Sunday, September 30, 2007

September Review / October Preview

September Review - I'm about three weeks into this training thing now, and with almost 60-miles behind me, the only real noticable change is my appetite. I'm always hungry. Seems like I'm eating constantly. I've started to change my diet. No more relying on fast food for weekday breakfast and/or lunch. I still stop in on occasion, but the frequency is way, way down. Packing my own lunch, trying to actually eat breakfast, and tying to eat healthier in general. It's a start.

As far as results, all things considered, I'm probably where I should expect to be. I am a little nervous about my lack of swimming abiblity. But I have time, a good swim coach (if I ever decide to listen to her), and I just ordered a book that's supposed to teach you how to swim from square one. I read about it through some triathlon website or blog, I don't remember which. All the reviews are very good, we'll see. Not concerned at all about the bike, with time, I'm sure that will come together just fine. My lack of running ability should concern me but it doesn't. If I get off the bike (at the IM) at the last possible moment, I should still be able to pretty much walk a marathon in the 6-1/2 hour allotted time.

October Preview - With winter around the corner, I'm going to attempt to ride as much as possible over the next month. Still going to mix in a walk and/or swim on a weekly basis, but if I can, my preference is going to be the bike. I'll have plenty of time to swim in the winter, and I have no problem walking in the cold either, but the bike will be gone.

The schedule I've been on is Tuesday mornings, Wednesday afternoon/evening, Friday morning, and Sunday afternoon. I'll stick to this schedule for now, as it seems to be working.

Sunday afternoon ride

As promised, I went out for my sunday afternoon ride. Friday's run/walk combined with work that day ( and participating in P's football practice that night) absolutely killed my legs. I don't remember a time when my leg muscles ever hurt like they have for the past couple of days. But the consensus was to do something, so I rode.

As it turns out my legs feel better now than before the ride. They still hurt, just not nearly as bad. Rode just under 11 miles, and managed to ride the second half slightly faster than the first. The wind may have played a part, and the Roby Road hill off Kings Lynn definitely slowed me down on the first half. And although I went out and intended to take it pretty easy, my pace was identical to my first two rides, a whopping 12 miles per hour.

That's all.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Almost Embarrassing

I tried running this morning. It didn't go so well. If I had any sort of an ego or pride in this matter I would be embarrassed to put it down on paper, but here it is.

The plan, I put together a list of songs all between two and three minutes in length. Plan was to walk the first 4 songs, then run/walk on alternating songs for the remainder.

Turns out, I can't make it through an entire song. So the plan was quickly altered to 1/2 song running, 1-1/2 songs walking. I can only imagine what the dog was thinking:

"What's going on, we're running?"
"Dad never runs."
"Someone chasing us?"
"Is it my birthday, Christmas?"
"Oh who gives a shit, woo hoo, we're running!"
"What the hell, why'd we start walking again?"
"This sucks, get me all excited then stop running already."
"Rather be sleeping"
"Is that something dead I should be eating or rolling in"
"Running again, woo hoo, let's go!"

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

And so it went for just over an hour. Covered 5.1 miles in about an hour and 10 minutes. I roughly figure I ran 13-1/2 minutes and 1.4 miles, walked the rest. Legs are dead tired, brush your teeth sitting down tired. To top it off, what I thought was going to be an easy day at work, turned into an on your feet and moving all day type of day. Very much looking forward to an easy weekend. May go for an easy ride to loosen up the legs sunday afternoon, so if anyone would like to ride along, let me know.

On a side note, it was an absolutely beautiful morning to be out. Moon was close to full and the sky was clear, could easily see what was in front of me. Temperatures were cold enough to make you want to keep moving, but no where near uncomfortable. Wonderful fall weather.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Today was bike day, and I really wasn't looking forward to it. Legs were sore from yesterday's walk/swim and my knee was bothering me more than usual. But the weather was nice and I probably shouldn't start slacking already, so off I went.

It took a while for the legs to loosen up, but eventually they did and I managed to put in 14 miles. Knee never really became an issue. Same pace as the first ride, which I'm ok with. I'm happy that I managed just 1-mph slower on the last 5 miles than I did on the first 9. Sunday I barely crawled home. Today I felt like I could have managed other couple miles at a fairly reasonable pace. I may not walk tomorrow, but I feel pretty good now.

The cold weather is going to require some biking pants and gloves. Looks like I'll be upping the dork factor (coincidentally, I didn't wear my running shoes to school yesterday, it was light out, and people were out and about). Today I rode in shorts and a pullover. Legs were cold, upper body was very warm.

On a side note, my ass and groin area in general is sore from riding. But on the bright side, at least I don't have a rash.........

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Some things just don't feel right... walking into St. Ann's while listening to Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio on the Ipod. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's start from the beginning.

I intended to get up early this morning and swim, but I overslept and didn't make it. Pulled up the Monona Grove pool schedule and formulated a new plan, swim at noon over lunch. MG pool is open 11:30 - 1:30 weekdays. I have a pretty flexible work schedule, so I should be able to swim here when other plans go awry.

MG pool is nice. Water was warm, only two or three others there. Still can't swim on my stomach. Managed 40 lengths (1,000 yards) in just under the hour I was there. Mostly backstroke, mostly in 4-8 length increments. Legs felt pretty good. Swam with goggles for the first time. I don't know that it helped any. I feel the biggest issue on my stomach is breathing.
On my back I can breathe at my leisure, on my stomach it's timing and taking quick breathes. Anyone know a good swim coach?

So this afternoon I decided to walk to school to pick up Patrick from after school care. He's been wanting to walk home ever since I tricked him into thinking we were walking home from Kayser a month or so ago. Made it to the park when I first realized this was going to be a mistake. Swimming was harder on the legs than I had thought. But I covered the 2 miles without issue, and just as I'm coming up to school, on comes Coolio...

Patrick enjoyed the walk home, got a little tired towards the end, but overall it was good. The leisurely pace was easier on my legs. Surprisingly it only took 15-minutes longer on the return trip, including a brief stop at the church on the corner to look at the cranes on the lawn.

Tomorrow afternoon should be a return to the bike.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


It's probably been a good four years since I've been on a bike. The car needed something or another done, so I put the bike on it, dropped it off somewhere on the beltline, and rode into work. Maybe five miles max. When the car was done in the afternoon, I got a ride back and left the bike at the office. I did not enjoy the morning ride.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Kids had swimming lessons, and I just got the bike road worthy the previous day. It was like I had a new present just waiting to be used. I had to go for a ride.

Needless to say, I have a whole new set of sore leg muscles. Muscles that feel like they must have been in hibernation since that last ride. Managed 12 miles in about an hour. This is on a mountain bike with fat tires and all, not exactly a speed machine on the road under any circumstances. I'm half heartedly looking for a road bike, but I'll probably train on this until at least next year, perhaps even spring 2009. If I can find a good end of season deal I'll jump on it, but I'll probably still train on this one for the most part.

All things considered, I'm pretty happy with the ride. The hills kicked my ass, but I set out with the goal to keep my legs moving and the bike going forward. With the exception of one quick break at the base of a hill, I did just that.

Hoping to get in all three aspects of the tri this week. See how the legs feel in the morning.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Nice easy walk today ended up being about 4-miles. Up to the river and back, with a detour through the Ross subdivision on the return trip. Felt good, no need for a head lamp, as I could see from the shine coming off the new shoes.

I believe I now have an "official" song for the program as well. Yesterday afternoon I started to listen to a Kinks album I've had forever but have not listened too in ages. Ipod died half way through the first song so it didn't go far. Fast forward to this morning, same album was stilled cued up so I figured it was as good as anything. Third song in is Superman. For those not familiar, it starts off like this:

Woke up this morning, started to sneeze
I had a cigarette and a cup of tea
I looked in the mirror what did I see
A nine stone weakling with knobbly knees
I did my knees bend press ups touch my toes
I had another sneeze and I blew my nose
I looked in the mirror at my pigeon chest
I had to put on my clothes because it made me depressed

Surely there must be a way
For me to change the shape I'm in
Dissatisfied is what I am
I want to be a better man
Superman Superman wish I could fly like Superman
Superman Superman I want to be like Superman
I want to be like Superman
Superman Superman wish I could fly like Superman

And winds down with:

I'd really like to change the world
And save it from the mess it's in
I'm too weak, I'm so thin
I'd like to fly but I can't even swim

Have a good weekend, no training plans for me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Swim n Shoes

Back to the pool tonight. Still can't swim. Managed ~800 yards total in 50-100 yard increments. Mostly backstroke or backfloat. Legs and knees are definitely feeling the effects of the last week. In the middle I did maybe 200 yards without kicking, was really starting to feel it in my arms too. Overall, not a workout that left me with that warm fuzzy feeling. The ice cream on the way home didn't help either.

I did pick up a pair of running shoes this afternoon after work. Mizunos. They are white, blue, and yellow; and I feel like a complete dork in them. Not sure exactly why, but I sort of liken it to going out and buying a really expensive triathlon bike or something of that nature. I have no idea how to ride it or get the most out of it. But I'll go out with my shiny new shoes and try and look like I know what I'm doing. That's as best as I know how to explain it.

I should probably take a few days and let my legs rest some, but I'm actually anxious to try out the new shoes. Friday morning seems like a good time for a short walk. Hopefully before the sun comes up, so nobody sees me and my dorky shoes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Program

I found a training program at It's a 20-week program designed to get you into ironman shape. Well, it's designed more to get you to a point where you can finish the thing, which is the whole goal anyway. I don't really have any illusions as to what time I'd like to finish in. I've kicked around a lot of numbers in my head, and I think 14-hours is doable (2 swim, 6+ bike, 5+ run), but I'm not setting a goal, at least not at this point.

Twenty weeks of about 10 workouts per week. The average workout to start is about an hour in length. So in the next 80 some weeks, I need to get into that kind of shape.

First, what I'm not going to do. Not going to walk/run on a treadmill or ride on a stationary bike. If I can't do it outside or in the pool, it's just not going to get done. Walking/running/biking for hours on end is boring enough, doing it in place is just plain stupid. I'm also not going to join a gym, lift weights, etc. The only thing I may consider doing (outside of strictly endurance work) is take some sort of pilates or related class to improve flexibility (If I attempt to stretch, I can easily get past my knee, but the toes are out of the question).

For the present, I'm going to work out 2-4 times per week, trying to average 1 - 1.5 hours each. Swimming and walking will be the main initial components. I'll eventually transition into running, but with my knees, I'm really not in any hurry. I'll also start biking soon, need to do a few repairs to the bike before I can ride. Once winter comes, I'll continue to walk and swim, but I'll ski as well provided we get enough snow.

I've started to look at prep races. I'm sure I'll alter the plan to meet the demands of any prep races I'll have to train for. Some things I'm considering include:

1/2 ironman - possibly fall 2008
shorter ironman - ??
berkiebeiner - feb 2009 (I skied a lot in high school, and this was one race I always wanted to do back then.
syttende mai - may 2009 (just because it's local)
chequamegon fat tire festival - Sept 2008 (cool mountain bike race up north)

This blog

Since the wife has already outed me, and she's now wanting to out the blog as well. I may as well explain why I'm keeping it.

First, it's primary purpose is to keep a light hearted record of this little adventure. Before I even started, wife was on me to keep a training record, she even bought me a notebook. I read several blogs on a regular basis, and this seemed like a much better way to get everything down.
Hopefully, I'll be able to look back at this and laugh at just how out of shape I actually was (am).

Second, it's a way to share this trip with others. As most of you know, I'm not much of a talker. It's very unlikely you'll get any level of detail out of me on how training is actually going. Hopefully, I'll be much better at getting things down on this blog. If you want to know how training is going, go ahead and ask. If you want the details, this is the place.

Last, I'll probably use it to call out some of you to join me, if not for all of it, at least for a portion of the trip. Wife would like to, but logistically, the training in the months before the race is just too time consuming for both of us to accomplish at once (with the kids and all). I view this very much as a personal quest, but at the same time, having someone else to suffer through it with may not be all bad.

Feel free to comment, critique, even criticize if you must. The only thing I won't tolerate is you getting sappy or emotional about it. Don't make me come and kick your ass (it's not part of the program).

On that note, since she is so excited about this, I will also allow wife to cohost this blog and post her viewpoints on my training as well. If her name is in ( ) in the title, the post is hers. G, thanks for your support, and remember, I'll yank your posting privledges quicker than.........well, pretty damn quick.

Yet to come..

Training Program/Schedule

Walking Shoes

That's right, waking shoes, I don't run. I tried it once, but about 1/2 way to first base I fell down, so I quit. The extent of my workouts, aside from the previously mentioned swim, have been three walks. About two weeks ago, dog and I went 2.3 miles in a nighttime walk, last tuesday morning, we went on a 4 mile excursion, then last night, a 5.2 mile outing. Last night dog was actually tired when we were finished, so I felt like I accomplished something anyway.

I don't own walking / running shoes. My choices right now are two pair of sandals, my retired softball cleats, one pair of slip on shoes, various dress shoes, my steel toed work boots, or one of various pairs of winter or hunting boots. Seeing as I wear them all day, I'm used to them, and they are comfortable, I've been walking in the steel toes.

This wasn't much of an issue until today. The long walk last night, combined with work today, has was a little hard. I had a chance to sit down in the truck for 1/2 hour this morning and the first thing I did was take the shoes off. Heaven it was. Apparently it is time for a stop at the shoe store for a decent pair of walking / running shoes.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First day in the pool

Wisconsin Ironman 2009 is two years minus one week out. Original plan was to shoot for 2010, but three years out is two much. I think two years is long enough to go from couch potato to ironman.

My training began a week ago, I've put off starting this traing blog, so I'll have to backtrack to discuss this first week as well as my background and motivations. For now we'll discuss swimming.

I'm not a swimmer, never have been. I don't dislike swimming, it's just not one of my favorite things (although neither is biking, running, or exercise in general). So with a lot of prodding from the wife (an avid swimmer, and one who is more excited by this challenge than I) we headed down to the stoughton pool for a swim.

I can't swim, that's really what I feel like. I managed to swim about 14 lengths of the 25-yard pool, with a 1-2 minute break between lengths to catch my breath. In the middle of the swim I grabbed a kickboard or two and kicked about 600-yards with just one break. I pushed through this without a problem, but when I went back to the crawl, I needed a break every 40 yards or so (we were swimming across the pool at this point). I feel as though I'm fighting to keep from sinking the whole time.

Hopefully this will pass and I'll get more comfortable in the water. For the record, outside of grade school age swim lessons, this may be the first time I have ever swam a lap or attemped to swim any distance at all. I feel fine. Showered, came home had a snack and took a nap watching Michigan crush Notre Dame. Legs are a little tired, but nothing unusual.