Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I had an article written that described my thoughts on optimistic vs. pessimistic outlooks based on our current political and economic situation. I couldn't pull the trigger on it because I was basically just validating my optimistic perception and my focus on rather trivial things while telling others who seem to be licking their wounds from 2008 how to put on a smile and march ahead. I don’t want to minimize what some people are going through. I’m thankful that my situation is great, partially because I don’t put a large emphasis on monetary and material possessions, and partially because my family and I are in good health. I’m optimistically looking forward to many things on the horizon.
So what’s the latest?
Christmas was fun and not at all stressful. We kept it fairly modest (as always) and managed to stay home for the entire holiday. That’s the great thing about having kids … you can use them as bait to draw the grandparents to you instead of having to travel. Sometimes you have to play hardball, but in the end they will cave!! Santa brought me a used treadmill that was purchased from a friend of mine for $75 dollars because the digital display doesn’t work. My workouts come as RPE so actual numbers aren’t important … only feel + time. If it bothers me too much to not know my pace, I will get a foot-pod for my Forerunner 305, but so far I’m good with it as is.
Training is going well. I haven’t taken a day off since the 26th of November yet I feel very fresh. The last two weeks have had over 17 hours of training and my lightest week this month had 14.5 hours. My running health continues to restore. I actually have a 1 hour run this week! Swimming is going great. I’m looking forward to a substantial improvement over last season. We’ll see what the bike fitness looks like if I can find a way to get out and ride with JB and crew. Looks like those boys go pretty hard!
My body has been responding well to the training load this month and I’m starting to look lean and mean again. It’s funny that I actually gained weight in the buildup for the ironman. I think I was eating for the Ultraman! I’ll do a body comp soon to tell for sure but I would guess that I’m around 8% body fat now which is how I raced for most of last year. This is still a bit heavy for my liking. If I can exercise a little will power in my choice of foods I think I can get to around 6% without too much trouble. This is where I would like to be for the upcoming race season.
Work is work. I hope when the kids get in school my wife can pickup a few more group fitness classes or personal training clients which would allow me to work part time instead of full time. Colonial is supportive of this in the IT department and it would fit my lifestyle much better. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Monday, December 22, 2008
Start on the ground like this…hold for 5-10 sec…alternate legs and repeat 5-10 times… hips need to be level…butt in…nice and straight like a beam!
Next progression as you get better..use a ball and do the same kind of exercice…balance on one legs and lift the other one…my butt should but in more!!! Always keep strong and nice posture…!!
Same thing…but on the front! Lift one leg..keep for 5 sec…repeat alternating legs…5-10 times…challenge yourself until it burn well…
Hold this position from 5 sec…repeat 5-10 times…alternating legs on the floor… nice posture again…butt in…hips level!
I call them whales! Lift both legs and arms…repeat 2X12….
More exercice of balance to do when done…as a cool down… lifting the leg at the front, then on the side, then backyard…a few more pic of the same exercice…
More Core Stability, Strengthening and Stretching
This next set of exercises came from Chris Olson ...
Stretch. I do 10-15 min of stretching. I make sure to get the quads and hammies really stretched out. I always do this before any strength work.
I don’t do all of the following every night, but as I have more troubles, I do more.
1. Ankle weights. Lying on my back with 10# ankle weights on, I raise each leg 6-10” off the floor keeping the leg straight. I do 10-12 reps and 3 sets for each leg. Next I lie on my side and raise the leg in the same manner for the same sets. Then I lie on the other side and do the same. I finish by lying on my stomach and do the same. You’re targeting the small muscles around the hip joint.
2. Resistance band. I lie on my side with a resistance band (big rubber band) around my knees with my knees bent at about a 30* angle. I lift my knee with my feet together…kind of like a clam opening if that makes sense. I do 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each side. Again targeting the muscles on the outside of the leg near the hip.
3. Ankle bands. I really can’t describe this one well…wearing ankle bands I take big sweeping steps across my living room. [EDIT: I took this to mean the monster walk]
The other thing I make sure I do everyday and before each run is the runner's stretch
Loosen Dense Muscle and Breakup Scar Tissue
For these I use both ART treatment from our local practitioner, Dr. Renick, on a regular basis and I do Trigger Point therapy. For the TP therapy you don't necessarily have to use their specific tools. You can substitute a tennis ball or ball of duck tape for the TP massage ball and you can use a hard foam roller, rolling pin, or PVC pipe in place of the quadballer and footballer. I'd recommend ordering the Hip Dysfunction Kit if you want the Cadillac version.
The main focus of these treatments should be on the hip and calf as the IT band pain in the knee is only a symptom of a problem somewhere else in the kinetic chain. Read this and click on all the links: http://www.tpmassageball.com/quaddisfunction.php?sym=24
Quick Update (2-09-09)
It's been a few months and I'm happy to report that my running form has never been better ... even setting a few PRs. I wanted to add a few helpful items ...
Dynamic side plank (very important to lift the hip up and down 20 times each side x 3)
Crunches on ball (front and each side 30 each x 3)
Awesome article from Joe Friel on the importance of core strength for running and specifically how weak core muscles cause ITBS even in runners with a neutral gait: http://www2.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/02/running-and-core-stability.html
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
From Setup events:
We are currently planning to add two new events to the SCTS schedule. Both will be pool swim sprint distance events with one being planned for downtown Columbia and the other being held near downtown Greenville. Full details on both these events will be posted to the web site once all details are in place. The downtown Columbia event is scheduled for Saturday March 28, 2009 while the Greenville event is scheduled for Saturday June 27, 2009.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Am I freak? Why does triathlon dominate my thoughts??? All I can say is that I love the sport and everything about it. Okay, well, that's just the way I am I guess.
Jonathan is kicking my butt into shape in the pool, although my workouts seem meager compared to some. For me they are good. This week was four 3km workouts for 12,000 meters total. There were some mentally challenging sets in there. I feel myself getting fitter and I can tell that I am getting faster. I had a goal to get faster in the water this winter and I think this is happening. Paris Island will be the first true test.
Running is still coming back slowly. It's two steps forward one step back with this IT band injury. I had a question posted in the comments of my last post about my claim to beating ITBS. Unfortunately I don't have a definite answer just yet. I'm getting better but it's a slow process. As soon as I know I'm over it for sure I'll post a list of everything I tried and what worked and what didn't. Jonathan is sending over some core work for me to do that he describes as "a challenging stability workout...very annoying and painful" - I'm looking forward to it!! On the positive front I managed to get through a 5 1/2 mile run in 40 minutes today without resorting to a run/walk mix, although I did have to stop and stretch 4 or 5 times. I think that put me over 20 miles for the week! :-) I used to say that I didn't like running. I'll never say that again ... I guess sometimes you don't know how blessed you are to be able to do something until that thing is taken away!
On the bike front the 09 Scotts have been delayed until February so I'll be hanging onto the 08 Plasma for a while longer as I don't like to be reduced to just a road bike. I'm looking forward to the ride around the lake on Jan 4th.
The family is doing well. The kids are getting AMPED for Christmas. Speaking of amps, that is something my son wants for Christmas so he can really crank up his electric guitar - lucky us :-) The girls want an assortment of horse related stuff including large stuffed horses and My Little Pony stables, the Bratz horse, etc, etc, etc. If it's horse or dance related, they'll take it! I'm thinking about letting my son take karate lessons. He and I watch a little Van Dam classic last night and before long he was down to his Sponge Bob boxers doing flying karate kicks to the couches and pillows at 90 miles per hour.
Anyone know why old people whistle so much in the locker room? If your old and are heading to the water aerobics class (redundant??) then chances are when you hit the locker room you're going to rip off whatever golden oldy is floating around in your head. This totally kills my pre-swim mental build up and post-swim mental cool down. Would you mind people?????
Work is crazy as always. We will be pushing the final iteration of a major release of our software (Harmony version 7.0) this week to QA. This may mean some nights working until 7:00pm if necessary. I'm proud of the work my team and I did for this release!
My goal for next week ... stay the course - put in another solid week of training and continue to get back to health with my running.
Friday, December 5, 2008
It been great getting back into training lately. My coach is awesome and has done a great job of maximizing every minute of my available training time! This week will have somewhere around 16 hours of training (when you add in a few hours of strength work). I'm sooooo happy to be running again pain free!! Never again will I have ITB - I've learned my lesson and will keep my strength in balance and stay flexible.
Swimming has been going well but also kicking my butt. When I add in my swim from last Sunday, I've swam 12,500 meters in my last five session over the past 6 days. I was struggling to get through my cool down set today!? The suffering is okay by me because I am feeling my swim fitness getting elevated.
I'm registered for a few races for next year. I'll do the B2B full again which I consider a "practice" ironman and will be my "A" race of the year. The long term goal is to qualify for the World Championship in 2010. To do this I need to be able to go sub 9:30 on a flat course (somewhat slower on a hilly course). I think that is a stretch for 2009 so we will use this year to learn the distance better and get faster before I attempt to qualify the following year. As part of the preparation for the B2B I will do the 70.3 race in Augusta. I decided to go with this one instead of the SC Half based on the advice of my coach with the premise that 6 weeks between the races is better than 5. This will give us 2 hard weeks after the half ahead of a 4 week taper. I really want to go 4:30 or below at the half.
Like last year, I intended to get enough series points to win my age group in the SCTS in the first half of the year (March - June). That is unless I decided to get my rear handed to me in the Open division. I have a few running races coming up that should help me make this decision ...
Have a great weekend everyone and GOOD LUCK to all you studly people racing Kiawa this weekend!!!!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Who says the SCTS isn't a competitive series??? If I race in the Open division next year, this is who I'm up against. Hmmm, maybe I should stay age group ...
And look, he's wearing a T-Shirt fron the Run In in G-ville!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Speaking of being out there ... my coach is out in Tempe supporting some fellow athletes and watching the race but made sure I received my plan for next week last night. Today completes my first week of training under a coach and I have to say that I'm really impressed and look forward to what we will accomplish together. Last week was about 10 hours of training which is my normal workload, but the workouts had much more specificity than I ever forced upon myself. The volume is only going to climb from here. The plan is to race the B2B ironman again in 2009 and then get me to Kona in 2010. The first step in making this happen is to get over this ITBS and get my body ready to take on the workload headed my way. That's the main focus right now.
So ... off season is over, it's back to work for me.
Happy Thanksgiving all!!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Fall colors in Lexington county
Horses eating breakfast
The family eating Mexican - pic taken by my son
Dad showing off the south paw inverted chip dip
I get the "crazy eye" after a couple of those big beers
Abby chatting it up
"Mr. Photo" himself
I have another ride scheduled for Saturday morning with my friend Tony. I hope this rain moves on about its merry way. Other than soft pedaling I've done a tiny bit of swimming which included my first set of repeats in months. I was shocked to set training PRs on 100 meter sprints!! How could this be? I've only been doing looooooong distance sets for months at 1:34-8 per 100 meters leading up to Nov 1 and now I'm busting out 100s in the 1:20s ... that's like 1:12 per 100 for you yardage folks !? I hope that's here to stay!!!I finally got a chance to talk (via email) with SCTS bada$$ Jeff Brandenburg recently. He gave me good advice about taking this time off training and the importance of having some downtime to avoid burnout later in the year. Hopefully we'll get together for some training after he gets past the Kiawah marathon (my money is on a sub 3). I'm looking forward to riding with some folks that will push me into anarobic bliss. Wouldn't hurt to have training partners to do the same in the other two sports as well. Last year Bill (who now resides in NC) and I ran together quite a bit and upped each other's game with speedwork at the track and river front trail. There's real benefit in good training partners.
It looks like my new coach has my yearly plan in the works and we'll get started on training plan next week. I haven't yet gotten his take on my stated goals for this year. Will he think I'm delusional? I tend to dream big. This should be interesting ...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Get over ITBS
I may have finally found the root cause. While in Wilmington I had my gait analyzed at Try Sports and we found that I have a substantial amount of over-pronation in my right foot (the same side as the knee with ITBS). The running world has known for a long time that pronation can be a cause of ITBS because of the ankle's involvement in the kinetic chain of the knee and hip.
My plan for getting rid of ITBS is 3 fold:
- Continue stretching
- Correct the over-pronation with the shoes or orthotics. Since my other foot does not over-pronate, I'm hesitent to go the stability shoe route because of the effect it may have on side with the "good" knee. I've been told by two people now to go see some eccentric guy in Greenville that custom cuts Nike's from a little store called the Run In. I'm going there in the next week or two to get my next pair of shoes. We'll see what he says and then I'll make the call on the orthotics.
- Take 3 weeks off running. My ortho told me to do this 6 weeks ago and I didn't listen. I'm listening now.
With the short-course season coming up I need to get my speed back. This year needs to see sub 6 minute paces off the bike for all my sprint tris. Near that speed for the Olys.
I have a simple plan to get my speed back. I can run a mile at a 5:40 without too much trouble but can't hold it for much longer than that currently. My plan is to simply run that pace (or less) a little longer each week until I can hold 4 miles at sub 6. I'll measure my progress by competing in a few 5ks this winter and a 10k in February. Here's the races I'm targeting:
- Fitness Zone Jingle Bell 5k in Lugoff Dec 13th
- Cold Winter's Day 5k Dec 27th
- Red Nose Run 5k or 10k Jan 17th
- LRAH 10k Feb 27th
My results showed this season that swimming was actually my weakest of the 3 sports. I typically ranked in the top 20%. Not good. I'm at least two tiers from the front of the pack and need to close the gap. My form needs some tweaking to get me there. My plan to find some swim speed is three fold:
- Find a coach to optimize my form. I may see if I can get some time with Janice Thompson.
- Find a training partner who is faster than me. I have an idea of someone I'd like to ask if we can train together. We'll see if he's willing and our schedules match.
- Swim faster. Now that IM is over it's time to push the pace and up my threshold. It's time to bite the bullet and start suffering in the water again.
I need to build and tone all those supporting muscles that don't get targeted by just swimming, cycling and running, especially my core. Cross training and some yoga should help. I'll be looking to get in on some of the group fitness classes here at work this winter to get this done.
Find a coach
I'm seriously considering finding a coach at the moment. I'm pretty serious about triathlon and don't like to leave much to chance.
Build 2009 Tri Schedule
Right now I'm thinking that I'll race as many series events as possible and then do back-to-back 70.3s with the Augusta race and the SC Half the next week. I want to go pretty deep below 5 hours at both races ... around 4:30. That will either lead me into B2B IM again or be the crescendo of my '09 season (unless I somehow qualify for Clearwater at the Augusta race). If I race the B2B IM again I will go below 10 hours.
In 2010 I plan on qualifying for Kona. If you got there via Florida in the 35-39 category this year it looks like you needed to finish in the top 8 of the age group and go below 9:30. It looks like you could go as long as 10:40 at Louisville this year and still get there. That's the long term goal. Get there.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
getting ready to go for a practice swim
feels cold at this point
I really enjoyed the swim and could have stayed in for a long time. The water was very clear for the east coast north of central FL. I could see the bottom the entire time and thought I was shallow, but when I went to go stand I realized I was still very deep and needed to swim another 100 meters before I could stand up.
After the swim it was time to get all the bags together for T1, T2, pre-race, post-race, and bike and run special needs. Then we needed to get the bags and bike checked in by 7:00 PM.
Jennifer was such a huge help. Here she is helping me get my bags stickered.
Putting my bag in the correct bin
It's hard being apart but I'll see you tomorrow my dear
Our heads at dinner. Can't you feel the nervous energy?
Dressed to brave the 37 degree temps
Once I got down to the swim start I put on my wetsuit and began trying to get warm by jogging around. Just as people began heading down to the beach I spotted Jenn who had ridden her bike from the hotel. We walked down the path and between the dunes to one of the most spectacular triathlon scenes I've ever had the privilege of witnessing. The pictures don't do it justice. We were on a large beach with huge dunes that went out to a point with the Atlantic on one side and the channel on the other. It was a vastly open area filled with the a sea of freezing, nervous, wetsuit clad triathletes in bright green swim caps. It was surreal.
Jen and I saying our goodbyes
In the crowd of freezing athletes waiting for sunrise
Even with all our shortcomings, there's no place like the USA!
Dawn. It's almost go time!
Lined up waiting for the horn. You can almost taste the energy.
The pack heads for the channel
Swimming down the channel
The swim leader, a local life guard racing on a relay team. He went 39 and change
The turn at the "wiggly man"
Time to ride
Onto the run
Mile 2.5 still feeing good and finding a good pace
Coming down the chute
Disoriented at this point but glad to be finished
Our view from the breakfast table: surfers. I used to love to do that
Sunset coming into Columbia
In the end I was proud that I was able to finish my first ironman but disappointed that I wasn't able to race to my potential not because of pacing or nutritional mistakes, but because I built my run volume too quickly and brought on ITBS. Now I will take a 3 weeks off running and then rebuild. It's all 5k or less until Festival of Flowers in June of 09. My plan is to build my 5k pace to near 5:40 off the bike so I can compete in the Open division next year. Also, I'm already scoping out my next Ironman. Bring on the '09 season, I have unfinished business!