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.