, how long did it take you to get back running and what did you do that helped?
Any other tips?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Week 5 of HIM training.

This has been open on my desk top since Sunday, I am going to post it despite the fact I will be posting again this Sunday.

S: 5950.00 M, 2h 29m

B: 63.50 Mi, 4h 00m

R: 22.50 Mi, 3h 45m

Swim- Now that I am kicking consistently I am feeling better about the swim. For the first time I finished a workout faster than the prescribed time. I am usually 5-15 minutes over. I did short my swim meters about 400m for the week. I was running out of time before work so I shorted a cool down.
Bike- I have been bidding on trainers since Christmas and lose consistently. I won two on Monday. Yes, TWO! I won a Blackburn Trakstand and a Kinetics (not Kurt Kinetic) wind trainer. I am trying to resell the wind trainer and no one is buying. The Trakstand came on Friday and since I had an hour ride planned I did the spinervals that I won the week before. FUN TIMES. On Sunday it was 20 degrees so I rode on the trainer for 2.5 hours while watching CSI on DVD. WORST RIDE EVER. I am definitely looking for a new saddle.
I also won Aero bars this week. Can't wait for them to arrive.
Run- Short runs were cake. I did my long run via the Run/Walk as Chris K suggested. Since my HR strap wasn't working  I ran by feel. I ran comfortable/slow and running this way I managed to average 9:59 miles. Much faster than normal and amazing considering I walked every fourth minute. The normal soreness I get during long runs didn't start until after 15 and it NEVER got bad. However, after I was done I was sore like never before. That maybe because of the first time at this distance. I also still need new shoes and can't get them until I sell the trainer.
Long Run Thoughts- Swimming. Boredom. I want to try a freestyle snorkel.
Next week I will stop using the plan and start using a coach. This may be interesting. Not sure what the plan is for next week but he mentioned time trials.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


My life is full of a constant hunger, a hunger for knowledge (not just endurance related), hunger for opportunities to better myself, hunger for chances challenge myself, hunger to prove myself.

However, recently I have been just regular ol' hungry. Yesterday and last Monday (both involved long swims) I have eaten all day and never been full. I have only experienced this four other times recently- the days of my two sprints, the day of my 10k and 5k combo, and the day of my 15 mile MTC run. All of these day left me with the same feeling. After each one of those races I ate all day and was never full.

As I wrote the other day I have been pondering calorie counting again, but this time to make sure I am eating enough. I plan 3 decent meals and 3-5 snacks everyday. I always have a snack at 10 am and another at 3 pm, the other two typically depend on workout length and meal times. Yesterday I was on my normal (new normal-I'll discuss later) schedule and had my snack at work and before dinner- but I even snacked in between my snacks. Just to list a few things for the day I had yogurt, apple, banana, grapes, salad, grilled chicken breast, ribeye steak, rice snack cakes, cheerios, potato chips, and more.

When I totalled it up on the nutrition screen I had close to 3,000 calories. This is a ton from me. This rivals my days of 3 trips to Wendy's in a day. The funny thing is I never remember being full and even think I was hungry when I went to bed.

I enjoy looking at this calorie count in a retrospective manner. I went from 3,000-5,000 calories of crap a day, to 1,300 low carb calories a day; then I lost a bit of weight, started working out more and tried to stay under 2,000 with no carb counting (just being smart); and now I have days like yesterday when I eat ALL day, but mostly smart foods, and total 3,000 calories. It is really interesting for me to see things come full circle, in a way.

Just in case anyone is reading this thinking i am having a down-on-myself moment, I am not. I do not think I over ate, I think I could have eaten more. AND agrees because even with everything I was at a 500 calorie deficit for the day.

Oddly, I just ate lunch an hour ago and ate my afternoon snack with it. I am already hungry again and  I have a hour ride and 30 minute run tonight so I am planning to eat a bowl of cheerios first. Maybe with honey.

Has anyone else gone through this when they made an increase to longer training sessions?