Friday, February 27, 2009

Ho, hum

Not much new to report. The training is still pretty easy (I'm sure I'll look back at this later and laugh at how good I had it), and the scheduling has worked out pretty well. The early part of the week is still a little tricky for some reason, but I'm sure I'll get into a flow soon enough. I'm also trying to figure out where I can slide in some strength training, as the training plan doesn't really provide for any. Migh have to be Mondays (the so-called "rest day").

My left shoulder is a little wonky, which I think is from the swimming. Just a little soreness, but I'd hate for it to get any worse. We're swimming tonight, and I'll probably cut it short if it starts getting too bad. Pfft.

I did a 45-minute run this morning that started pretty blah, but turned around by the time I was about 15 minutes in, and I finished strong. Nice way to start the day.

Have a great weekend, kids!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Today: Rest day
Tuesday: 30-minute run (Zone 2); 2,000-yard swim
Wednesday: 30-minute bike (Zone 2); 15-minute run brick
Thursday: 45-minute run (Zone 2)
Friday: 30-minute bike (Zone 1, 100+rpm); 2400-yard swim
Saturday: 90-minute bike (Zone 2)
Sunday: 60-minute run (Zone 1/2)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

So far, so good

Well, we're a full week in (only 29 left to go!) and everything's going fine so far. Actually, better than fine, since the workouts in the plan have been generally less strenuous than what we were doing just to get ready for the plan. If that makes any sense. But it's definitely nice to have some guidance, rather than just winging the details week-to-week.

Today was just a 45-minute run, which I oprobably did a bit too fast (it was only supposed to be a Zone 2 run), but it felt really nice to spend some time outside - cold, but sunny with nothing but blue skies. We swam again at the college pool on Friday night, which was also great - about 2400 yards, which went by really quickly. We may hold off on the Masters action for a bit, as our gym looks like it will continue to sponsor a once-per-week session (like the two that we've already done) on a weekly basis through March. The plan only calls for twice/week swims, so this might work out of us.

Yesterday we did an hour in the saddle (watched highlights from Lake Placid '08, where it rained pretty much all day - yuck), and tomorrow may be another swim. I'm still trying to work out the best possible schedule, so there may be a bit of tweaking still. The volume is still light enough that I may go without a total rest day for another week or two, just so I don't have to double up workouts mid-week. Scheduling-wise, it's much easier to get to the gym once a day, and I don't really feel like a rest day is needed quite yet.

Anywho, cheers and good luck to my fellow triathletes and whoever else is out there chasing a goal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And we're off!

Well, the 30-week death march, err, training plan, has officially begun. And, sure enough, there's already been a modification or three thrown in. Nothing major, just flipping a couple of days because of scheduling issues (ie, we'll be doing our long runs on Saturdays and riding long on Sundays, where the plan has it reversed).

The plan also has Monday as being a rest day every week, and I'm debating swapping that for another day for no other reason than I can usually fit a workout into my schedule on a Monday easier than, say, a Wednesday or Thursday. But I don't want to mess up the flow of the plan, so I'm still thinking about it.

We're also thinking of joining the Masters swim program at that college pool I posted about earlier. They have a 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. (gulp!) session every weekday, and Cath is interested in joining since our regular pool is going to be out of service for at least a couple more months. I was hesitant at first, mostly because of the added expense and some slight anxiety over being the slow kid in the Masters group, but now I'm warming to the idea. I'm thinking that the group atmosphere and set workouts will be way easier to stomach than solo swims in the Old Man Pool, and may end up making me a better swimmer, to boot. We wouldn't go every day, so the early mornings wouldn't be too bad. So we'll probably head over there some morning next week to check it out.

Today is a 30 minute ride followed by a 15 minute run brick workout.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mini pool

So, despite a goodly amount of time talking (aka complaining) about swiming, I may not have mentioned that our condo building has an indoor swimming pool. I failed to mention it previously because 1) it just opened a couple of weeks ago, and 2) it's tiny. Not tiny like a wading pool, but still pretty small. Like maybe 30 feet long. Because of these facts, I haven't been up there to test it out, but because I have the day off, I thought I'd give it a try so as to avoid a trip to the Old Man Pool.

Honestly, it wasn't that bad. Lots of turns, of course, but I had the thing to myself, the temperature was fine, and I was able to get in 30 minutes (split into two equal segments) without dying of boredom. Now, 30 minutes is admittedly a pretty meek little swim workout, but it's still nice to know that we have a back-up pool available for brick workouts and whatnot.

Yesterday, I did 45 minutes on the treadmill at 8:30pace and a 1 percent grade with three hills thrown in to keep it interesting (5 minutes each, increasing from 1 percent to 5 percent grade). Tomorrow I'm back on the trainer for 90 minutes. Sunday well be out of town, so probably an hour run.

Our 30-week training extravaganza officially kicks off on Monday (or, rather Tuesday, since he has Monday as a rest day)!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Faux spring weekend report

Chicago is notorious for providing its inhabitants with sporadic glimpses of good weather, typically near the end of a traditional winter season, but sometimes smack-dab in the middle of the Cold Months. I call this the faux Spring - it's glorious while it lasts, but almost heart-breaking when the temps dip again and we're once again ankle-deep in snow and below-zero wind chills.

This weekend was a nice example of a faux Spring - decidedly warmer (almost 50), the air smelled good, and you could almost convince yourself that summer really is out there somewhere. It felt great. Probably won't last, but it was/is such a nice break from the bleak winter days.

Training went well, too - I rode the trainer for an hour Saturday (the wind was pretty fierce, and roads pretty sloppy, or I would have busted out for a real ride), and Sunday was an hour run followed by a 2500 yard swim at the local college pool.

The swim was, by far, the highlight of the weekend. Seriously. That pool was soooooo nice. They don't have it situated in 50 meter lanes yet, but the water was a perfect temperature, and swimming with other people is just so much nicer than trying to drag yourself through a series of sets all by your lonesome. It was wonderful. The wife had a good time, too, so we'll definitely be back.

I'm going to hit the gym this afternoon for a strength session.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Well, I had the VO2 max test performed today, and let's just say I hope the results are off, or else I'm no where near as fit as I was in December of 2005 (when I had the last one done). I'm probably going to re-test next week and see if it's me or the machine that's off. Pfft.

Other than the test, itself, I didn't work out today. Wednesday I did an Expresso ride with Drew, and yesterday was a rest day. Tomorrow will be a long-ish ride and Sunday is looking like a long-ish run and then a swim at a local college pool (50 meters!). They're saying we might hit 50 degrees on Sunday!

We're also just over a week from the start of the 30-week training plan, and I'm excited to get a little structure put into my workouts. I like (and miss) the feeling that I'm actually exercising for a particular purpose, as opposed to just working out to stay fit (or not fit, if the VO2 max scores are to be believed).


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Karma 1, John 0

Well, I guess karma really is a bitch.

No sooner do I bad-mouth the notorious Old Man Pool at my gym (see below) than the 25-yarder gets closed indefinitely for repairs. Nice. Apparently, the accoustical tiles that line the ceiling have been corroded by chlorine fumes and are threatening to fall into the water. So they have to be re-attached. I belong to a pretty upscale gym, so you can imagine that there are quite a few unhappy campers who are just as distressed as I am over the thought of being chained to the Old Man Pool for who knows how long.

But, whatever. Life goes on. I was back in there yesterday, and shared the lane with a middle-aged woman doing all manner of locomotion - swimming a little breast stroke, walking (front-ways and side-ways), and even a bit of freestyle. Then she left and was replaced by the baggy basketball shorts-wearing guy who wanted to do nothing but 40-yard intervals. One after another, tearing through the lane like a madman.

It was an entertaining session, to say the least. Hopefully, the main pool will re-open within the next few weeks, but I'm afraid swimming will be a lot more challenging until that happens.

The weekend was good - Saturday was a 90-minute trainer ride watching Tivo'ed coverage of IM CdA and IM Arizona (with its 17 percent attrition rate!). Sunday the wife and I ran with Drew for around an hour along the Lake. Temps were in the 20s, and it was very peaceful out there. A civilized temperature, really. Clear skies and no wind.

Today it's back to 1 degree. Go Chicago :(