bike


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

Let me tell you a little about my Father’s Day.  It was a fantastic day spent mostly outdoors, doing all sorts of activities – both by myself and with my kids.  It was a perfect blend of serious training and relaxed family fun.

The day started off with my daughter and I heading to the pool to do some laps.  She swam on the local swim team last summer, but due to many reasons isn’t swimming this year.  I thought it would be good fun to take her to the pool and show her my swim workout, while she swam in the lane next to me doing 25 meter repeats.  I felt pretty good during my session, getting in 1750 meters – but the best part of the workout was enjoying this time with my daughter.  What a great way to start off the day.  Funny thing about swimming with my daughter.  I had a flashback to being young and back in St Louis.  I remembered swimming in our backyard pool with my Father – it actually made me choke up.  It was a nice memory to have while I was sharing a similar experience with my daughter.

Next it was home to enjoy a wonderful breakfast of French Toast w/ blueberries and pecans made by my wonderful wife.  After enjoying that decadent meal, it was time to spend some play time with the littlest Breakey.  She and I played with some puzzles and basically enjoyed being with each other.  Unfortunately, I had to cut this short because I had some actual work to do (bummer).  So, I spent the next 3 hours or so knocking out some work.

After working, it was time for another workout.  This time I was scheduled to go for a 1.5 hour ride.  I decided to go for 25 miles up towards Falls Lake.  Everything about the ride went well.  The weather was perfect, the cars were ‘nice’ and I was feeling good.  I rode at about 75-85% for most of the ride, keeping my heartbeat as close to 150 bpm as I could.  I really enjoyed the weather – and seeing all of the families out on the lake made me smile.  Everyone was having a good day.  I got my ride in – and was still feeling great.

View from the turnaround point on my training ride

Then – after a good training ride, I wanted to take my daughter out on her bike and get in another 5-6 miles with her.  We casually headed for the greenway and spent some real quality time together.  This 40 minute ride was more fulfilling than the training ride I just completed.  I need to do more of this!

Taken during my ride with my daughter on the Upper Neuse Greenway

Finally it was my boys’ turn.  We grabbed our baseball mitts and hit the backyard for a good game of catch.  It is amazing to see how much they have changed this season.  My oldest is getting so good at catching and throwing, it is almost to the point where I can actually throw it fairly hard to him.  My younger boy is getting better too.  He catches most, and has a great arm.  We played catch for about an hour while my wife was once again cooking an amazing meal.  

After hanging out with the boys, it was time for the wonderful dinner followed by a post-dinner family walk on the greenway.

The family walk

I found this Father’s Day to be one of my favorite ones to date.  It was so great to spend individual time with each of my kids as well as some quality time as a family.  Thank you family for making me feel special.  I appreciate it.

Oh – and yes, I finally loaded the Instagram app onto my phone.

– Adam

Today’s workout:

Plan: 1:37 bike, 29 minute swim

Actual: 1:27:56 training on the bike (23.7 miles @ 16.2mph), 32:35 casual on the bike (5.52 miles @ 10.2mph), 45 minutes at the pool (1750 meters) + 1hr of baseball + 1hr family walk.  🙂

This is my bike – it is an old Speacialized Allez.

Another day, another workout.  It is nice to wake up and not dread the morning ritual.  I set my alarm so that I could get up and get in my required time on the bike before the rest of the house started moving.  I know I have said it before, but these early morning workouts are great.  On my ride today I saw 2 deer within a couple of feet of me – 6 bunnies – and one fox.   I love riding around not knowing what I will see.  Plus, riding on the greenway is quiet and empty – two more reasons to look forward to the morning.

Today’s workout called for 53 minutes on the bike – but… when I was set to leave, I realized I didn’t have my Garmin 310xt on.  After a couple of minutes, I realized I left it on my office desk at work.  So, I was without a watch – but not without a GPS.  Luckily I have the mapmyrun app installed on my phone, so I started the app, put the phone in my shirt pocket and headed out.  It was only a few minutes later that I realized that I didn’t have a way to know if I had completed my 53 minutes (unless I were to stop and look at my phone).  Instead, I decided to ride the greenway to the end as hard as I could, then head back to the house.  That should be around 11 miles, sure… it would be short of 53 minutes, but still a good workout.

I rode hard on the way out – averaging 18.8 mph.  I pushed hard as I watched the night sky being taken over by sunlight.  That felt good.  But man, on the way back, I felt my pace dropping.  I kept pushing hard, but I knew I was slower.  Sure enough, after looking at the MapMyRun data, I came in at an average of 17.7mph for the full ride.  Not exactly setting the world on fire on the way home.  The ride is very flat, and there was no wind… so the only cause for a drop in speed was my lack of fitness.

I am still pleased with the workout – I got home before anyone was up… and felt great about my effort.  Push on til the day sums up my morning quite well.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 53 minutes on the bike

Actual: 35:39  – 10.52 miles.

Boy – I complete my first tri and I let this blog go quiet.  Not good.

Here is what I have been up to.  According to my new training plan, Saturday I was to do a 40 minute run.  This would be my first workout post finishing my Sprint tri back on June 2nd.  I was excited to get moving again – it is funny how taking a week off can feel strange after working out nearly every day for four months.  I began to feel lazy, tired and lacking motivation.  But, with the new plan in hand I was energized to go ‘get it’.  With that, I set out on Saturday for a nice leisurely run down the Upper Neuse Greenway.  My goal was to run a nice manageable pace and just enjoy being out on a beautiful day.  Now, mind you this run was late in the day (8:15pm), when I normally run first thing in the morning.  My early part of the day was filled with celebrating the end of the baseball season with the T-ball team I coach (Go Orioles!).  —  So, 8:15p it was.  Running at the end of the day is much different for reasons I will mention soon.

When I started the run, I felt great.  I was moving at a great pace (for me).  I finished the first mile at a 9:37 pace.  Still feeling great I kept my legs moving, resisting the urge to slow down or stop.  Taking the week off seemed to make my legs feel very fresh.  I finished mile two at 9:52, while slower than mile one, it was still a good pace for me.  Then things started to change.  I started to have bad stomach cramps.  I kept it going for as long as I could, getting close to the end of mile number 3 at a 10 minute pace.  However, things got worse.  — From this point and avoiding TMI, I will leave details out… but the good thing is that I did make it home before things got extremely desperate!  Ugh… working out in the morning is so much more predictable!

Saturday workout:

Plan: 40 minute run

Actual: 36:58 (3.44 miles @ 10:32 pace)

 

Sunday…

Things are back full speed.  Sunday called for a 1hr 26 minute bike ride (and a 26 minute swim that I moved to Monday).  I was really looking forward to this bike ride all week.  I wanted to get out on the road and just ride.  I can allow my mind to relax, forget the stress of my life and just enjoy watching the world go by.  I set out to ride north out of my neighborhood and then head west towards Falls Lake.  I enjoy the ride down 98 as it is a nice rolling road with plenty of room for me and the cars (and giant Share The Road signs).  Here is a view from where I turned around.

View of Falls Lake from ride on Highway 98

One thing I should note is that it was 91* F during my ride.  Yep, I chose to ride at 1:30pm on one of the hottest days we have had so far this year.  I wasn’t feeling great due to the heat, but I kept moving along and eventually felt better after drinking through my Gatorade and water (refilled at mile 11 thanks to a very convenient convenience store).  I finished out the ride and was very pleased with my effort.  While my pace wasn’t as strong as my Saturday run… it was still ok, especially in this heat.

Sunday’s workout:

Plan: 1:26 bike ride

Actual: 1:13:54 @ 16.2mph

 

OK – the rest and relaxation is over.  It is time to get serious about training for the Olympic distance triathlon in September.  The distances get a little more serious, so the training needs to match.  I was dedicated to perform well for my first triathlon, I am equally dedicated to perform well at my first Olympic distance.

The race I have chosen is the OBX Olympic Triathlon in Manteo, NC – on Sept 22nd.

As a point of comparison – Here are the distance differences between the Sprint and Olympic:

Swim:  300 meters vs. 1500 meters

Bike: 12 miles vs. 24.5 miles

Run: 5 kilometers vs. 10 kilometers.

So, you can easily see that the swim is the greatest increase – and also the discipline that I struggled with during my sprint (thanks to the hurt hand).  I have pulled together a training plan that I will use to prepare myself for this event.  I will follow it as closely as I can, allowing for some issues along the way.

Would you like to see the plan?  Here it is… check it out.

 Download the full plan in MS Excel here: AB_SprintToOlympic_Plan

Yes – those are two-a-days every single Sunday between now and the race!  Also, please note the numbers indicate minutes spent working out in that discipline (not miles!).  There is a lot of time and dedication shown on that plan — but I think I can do it.  Especially now that my baseball coaching duties are over!

So – follow along… encourage me… I will likely need it!

Thanks – Adam

I can officially scratch through the word wannabe.  I am now a triathlete.  This past Saturday I participated in the Gary Kirby Sprint Triathlon in Raleigh, NC.  Actually, to be more precise… it was in actually in my neighborhood of Bedford.  How much more convenient could it be?  I put this date on the calendar back during the first week of February.  It was then that I decided to get moving again, to inspire myself to do better – To inspire my kids – To impress my wife – To be a more fit father – but most of all… to be proud of myself by taking control of my life and pushing towards a goal that before seemed out of reach – not because I didn’t think I could do it… but more because I was too lazy to even try.

When contemplating what to do for my “I am no longer lazy” target, I decided to go for a triathlon.  At that time, I didn’t really know anything about them… other than the crazy long Ironman race in Hawaii.  But with a few clicks I could solve that lack of knowledge… I quickly jumped to the Internet for some education.  I came across a great website (www.beginnertriathlete.com) that educated me on all the ins and outs of triathlon.  It was then that I learned that there were such things as a sprint distance triathlon, Olympic distances and even half Ironman distance races… all which cut the insane Ironman distance down to a more reasonable level.  I then decided that my “I am no longer lazy” target was to complete a half Ironman distance triathlon, which is a 1.2 mile open water swim, a 56 mile bike ride followed by a 13.1 mile run sometime before the end of 2013.  The half Ironman distances were all out of reach for my current state of fitness, but I have completed a 13.1 mile (half marathon) run just two years prior, so I felt that I could do that again with some training.  The other disciplines… well, they seemed near impossible back in February.

So, with a target of completing a 70.3 mile race (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) in 2013 as my official “I am no longer lazy” target, I built out a plan.  I found out that my neighborhood hosts a sprint race in early June – that would be the perfect first step towards attempting a 70.3 distance race.  That would be a great secondary goal… Complete my first Sprint triathlon before I turn 40 in late August!   Then I found an Olympic distance race in September 2012 to do – check.  Next is identifying additional sprint and Olympic distance races for the spring on 2013 followed by finding the perfect 70.3 for me to do in the later part of 2013.

But let’s get back to the race this weekend.  I have been training for right at four months for this first race.  While it is a short race (300 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run), it still wouldn’t be easy.  So, with much dedication and a lot of support from the family, I trained – and I trained.  I was up at 5:15 many mornings, I was away from the family for my long rides and runs on the weekends, I was probably cranky some days and euphoric on others.  I am certain that my only conversation around the dinner table that I brought up was about my training, my race, my research or something else triathlon related.  So, I greatly appreciate my family bearing with me through these first four months of this journey.  Without their support, I wouldn’t have been able to do this.

So – let me walk you through the race.

(more…)

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)

Next Page »