Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I started off with a well planned week of workouts around traveling for the holidays and it quickly got turned upside down by mother nature.  The initial plan was to leave Minnesota on Thursday to travel to my parents place in Iowa for a few days and then to the in-laws for a few days.  Mother Nature had other plans with a wonderful winter storm brewing.  We decided to leave MN on Tuesday afternoon and drove the full way to avoid heavy snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain, wind, and just about any other cold weather term you can conjure up.  Since I did not bring my bike, and there is no pool within 35 miles, on top of actually getting there, I will be having a very run focused week of workouts. 

I had a great workout on Monday night on the trainer while watching the Kona broadcast I put on the DVR.  I enjoyed watching this, and it provided me much motivation to pedal strong.  Shortly after it finished, as my wife and I were headed to get cleaned up, the following conversation took place:

Her: “Baby, I know you are going to do an IM someday”

Me: “Hah, Yeah you are probably right”

Her: “And I know that you will not be satisfied unless its Kona”

Me: “Hah, Yeah you are probably right” While smiling at her
Her: “And I will support your decision to do that when you want, but could we have a kid first so I can have something to keep me busy while you are doing those crazy workouts?”


It is wonderful to have such a supportive wife.  Thanks baby!  Back to the trainer ride.  I am currently reading Training and Racing with a Powermeter and I am loving every minute of it.  I hope to join this community after the first of the year and take my training to the next level.  The bike ride this week was 1:30 for 27 miles or so.  Nothing extreme, but building as the workout progressed. 

My run on Christmas Eve:

.5 Warmup

6x800 with 400 recovery

imageSome of the interval lengths look a bit off as I was trying to track to the hundredth of a mile on a treadmill that only reads tenths.  I am digging in deeper with SportTracks exploring the details a bit more, quite the powerful tool. 

Hopefully everyone has a safe holiday season, be careful traveling, and I hope that you have been good so Santa can bring you something nice!

Windows Photo Gallery Wallpaper

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, yes I know... Thanksgiving was last week and I am a bit late with this post but what do you do?  It just gives me a good amount to write about.  I did a long run since I had Wednesday off.  This is the first double digit run since the marathon nearly two months ago, and my body was a bit uneasy with the second half of the run.  I saw the forecast said 34 degrees and spotty drizzle turning into rain later in the day, so I set out first thing in the morning as the drizzle had not started.  I took one step outside, and turned around to put on another layer. It is amazing how cold it felt that day!  I started off on the run feeling good, running at a good HR and pace, averaging 9 minute miles on the way out.  I have never run this route before as I was out of town, but found myself running on a paved bike trail through some farm lands and cattle fields.  At one point I thought I needed to use the facilities, and then reconsidered after realizing my gloves were starting to frost over, I would just tough it out and hold it.  Only a few minutes later I saw that the fence next to me happened to be an electric fence, WOW! That could have been a very unpleasant experience.  I suffered back as the winds picked up and I felt my knee get sore and my lower back.  End result 10.2 miles in 1:40.  A bit slow of what I would have liked, but what do you do?  Next time, I am not going to run out 45 minutes and expect to make it back in the same amount of time for a 1:30 run.


Turkey Day!  The day when my willpower begins to be attacked for a solid month and a half.  My family always has much to do with food and socializing, then again how many families are not?  This is the time of year when people see the winter weight begin to stack up and wonder what happened.  As you will see in the coming month, I have a sweet tooth and love the holiday sweets and treats.  Since I have been hovering right around my recent low of 167 lbs, this is a tough part of the year.  I want to continue my fitness journey and drop a few more pounds by trimming off some of the extras and building up some more muscle mass.  I love all the food, but knew this year I was going to save myself for pies.  Obviously there would be pumpkin pie, but my other two favorites, chocolate and banana cream were also going to be available.  Little did I know they would be homemade from scratch (not using jello pudding!)  I purposely did not have seconds on the meal so I could have room for a slimmed down piece of each type of pie.  What a wonderful day!  I must say I am thankful for good cooking.

Sidetrack in the timeline of things, but today, Monday, a local radio station is doing their annual Wish-a-thon where people submit requests to have Christmas wishes granted for someone they know that is in a difficult situation.  Things range from job losses, to illnesses to recent deaths.  Every year this never fails to make me realize how lucky I am with a great family, our health, and overall life situation.  Many days it is easy to overlook the things we take for granted on a daily basis. 

Most of my Black Friday was spent inside, while some people were out chasing deals, I went to the pool for a pretty intense speed work day.  After a warm-up and some technique, I had 16 sets of 50m.  I forgot they were supposed to alternate between RPE 5 and RPE 9.  My sets looked more like 16x50m at RPE 8-9 on 20 seconds rest.  I did some errand chasing and unpacking of Christmas decorations to prepare for the weekend.  We spent some more time with the family and taking care of things around the house and snagging some gifts.   We picked up a new TV, luckily I found something online that beat any price I could find locally by nearly $100.  We picked up a ski/snowboard rack for our trip to Colorado this year since the boys are driving and the girls will be flying.  I also managed to find a sweet set of new skis to replace my older ones that got cracked on my last Colorado trip when I skidded across a boulder in the middle of a groomed run!  The new skis ended up being 2cm shorter than my older skis, so it looks like I am taking a step backwards in skill level, but a shorter pair of skis will allow me to ski the trees a bit more comfortably, especially since they are a bit wider and have some more flex!

Saturday also included a long bike ride.  It called for 2:30, but I cut it short since that is significantly longer than my previous long.  I ended up biking for 1:50 and covering 35.2 miles.  All in all, not a bad ride, the first half I covered 17.6 miles in 51 minutes.  With relatively low winds, I was pleased with this, a fair gain over my last bike ride especially for the length of the ride. Some time in the pool on Sunday and back at it again early this week. 

The holidays and travels make sticking with a schedule difficult, but in order to enjoy all my tasty treats this holiday season, it keeps me motivated.  Again hopefully everyone really takes some time this time of year to count your blessings and enjoy the time with your family!

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