Wednesday, February 29, 2012


As I was sitting on my bike today doing an easier sort of recovery workout I realized that working out at home can be classy or even fancy.

Today's Setup
My little black bike. Tonight he is sporting two Trinona water bottles, a bra, my bike shoes have been permanently left on for the remainder of the winter, and a red training tire for dramatic accents. Stunning.

Of course, every indoor rider here has their own personal air movement machine. This particular one has three speeds so you can not only be comfortable, but if it called for it you could have action shots where your hair is blowing naturally in the wind.

What indoor ride would be complete without some in-ride entertainment? Tonight's feature was a documentary about society's reliance on technology and how in the future, if we're not careful, we may become totally dependent on it to the point of self destruction - The Matrix

So I got on, spun my legs for an hour or so. Some of it was pretty easy, some of it was rightfully hard. I need to figure out a way to get video of the sweat that basically constantly drips from my head. Once tonight I noticed, and I'm pretty sure this isn't an exaggeration, 5 drops of sweat in the air at the same time coming off my head during a three-minute suffer. See what I'm saying? Fancy.

Today's Attire
Even after an hour of working hard, who doesn't have time for a smile? It's really the hallmark of high-society exercising. Here you can see that I am sporting a business casual workout outfit. White polo, because you always want to look you best.

These three show the rest of the body. I did stop to put on some biking shorts, because really when you're on the bike for five or six hours a week you really want to keep that tushy safe. It also goes some way toward helping protect my ability to ensure my lineal line continues as long as I want.

Because I don't think you can fully appreciate the sweating I do by looking at the above pictures, I did what every self respecting socialite would do and put a picture of my sweat soaked bike shorts. Yeah, that's classy, I think this might illustrate why it seems like my wife washes these after every ride.
So there you have it. I'm keeping it classy - classy in Minnesota.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I am feeling worn down by this week. When I looked at the week ahead of time it didn't look that bad, and I'm getting a decent amount of sleep. But, I tell you what, I am feeling it here on the last day. It's almost comical - my legs are sore, my arms and chest are feeling tight, heck even my feet are a little sore. It's like I'm falling apart :)

Here's what the week looked like
  • 90 minutes moderate, make sure to hit some hills to mix it up
  • Swimming - fairly easy sets, 3300 yards
  • Bike
    • 15 minute warmup
    • 7x
      • 4 minutes hard (7 or 8 on a 10 scale)
      • 1 minute easy
    • 15 minute cool down
  • I was so tired after this I dozed off during stretching
  • Swim - moderate sets, my shoulders were ultra tired after this, 3300 yards
  • Run - moderate, 30 minutes
  • Bike - low effort, 30 minutes
  • Run
    • 6x
      • 20 second stride
      • 9:40 moderate
    • 5x
      • 20 second stride
      • 1 minute recovery
  • I was huffing and puffing pretty hard at the end of that one, plus apparently my brain stopped working correctly about 25 minutes in because I got lost and had to modify my route so I'd get back to work at the right time
  • Swim - leveled up for the day, moderate to hard sets, I was totally spent with 300 yards to go, 3600 yards
  • Run - 30 minutes, EASY
Tomorrow has nothing scheduled, I'm going to be as lazy as I can while still letting my wife sleep in :) Next week there's going to be a jump in total time in both bike and run, and some good effort in there too. The good thing about next week is a mid-week rest.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rumble In Prior Lake

It's recently come to light that my SIL (who raced with me last summer) has recently set a new goal that is exactly the same as one of my goals.

A big goal this summer for her - besides doing a bunch of triathlons, running a half marathon, and running a marathon is to win her age group at the Prior Lake triathlon.

Now she and I have been sort of pushing each other, not in that super competitive way, but in that way that helps get you out of bed at five in the morning so that you know you went instead of just taking some extra sleep. It's been fun.

I wish her the best luck, I'm looking forward to seeing what she can do this summer. Maybe we'll both win, maybe only one of us will win, or maybe niether. You know what, the fun part is going to be doing it.

The closer this season gets the more excited I'm getting. There are some big goals swirling around in the air around me.
  • My wife will run her first half and full marathon
  • I will do a couple of half iron distance races
  • My sister will do a couple of half iron distances, and maybe we'll even do some together
  • My SIL will do her first half marathon, Olympic tri, half iron tri, full marathon
 Oh right, and I fully plan on beating the pants off the SIL this summer, bring it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February Resolution : Stretching

The resolution for this month is stretching. The goal is to remember to stretch every day, people tell me I don't stretch enough, and it's probably true.

So here's what happened. Right at the end of January I looked up some stuff about stretching, and much to my surprise I found that there is apparently a debate about stretching and how useful it is...and then I stopped reading. Unfortunately I let my lack of desire to do the activity guide my reading. I should have kept reading, but I didn't.

February Starts
So at the start of the month, I made sure to follow through on the goal since that's my style. I won't deny it though, it's been rough going. I just forget about it, and then I don't even realize that I skipped it until the middle of the day the next day.

Today I decided to look it up again. Basically I was looking for inspiration. So I found this from the mayo clinic. I really wish I would have found something on webmd, which usually I avoid like the plague, because then I could have used this joke. That place could just as easily change their name to "you probably have" since it seems like every time you look something up you could have a cold, or be dying of a rare cancer. Great, thanks!

That article is a slide show, which in general sucks, so here's the general run down. Go there if you want pictures of a few common stretches. If you're not interested in that, here's the highlights I pulled from the first page
  • Stretching has some benefits, mainly around flexibility. Not specifically around injury prevention which I had previously thought.
  • Do stretching after exercising, not before.
  • Stretching should not hurt
  • Do not bounce while stretching (imagine reaching over to touch your toes, just hold your position, don't bounce to hit the ground)
  • Hold a stretch for 30 seconds, and do both sides (e.g., left leg, right leg. Don't stretch just one side.)
Half Way Through February
So I'm recommitting to stretching, to get the benefit of extended range of motion. That has some benefit in daily life. For instance when my father was getting older, he couldn't really turn his head from left to right, it would be nice to avoid that.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

WITL : Saturday

Awake. Current temp is -1 with a -15 windchill. The wife and SIL have a 5k today, they're brave!

SIL went to the 5k, we did not. Mixed emotions, but it really does seem to cold to be outside running.

Also, just took a shower and fell asleep sitting in the bathroom afterwards.

Out at lunch with the family. Going to go get some fish after this.

Got some new fish. Today I've basically been napping on and off every time I get a chance. Just woke up from one :)

Played with the kids, made dinner, cleaned the fish tank now off to the grocery store.

Days off from training are pretty relaxing :)

Went to the store, came back the wife was sick for a short while, so I took the littlest for a bit. Thankfully the wife recovered and I was able to put the groceries away. I also chipped in a d made some frosting for cookies.

Finally, got sucked into SNL again. New week coming up. Maybe I'll get a little more sleep.

There you have it, a week in the life. I think I got all but 45 minutes of workout in, but still chipped in around the house, played with the kids a bunch and hung out with friends.

Friday, February 10, 2012

WITL : Friday

Awake - super sleepy

Out of the pool

300 warm up
5x50 kick 1:05
5x50 drill 1:00
5x50 build :55
1x50 DPS
150/100/50 Fast
50 ez

Make your own pizza night. I contributed by cutting some junk up.

Had a great night with friends. The make your own pizza was surprisingly tasty.

Need to get on the bike. My energy is fading quickly

Off the bike.
15 minutes RPE 3
30 minutes RPE 3 - aero

Holding aero that long was a challenge. I should get a bike fitting this year.

Tired, bed time

Making Progress

The other day I was chatting with someone at work about working out and staying fit, and getting/staying motivated. I'm relatively competitive with myself and want to do better than I did before. I often compare myself to others, and while I don't usually feel "down" if I'm not as good as they are, it does usually get me thinking about how to get better. Those are my primary motivators.

That, I assume, doesn't work for everyone. I usually tell people that the way to stay motivated is to have concrete goals. And usually this is in the form of some sort of event. In my opinion having a hard target on the calendar is probably the best motivator to just get out there. Now I'm not saying that you should sign up for the next 5k and set your sights on winning, or setting a new personal best time. But I am saying that for many signing up will be enough motivation to at least go out on your own a bunch of times between now and then so you at least feel like you've given it some sort of effort. It may peter off a little, but then you sign up for the next one and the process starts again. It's fun, or at least it should be fun, if it's not fun, stop thinking about it, because it's supposed to be fun :)

Then today I got to thinking, there's a small flaw in this little plan, not everyone's going to want to sign up for a race every month. Maybe they don't like racing, maybe they can't afford it, maybe they don't do triathlons in the middle of winter in Minnesota. I'm sitting here thinking, here I am, middle of February, shooting for a goal of a first race at (hopefully) full race pace all the way in May... What keeps me going?


Step 1 - Go

Workout Schedule January - February
I'm going to give myself some credit, this is a pretty decent looking schedule.
  • Blue is running
  • Red is biking
  • Yellow is swimming
I could show you December's calendar, but it's easier to just say, it's sparse. November, even more sparse, October, blank. So, just that fact that I'm getting out there and doing stuff is a motivator.

Step 2 - Acknowledge Improvement

A tale of two runs - same course
These two runs say two things
  1. I'm running faster 
  2. My body isn't working as hard to maintain that faster speed as it was to go slower
I can now run the same distance I ran before in less time, and feel less tired when I'm done. A little secret about the run on the right? It's a recovery run, I stopped to walk for a minute in the middle. Not so on the left.

One more - because it makes me feel good
Two more runs - different courses
These two runs are pretty similar, similar pace, similar effort. The difference? The one on the left was run at the end of last season heading into a 10k PR, the one on the right was last week a full 2 months before the season starts.

Final Thoughts
Stuff like this keeps me going. I've established goals for this year (here, and here, and probably some other places), I took some time off so I would appreciate the effort I'm putting out there (here - again, and here and I probably droned on about it at the end of last year) and refresh my brain.

So food for thought, if you're having trouble keeping going, just do the steps

1. Go (and recognize that's better than not going)
2. Acknowledge Improvement
3. Rinse and Repeat
4. Reap the rewards