Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 7/34 in Review

Great Recovery Week!

All around this was a great week! Nothing earth shattering, but starting back on with pretty good consistency. Here are the details...

Monday: rest day as per schedule and still a little sick. Recovering also from 1/2 marathon the day before.

Tuesday: no swim in the morning as sleep aided recovery better. No evening run but an hour in the pool instead.

Wednesday: totally as per schedule... recovery week level strength in the morning and 50 min easy ride on the trainer in the evening.

Thursday: finally back at the Dolphins (although I still suck!) and The Right Shoe spin class in the evening.

Friday: another set of easy recovery week strength training preceded by a nice and easy 40 min run to the Y.

Saturday: despite the awesome weather we had, we booked a 2 hour trainer ride at the Peak Centre For Human Performance for the morning. We rode roughly the last 60-some-odd-k of the IMC course on the CompuTrainer. This included obviously the approach to and up to Yellow Lake, and finally down into Penticton.
Pretty happy with the results: average power was 200w with a 3.33% HR decoupling and average speed was just about 30 km/h. After the ride and lunch I went for an hour swim at the Y to practice keeping my head still more than anything.
In the evening I made a super awesome dinner: seared wild ahi tuna steak, steamed gai lan with hoisin sauce, and potato baguette.

Sunday: 1.5 hour recovery run at the bright and early time of 8:00 AM. This was followed by coffee with the gang and running some errands. Then a late lunch at La Casita in Gastown and a coffee at JJ Bean Coffee before meeting with Roanna and Alex for several pints of Guinness at the Irish Heather and dinner at the new Nicli Pizzaria.Good times Indeed!

Weekly Stats:

  • About 12 out of the 13 planned hours completed. 
  • Average weight for the week: 200.3 lbs which is down by 2 lbs from the previous week.
  • Average Body Fat % for the week: 21.1% which is down by 0.5% from the previous week.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 6/34 in Review

What a colossal blow-out!

This week can be wrapped up in one word: sick. Started to get a cold last weekend and have been nursing it the entire week. On Thursday and especially Friday I pretty much had no voice whatsoever.

But at least the WiR is going to write itself quickly:

Monday: rest day as per schedule and class until late in the evening.

Tuesday: no swim in the morning and no run in the evening. Class in the afternoon.

Wednesday: no workout in the morning to catch up on work and class in the afternoon. At home I had to do some exercise and decided I do what is on the program: indoor brick 70 / 20 minutes.

Thursday: no swim in the morning but the spin class in the evening with The Right Shoe. Class in the afternoon again.

Friday: Nothing in the morning except for sleeping and continue to fight the cold. Last class in the afternoon. No workout in the evening either.

Saturday: 2:15 hr indoor trainer ride with Gen and Lawrence in Gastown (while watching Kill Bill) to escape the pouring rain and try to not get much sicker. After that I picked up my race number and t-shirt for Sunday's First Half. Dinner at home and to bed early to make sure that I have plenty of rest. When I finally fell asleep amids all the coughing and not really being all that tired, the house fire alarm went off at 11:30-ish! AARRGGHH! Thankfully it was established quickly that it was a false alarm and we were let in quickly again. So I had to try and fall back asleep amids all the coughing -- now at least I was tired.

Note to the ass-clown pulling the fire alarm: I hope you get afflicted with seriously itchy and burning hemorrhoids and can't get rid of them for 7 years! 

Sunday: Woke up again at 4:00 AM for another session of a real good coughing fest before getting up at 6:00 AM. Didn't feel terribly rested but good enough to give it a fair go at the First Half. And that turned out pretty good. Even had energy to waste in the afternoon.

Weekly Stats: 
  • 14.5 hours total planned training with less than 7 hours actually completed.
  • Average weight for the week: 202.3 lbs which is down by 2 lbs from the previous week. 
  • Average Body Fat % for the week: 21.6% which is down by 0.7% from the previous week.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Holy Energy Batman!

Where does this come from all of a sudden! Maybe its the 2XU compression tights I am wearing after the race.

After I finished the First Half half marathon I stuck around the Roundhouse with my buddies Tracy and Kevin for almost two hours until the end of the draw prizes and awards and whatnot. None of us won anything. Dang!

Then home to take a long and hot shower and a little bit of a rest.

Next I went to Costco to stock up on some staples and stuff. Took me 3 trips back to the car to get everything back up. Well, I wasn't schlepping heavy either to be honest.

When I started to put the groceries away I decided to clean the kitchen top to bottom including a full base clean of the fridge! Yes, including the seal in the door.

By now it is almost two blog posts and a change to the header later and I am ready to cut up the pineapple I bought.

Somebody stop me!! Or I'll need a compression touque as well.

Quite Pleased

I ended up running / racing in the First Half half marathon today as planned on my race schedule. At 4:00 AM this morning I was still tentative due to a really nasty cold I was fighting all week. But I woke up at 6:00 AM and while not totally rested, I felt good enough to give it a go.

Of course I made sure to slightly overdress and pack plenty of warm-down gear for after. And got a little lucky with the weather as the rain held off until just after the race. And even then it was not hard rain. It seems that our coach Lara was doing all sorts of sun dances the last few days and I guess it worked. Thanks Lara!!

I decided to treat this whole thing as a strong long run with some tempo finish and would just run it "within myself". That is, just run it how I feel and more than anything enjoy the run and the fact that I *can* run it. My buddies Gen and Lawrence are both sick/injured and couldn't toe the starting line.

So that is what I did. Very easy in the beginning - a little too easy perhaps as I was lined up far back and for the first two miles was stuck solid in a pack that wasn't exactly breaking land-speed records. Then it thinned out a bit and I got to open it up somewhat but nothing too wild. I kept a pretty good pace all throughout and had to fight it a bit in the last 3 miles as one would expect in any case.

When I was done I felt spent but really well. And I don't think that I have done any additional harm to my cold.

I finished in 1:45:45 chip time and am very pleased with it. All things considered I must say that it was probably one of my better half marathons. Not time-wise, there it ranked 7th out of 15 -- nicely in the middle. But for a "C" priority race that was preceded by a 2:15 trainer ride yesterday and the fact that I pulled this off after a week that was... spotty at best. Overall how I felt throughout was really the key for me to rank it high.

I bumped into a lot of other Right Shoe runners. Some of whom I haven't seen in a while (Iain is back!) and most did quite well or at least seemed content with their results.

So, off to Costco I am now. Maybe I am going to treat myself with one of those mystery meat hot dogs..? Well, at least they are kosher.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

That Felt Great!

Being down with a cold sucks! Really!!

And yes, I realize that things like real injuries and diseases suck much more and it is all a matter of perspective.

But nevertheless... I started to come down with a cold on Saturday and it got progressively worse. So the short 1:10 hr run on Sunday was the last exercise I did until last night. That is 72+ hours of sedentary, lame-ass feelin'-sorry-for-myself downtime.

So last night I decided I would do my scheduled brick workout nonetheless. 1:10 hr on the trainer on the (covered) balcony followed by a short 20 min run on the treadmill. All nice 'n' easy mind you! Low zone 1. Listening well to Coach Lara here.

OMG! This felt soo good. I didn't want to come off the bike and then didn't want to stop running! But I did only work the scheduled time and did not go overboard.

And I am glad I didn't as I am feeling... well, at least not better today. But hey! For just that little bit yesterday it was all worth it.

Lara did say I should continue to stay out of the pool and since I had early meetings and am sharply behind at work in any case, this was not difficult to adhere to.

Tonight I *will* go to The Right Shoe Spin Class, but again stay in zone 1 -- easy all the way. Maybe I just want to go to show off my LunaTik watch :-)

Yes! You read correctly... My LunaTik watch arrived today and I'll see it when I get home. Sooo happy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 5/34 in Review

My official Training Program for Ironman Canada lasts 34 weeks. From January 3 until Race Day on August 28, 2011.

The week ending today was week 5 and I decided that I'll try to write a "Week in Review" each week. Realistically I'll probably miss a week here and there, but I shall make a good attempt in any case.

This week was a week that is best be quickly forgotten and put behind me. Here is how it went:

Monday: rest day with class running late and not able to get to bed at any reasonable time.

Tuesday: I mentioned already my strained relationship with and attitude to swimming in several previous posts. Add to that being tired and it was too easy to bail on the Dolphin swim practice. Also, every 4 weeks on Tuesday mornings I see my coach and personal trainer Lara Penno to update my strength program. This Tuesday was that day and I would have to leave the Dolphins early in any case. Instead I went straight to Momentum Fitness to meet with Lara at 7:00 AM. I am really happy with the updates we made and am excited to execute over the next Wednesdays and Fridays. In the evening we had The Right Shoe group run where we did Zone 5 intervals. Tough but good!

Wednesday: As I did my strength training with Lara the day before I decided to lie in again instead of going for stretches and foam rolling to the Y. In the evening it was an hour easy ride on the trainer with a 20 minute brick on the treadmill. Easy but decent enough.

Thursday: Oh well... another dropped Dolphin practice. But at least I went to the YWCA for an hour of swimming over lunch. In the evening we had The Right Shoe spin class at the Riley Community Centre. Some more Zone 5 work for me. I almost puked after the 3rd and 4th set of 2 min... After recovery I re-joind the group in the tempo. Great workout!

Friday: New strength program at the Y in the morning. Really like this program compared to the last one. But that is always like that... some programs are more fun than others. Just after lunch I went for an easy 45 minute run including lateral drills and strides. On the way back I used the opportunity to re-calibrate my Garmin 310XT based on satellite reception. The default calibration setting is 1,000; after I calibrated it once with an easy jog twice around the track it calibrated to 1,035; after Friday's satellite calibration it changed to 1,115. Need to check this with other's peoples pace in a run to see what is closest.

Saturday: The weather forecast for Saturday predicted rain and since our friend Lawrence broke another bone in his wrist and was to condemned to the trainer, Gen and I decided to keep him company and do a 2 hour trainer ride at his place instead of the prescribed 3 hours outside. In the end the weather was perfect for riding outside and Gen bailed as she got sick. Still it was all planned and so Lawrence and I still did the trainer ride. Two hours on the trainer is a really long time and to pass time we watched Run Lola Run. Great flick! And there was also a very short (10 min) brick on my plan and so off I went for a quick jog around East Gastown. Oh yea... and I bailed on the Dolphins for the 3rd and final time this week.

Sunday: Today would have been a 2 hour easy run on the plan but since we ran longer the last two weeks and are now quasi tapering for next weeks First Half, we only went for 1:10 hours in the pouring rain. I had my swim gear with me in case I would decide to go to the Y after the run. But I think I am coming down with a cold and at the coffee after the run Brian told me about a good halibut recipe he did last night and instead of swimming I went to Granville Island to buy some halibut and stop by Oyama Sausage for various delicious cold meats.

Weekly Stats: 

  • 13.5 hours total planned training with 10.5 actually completed.
  • Average weight for the week: 204.3 lbs which is up by 0.6 lbs from the previous week (ouch!)
  • Average Body Fat % for the week: 22.3% which is up by 0.4% from the previous week.

Moroccan Halibut (or some variation of this) it is for tonight's dinner. Yum! Looking forward to it.Also looking forward to a hopefully more consistent and productive training week with better weight stats at the end of it. Although I have quite a bit on my plate next week aside from training and we'll have to see how everything shakes out.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My strained relationship with swimming

Swimming and I are going through a rough patch in our relationship at this time. To the point where I am looking for any and all excuses to stay away from it. Fortunately (unfortunately?) those excuses come aplenty!

Last week I bailed on a few scheduled swims only to try and make up for them in some crazy ass way. This week I have already skipped both the Tuesday and today's swim practice with the Dolphins. And I am not overly hopeful for Saturday... Although I did make up a little bit for it by swimming at the YWCA today for an hour over lunch.

I am really not motivated to swimming as I am getting slower with every day going by it seems. And yes, I get that with the improvements that I am presumably making, it is quite normal to regress somewhat before finally improving.

Every time I do swim I am very conscientious that I am applying what my swim coach Janka tells me. But patience has never been my strong suit.

Last Thursday at the Dolphins I got dropped by the lady in my lane who the day before sprained her ankle! Oh brother... that foot was all black and blue and looked painful and she was clearly very uncomfortable. Still, she had no problems swimming away form me like I was standing still. (Super props to her for toughing it out. I wish I had her grit and determination!)

So there it is: Me + Swimming ≠ Valentines exactly.

I realize that I need to suck it up and get back with the program next week. Saturday though... we'll see.

Or as my buddy Lawrence put it: "Klaus - get your arse back in the pool!"

Off to The Right Shoe spin class now. At least I really enjoy that :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What a crazy recovery week

Somehow the recovery week just past did not leave me recovered. Mentally, yes, I am recovered as I tried to be all stress free and made sure that I have plenty of sleep. But physically... not at all. 

It all started with me teaching late on Monday night and then being too tired on Tuesday morning for the swim practice. And although I promised myself that I would not obsess and feel guilty over missed practices, since this was the second session in a row I missed I did feel guilty. 

Tuesday evening at the run with the The Right Shoe run clinic I talked to our coach Lara about it and about making up for it the next day. Wednesday was strength training day but with reduced weights and less sets. So with the 'spare time' I could jump in the pool... She OK'd a short 30 min swim and that is what I did. Then at lunch I came back for another 30 min swim. 

On Thursday I managed not to bail on the swim with the Dolphins -- whoohoo! Special me! And in the evening we did the Right Shoe spin class. 

Friday was supposed to be a day off as part of the recovery week but I felt that I still had to exorcise the swim daemons and went back to the Y once more in the afternoon for a 45 min swim that too left me tired and yet utterly unfulfilled. Swimming and I... oh well, I am going to leave that sad story for another blog post. 

Saturday I was scheduled for a lactate threshold test at the Peak Centre for Human Performance. I was well rested and well nourished. And before you ask, properly nourished as well! Although short, those tests tend to be pretty hard -- harder than one would normally associate with a recovery week. 

Sunday then we would normally have a nice-n-easy zone 1 for 75 minutes... except those of us who are signed up for the First Half had to go for 2 hours with the final 30 minutes at goal race pace. Dang! So much for the recovery week... 

I am almost looking forward to this build week :-) 

But as coach Lara said this morning when I told her how I felt about the recovery week: "Oh, so you sabotaged the recovery week on your own?" Trust her to tell it as it is! 

PS: late teaching yesterday made me bail on swimming again this morning. As I said more on the Klaus-Swimming-Relationship later.