One or both?

I’ve already signed up for the Fireman Ironman Camp 17-19 June, but am now considering the Endurance Nation camp the prior weekend as well. I ‘ve got friends going to both camps so I’ll have people to hang out with. I won’t be training for an Ironman, or any long course tri in 2011 but the camps are a lot of fun. I figure that the back-to-back big weeks will make a big deposit in the bank of HTFU, but will take a big chunk out of vacation time and cash flow. I still think it will be worth the time and travel!

Picking up heavy things

Started back to strength training today.  Per my usual routine, I’m starting with the Body For Life strength training for the first three weeks, then launch into P90X, but only the strength training/core routines.  I find that after a long lay off from strength training, I need to rebuild some strength before moving into P90X and the BFL workouts are perfectly suited.  I can usually knock them out in about 45 minutes, hitting all the major muscle groups in each session.  I’m going to skip the P90X aerobic workouts since I’ll be getting plenty of aerobic work with the 1/2 marathon training.

Dusting off the cobwebs

The MAFW picnic rides were cancelled today due to rain.  I was really looking forward to my first brick workout in a long, long time and was pretty disappointed when the rides were cancelled.  On the way home I suddenly realized that Ironman Wisconsin was going on today, so I decided to do an “indoor brick” on the CompuTrainer and the treadmill.  When I pulled the tri bike off the hooks in the basement I noticed that it still has the IMWI and Tri-Bike Transport stickers on the frame, both tires were completely flat and the bike was covered in a thick layer of dust.  I don’t think I’ve been on that bike since the race.  So I pumped up the tires, and loaded up the IMWI course on the CompuTrainer.  I also noticed that the workout room had cobwebs hanging from the corners and most of the light fixtures.  I supposed that was fitting as my workout room and my body appear to be in the same shape.

I rode for an hour at a nice aerobic pace, then hopped on the treadmill for a planned 20 min run.  After about 13 minutes the achilles started to ached so I cut the run short (15 min).  It’s a long way from being Iron Fit, but I’ve dusted off the cobwebs, literally and figuratively.

The lost year

Fitness wise, I’ve lost an entire year.  I made some attempt to train and race through the 1/2 marathon in April, but after that I didn’t do much at all.  This was mostly due to total mental block, but increased work stress, heavy school loads and a slow-to-heal-injury played into the mix.

Now that vacation is over, and I’m healing up fast I’m considering signing up for the 1/2 marathon in Philadelphia.  I’ve got a copy of Hal Higdon’s training plans and it looks do-able, though possibly a bit of a stretch considering my current lack of fitness.  I’m meeting with the doctor tomorrow for a follow up from my PRP 6 weeks ago.  If it looks like my achilles is healing up well, then I’m going to go for the November race.

Spring is just around the corner

I finally decided that I needed to kick my own ass out of my funk.  The weather forecast all week called for a spectacular day for Sunday, so that became my target.  If I could just make it through to Sunday I’d be ok.

So this morning I slept in a bit, ate a big healthy breakfast, and then got out for a nice & easy bike & run.  For some reason I wanted to ride the dirt roads through the horse farms of Bedminster, which means I needed to swap the slicks for knobbies on the Surly.  Normally that’s a big PITA, but this morning I was in the flow and everything went smoothly.

I made it up and over Schley Mtn easy enough, and when I came across the River Rd. Park bridges, I came across this lovely sight:

A sign of springThere was a small field of these flowers poking through the underbrush in a sunny patch along the bike path.  That one image made me smile through the rest of the ride.

I got home with a bit over 21 miles, switched to my VFF’s and headed out for a quick brick run.  This was the 1st time I’ve been outside in the VFFs so I kept the run short.  They felt pretty good on the sidewalk, but really GREAT on the mushy grass.  I could really feel my toes trying to paw into the turf.  My run HR was a bit higher than normal, but that was to be expected after the long time off.

A good week

23 miles running, with some fartleks and hill work tossed in, plus three P90X workouts (Chest/Back, Plyo, Arms). Next week I’ll be stepping up to big-boy work: 31 miles running w/more fartleks and more hills, 5 P90Xworkouts (Chest/Back, Plyo, Arms, Kenpo, Back/Legs). I’m anticipating a very sore and tired Greg this time next week.

I’m also hoping that my shock/fork will come back from Push Industries soon. Conditions were excellent this week for winter MTB. I don’t want to pass up more great opportunities for off-road, off-season riding.

School started back up yesterday. Two management classes this semester. Leadership in Technical Teams, and Strategic Planning. Both instructors are very engaging and are leaders in their field, the texts look pretty good and our classes are now split up into two smaller groups. Our team was adjusted a bit. There are three original team members and one new Spring 2010 student joined our group. So now we have two women and two men in our group, and appears to be a solid group.

No Philly for me

I pulled the rip cord, and bailed out of the Philly Marathon. My 20 miler on Sunday told me that trying to pull a sub-4hr 26.2 was not gonna happen. Sub-5hr would be questionable. Sure, my legs weren’t fresh, but it still hurt way too much to run that slow on a flat forgiving terrain. I’m bummed because this means that I didn’t follow through on my goal of a sub-4hr marathon in 2008. Most of my other goals were met, in that I set PRs at all my races, and really improved some times in my 10k and 13.1 runs.

So now it’s officially the “off season”. I’m not doing any coached, structured training, but I am planning on some new routines. LOTS more MTB this fall/winter. Maybe some ‘cross if I can find some group rides or some classes. If not, I’ll put together a barrier and practice mounts/dismounts in the back yard.

And this: P90X For Nov/Dec/Jan.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this workout. I’ve got no idea where I’m going to hang the pull-up bar, but I’ll figure out something. Since each workout is an hour long, I’ll do them in the AM before work. I’ll still try to get out for at least one swim/bike/run each week and then go long bike/long run on the weekends.  

It’s a new day!

When the run intersects the bike…

Today’s long run was 2:45 Z1-Z2. I knew that I’d need to run 16-17 miles, so I headed out to do a “lake loop”. This route used to be a favorite 60 min bike ride. I’ve done this loop enough to know exactly where I need to be at any point on the bike. I’ve never, ever done any part of it on the run, but as I chugged along, I started to figure it out.

“I’ll get to Far Hills in :45”
“I’ve got to get to the top of the hill on Willow by the halfway”
“I need to be make the turn onto Liberty Corner Rd by 2:00”

I hit some, but not all of the time marks. Still it ended up as a GREAT run. Scenic, low traffic and challenging. Everything one wants in an early spring run. Plus, corned beef dinner cooking when I got home. BONUS!

Lovin’ the long run

It may take me a while to get motivated and get out the door, but once I start moving, I remember how much I really enjoy the long run. The pace is easier than most of my runs, and it gives me time to think and reflect on the week. After the first 15 or 20 minutes, I’m in a groove with the tunes (I always keep my iPod on ‘shuffle mode’), and I can feel my head starting to clear out. At times (like today) the feeling is quite a bit like popping to the surface of a very deep lake. My mood is high, my head clear and I’m cruising along with almost no effort.

Today’s long run was a bit of a “little Billy” run. I wasn’t planning on the route I took, and in fact had intended to go in a different direction. But after the first 30 minutes along a familiar route, I decided to make some changes. I ran down Evergreen into Bernardsville, then headed straight into Little Italy, down Bernards ave and up Liberty onto Pill Hill. After the long downhill, I turned UP Meeker Rd, and finished that brutal climb. Then out to Annin Rd, to Whitenack, and back through Cantebury. If I hadn’t made a wrong turn and had to backtrack a bit, it would have been a PERFECT 1:45 run. As it was, I came in at 1:50:51 and 11.18 miles.