May 2012


The race is coming soon!  I am in the middle of a small taper (easy short workouts designed to keep you fresh for race day) as I inch ever so close to race day.   Taper weeks are not super important for someone doing a sprint race, but I am doing much shorter workouts this week as a way to make sure my legs are ready for Saturday morning.

Today I went to the Bedford pool (race site) to get in a short 500 meters before heading to work.  It was the first time I went to the outdoor pool while it was raining.  It is a strange experience to be in a pool while it is pouring, but without thunder/lightning there was no reason not to be there.  I was surprised when I got there though… this was the first time in all of my early morning swims that there was another person at the pool.  Actually, today… there were four others!   It was nice to have the company.

With only 500 meters to swim, the workout was pretty uneventful.  I got in… swam 10 laps and got out.  Simple.  Quick.

Tomorrow is a mini-brick (swim->bike).  Looking forward to that!

Thanks – Adam

Today’s workout:

Plan: 500 yard swim

Actual: 500 meter swim

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Please see my previous post about my trip to the zoo to see what else I did this wonderful holiday weekend – but in addition to the trip to the zoo, I also got in a couple of workouts.

My Sunday – workout

My first came when we arrived at my in-laws house.  I changed clothes and jumped on my bike for a 20 mile ride on the roads between Clayton and Wendell, North Carolina — oh… and it was HOT.  My training plan had me down for a 90 minute ride, but I didn’t want to hold up any dinner plans should my ride take longer than 90 minutes, so I planned to ride an out and back ride – 10 miles out, 10 miles back.  This would guarantee that even if I rode slowly – say 15 mph, I would still be back at the 90 minute commitment… and if I pushed it, I would be back sooner.  That seemed to make sense to me, so I jumped on the bike and took off.

The ride was hot.  Very hot.  Like 87 degrees hot.  And sunny.  Very sunny.  Like no clouds sunny.  My pace on the out portion was pretty good, although I did have a mile or two where I was feeling very drained and zapped of energy.  Remember, this ride is coming in at 2pm after spending the morning at the zoo (in the heat) and the lunchtime hours in the car driving to the in-laws house.  So, I definitely wasn’t my usual self.  But, I pushed on – telling myself how happy I would be if I didn’t cut the ride short.

Finally my Garmin watch indicated 10 miles, so I slowed down, pulled a U-turn and headed back.  I was drinking a lot of water and some Gatorade to keep hydrated in this heat, but I wasn’t sure if I was over doing it or falling short.  I haven’t ridden in this level of heat before, so it was all a learning process.  I tried to listen to my body – but sometimes it is hard to interpret.

As the miles clicked off, I felt a little better.  I started to focus on just a good solid cadence – and staying in aero as much as possible.  This seemed to help a lot.  I started to feel good and strong.  I pushed things hard those final three miles.  I wanted to finish strong.

I did.  And I felt great!

Sunday’s workout:

Plan: 90 minute ride

Actual: 20.05 miles (1:10:10)

 

and now on to what I did on Monday…..

My Monday – workout

My second workout came on Monday.  My training plan called for a 35 minute run, but I decided to add a brick workout to the day, rather than just a run.  Today I was going to try out my new triathlon suit by doing a 300 meter pool swim immediately followed by a 5k.  These two workouts were to be completed on the actual race course for the Gary Kirby Triathlon this weekend.

I finished my swim in a slow, but respectable time, quickly threw on my Brooks Pureflow running shoes and took off running.  Of course I looked ridiculous being completely soaking wet, wearing a silly tri-suit running the streets of Bedford…. But it was needed.  I finished my 5k run inside of my goal time – so I felt great about that.  I am still slow – but hey… I am running, I am swimming and I am biking more than the vast majority of people in this world.  What is not to be proud of?

Pride is a strange thing… We are taught that pride is dangerous, that pride is a deadly sin.  I am not so sure I buy into that.  I think that people who take pride in themselves treat themselves better than those who leave pride on the doorstep.  I take pride in my physical improvements. I take pride in my dedication to my training.  I take pride in the family my wife and I have created.  I take pride in my work.  How can feeling proud about your accomplishments be a deadly sin?  I guess maybe you can take it too far.

Oh well.  I am proud.

– Adam

Monday’s workout

Plan: 35 minute run

Actual: BRICK: 300 meter pool swim (6:02), followed by a 5k (31:38)

The holiday weekend.  A wonderful three straight days off from work in a row.  Loving it!

This post is a bit late – so I will first write about my holiday weekend (non-triathlon related) and then in a second post talk about my training.

Friday at work was a bit stressful – I knew that I had a lot of work to get done, so I kept my head down and tried to knock out as much as I could so I could enjoy the weekend without having to think about my work.  With that crossed off the list, it was time to head home and start the long weekend.

My weekend plan included my wife and I taking the baby to the NC zoo for the first time.  She is obsessed with animals (loves giraffes, lions and elephants thanks to the mural I painted on her wall).  The plan included us joining the NC zoological society, which in turn gives the whole family free access to the zoo for 2 years.  So, with that level of free access we decided to split our trip into two days.  Saturday morning we would drive to Asheboro and check out the animals in the morning, then spend the afternoon at the hotel’s pool (the zoo is 2hrs away from home).  Then we would head back to the zoo on Sunday to spend another morning with the animals before heading to the in-laws for dinner later that night.

Day 1 at the zoo.

We decided to spend today in ‘Africa’.  The NC Zoo is broken into two huge sections – Africa and North America.  We wanted to get the baby to her favorite animals as soon as possible to increase her excitement.  Well, that plan worked perfectly.  Immediately after walking into the zoo, we were face to face with five giraffes.  The baby was excited.  She kept pointing and smiling.  It is such a great thing to see that level of joy in your child.  After the giraffes we meandered around the Africa section, taking in the elephants, zebras, rhinos, gorillas, chimps, lemurs, baboons, and more.  After a quick (and early) lunch, we headed for the car in the hopes that we could get to the hotel before the baby fell asleep.  Well, that plan failed.  We weren’t even out of the parking lot when her eyes shut and the zzzzz’s start flowing.  Oh well… plan ‘b’.  Plan B included my wife and I driving around the triad of North Carolina for an hour and a half while we let the baby sleep.  — After this grand tour, we finally made our way to the hotel and found ourselves poolside for an afternoon swim.  After that, it was time to find some dinner and end our day.  It was a great day filled with a lot of joy and excitement.

Day 2 at the zoo.

Our original plan for day 2 was to spend it in ‘North America’… however we made an audible and chose to go back to the well and see Africa again.  We had missed the aviary during Day 1, so we knew we wanted to add that to the mix (I am a huge bird fan… so more correctly said, I didn’t want to miss it).  We also decided to add in the Grizzly Bear from N-America’s side to our list today.  Luckily the Grizzly Bear is the last animal on the N-American side, so it was easy to add it to our day.  So, we started again at the giraffes, saw the Lions sitting majestically on their rocks, watched a gorilla climb, saw a baby chimpanzee, made our way to the aviary and then we made it to ‘junction plaza’.  That is the area that connects Africa to N-America.  This would be a non-event for most people, but the baby is obsessed with carousels – of which they have a nice one here in Junction Plaza.  So, to the ticket booth we went.  — After two rides (one with Mommy and one with Daddy) it was time to move on.  We quickly made our way to the Grizzly Bear, finding him playing in the waterfall.  He was the only one able to cool off on this hot day.  After seeing ‘Buster’, we grabbed an ice cream for the baby (to distract her while we walked by the carousel once again) – and headed for the elephants and rhinos one more time.   Then it was time to go.

We headed out of the zoo just in time for the baby to take a nap on the slightly over two hour ride to the in-laws house.  Once at the in-laws, I was able to get some triathlon training in, and then enjoy a really nice meal cooked by my mother-in-law.

After reaching ‘full’, it was time to head home.  It was a great weekend spent enjoying one of North Carolina’s great assets.  I only wish my other three kids were there to enjoy it with us.

Living and loving life!

Thanks for reading.

– Adam

My first outdoor pool swim was this morning.  I finally ran out of ‘punches’ to my pool near work, so I instead headed to my neighborhood pool for my workout before heading to the office.  Today was a simple 900 yard workout – which should have been a breeze.  I should have finished each 100y in about 1:45-50 and be done very quickly.   However, when I finished my first 100, I looked at my time and it was 1:57.  WOW.  Was I not awake yet?  Was I tired?  What was going on?

So, I dug deep for my second 100 yards and as I was finishing, I felt horrible – my form was bad, I was out of breath, everything was falling apart.  I finished in 1:58!  What in the H#$%?   This was terrible.  I am only a few days away from my first triathlon – in this very pool, and I am sucking wind and going slow!  UGH.

After grinding through the full 900 yards I got out of the pool, dejected, disappointed and angry.  I was wandering around when I saw the swim team records board.  I decided to check it out – and then noticed…. this pool is in METERS, not yards!  UGH.   Each meter is 1.0936133 yards… and believe me, that .0936133 makes a difference!

My times of 1:57-1:59 convert to 1:45-1:47!  That feels better.

UGH.  What a day to start the day.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 900y swim

Actual:  984y swim (900 meters)

The alarm just keeps setting itself for these awful times in the morning.  Today it was 5:15am.  Although, would you believe that I didn’t need it today?  I actually woke up before the alarm went off!

I woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.  Made my way downstairs and had a cup… looking up, I noticed I was late.  AHHH.  It is was now 5:30 and I needed to be on my bike by now.  Good thing that last night I was smart enough to set up everything for my brick workout this morning.  So, I quickly went to the garage and hopped on the bike and headed out.  Today I was to ride for 60 minutes and run for 20 more immediately after the ride (also known as a brick workout).

It was still dark out when I started moving, but light was quickly on its way.  I headed to the greenway where I wanted to see  how fast of a pace I could hold if I stayed down on the flats of the greenway, rather than the hills of the neighborhood for the full 60 minutes.  It was a bit of a personal challenge to see if I could reach 18mph average over 60 minutes.  Pretty crazy since the fastest average I have sustained to date was just barely over 17mph.

With that, I pushed it – attempting to leave nothing in the tank for my 20 minute run.  I wanted to see just how far I could push it and still get through everything.  At 56:43 I pulled back into my garage and started my transition.  The transition went well – but I almost forgot to grab a drink of water before heading out.  I need that to become more of a habit, as I don’t want to feel like I need a drink before I hit the first aid station during the triathlon.

Now that is FLAT!!

The run took me to the same flat greenway behind our house.  It was a beautiful morning, the birds were singing, the deer were staring at me and the path was empty.  I definitely didn’t have much in the tank after my ride, but I did manage to get in my run without a walk break – albeit at a slow pace.

I made my way back to the house and felt good about getting in such a hard workout before the family was up and moving.  I quickly transitioned from workout mode – to Daddy mode and got the kids ready for their day at school.

Oh – and I hit my goal!  I averaged 18.3mph during my bike ride!  That is my fastest average to this point.  I love seeing improvement!

Not a bad morning.

Today’s workout:

Plan: BRICK – 60m bike/20m run

Actual: 56:43 bike ride (18.3mph over 17.3 miles), 1:51 transition, 17:33 run (10:40/mile over 1.65 miles)

Sunday.  You know… Sundays used to be a slower, more relaxed day.  That isn’t the case any more.  With four kids to chase around town, long workouts to get in, a house and yard to keep looking good and a wife to try to spoil – I have very little ‘down time’.  Not that I am complaining.  I love every part of it, but weekends just fly by now.

Today was no exception.  We had invited some close friends over for dinner, so not only did  I have my normal Sunday items to do, but we added in preparing a large Italian meal for the 6 of us and our 4 guests.  Again, not that I am complaining… we love having friends over for dinner.

So, with the need to prepare a dinner, clean a house and take care of 4 kids – spoiling my wife and my workout moved down the priority list.  We worked out a schedule that should everything go as planned would allow me to get my 60 minutes of pain long run in during the baby’s nap (around 12:30 or so).  So with that, we went and attacked the day.

House gets cleaned, groceries get purchased, food gets prepped, yard gets ‘yardworked’.   Then, it is nap time.  The plan was for me to drop the three older kids at the pool and then go for a run from there, then return to pick them up one hour later.  This plan worked well.

My run was fairly uneventful, although I did do what I could to pick up the pace with some longer strides early in the run.  My feet were moving well – and I felt pretty good.  I took off towards the Greenway again and ran 25 minutes away from the pool – figuring that my return would be slower (uphill and tired).  Well, it turns out, I got back to the pool 10 minutes early – so I ran past it and got in the remaining 10 minutes.  —  Oh, I did roll my right ankle on the side of the paved trail – which scared me, but there are no ill effects of the rolled ankle.  So, all is ok.

My training for the June 2nd triathlon is nearing its end and I am feeling good.  The funny thing is that prior to all of this training, I would have said that running would be my strong suit, followed by bike then swim.  But that is completely wrong.  Swim is my best, followed by my bike then the run.  A couple of years ago I ran a half marathon at a flat 10 minute pace over the 13.1 miles… now, I struggle to keep a 10:30 pace for 3.1 miles.  I think before my next tri, I need to adjust my training to account for my lack of running ability.

After my workout, the dinner was finished and the appetizers prepared.  Our friends showed up, and we enjoyed some great conversation and delicious food.  It was a great day – which was part of a very quick weekend.

Looking forward to the long weekend coming up!

– Adam

Today’s workout:

Plan: 60 minute run

Actual: 59:46 at an average pace of 11:02

My day is filled with baseball today.  My oldest son had a game this morning and now my younger son has one very soon.  So, in order to get my workout in, I needed to move fairly early this morning.

I was on the road just a hair after 7 am, on my way to a 31 mile bike ride that included riding down the Neuse River Greenway, then through the neighborhood, then out on the road that surround parts of Falls Lake.  I mapped out my route on MapMyRun so that I would be gone for my needed 2 hour ride.

Things went well on the ride, although I was feeling a little tired around mile 24 or so.  This route was much hillier (once I was off of the greenway) than I expected, and all those hills took their toll.

This chart shows the hills I had the pleasure to ride.

I finished the ride – and was very happy to be done before most people are really moving on a Saturday morning.

 

Here is a map of my ride.  The start was delayed due to an error on my Garmin

After a quick shower, I was off to my son’s baseball game.  Now… after that, I am writing this before heading out to the next game that starts in one hour.  Whew.  Busy day.

Two hours of hard bike riding – 1733 calories burned – and still getting to watch/coach my son’s baseball teams.

Loving life.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 120 minute bike

Actual: 2:02 bike ride at 15.73mph (31.98 miles)

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