Wednesday, January 30, 2008

5k challenge

Half-fast has organized a Shave Your 5k Challenge. If you head over and read at half-fast, put down your current beverage of choice. It can be spit your drink out funny. You've been warned.
I'm a sucker for a challenge, and I should be able to improve my time as well as anyone over the next year. Will run the first one either at the UW running club V-day 5k or at the Shamrock Shuffle. My only goal is to actually run the whole thing. That I'll be about 1.3 miles longer than I've actually ran in one stretch before.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day Dreaming

It's a miserable day here in Madison.  Light rain, supposedly turning to snow.  Totally overcast, dreary, and headed back towards frigid cold temperatures tonight. 

In the middle of all this I found myself at the courthouse for a 3-hour meeting about god knows what.  From my vantage point I could see part of the Monona Terrace, and if it weren't for the fog, Lake Monona in the background.  Commence ironman daydreams.  Every once in a while I'd be snapped back to reality,  then some lone runner would wander down the street outside the window and I'd be back in lala land.

Six months ago I doubt you could have paid me to be that guy.  This morning I would have gone out in a heartbeat given the opportunity.  Yikes.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

kicked, and kicked, and kicked again

It's been a week of getting my ass kicked in one way or another. Monday it was the new bike. I put it on the trainer Tuesday night and rode 1/2 hour just to try and loosen the legs up. Did the same again on Thursday night. Legs didn't take the same pounding, but it wasn't easy. Boring is what it was. BORING!! Indoor bike training sucks, but I'll likely keep doing short rides just to get used to the new bike.

Yesterday it was running that kicked my ass. Went out with dog in the am for a planned 5 miles. I don't know what happened, just didn't have it in me. Ended up walking at least the last two, with an unimpressive performance in the first three as well. Walked in the door and pretty much collapsed on the bedroom floor.

Today it was cross country skiing. Granted it's been probably been 8-years since I've been on skis, but holy crap it was tough. Stayed out for about an hour, no idea how far I went. Another whole set of muscles I didn't know I had are screaming now, triceps the loudest. It was nice being out in the woods and prairies of the state park, beats the hell out of city streets. May have to try trail running come spring.

Good thing I only swam twice this week, probably would have wound up at the bottom of the pool. All in all, put in 3,100 yards in the pool, almost 14-miles on the road, 1.5 hours on the bike, with the skiing debacle to boot. One more week, then my first planned week off.

Stacey, thanks for the cake, it's gone. Sooooooo good.

Monday, January 21, 2008

knocked off my pedastal

I had been starting to feel pretty good about my progress. I can pretty consistently crank out a mile run without stopping, lately getting up to 1.5 miles out of the gate before I need a break. My last two runs I've had to stop less than once per mile for a very short walk, including a 4-miler this morning in frigid snowy conditions.

Swimming has been equally encouraging. While I don't think I'm actually swimming any faster, I'm not clinging to the edge of the pool at the end of every length either. Things are going ok and I feel good about where I'm at.

One would think my efforts in swimming and running would translate say, into biking fitness. It is not so. Today being MLK day, I had off (it's good to be a government employee sometimes) and decided to drive to Milwaukee and pick up my new tri bike. I get there and we go through set-up and fit and everything, and I say let me ride it for 1/2 hour or so on the trainer and see how it feels.

Run it though the gears, make some adjustments, ride some more, watch some dumb Tour de France video, repeat. No big deal, worked up a sweat, but never felt like I pushed all that hard.

Load up the bike for the drive home. Less than ten minutes in my legs started screaming and they haven't stopped since. Soreness like I have not felt before down the entire backside of the legs. I hope it's just from riding a new bike in a new position, it's my only thread of hope. I'm going to have to seriously reconsider my no indoor training rule if this is how I'm going to feel come spring when I can actually ride again.

Onto the good stuff, below is a pic of the new bike, Wilson.

Reading other people's blogs and race reports has instilled in me the need to name my new bike. It was actually XT4's 2006 IMoo race report and subsequent ramblings on IMoo that inspired me to come up with the name. It's not that he actually mentions the name, it's more the "relationship" he has with Ol' Blue. Read his report, it's very good.

I can only hope I can get the engine in good enough shape to actually put it to work. If I wasn't committed before, I am now.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I don't know how else to put it. The cold weather has cut short week #3. This morning it was -13F. Right now our outdoor thermometer reads a balmy +2F, but it's also in direct sunlight on the back fence. It's actually still -4F, I won't even bring up wind chill.

Ran twice this week, just under seven miles total, swam a total of 5,300 yards over 4 sessions. About 4-1/2 hours total (swim+run). Not a lot of volume, but I feel pretty good about the work I did get in. Barring a heat wave and a motivational miracle following tomorrows Packer game, week #3 is in the books.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Big Mouth Hungry

Last night the wife called me a garbage truck after I took her cottage cheese. This was shortly after I ate a bowl of cereal, which was maybe two hours after dinner.
Apparently regular exercise makes me hungry, really hungry. I'm trying hard not to put down too much garbage, doing ok so far. I have no idea how many calories I'm taking in or burning, and I really have no desire to track them either. Going to eat when I'm hungry, quit eating when I'm full, and try to be somewhat smart about it.
The KISS princpal at work, keep it simple stupid.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vacation Recap

It was cold, which really limited what we could do, spent a lot of time on the beach looking for shells. Went on some hikes, and toured a couple of wildlife areas, shopped and ate a lot. Food was disappointing, best meal by far was back in Tampa, don't remember the name of the place. Below are a few of the 400+ photos we took.

The alligator we saw in one of the wildlife areas on the island. It was small, but actually pretty close to us so the kids got a real good look. We ate one of his cousins later in the week, doesn't taste like chicken.

Patrick, shortly after getting tackled by a wave. It was not at all his intention to go in like he did. It was maybe 55 degrees out and the water was freezing cold. He waded in a bit and tried to jump over a wave. It took his legs out and he pretty much went under.

Another take down, about 10 minutes of this and he was shivering like mad and we had to end the fun and get some dry clothes on him.

Mel and I on one of the hikes, she likes to fly.

Crab washed up on the beach, Actually came across quite a few. This was one of the larger ones. Ate some of his friends too.

Mel playing on the beach. This a good picture showing the shear quantity of shells and creatures washed up. Trick was finding intact ones.

Burying Mel in the sand shortly after sunset up on Captiva Island. Neither kid would sit still long enough to really bury them good.

Probably the biggest starfish we came across the entire weekend. For me this was probably the real highlight, finding different creatures and watching the kids get all excited.

This octopus was a cool find. Ate some of his distant relatives too. Couldn't convince the kids to try one, even when I tried to tell them they were onion rings.
Overall it was a good trip, kid's handled the travel well, even with a 3+ hour delay in Columbus on the way back. Do stuff.

Week #2 Recap

This afternoons 5+ mile run wrapped up week #2. I felt pretty good after it (once my nipples unthawed), but I really started to feel it after dinner and now the legs are definitely sore. Good thing is that swimming usually makes them feel better. Joints feel better, muscles loosen up, I'm planning a short swim for tomorrow morning just for that reason.

I walked a total of 6 miles this week, ran/walked roughly 12 miles, and swam roughly 3100 yards. Total workout time just over 6-hours. I'm not really sure how I feel about it. Need to figure out how to get more time in at lunch, and still need to figure out what to do when I can't bike or ski.

Next week is supposed to be 4 run sessions, 3 bike, and 2 swim, little over 7 hours total. I'm planning on 4 run and 4 swim for now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a while, so I'll summarize. Over christmas break I sat down and put together a training schedule to take me through Syttendai Mai, Bigfoot, and Pigman. For Syttendai Mai, I took a 16-week marathon plan and adjusted it down for the difference in distances, I also built in 3 or 4 off weeks so I don't burn out. I then took a 30-week IM training plan, cut the distances in half, but used the marathon plan for the first 16-weeks of the running portion. After careful scrutiny and some tweaks here and there I think I have a usable plan.

And the start date for this plan is, or should I say was, two weeks ago. Tomorrow is the end of week two. I blew off the first week cause we were in florida. I did one short run on the beach, but I also ate a shitload of crappy food. I'll post pictures at some point. Kid's had fun.

Week 2 has gone well, but I need to find something to do until I can start biking. I had planned to ski for my initial bike workouts, but mother nature decided of course to melt enough of the snow in the madison area to remove that option for now. I'll summarize week 2 tomorrow, hopefully.