Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Hay is in the Barn...Almost Too Much Hay!

Recall that I officially began my training for the upcoming 50k on 9/5. So I've trained for 6 weeks for it, and during that time I only biked around 3 hours per week. Below is what I anticipated doing for those 6 weeks side by side with what I actually did:

Now, in pencil on my paper calendar view, I'd added in anticipated walking time just to add to my totals, so that is one reason there's a big disparity in actual vs. planned. In reality, the actual running time isn't that huge--my maximum was 6.33 hours. That's not huge running. However, that represents a 35% increase in run volume over 6 weeks. That's quite a bit. That's why my legs are still a bit of a mess. But my legs will recover--what's really messed up is my mid- and lower-back. I didn't figure that out until a few days ago, but I'm glad I did so I can take care of it.

In those 6 weeks, I attended 3 Ironman races--Wisconsin, Chattanooga and Louisville! And those weekends definitely contributed to slightly overdoing things, but I expected that. But I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world! I so enjoy helping others reach their goals and providing some bright spots in a tough day.

Now it's my turn. I ran a 1/2 marathon the first week and did OK, and then I ran one yesterday and was a bit slower. I didn't expect big things, and my legs told me I am not really tapered down yet. That will happen this week in a big way! And it's my birthday week! Which kinda sucks, since it's nice to have cake and champagne and stuff on one's birthday, but I really won't be training enough to do that. I'm actually already watching what I eat (and drink) so I don't put on any weight during these next 2 weeks, and I'm slated for a big birthday bash in Vegas after the race. So it's not like I'll be suffering this week!

I got a bit nostalgic on Facebook yesterday and posted some pictures from 2010 Ultraman Canada. I was just thinking about it and how even when I did it I couldn't believe I was actually doing it. Now I'm seriously considering Ultraman Hawaii in 2018, and if all goes well and I feel I have the stamina to train properly for it (just to finish--that is all I need to do!), then I will do it. If I qualify for IMHI at IMWI next year, then I'll do both IMHI and UMHI in 2018. They are about a month and a half apart. IMHI would be a great tuneup for UMHI. I would probably just stay in Kona between the 2 races because why bother flying back and all that shit? Wouldn't that just be tits and a half? I think so!

But first I need to conquer this 50k. I'm sure I can get it done, but I don't want it to be a walking festival. I'm shooting for 7 hours which is a 13:33 pace. I think I can do that, but we shall see!

Meanwhile, the order of business for me right now is to rest as much as possible--this means sleep (and I'm sleeping a bit more already), laying around being lazy, and if I'm not feeling it in a workout, to just cut it short. But also watch my diet. The lighter I am for this next race, the better I'll do. And I could stand to lose 2-3 pounds. I am not TRYING to lose weight during taper, but it might just happen. We'll see.

I was kind of a maniac this weekend considering I should have been tapering already. I ran the 1/2 marathon on Saturday, and then I walked for about 45 minutes right afterwards. You might think walking is no big deal, but try that sometime and keep doing it after all your long runs and get back to me. Then today I was supposed to do a fun 5K run in a corn maze, but after driving 60 miles, I get there and it was cancelled due to all the rain we had last night and this morning. Oh well! So on the way home, I'm thinking I could just rest and do nothing, but the temperature was quite mild today, so after a brief stop at home, I went to Waterfall Glen and ran about 3.5 miles and walked about 3.5. I felt fine doing it (albeit not too fast running--maybe 10mpm), and didn't immediately feel tired when I finished. But then about an hour later, I was like FUCK I'M TIRED! And I could feel my quads telling me maybe I should have rested but oh well. So I stretched and rolled and poked and massaged everything thoroughly and I am now being a lazy bum.

I was admonished to mention a long-lost friend, Susan Airheart, who I met at IMLP 2009 and saw at IMLOU just last week! She's a great lady and is one of the few people I actually consider taking advice from! On that subject--I've chosen a formal mentor for myself--William Pruett--because he knows his shit about all things triathlon from Ironman on up, and he's been a good friend for over 10 years. Between the 2 of them and my coach, Nick, I think I am going to do well these next few months.

But first a 50k! In Vegas!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Excessive Ironman Spectating

When this is most of your laundry from TWO DAYS of training and spectating, I think it means you're doing it right!

I love spectating at an Ironman race and supporting friends and strangers! However, I always end up training/exercising more than I have scheduled for myself and end up in a calorie hole the day after.

On Sunday, the day of Ironman Louisville, I took in:

  • a Balance Bar (about 225 calories) and a hard-boiled egg (about 72 calories) for breakfast. 
  • I drank 24 oz. of Infinit (about 240 calories) while running and walking before and during the swim (until about 8:30)
  • I drank 2.beers mid-day (1 prior to driving around the bike course and one with lunch) for about 280 calories
  • I had 2 fish tacos, a good number of chips and salsa, a little bit of refried beans and about 1/3 cup of rice for lunch. I'm guessing 600 calories?
  • I did not eat dinner, but at the end of the day had some really good pretzels with sinful cheese dip. Let's say 300 calories.
Well that's a problem--that only adds up to about 1700 calories taken in for the day. I need at least 1800 just to survive without exercising.

The KNOWN exercise (there was more walking, but how much who knows?) that I did:
  • 1 hour of running
  • 1.5 hours of walking (probably more). This was the deliberate stuff that I actually measured. I'd planned on 30 minutes, but then Shelley and I walked back to our hotel from the race site.
  • 19.5 miles of biking. Let's call that an hour
Let's say I burn 500 calories/hour for the running and biking and 320 for the walking. So I burned about 1500 calories that I know of. Huh. BAD CALORIES INTAKE!!! So at the end of the day, I was at least 1500 calories down. I probably depleted most of my glycogen reserves.

On Monday morning, I ate another Balance Bar and an egg, then I had a McGriddle when we stopped on the way from Louisville to Indianapolis. As I was driving from Indianapolis back home, I drank a 24-oz. bike bottle of Gatorade. I got home and felt sated and not hungry. Then I went for a swim. 2800 yards. I drank maybe 4 oz. of Gatorade. As soon as I got out of the pool, I was like hmm...I think I'm bonking. And I was. I drank some more Gatorade, showered, managed to stretch for 5 minutes in the sauna then I rushed home to eat. That was the point I realized I was physically tired, too! So while I thought I might get in a short run, I decided it was best to just bag it for the day and give my legs some rest. It's been 13 days since I didn't run, walk or bike on a given day!

Last week, I put in 39 miles of running, 20 miles of walking, 78 miles of biking, 10,300 yards of swimming and about 1:45 of strength training. Well no wonder the fuck I was bonking yesterday after spectating for a day!  I should really know better by now to try and eat even more when I am doing that. I did OK for breakfast and the big lunch, but dinner FAIL. It's just hard to stop for dinner when you are busy looking for people you know and cheering on the strangers! That's ok--it's well worth the sacrifice! Note to self: next time I do this, at lunch I will get a sandwich to carry and eat later. 

Today, I'm back on my game. I am actually tapering this week for my 50k, although I am racing a 1/2 marathon on Saturday and doing a 5k as a fun run on Sunday. I want to do well at the 1/2 marathon, even though I'm swimming 5k the day before. Such is my life! Also, unfortunately, I will be attending a funeral for a friend's son who just passed away. It is things like that that make me so grateful for the life I have.

Speaking of grateful, last Friday I decided it was time for me to knuckle down once I was back from Louisville. So today I wrote 10 things for me to do on the big mirror in my bedroom. They are probably a little hard to read:
what with the light and mirror and all. What they say are:
  1. No more candy. I am giving the rest away. I really don't need it at all. See #2.
  2. >Fruit which means eat more fruit. I have not been eating enough.
  3. Quit being fat. Yes, I can stand to lean out a bit more. If I do #1 and #2, that will take care of this.
  4. Read! I have so many books that are unread or started. I don't really WATCH much TV, but I have it on, so I will focus more on just turning the damn thing off and reading the books! The 2 I am going to finish up are "Life of a Triathlete" by Meredith Kessler and "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" by Richard P. Feynman.
  5. Go Hard! 
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Be Grateful
  8. Love
  9. Don't Give a Fuck
  10. Win!
That about covers me through at least January; probably more like March! At that point, I suspect I'll be in some pretty intensive training and I should be able to cross out #1 and #3. #4 might go by the wayside, too, but the rest should remain pretty much constant.

I am happy I'm not traveling out of town for 3 weeks. Even though I'm racing this weekend, and my birthday is the following weekend, not spending hours driving and being away from home will give me some much needed rest. And I can focus more on my own training and racing. I still have planning to do before this weekend's racing, and of course, for the 50k. But that's fun stuff! Today (aside from what I've already accomplished) I get to run and bike, and I'm breaking in new running shoes. That will be fun! Of course, obsessing about races burns calories, so I'll stay on top of that, too!

Have a great day and week!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Let's Keep This Thing Rolling!

Let's see--my last post was on Friday. A lot has happened since then! On Saturday, I ended up running on the treadmill for 2:10 and covered just over 12 miles (so nice, easy pace), and then I walked 6 miles in 1:20. I had fun while I was on the treadmill at my YMCA, and periodically had visitors, so I asked one guy to snap a picture of me:
I think I ate everything in sight once I was home! My legs were sore, but I expected that!

Then on Sunday, I went to Greene Valley so I could do my second long run in the flats and then end by walking up and down the big 1-mile hill. Only I really ended up more or less running up and down the hill! My flatness running time was about 9.5 miles in 1:30 and then I did another about 5 miles up and down the hill in :57. I had a great time on Sunday, too--the weather was great, and I tested out some other equipment that I might use in my 50k this month--I forgot I had the awesome trail hat. It has a skirt, but I didn't need it on Sunday. And I wore the arm coolers--not sure I will need them, but they felt nice on a cool day. And of course the Fuel Belt loaded with Infinit. Here I am all decked out:

The above pic is while I was running in the flats. Here I am at the top of the hill. I ditched the Fuel Belt and just carried a 12-oz. bottle. What a gorgeous day it turned out to be!

So for the weekend, I put in a total of about 32 miles on my feet. Just over 50k! A FANFUCKINGTASTIC RUNNING WEEKEND!

On Monday, my legs were predictably trashed, but I still managed some good training. I swam 2900 yards in the morning, and it felt great. I did 10 minutes of water running when I was done, and that felt great on my legs. After I ate something (it seems I am always eating something!), I decided that actual running was not in the cards, so instead I walked 4.5 miles in just over an hour. I enjoyed it! I was dressed as if I were going to run, and I'm sure it puzzles people to see me just walking dressed that way. Then, just after lunch, I did 30 minutes of strength training. I need to stay on top of that!

On Tuesday, my legs were still a bit rough, but I figured I'd be good running as long as it wasn't the treadmill or pavement. I did 21 minutes of strength training in the early morning, then I did about 1.5 hours of yard work (cutting down perennials and bundling the stems), then I suited up to go running. I headed to Greene Valley again (I LOVE that place!), and parked at the Dog Park and ran from there. The objective was to run for 50 minutes, but I ended up going for 55 minutes because I made a wrong turn at one point, which made me laugh! My legs were a tad sore but nothing bad. I got home, ate something (AGAIN!), and then I headed out to bike on Death Machine for 1:30. I don't think I rode very hard, but I sure was happy to be on a bike again!

Yesterday I was scheduled for a 2900-yard swim, a 1:30 run and an hour of walking. That's a lot for a day, and in retrospect, I should have used Infinit on the run. Keep reading!

Here is the sky in the morning. Beautiful! It portended a great day, and a great day it was!

I did the swim, and it went quite well. Every swim I do I use paddles for at least 1200 yards. It keeps me strong. After I swam, I was really hungry, so I had a Hot Pocket. My body feels very revved up now--I am just moving A LOT! Then I mowed the lawn. Even though it's not what I consider exercise to mow, my body is in the mode that ANY MOVEMENT IS A FUCKING WORKOUT, and in retrospect I should have eaten more before I ran. But I drank a Coke next.

Then I headed to Waterfall Glen. In the back of my mind, I was thinking if I felt good enough I could extend the run to 1:45 which would mean I could run less on this Saturday, but that didn't happen. I did an out and back to Mile 3, and when I was just 2 miles in I felt light-headed. I did a body check--am I sick? NO. Am I dehydrated? NO. Must be lack of calories. At least I knew it. When I got back to my car, I ate a gel, drank half a bottle of water and chugged more Gatorade. Then I headed back out going clockwise (backwards!) and was going to just run 3 more miles, but I got motivated to get some of my walking done during this stretch. So I ran out for about 1.5 miles, then I walked about a mile out, walked about a mile back, and then finished running. Finally, I walked another 2 miles. During the second stretch, it got quite warm out and the sun finally came blazing out! As it was, I got some more suntan, and it felt good! All in all, I covered 9.2 miles running in 1:30 (a nice, easy pace for me) and just over 4 miles walking in 1:01. A good day on the feet!

When I was back at my car the final time, I finished the bottle of water, chugged some more Gatorade and ate a piece of string cheese I had in the cooler. I got my bottle of Endurox R4 out of the cooler for the drive home.

On the way home, I stopped at Brookhaven Market to pick up some salmon caviar that I have become addicted to. When I was on my way in to the store, a man going to his car saw me and I heard him say, "What the hell!" I think he was just reacting to my mirrored sunglasses and the neon green hat that are in the picture above from Sunday's run. It made me laugh. I suppose I looked like some kind of alien being! Either that or I looked like the biggest badass that man had ever seen. Honestly, I think there are times when I DO look like that! I guess I wasn't smiling much at the time because I WAS FUCKING HUNGRY! Never get in my way after I've been working out for hours and I'm hungry.

I finished the Endurox R4 on the way home, then I showered (BEST SHOWER EVER!), ate some caviar and then a Lean Cuisine and had a beer. Then I did some more light yard work after donning compression tights. While I felt overall tired, my legs did not feel too bad! And they don't feel bad at all today! They were a little stiff when I first got out of bed, but there is no quad soreness!


Today I just have a 1:30 ride, and I will probably ride LGL if it's nice outside. If not, then I'll do a Sufferfest video on the trainer. I will do :30-:45 of strength training and get organized for the weekend.

On Saturday, I'm scheduled for a 2 hour run and 1.5 hours of walking, but then I'm driving for hours, so I think I'll walk 45 minutes today so I only have to walk 45 minutes on Saturday. I signed up for this virtual run where the entry benefits bone marrow recipients. I get a bib (below) and a medal! I want to get this done on Saturday, so however long it takes me to run 13.1 miles is what I'm going to do!
I will wear the bib while I'm running whether it ends up being on a treadmill at my YMCA or outside somewhere. If I run outside, I suspect I'll go back to Waterfall Glen so I can get in another dose of hills. I LOVE FUCKING HILLS!!! Well, not really all the time, but I try and alternate flat and hilly. And yesterday had some hills, but I NEED MORE HILLS!!!

I seem to be in a training groove right now--at some level, I can't believe I'm able to do all this--but on another, I've been going at it for years, so I should be able to do this. I won't really know the outcome of any speed improvements until next week when I actually race another 1/2 marathon--that will be interesting! In the meantime, I just need to keep eating constantly to fuel the machine! Time to eat again!