Previewing a big week!

It’s Ironman Lake Placid weekend, and while I’m not racing this year, I’m as excited and nervous as if I were.  I’m planning a big, big training block over the weekend, and am looking forward to some solid results.

The plan is to drive up this morning, get in a 1-2 loop swim and a short run.  I’m hoping that the cramping problems on the swim hold off.  Friday will be another 2-loop swim, followed by some pre-race meetings with my athletes, then off for a 1 loop bike and a short brick run.  Saturday will be another full loop, or a different route, plus some extra miles, perhaps repeat the climb back from Wilmington, and another short brick run.  Sunday will be on the feet ALL DAY LONG.  I’ll be seeing off my athletes and friends before the swim then volunteering at bike special needs through early afternoon, then bike handling in T2 through the evening.  I’ll be wrapping up with cheering through the end of the race.   Monday will be sleeping in a bit, then another 2 loop swim, and 1 loop of the run course.  So if all goes well we are looking at 7 miles of swimming 100-130 miles of biking and up to 20 miles of running for the weekend.  A solid training block.

On the keto front, I think I’ve settled into a static, mild-ketosis state.  My morning, fasted readings are holding at 0.5-0.6.  I’ve been adding ketone supplements to my BP coffee every morning.  It’s like rocket fuel for mornings where I do a workout after drinking the coffee.  I also feel a lot more focused and stable through the day and not near as hungry as I approach lunch time.

One bit of concern is my blood work.  Cholesterol & triglycerides  tipped a bit higher again.  The Boston Heart report indicated that the biggest issue is my cholesterol uptake in the gut.  While my liver is producing a bit too much, my gut is absorbing too much.  So for the time being, I’m on Zetia.  On the other hand, my inflammation markers are way, way low, blood sugar is way back down.  My weight has stayed pretty stable, even tipping down a bit more.  Currently running around 153-155.  Body fat is stable at 7%.  Overall I feel great, which I suppose is the best indicator.

As far as diet, I’m dialing back the dairy and beef, and trying to eat more fish, oils and nuts.  I go back for follow up blood work in mid-August.

Since my current cardiologist is retiring, I’m going to visit a new guy at the Gagnon Center.  Dr. Martinez is starting a sports cardiology practice, so I’m very interested in discussing my progress with him, and get some ideas on improving my run and bike performance to get closer to where I was pre-surgery.

So this weekend begins the big build up for IMLP70.3 and IMMD.  I’ve got some great trips planned back to Lake Placid for training, and to Boulder CO for the Endurance Coaching Summit.  The summer is starting to speed up!

Another week down…

Another pretty good week..

Got back on the keto diet, and hit ketosis mid week, and extended it a bit through today (Sunday).  Hit a weight goal this week, but will have to see how it holds.  I know that quick losses and gains (5-8lbs) can be caused by small changes in carb consumption, due to the water retention (2.7g of water for every 1g of glycogen stored).  I’d like to think that I can keep my weight at/around 150-155 for the next 30 days, and see how much body fat I can lose and replace with muscle mass.  I know that these next few weeks are going to be tough.

Workouts have been pretty good as well this week, except for the long ride on Saturday.

We had planned on doing the Revolutionary Ramble 100.  But right out of the gate, I was feeling pretty depleted and unable to get any power on the climbs.  I intentionally skipped leg day on Thursday to avoid lingering fatigue and DOMS for Saturday’s ride.  I didn’t feel sore, but I was unable to push down more than 150-170W.  I could hold that power on the flats for pretty long stretches, but with over 6000′ of elevation for the century, I was doomed.

When our little group got to the section where the 65 mile and 100 mile route split, we were told that we missed the cutoff.  Part of that was due to some of the group missing a turn and about 3 extra miles for them to get back on track.  But it was also getting quite warm, we had some serious climbs coming, so we all agreed that doing the 65 would be good enough. Live to fight another day.

Looking back at diet and ketone levels, I was probably experiencing a bit of a performance drop due to the adaptation phase of the diet.  Saturday was the longest ride I had attempted on the diet, and I’m sure that I was going in pretty well glycogen depleted.  I had a similar episode a couple of weeks back during a Thurs night ride, so it’s not unexpected.  Hopefully these will level out and performance will get back on track.

On Sunday, I planned on doing a run in the morning, but instead opted to sleep in, and spent the day relaxing.  A nice quiet (keto) breakfast.  Picnic lunch at the BRPC 300th anniversary celebration and a wonderful steak dinner.  No real schedules, no commitments and wonderful warm summer weather.

Next week I’ll be tweaking strength workouts to include more kettlebell work and increasing load in the regular routines.  I also hope to get back down the shore for OWS on Friday morning, and a solid bike ride on Saturday.  I MAY also do the Asbury Ice Breaker swim on Saturday as well.  Atlantic Ocean swim, Brr…..On the diet front, going to keep to the keto plans and see how I feel next week.

 

WTF?

So this week was a bit of a mess.  I knew going in that trying to stay keto would be tough with anniversary dinner at one of our fav restaurants, and the Escape The Cape triathlon over the weekend.  I hung in there for awhile, but quickly fell off the back of the keto-truck and back into the comforts of bad habits.

Training was also a bit of a mess.  I wanted a bit of a taper going into Escape The Cape, but not as MUCH time off as I had.  Some family stuff popped up that I let derail some sessions.

Escape The Cape was FUBAR.  I thought I had signed up for the Olympic distance race.  So I show up for packet pickup on Saturday afternoon, get my stuff, sticker and rack my bike and head back to my hotel.  Only when I start to lay out my gear for the morning do I notice that my bib says SPRINT on it.  I’m standing there scratching my head wondering if I just got the wrong packet, so I look over the envelope and it also says SPRINT.  When I checked the envelope at pickup, I was concentrating on my NAME and AGE GROUP, but never checked the actual RACE!  I went to my computer and looked at my registration confirmation from February, and it too says “SPRINT”.  So I guess I’m racing the sprint in the morning.

Race morning went smoothly.  Up at 3:00am, over to Wawa to get coffee, mixed up the Bulletproof powder (blech) and loaded up the car.  Off to the parking lot, through the security screening (including bomb sniffing dogs!) and then on the busses to the race venue.  As usual, Delmo Sport had everything very well organized.

I met up with Yana, who was racing her FIRST Olympic, and Jennifer who was doing the Olympic Aquavelo for her 5th time racing this event.  Yana & I got everything set up in transition, and we made our way to the boarding line for the Ferry.

Escape The Cape has a great start, where all the athletes leap off the ferry into the bay for the swim start.  It’s about a 12 foot drop into the water, and they let athletes go 3-4 at a time, making sure everyone is off safely.  The Olympic athletes go first, then the ferry is repositioned for the Sprint athletes.

Race morning was great.  Clear skies, no wind, and relatively warm.  Delmo Sports chooses the race date based on the tides, to ensure that the athletes have an outgoing current to swim with, making the swim very, very fast for most athletes.

I hit the water about mid-pack of the sprint athletes.  The jump was just a wee bit intimidating since I’m not a fan of heights, but off I went.  Once I was in the water and moving, I started passing a lot of folks.  The current was very strong, and we were advised to consciously pull to our left.  While the Olympic athletes were swimming we could see the pack veer way off to the right, then way back to the left as they hit different eddies and currents in the outflowing tide.

As I swam along, I notices I was getting pushed and pulled in different directions, but basically kept a fairly straight line.  I finished the swim in just a tad over 9 minutes for the 977 yards, so about 30sec per 100 faster than my normal pace.  I guess the tidal current was REALLY strong.

T1 was a long run/walk into the bike area.  I got my stuff together and was off on the bike pretty fast.  My race plan was to push the bike relatively hard, keeping a solid Z3-Z4 HR and just let power and speed be what they were.  It was a bit slow and congested at the beginning, but the roads were closed to traffic and I could get around folks pretty easily. The course was a bit technical, with some sharp turns that scrubbed speed, but also had some longer stretches where I got aero and applied power.  I finished up the bike in 36:58 for the 11.7 miles, avg speed 18.9, 160w NP, 150 avg HR.

I got off the bike and out of T2 pretty quickly, and off on the run.  My plan was to keep HR 145-150ish for as long as I could hold out.  The run has several sections of sand, which keeps speeds down and jacks HR, so my plan was to walk them if needed.  I came out of T2, and was on the road in my HR zone, and running at 11mpm pace.  But very quickly HR became really high, I had chest tightness and seemed to be cramping in my left shoulder to mid-back.  I’ve had symptoms like this before, and can usually walk them off and get back to running, albeit at a slower pace.  But these started right before the 1st, and longest sand stretch, which I walked.  When I got to the end (about 1 mile into the run) I noticed that I was a bit dizzy and having problems walking a straight line.  I would jog for a bit, the dizziness would get worse, so I’d walk until it got a bit better.  At the turn around, I was VERY dizzy and had to stop at the water station and lean against a vehicle.  When I got to the last sand section I was extremely dizzy and someone had to help me up to the road.  I had to sit down a couple of times headed back into the finish as I was really dizzy.  I ended up with a miserable 52min 5k time, since I was walking pretty slowly toward the end.   I did manage to run the last 50yds into the finish.

At the finish I was really dizzy, so I sat in the medical tent and explained what was going on.  They gave me some diluted Gatorade and some water.  I sat there for several minutes, and the vertigo dissipated a bit, but I still felt unsteady.  I decided to get back to transition, and get my gear together.  I was sitting at my bike, sipping my water and eating a bar when Yana found me.  She was really happy with her results, and I was really happy for her as well.  She helped me get my stuff together and I met her husband and boys.  As I was headed back to my car, just steps out of transition I began to feel really nauseous and had to stop.  I moved into the shade, leaned my bike up against the wall of the ferry terminal and threw up.  I knew at that point that something wasn’t right with me, and I should probably get medical attention.  Another athlete got an EMT who helped me back to the med tent.  My BP wasn’t bad, pulse was ok, but the vertigo woud not subside.  Given my cardiac history, the advice was to get to the ER and get checked out.  While I really didn’t want the hassle, I knew it would be best to do so.  So I got my first ever ambulance ride.

Once in the ER, they initial EKG didn’t show anything wrong.  As I was sitting there I became nauseous again, and threw up once more.  I got an IV drip started and some anti-nausea meds and started to feel better.  Got blood & urine samples tested and they also came back clear.  After a few hours, and two bags of IV fluids, the vertigo was gone.  My friend Jen had stayed in contact with me, and graciously offered to come get me out of the ER.  The Delmo Sports team had taken good care of my bike, getting it into the ferry terminal and secured, and had contacted the vineyard where my car was parked to let them know I’d be delayed.  They also stayed in touch with Fran to make sure that she also knew where all my stuff was.  I can’t say enough good things about the Delmo Sports folks.

Jen & her friend Marcia picked me up and shuttled me back to my car and lead me back to the ferry terminal.  I quickly got my bike, stopped to thank the Delmo team again, and was back on the road and home by late afternoon.

This morning (Monday) I’m feeling pretty good.  No vertigo and no nausea.  I’m not really sure what happened on race day.  I didn’t do anything really different on race morning, I had plenty of fluids before the race, perhaps it was too much plain water that threw off my electrolytes.  The race wasn’t really hot, nor did I feel overheated on the bike.  I drank a bit on the bike, but since it was only 30 minutes I didn’t drink more than 1/2 a bottle.  But I’m used to going for over an hour on the run w/out fluids.  Really odd and I’m going to try and sort this out over the next few weeks.

This coming week will be back to full-keto diet.  The week will culminate in the Revolutionary Ramble 100 miler.  I’m riding in support of my friend Rob, who is training for IMLP in a few weeks, so this will be a big test day for him.  I’m taking my road bike, since I DON’T need to climb hills in the tri-bike quite yet.  But I’m also not trained up for a fast 100.  I should be able to make it through the distance, but it will be slow.

 

 

 

Training & Keto update

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So this past week was a good one.  I had a couple of diet and training break throughs and a lot of fun.

On the diet front I kept to my keto diet exclusively through Wed, when I had a bit of a meltdown.  All through the day I just felt more & more sluggish, and my mood turned really sour.  I bagged my run on Wed since I was feeling so bad.  After reviewing my intake over the prior few days, I quickly figured out that I was really low in my carb intake since the weekend, even below what I had planned in my diet.  Taking a UCan w/protein really helped and I was still in keto and feeling MUCH better the next day.

I now know that 25g of carbs aren’t going to cut it when I’m looking at 10+ hours of training a week.  Now the challenge is to figure out where the sweet spot is.  It seems logical that I’ll need to do some sort of carb cycling.  What remains to be see is if it will fit into a standard week (5 days on, 2 days off) or some other construct.  Also the total daily carb intake will likely need to move up, in small increments as the weekday workouts increase in length, particularly the evening workouts.

As for the training breakthroughs, they happened over the long weekend.  We planned to be at the shore all weekend, so I decided to head down Thurs night.  Since the weather was crap on Thursday, I did my ride on the trainer, opting for a 45 min Sufferfest ride.  Since I was anxious to get on the road, I skipped the 15 OTB run, packed up the car and drove down the shore.

Friday AM I met up with Team Zebras in Lavallette and had a great OWS in a nice little protected cove.  Times were below average, but this was more about getting comfortable in the new Roka wetsuit.

Friday afternoon I went out for a run.  It was pretty warm, with wind out of the west, but I just went easy and kept to Z1.  Felt a bit stiff and sore during the run but I think that was mostly due to lack of sleep.

Saturday was the Nave-Sink-or-Swim Open Water event.  I always look forward to this race as it is like ‘opening day’ for the triathlon season.  Everyone comes out to race the 1.2 or 2.4 mile swims and meet and catch up, chat about the upcoming race season and just have a good time.  Since I hadn’t done a LOT of swimming and almost all of it has been at/around MAF I had no idea what I was going to be able to do.  Plus this would only be my 3rd swim in the new wetsuit.  My plan was to go out at a moderate pace at the start, then push on the second loop.  The swim was counter-clockwise, meaning that the return leg of each loop would be against the current, but close to shore.  Since the 2.4 racers were the last wave, we got the brunt of the current, and the 2nd loop was MUCH harder than the 1st.  As it turns out, I finished with a respectable 1:06, 32/34 split, good enough for 44th OA and 3rd AG.  That was a pleasant surprise.

After the swim, we had a nice group come back to the house for more training.  Since I only did 20 miles on the bike the day before, I figured I’d split my run with 45 min, then 20 miles on the bike, then another 20-30 min run.  The first 45 min run felt pretty good.  I kept in Z1, and just plugged along.  I jogged out the last 5 min, then got on the bike for the IBSP out and back.  I did take a bottle of UCan with me, just to experiment with it, and planned on drinking it during the hour long ride.  With the wind off the water, I was able to just get aero and cruise along.  However as I rode, I started feeling better and stronger.  I kept waiting for the HR to get way above Z1 but it didn’t happen.  The out and back inside the park was averaging over 17mph, almost 2mph better than Saturday.  On the 2nd run, I ran at about 12min/mi for the first bit, then at the turn back to the house, decided to just push and see what happened and ended up clocking a 10:30 mile.  HR was well into Z4, but I never felt like I was losing form, or really struggling at all.  Looking back on it, Sunday was the best training day I’ve had since OHS, and probably a good bit before OHS.

I really ignored diet most of the weekend.  Keto on Friday was 1.4, but on Saturday was down to 0.7 and 0.3 on Sunday.  I didn’t bother measuring on Monday since I knew it would be way down.  I’ll pick it back up this week and see how quickly I can get back above 1.0.

Lessons learned:

  • Consistency is key.  If I keep plugging away, I will see results
  • MAF/Z1 work is real, and the speed WILL be there when needed
  • Carbs aren’t the enemy.  The are just another tool in the bag
  • My Roka wetsuit completely and totally rocks

Progress

This is the first full week on a ketonic diet, and I’m getting the hang of it.  It’s still a pain in the ass to prepare stuff, measure, and log everything but it’s getting a bit easier.  I’m finding some recipes that are pretty easy and quick, and taste really good.

On the scale, there has been great progress.  Surprising in fact.  I’m down 7.3lbs since May 12, and down 2% body fat.  My ketones have gone from 0.1, to 1.2 over the course of the week, with a high of 1.4 when I took a reading right after my run on Wed.  I feel good, haven’t had ‘brain fog’ or the 3pm slump all week.  I don’t feel like I’m dieting as the high fat levels keep me feeling full.  I still miss sweets though.  There are some Hagen-Daz bars that are mocking me everytime I open the freezer.  I figure it’s a good stoic practice to keep them there.  I got a recipe book of “sweet and savory fat bombs” and am going to make up several of the “sweet” treats to see how they work out and can satisfy my sweet tooth.

Training wise I haven’t felt like I’m missing anything from the diet.  Performance is about the same.  Monday night I had a good swim, but a lot of foot cramping.  Tues AM was a weight workout and Tues PM was a hard bike ride and a quick run off the bike.  The ride and run felt really great.  Wed I ran a hardish-6 miles.  It was harder than I thougth as my HRV reading on Thurs AM was high indicating recovery was needed.  I opted to ignore the advice and try to ride on Thurs night.  That didn’t turn out so well.  About 20 min into the group ride I knew I had nothing in the tank to keep up with the group, unless I was going to turn myself inside-out.  Knowing that I would be REALLY busy on Friday and unable to fully recovery, continuing the ride would have set me up for a miserable race at the Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday.  So I dropped out of the group and just soft pedaled back to the car.

I’ve got no expectations for Saturdays ‘race’ and I’m treating it just as a long, steady training run.  My only goal is consistent pacing splits at MAF HR.

Recovery week+Ketosis

On the plan, this was a recovery week, but the tale of the tape says otherwise.  I felt pretty good after the marathon.  A bit stiff and sore on Monday, so I just did a slow walk with Tula.  Tuesday I felt much better, and did a faster walk with her, then a quick 1:15 bike ride that felt AWESOME.  Since I was using different muscle groups my legs actually felt fresh.  Both Mon & Tues I worked from home and used the standing desk a lot, which helped reduce the pressure on my pos chain, and ease recovery.

Wednesday I swam at Berkely Masters, but cut the workout a bit short, 2400m.  For the month of May, I’m trying to stay in ketosis, as nutrition experiment.  Wednesday’s dinner was a bit much right before swimming, and I was getting a good bit nauseous.  Plus I still felt a bit of fatigue from the marathon, and wanted to save something in the tank for the ride I was leading on Thurs.  That ride went pretty well, but I could definitely feel the fatigue.  Nowhere near as smooth and strong as I felt on Tuesday.

Heading into the weekend I took Friday off, slept in a bit, and relaxed.  Saturday was the Farmlands ride.  It was windy and chilly, but a fun ride with friends.  My plan was to keep in in MAF as much as possible.  As it turned out it was also a day of flat tire issues for a couple of my riding partners, one of which had to get sagged back to the start.  I waited with her for the support car to pick her up, and that hour-plus of downtime made the ride more like two 30+ milers, than one metric century.  On the second “half” of the ride I kept in MAF through the first 7-8 miles, but as it was getting late, and one of my friends was waiting at the car for me, I hustled it in.

During the ride I got really, really low of fuel.  At one point, feeling a bit hypoglycemic.  So I bailed on the keto fueling I was using up till then, and stuffed in a PB&J, some sort of “organic” bar thing, and headed back out.  I felt really good and strong the rest of the way, and could feel the fuel working but I worried I’d be back to square one ketone wise.

I had a ketone-diet type dinner (roast chicken, salad) and was surprised when my ketones measured the same on Sunday AM as they did on Saturday AM.  I’m barely in ketosis, so we’ll see how much further I progress this coming week.

Speaking of which, I’m in suburban D.C. this week attending training for work.  As it turns out the training center is 2.5 miles from the hotel, and a decent walk each way.  I’m planning on doing a good bit of running & walking while I’m here, since I can’t bike or swim.  I just wish I had my foam roller with me.  I’ll have to improvise something…

Getting to the hard work…

The first 8 weeks of my NJ Marathon training ended today with a 10 mile run.  It helped that temps were in the mid-60’s and I got the run done in shorts & t-shirt.  #FTW!

By the end of the week I was feeling a bit beat up, mostly from strength training (hamstrings REALLY sore) and that lead to an extra rest day on Friday and a shortened ride on Saturday.

But this week I’ll be back to full load with the Al Gordon 4 miler on Saturday and Sourlands Semi Classic on Sunday.  Depending on how I feel I may add in a swim on Wednesday and an extra loop of the 4 mile course on Saturday.

Also starting on Monday and for the next three Monday’s I’m taking StrongFirst Kettlebell training with a local instructor.  The plan is to add swings and TGUs to my BFL strength routines on Tues & Thurs.  As I move out of marathon training and into the build phase of IM training, I’ll may need to cut back on the strength training due to time challenges.  However, I think I can add in 30-40 min of kettlebells and at least keep most of what I’ve gained over the last year.

Catching up…

So I’ve been duly patching and cleaning up spam on my blog, but have NOT be posting any real content in a very long time.  If you scroll down a bit, you will see that it was March 2016 when I last posted.

Ooops…

So catching up…

Completed IMLP.  Ugly and slow, but finishing wasn’t the point.  Getting to the START line was the point.  Mission accomplished.

Goals for 2017

  1. Get my run mojo back.  Post-OHS I never felt good running.  That lead to running less, which lead to feeling worse each time I ran.  In 2017 I’ll be sucking it up and lacing ’em up.  So far I have completed 107 miles running, which is approaching 30% of last years total.
  2. Get swol – Through mid-January I was doing 2x week “tri-builder” workouts, alternating upper body and lower body.  I’m now doing BFL workouts, 2x week, also alternating upper and lower body workouts.  Soon I’ll be adding in KB swings and TGU work on Mon/Wed mornings.  So far I’m feeling a LOT stronger, but not where I want to be.
  3. Combining #1 & #2 – Get form.  Going to integrate Kinetic Revolution Bulletproof running skills into my run workouts through the marathon.  Then possibly fall back to the 30 day challenge program through IMMD
  4. Body Comp – staying focused on quality foods, and limiting added sugar intakes.
  5. Mindfulness – Headspace is helping.  So is Daily Stoic

and here is the race schedule:

Main Events

Other races & events

  • NYRR 9+1 races, to qualify for NYC Marathon in 2018.  I’ve completed two (Joe Kleinerman 10k and Fred Lebow 13.1).  Coming up I have the Al Gordon Brooklyn 4m on 25 Feb, and the Brooklyn 13.1 on 20 May
  • Spring Classics – Sourland Semi & Hell of Hunterdon – Shooting for a much better showing at the Semi than last year AND actually SHOWING UP at HoH after 2yrs missing the event
  • Farmlands – gunning for the hundo this year.  Hoping all the running I’m doing for NJM gets me somewhat ready for a fast-ish century.
  • Nav-E-Sink or Swim – 28 May, because opening day for triathlon season.
  • TeamNRGY Tri-Camp – planning on a big honkin’ block o’ training in mid-June
  • Bike MS City to Shore, but only one way (Saturday, hundo) then running…
  • Ocean City 1/2 Marathon on Sunday.  I figure this will be the last BIG workout weekend heading into taper for IMMD.

Perhaps a sprint or oly tossed in early in the season..

Shaping up to be a GREAT year…

Where did the time go?

I knew that I hadn’t posted updates in a while, but I didn’t think it was two months, so here is the summary for Jan & Feb

Charts

I’m a bit surprised that the bike volume was about the same for both Jan & Feb, since I rode the Tour of Sufferlandria in early Feb, and I figured that would have bumped up my bike volume a bit more.  But ToS was a great block of bike training.  Hard efforts and some really tough days mentally, but I got them all done.  I tried to carry the training through the following weeks, but fell apart last week after the 60 miler for the Sourlands Semi Classic.  I was tired, flat and truly suffered the last 15 miles of that tough ride.  I took four full days off and got back to an easy TRX class this past Friday, then a solid 38 mile ride on Saturday.  I definitely needed a break.

This coming month will be tough with a full 6 day trip to Orlando for SANS pen-test training, leaving me little time for IM training.  I’m thinking that 30-45 min bike or run each morning and 30-45 min bike or run each evening should keep my volume where it needs to be.  I think that the hotel has a decent fitness center, so time and energy management will be my biggest challenge.  That and diet. I struggle with eating well on the road.

Speaking of diet, I’ve been slipping back into some bad habits again, so I do need to get back on the ‘eat cleaner’ bandwagon.  Sugar and sweet treats are my kryptonite.

Strength training has been going pretty well, but I’m stagnating a bit.  I need to come up with a new routine that I can fit into 30-40 min after TRX class, or find a different set of classes.

March through mid-April will need to include a big run block.  First big event is the Rutgers 1/2 marathon.  No way I’m going to be ready to even start that sucker unless I get back to regular running.  Tula will be quite happy about that.  She loves running with her daddy…

Speaking of which, looks like it’s time to get out and run…  Till next time…

Training & Recovery 7-27 December

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Week ending 13 Dec

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Week ending 20 December

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Week ending 27 December

Wow, three weeks behind with the updates.  I suppose I can blame the holidays, a heavy workload or just being lazy.  Probably some of all three.

Recovery and training progresses well.  I’m hooked up with some great friends around the country in a virtual “support network” to keep us all motivated and training hard through the holidays.  It has really helped me a lot as there have been any number of days these past weeks where I just didn’t want to train.  But the thought of having to explain why I slacked off to this group was just the extra oomph I needed to get back on the bike trainer, or off to the pool, or out the door in the very early morning to the gym.

Over the last week, I’ve really begun to feel normal again.  Friday was 14 weeks out and I had a great 5k run that had me match my Turkey Trot race pace, but at 15bpm lower heart rate.  That was a huge metric for me.  The next day I rode a 26ish bike loop, at a relatively casual HR and felt totally solid, including the long climb up Allen Rd at the end of the ride.  Another huge mental boost for me.

I’m swimming with a great Masters group on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and am about to jump into a much faster lane at the beginning of the year.  I’m currently leading my lane (1:50 pace lane) and am coming in well ahead of the listed pace.  So I’m being encouraged to move up, and will do so in two weeks.

January starts the bike segment of the USAT challenge and I’m going to switch into HIIT mode with TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest.  I’ll start with an FTP test on Saturday (2 Jan) and then try to hit 2 HIIT workouts and a long bike each week.  The week of 3-8 Jan I’ll have to figure out some way of training while I’m on the road for work.

Also starting January I’m going to switch out TRX classes for free weights, starting up with my normal winter program again.

Next week is supposed to be another short work week, but I know that I’ll be working a lot to get ready for the onsite stuff the following week.  Staying motivated and consistently training is going to be hard, but there are lot of people supporting me and pushing me forward.  It’s nice to have friends to which I’m accountable and can give me the encouragement (and large quantities of good-natured ribbing) that keep me recovering.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Again, and again, and again:  Consistency is key.  Something is better than nothing, and it ALL adds up.
  2. Tracking my metrics (HR, pace, power etc) has been really important to keep myself mentally sharp and not get too depressed about ‘where I was before’.  The big gains I’ve earned since surgery are clearly evident.
  3. Diet needs to improve.  The holidays are over and it’s time to get back to the diet that furthers my training.  Food is fuel.