April 2012

Here we are… we have reached the end of April.  My training for the month was good, but not as great as I had hoped.  I came down with a sinus infection that caused me to miss 4 days of workouts.  That really ate into my totals.  Add in a trip to Las Vegas at the end of the month and things came up a little short.  None the less, I am proud of my second full month of training.  I did manage to beat all of my totals from March.

Without further ado… here are my totals for April.

Swim: 4:50 – 7000 yards  (March: 4550)

Bike: 6:05:56 – 100.15 miles  (March: 68.97)

Run: 3:27:04 – 18.85 miles  (March: 13.68)


Quick post.  Landed safely in Vegas, checked into my hotel (Vdara), then got in 90 minutes on the spin bike.  Felt great.  Power nap… now dinner.

– Adam

Another Friday swim workout is in the books.  I set out to swim a cool 1200 yards today (200 more than the plan called for).  My plan was to swim a 300y set to start out with.  Why 300 yards?  Well, my first triathlon is a 300 yard pool swim in just over 5 weeks.  I wanted to see how I was doing against that goal.  I was very pleased… I swam the 300 yards in 05:49.  That is under the 2 minute per 100y goal I set for myself.  I was fairly spent after that set, but proud that I accomplished the goal.  What this tells me is that I could finish all three disciplines at the Gary Kirby sprint tri distance today.  Now the next 5 weeks will be spent on growing my distances, improving my fitness, dropping a couple of more pounds and increasing my speed.  I would love for my 300 yard swim on race day to come in at 5:30 or better!

The rest of the workout was spent doing 9x100y sets on 2 minutes.  I felt great, strong and fast.  I think swimming is quickly becoming my favorite of the three sports!

Today’s workout:

Plan: 1000y swim

Actual: 1200y swim (another new distance record for me!)

I have a really bad habit.  I am finding myself shorting my workouts by a few minutes each time.  It isn’t intentional, but I target to be near home when the time ends – so if I plan poorly, I end too soon.  This has been happening a lot lately.

I plan to stop that.

– Adam

My workout this morning had me running  for 35 minutes.  I wasn’t sure if I would be getting the run in this morning however – since sometime in the middle of the night there was a huge thunderstorm that went on for quite some time.  I never looked at the clock, so as usual, I assumed it was about time to wake up for the run.  With that, I figured my run would be washed out by the heavy rains.

Well, I fell back to sleep and after a while, the alarm went off.  I hit the snooze once to see if I could hear any rain still – but nothing.  Then I got up, looked outside and saw that the roads were wet, but there was no rain falling.  Yay… I am going running.

I set out for my 35 minute run with a goal of running a negative split each mile during the workout.  I would intenti0nally start out at a slower than normal pace – and I would head uphill for the first mile.  This would keep my heart rate elevated, but my pace would be slower.  Of course going uphill has a second benefit – my second mile would be downhill, thus making it easier to do a negative split.  The real challenge would be the third mile… it would be flat.   My plan worked as expected, the uphill mile was slow, very slow (11:49/mile) the downhill mile was faster (10:07) – but maybe too fast.  I haven’t run a sub 10 minute mile since I started running again.  This worried me.  —  I dug deep though, committed to not walking – and for taking advantage of the slightest of downhill slopes.  With that plan I felt like I had a shot at going under 10:07 for the 3rd mile.  Unfortunately, the final three tenths of a mile were uphill (a slight hill, but up none the less).  I saw my pace dropping… I pushed it… going for it… but alas, my final mile clocked in at a 10:17 pace.  Close, but not quite.

I was pleased with the results – and think I will do this plan again next time I have a morning run of 30-40 minutes.

Oh, one more thing… I passed a sign today while running for someone running for Lt. Gov here in Raleigh.  The sign was for Dan Forest – and had the tagline – Run Forest Run.  I laughed, and kept running.  (side note: If “run forest run” is the best thing you can think of to go on your political signage, I think it is time to seriously rethink your campaign!)

Today’s workout:

Plan: 35 minute run

Actual: 31:46 at an average pace of 10:44

I have a child who is almost 19 months old.  She loves spending a few minutes every once and awhile watching the Wiggles on TV.  Well, they have a song that I have heard many times over the past few months – and this morning it was stuck in my mind and I couldn’t figure out why.  It has been at least a few weeks since I heard it – but this morning, there it was… on repeat in my mind.  ugh.  There is nothing like getting ready for a workout at 5:30 am with a song that is written for infant and toddlers stuck in your head.  It was terrible.  But alas, I did my workout – even with the song in my head.

Today was my first ever brick workout.  A brick workout is where you combine two disciplines into one workout, back to back.  The idea is that you are able to practice running with tired legs and an already warmed up body and even possibily an elevated heartbeat.   This isn’t anything I have tried before, so I wasn’t sure how my body would react.

My brick was scheduled for a ride of 70 minutes and then a quick 10 minute run.  Unfortunately, I was up later than I wanted to be last night by around an hour, so I pushed my alarm back by 30 minutes and decided to cut my ride down to a 40 minute ride followed by a 10 minute run.  I would push my bike for the full 40 as hard as I could, so as to make sure I had tired legs before I went for the run.

This plan worked well – and even with the cold temperatures (41* when I started) – I persevered and pushed through all 40 minutes of the bike – hitting an average of 16.5 mph.  This average mph appears to be my normal rate right now.  About three weeks ago, I was at a 15.5 mph average, now 16.5.  It would be great to get to a 17-18mph average before my first race in June.  I just need to keep pushing it, spend more time in the saddle – and STOP cutting my rides short!

After the ride, I pulled into the garage, took my bike jersey and helmet off, switched from my cycling shoes to my Brooks running shoes, threw on a sweatshirt (still very chilly out!) and took off.  This was also my first practice at a transition – and while I wasn’t trying to be fast, I definitely wasn’t taking my time.  I finished my transition and was on the road in 1:47.  At least I now have a time to beat during my next brick workout.

My run was strange.  My heartbeat was high – about 10 beats per minute higher than it usually is during my run.  I thought maybe I was pushing it too hard, but my Garmin 310xt watch indicated I was actually slower than usual.   I decided to just focus on a steady cadence and a smooth breath.  After about 30 seconds of that, I was able to lower my heart rate back to its normal rate.  This made me feel good – I was able to recognize that my heart rate was high, put together a plan, and adjust my run to lower the heart rate. — After I had the heart rate figured out, I was surprisingly able to push my pace and still control the heart rate.  This was great.  I hit the 5 minute mark of my run and turned back towards home.  I got home just shy of the 10 minute mark (which means my return split was around 20 seconds faster than the outbound split).

For my first brick workout, I am very pleased.  Things went well, I pushed it hard (although, I probably should have run faster!  After all, it was only a 10 minute run!).  I made it through the transition well.  And I felt like I learned a valuable lesson on controlling my heart rate.  I am very happy.

As for that song that was stuck in my head.  Well, it is a song called “The Bricklayer Song”.  It is funny how the mind works, isn’t it?  Today I laid my first brick in this training program… and I feel good about it.

Today’s workout:

Plan: BRICK – 70m bike/10m run

Actual: 41:50 bike ride (16.52mph), 1:47 transition, 09:38 run (10:28/mile)

For the second day in a row, I hit the pool for a swim workout.  Today I wanted to do 1100 yards (even though the plan only has me at 800y).  I am trying to do 100y sets at a pace of 1:45, starting the next set at 2:05.  So, if everything goes according to plan, I would get 20 seconds of recovery before I had to push it again.  Of course, if I swam slower, that recovery time would be less.  I was fairly successful with this approach, generally having around 15-20 seconds – that is… until the last three sets.  I was pretty fried by then, so I was turning in 100y laps at a 1:55-57 pace, which meant that I only had a handful of seconds to recover before I had to do the next lap.  This was a challenge, and definitely pushed my ability – and I am sure my form suffered more as I became more tired…. but all in all, it was a good workout.  I am glad I did the extra yardage – and since I got the bonus pool session in yesterday, I am already up to 2100 yards this week and it is only Tuesday!   — Oh… and 1100 yards is the furthest I have swam during a workout…  **pats self on back** — and for another pat on the back, I have lost 10lbs since I started training.

Not a bad way to start the week.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 800y swim

Actual: 1100y swim (new distance record for me!)

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