Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back in Denver

Welcome back from the holidays! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, or whatever you may be celebrating at this time of the year. It is always good to get away from the daily grind and visit with friends and family. If you're like me, there will never be enough time to catch up with everyone, and this year was no different. So, if I didn't get to see you over the holidays, my apologies. Here's a quick re-cap of the travels.

Jaime and I traveled back to PA on Tuesday the 22nd and got back to Denver Sunday the 27th. It seemed like a pretty fast trip, except for the travel days, which were long and tiring. We celebrated with some friends on Wednesday night, then Jaime's family on Christmas Eve, my family on Christmas and Jaime's family again on the day after Christmas. My dad made some excellent lasagna on Wednesday for everyone and our traditional Strata on Christmas day. Jaime and I cooked for the day after Christmas. She made her famous meatballs and we both put together 3 pizzas. I think just about everyone went back for some seconds, so I guess the food was OK!

The Christmas week capped off a month of lots of parties, and eating and drinking, which is never good for body composition. All told, from the end of training in October to now, I've put on about 3 lbs. I'm hoping at least 1 pound is new muscle since I have been back in the gym. Still, it's time to shed those 3 back off (the fat ones anyways). Every pound of fat lost can shave up to 3 seconds per mile off of your running times (I'm sure at a certain point there is diminishing returns, but the lesson remains)! So, 3 pounds is potentially 54 seconds in a 10K if my math is correct. That is about the same amount of time that I missed getting top 5 in my age group at nationals last year. No problem finding the motivation to drop those lbs! I'm sure that running while I was home definitely helped keep some weight off - probably almost 1 pound. I'll be honest though, the running wasn't too much fun. It was about 25 degrees for a 9 miler on Wednesday, then it rained for my short 2 mile run on Christmas, and the run on the day after Christmas (8 miles with 4x1 mile repeats at 5K pace with 1/2 mile recoveries) was in a 35 degree rain. The important thing is that I got the runs in. No swimming, no biking and no lifting, and I actually kinda enjoyed it! I'm hoping my body spent the week with the extra calories and reduced volume by recovering.

This week Jaime and I are both back at it. It is time to get a little more consistent, as this is the beginning of the "prep" phase. More on that in the next post, along with some tips, lessons learned, and things of that nature for those of you who are doing your first triathlons this year, or stepping up to a longer distance. Thanks for reading!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in full swing

I've have to admit, I love this time of year. I'm one of those people who doesn't really get sick of the Christmas carols, the holiday cheer, etc even if it does start a little too soon. Jaime and I finished up our Christmas shopping this week and sent everything home to my Dad's house. We've been baking up a storm here - 4 different kinds of cookies, and the tree is up and the house is decorated. I wish we would have been able to make it up to the mountains to ski, but it hasn't worked out for us yet with everything else that is going on. It is hard to believe that Christmas is only less than two weeks away. We can't wait to get home and see everyone.

With all of that, training has taken a bit of a back seat the past two weeks. I've managed to get all of the runs in, as that is the priority now. Usually 2 bikes and 2 swims/week with the 4 runs thrown in. If the details bore you, feel free to stop reading now.

This week was a recovery week on my training plan for the half marathon. So, it consisted of 3 5 mile runs at long run pace (zone 2). Pretty easy week, which was good because it was between 0 and 15 degrees here for the better part of the week.

On the bike I managed a 1 hour zone 2 ride, and today was a 60 min ride with 2x10 mins at lactate threshold/5 min recovery, and then 3x:30 spin ups to 110 rpm. Ideally I'd like to have 3 - 1 hour rides per week, with one ride being a threshold workout, 1 ride of tabata intervals, and one ride with overgear work alternating with high cadence work. To end all three rides I like to put drills in as well.

This week's swim was a 2000 with 12x100 on fastest avg pace which I managed to hold 1:29's. Luckily I haven't lost too much speed since the year ended despite usually skipping one of the 3 scheduled swims/week. The other workout was mixed distance at easy pace and ended with some sprints - 2000 total again. 2000 is about as long as I can take right now without getting burned out.

It's getting close to that time of year where Jaime and I will have to start planning out our year in a little bit of detail. I enjoy it because that means the start of the official training season isn't far away.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Travel, Training, CITC expansion

It seems like the past weeks have flown by. Last weekend Jaime was in South Dakota for a class on a new technique to align your pelvis. She returned on Monday, and I flew to Virginia on Monday to visit the plant where Fruit2Day is made. The trip was good (and quick). I always love to watch manufacturing actually happen. The automation, and coordination of so many different pieces of equipment is simply amazing. Needless to say, it was nice to get back home.

It is pretty typical to have your training somewhat interrupted by travel, and this week was no exception for me. I did manage to get in all 4 runs that were scheduled. 2 runs of 2 miles (easy/recovery runs), one tempo run of 6 miles with 4 tempo in the middle, and one long run of 7 miles. All of the runs felt good despite the travel. I'm giving all of the credit to the Skins recovery/travel socks. They lived up to the billing. My ankles are usually non-existent after flying due to the massive amount of swelling. After this trip, they were like I never got on a plane. Other than the runs, I got in 2 bike rides on the trainer, one weight session at the house, and 1 swim. Next week will be better I hope.

The other exciting part of the past 2 weeks has been the expansion of Colorado Injury Treatment Center. This is the physical therapy/massage therapy/chiropractics clinic that my wife and I own. We have expanded into the suite next door to our existing suite. The wall was knocked down, so we are moved next door until the workers finish up our former space, then we will be in the combined suite. It is exciting to have a lot more space and have the opportunity to build the business up from where it is. We've got lots of ideas of the direction we'd like to go, so I'll keep you updated on how things progress.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great Weather, good running

It's been awhile since the last post. So, what has been happening? Well, we had a huge October snow storm here last week. Over 1 ft in Denver, which is very rare. Unfortunately the mountains didn't get too much. The snow was Wednesday & Thursday, and by Sunday it was all melted. This week we had 2 or 3 days in the 70's. Just can't beat the weather here. Offseason training is going well. Nice to not have too much intensity, and lots more free time. It gives me time to do some cooking, catch up on some reading, etc. Read on for training details and a good butternut squash soup recipe.

2 weeks more of training for the half are in the books. So far, so good. I'm just following a stock plan from runnersworld.com. It is basically an easy, short run, a tempo or track workout, and a long run. As the weeks progress, the mileage goes up and another short easy run gets added. Next week is the first recovery week. I'm finding that my Garmin 310XT is awesome for this; especially the auto lap splits at the miles. It shows me that I tend to run the long and easy runs too fast, and the tempo runs too slow. So, basically, I was spending all my time in the "gray zone", which is not really where you want to be.

Other than the run training, there have been 2-3 easy swims and 2-3 easy bikes each week. Overall volume is very low in both; around 6,000 yards swimming/wk, and about 2.5-3 hrs biking at endurance paces. Strength training is starting to come around, which is a positive sign. I can't believe how weak you become when you stop strength training to focus on the endurance specific training. Next season, I'm going to have to figure out how to keep at least one day of strength training in the plan.

As promised, here is the butternut squash soup recipe. Super easy (even I can do it) and delicious. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1854009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Short lived break, successful day Mtn biking

Well, that plan for complete off-season is kaput. Some friends are doing a half marathon in February in Sedona, AZ, which sounds like fun. 16 weeks starts today. This probably is a good thing since I did considerably less run volume this season due to a nagging IT band problem in my knee. That would leave me 3 weeks after the half to recharge before officially starting the Xterra training for 2010.

I guess I just can't get enough!

More importantly, Jaime and I rode some buff singletrack at Buffalo Creek yesterday. She was a rockstar on her first real mountain bike ride. 10 miles, 2,000+ climbing, pretty solid bike handling on some of the more technical sections. Stoked!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mellow days ahead

Formal training is pretty much wrapped up for the year now that Xterra Nationals has come and gone. Seems a little early to be calling it a year, but I think I'm ready for the break. The past two weeks have just been a little bit of "do what I feel like" exercise. It's pretty nice to be back in the gym and lifting some weights, but wow, have I lost so much strength from a pure weight lifting standpoint.

Jaime just got a mountain bike (Specialized Safire Comp), so we are going to be doing as much weekend riding as possible before the winter gets here. Super stoked that the conversion from roadie to dirt lover has begun!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Have to start somewhere

Well, this is the first post here; I promise improvement will follow. This blog will mostly be about the things I enjoy, maybe some random thoughts for the day, etc. Enjoy.