June 2012


I actually set my alarm for 5:30 am on a Saturday just to get in the workout today.  Does that make me crazy?  Normally on Saturdays I allow myself to sleep until closer to 7am – however, today it was supposed to be 85* by 7:30 and rising fast throughout the day (north of 100* by noon) .  So, 5:30 became the best solution as it allowed me to get in my last of the recovery week runs before the day became too much of a scorcher.

This is my run – mapped out. Although, you can see I hit ‘start’ late… and the GPS did mess up a bit as I never crossed the river.

Once again, it was a short 30 minute run on the training calendar.  Not too hard – and with this heat, I was quite thankful of that.  I quickly got ready and headed towards the Upper Neuse Greenway (again).  Although… this time I turned left, instead of right.  Not much different, but it did give me some different trees to look at.  🙂

My run went well.  Surprisingly the greeenway was full of people at 6am.  I guess everyone had the same thought today!  Of course, when I say full of people, I mean I saw maybe a dozen other people during my 30 minutes.  Normally in the early mornings I only see deer and maybe a fox or two.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 29 minute run

Actual: 31:23 (3.29 miles @ 9:32/mile)

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Not much time to write today.  I got in a great swim workout this morning before the heat settled in – although the water was like swimming in bath water it was so warm.  My workout today was another recovery short time workout – only 29 minutes in the pool.  I focused on smooth strokes, light kick and bilateral breathing – with some sighting practice thrown in for good measure.  I ended up doing 1100 meters and felt great at the end.

BTW, anyone else watch the US Olympic swim trials?  It is so much different watching them now that I am swimming so much.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 29 minutes in the pool

Actual: 29 minutes – 1100 meters in the pool

As I have mentioned already, this week is my recovery week.  It allows for easier workouts every day to give my muscles a chance to recover, before I push them to their limits over the next three weeks.  It also allows me to sleep an extra 30-45 minutes every morning, which has been very nice.

Today I was scheduled for a 35 minute bike ride.  That is fairly short for my training in recent weeks, so I was excited to get out there and push the pace for the quick 35 minutes.  Once again I headed to the Upper Neuse Greenway for my ride.

The weather was perfect… absolutely gorgeous!  I planned to leave from my house, ride to the end of the Greenway and back as fast as I possibly could.  This loop is just shy of 11 miles.   If I could average better than 18.5 mph, I would be back at or before the scheduled 35 minute mark.  Simple enough, right?

The ride started off a little shaky though.  I felt pretty tired and was struggling holding onto a 20mph pace on the flats.  I passed by a few deer, caught a glimpse of the sunrise through the trees and told myself to go for it – do not hold anything back.  I upped my pace.  For a few minutes, things felt the same… but for some reason, around mile 3 or 4, everything felt better.  I felt like I had energy and desire.   I continued on to the turnaround point (around 5.5 miles from home) averaging 19.2  mph to that point.  Now pointed in the opposite direction, I reminded myself of my goal and kept the pressure on.  Around 1/2 way back on the return, I came upon another rider pulled to the side,  stretching out his calf muscle.  I quickly asked if he needed help, then continued my ride.  A few minutes later, I hit the one hill on the ride and suddenly that rider was beside me. We chat for a bit as we ascend the hill – then I duck in behind him and try to hold onto the draft for as long as I could.  Well… that only lasted a couple of minutes.  That dude was fast.  I was pushing 22-23mph in his draft and he dropped me after around 5 minutes.  Seeing him pull away from me reminded me of how much faster others are… and that I have a lot of training to do to get to the point of being quick.   Sure, I finished my ride with an average mph of 19… which isn’t too bad at all…  And, I have only been riding a bike for four months… And, I am not a small guy… BUT, I know I can be faster with just more dedication and more time in the saddle.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 35 minutes on the bike

Actual: 34:04 on the bike for 10.82 miles @ 19mph

I love these short workouts this week!

My training plan is built off of a basic plan that includes 3 weeks of increasing load workouts, followed by a week of lower load workouts.  It is so nice when you hit that fourth week – suddenly everything becomes easy.  The workouts are cut by 33% or more.  It feels like I have tons of energy!

For example, last Wednesday my schedule called for a 38 minute run.  Granted, that isn’t terribly long… but when compared to today’s workout it is.  Today I was scheduled to get in only 23 minutes of running.  That 15 minute difference is huge – and allowed for me to go out and push my pace a bit, knowing I could easily make the full 23 minutes.

So with only 23 minutes to run, I pushed the pace for the first mile.  I didn’t look at my Garmin, I just focused on good form, fast turnover and pushing my limits.  When I heard the ‘chime’ from my watch indicating I hit the one mile marker, I glanced down to see how fast I went.  To my surprise, I just ran my first sub-9 minute mile – 8:49!  How about that – and I didn’t even feel that worn out.

I continued on, trying to keep the fast cadence for the remaining time.  I did slow down – I think it might be more of a mind game though.  I never felt ‘tired’ – but I allowed my feet to slow down.  The next 1.42 miles came in almost a minute/mile slower@ 9:44/mile.

All in all I feel great about the run this morning.  The weather was perfect, my legs felt great and I hit my fastest mile time to this point.

Not a bad way to start a Wednesday.

The map for today’s run.

Here is my pace chart for today’s run.  FYI – The big dips are where I turned around on the greenway.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 23 minute run

Actual: 22:42 run – 2.42 miles @ 9:22/mile

Just a quick post today.

This morning I woke up early to hit the pool at 6:00 am with my 14 y/o daughter in tow.  Once again I planned out a good ~45 minute workout that looked like this:

1×100 meter warm-up

3×200 meter – negative splits (goal: 4:17, 4:12, 4:05)

1×500 meter – @ olympic race pace (2:02/100 m)

2×200 meter – 150@ race pace, 50 @ sprint)

1×150 – cool down

All of that swimming equals 1750 meters in the pool.  My daughter was going to match 50-75 meters for every 100 meters I did.

It was a great workout.  I felt strong, and smooth.  My negative splits came in better than planned – 4:12, 4:05, 3:55!  That lest set was fast (for me).

All in all a good start to the day.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 48 minutes in the pool – 1750 meters

Actual: 48 minutes in the pool – 1750 meters.  spot on.

The never forgiving training calendar had me scheduled to do 38 minutes in my Brooks PureFlow running shoes today.  I tell you what… it was hot and humid this morning.  Man do I wish the weather could have stayed as nice as it was this past weekend.  Oh well, I guess I was just meant to get in a good solid sweat this morning!

And sweat I did…

I once again went for a morning run along the Upper Neuse Greenway – and once again came across the family of deer.  I still don’t have a good picture of them, but perhaps I will catch them posing for pictures on Saturday.  I got in 3.33 miles today at a decent pace of 9:48.  I really struggled during the end of the run with a major desire to get to a bathroom.  (Sorry, but it is true).  With that feeling, I cut my run a little short (only 5 minutes).

I did a quick analysis of my average pace since I started training (more accurately put, since I got my Garmin!).  Below is a chart that illustrates how just pounding the pavement on a regular basis will improve your speed.  Now, I recognize that I am not setting the world on fire with my pace, but you can see that steady work and commitment has really improved my fitness and in turn my average pace.  Not bad – and very encouraging.  Any guesses as to what my pace will be one year from now?

My average pace – the black line is the trendline… it looks good, no?

I will keep running – biking – and swimming.  I love seeing the times drop as well as the pounds dropping off!

Living life every day!

Today’s workout:

Plan: 38 minutes running

Actual: 32:40 – 3.33 miles @ 9:48/mile

1750 meters before 7am = The start of a good day.

Another beautiful morning in Raleigh.  I woke up with ease today after a good night’s sleep, ready to put in a good workout at the pool.  Once again, my 14 year old daughter joined me for the pool workout.  These workouts with her are great.  She can go at her pace – and I can go at mine.   But the whole time, we are right there next to each other, encouraging and commenting.  It is wonderful.

My workout called or 48 minutes in the pool.  I took that 48 minutes and broke it down into: 150 meter warm up, 3×200 meters @ race pace, 1×500 meters @ a slightly slower than race pace, 2×200 @ all out sprint pace, 1×100 cool down – for a total workout of 1750 meters, mostly at a good fast pace.  I only allowed myself a 10 second break between 200s and a 30 second break after the 500.

All in all it was a good workout.  I am very pleased with my swimming progress.  Plus, I really enjoyed having my daughter there working out with me.  (BTW, she got in ~850 meters).

Today’s workout:

Plan: 48 minutes in the pool

Actual: 48 minutes in the pool – 1750 meters.

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