Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Giving BACK???

Yeah... if you've read this book... the tree gets HOSED!

This is a REALLY popular phrase these days.  People like to throw it around and imply that they are doing things for the greater good.  It completely cracks me up to hear people in the world of triathlon spouting off about how they want to "give back" to the sport.  Can you PLEASE turn down the dramatic violins?   It's nice that you want to promote the sport and encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle... but if you REALLY want to give back... do something that truly has meaning!  I mean, isn't there a hungry kid somewhere that needs a meal?  Or maybe one of those little kids needs help with their reading once a week for an hour? Or MAYBE that dude that you passed by in your SUV while sipping your latte actually DOES need something to keep him warm tonight... pass the guy a coat! Plant a freakin tree!  Clean up a coast-line!  For Christ's sake do something that actually makes a difference!  I'm just sayin... don't act like a saint b/c you're volunteering at a race or organizing a "team" with a bunch of fancy sponsors that give you free shit for being mediocre.  Be a "quiet professional" will ya? (Bigun... you'll get that reference).

Oh, I'm volunteering at IM CdA this year.  So I can freakin TAKE next year!  That's it.  That's the reason I'm doing it.  Oh... and there's also a chance that I get to snuggle with Jay, throw-up on Blink, and give Bigun a wedgie!  But other than that, I'm going up there to learn the course so I can go back and have that little edge over the competition.  Giving back?  PuLEASE.

Whew... sorry bout that.  Thanks for listening.  That's been eating at me for a while.

OK!  SO!  Training stuff!  YEAH!  I'm training.  Today?  2800 yds in the pool and a 45 minute run.  Am I taxed?  Tired?  Drained?  Hell NO!  I'm hungry but that's about it.  The thing is... I'm being introduced to quality... not just quantity.  As I said in my post yesterday... I'm going to have FAITH in the PROCESS!  I'm going to TRUST my coach... and yes Kt... I'm going to breathe...

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you're all doing well, training smart, and making a difference somewhere.

Breathe...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And So It Goes...

I had a conversation with Coach Liz today.  I've never been a very patient guy.  I generally like things to happen yesterday... or at the very least NOW.  I've been concerned about my training and the schedule that she has me on b/c, to be honest, I haven't felt challenged.  To me, a 9 hour training week is, well, lax.  This week I've bumped up to a whopping 10.5 hours... and this is a so called "big" week.  This, of course, is my inexperience talking.  Coach Liz very calmly told me to, "Have faith in the process."  She also said, "Rob, it's March".  Ok.  This is why its important for me to have a coach that knows what she's doing.  Let it be known that from now on I'm going to have, "faith in the process"!  I'm going to TRUST...

Breathe....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

BONEHEAD!

Sometimes you just gotta laugh at your own stupidity!  I misread the swim workout that coach Liz sent me yesterday.  As a warm-up... I did 325 meters alternating swim/drill, then  7 X 350 meters pull with paddles!  Yeah... that's 2,450 meters pulling.... for a WARM-UP!  The entire workout was only supposed to take a grand total of 1 hour and 15 min.  Needless to say I made it through the first 700 of the main set and had to call it quits b/c I ran out of time. Someone with half a brain would have read the warm up, stopped, and said, "Hey... that makes no sense."  Not ME! No sir!  Nope.  Coach said I gotta... so I'm gonna... and you can't stop me.  It was only later in the day when I told her what I did that I found out how wrong I was.  Pretty funny huh?  Yeah... I'm laughing on the inside.  Trust me.  What's really cool is that the afternoon workout included some weights... focusing on swimming muscles... like shoulders.  Now THAT was funny.  Lemme just say that I wasn't pumping massive weights NOR reps.  Good times!

Breathe...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Done and DONE!

First of all... check it OUT!  Spring is definitely here!  Daffodils are a sure sign that winter is coming to an end.  After my bike test I had to pull over and snap a couple of pics

<---- Here ya go K!

Ok... so... the bike test.  It was pouring rain and cold yesterday and the forecast was for the same today.  I decided to take my chances and head out on the road... the thought of doing the test on the trainer completely repulsed me!  I lucked out BIGTIME!  Zero rain, light wind, and mild temperatures!  Here's how Coach Liz wanted me to test:
  • Warm-up: 30 minutes at easy pace 95+ rpms, small ring.  Then 10 min, moderate pace, big ring, 85+ rpms.
  • Test Set: 20 minutes hard as you can in big ring @ 80-95 rpms
  • Cool-down: LONG easy cool-down in zone 1/2
Pretty simple right?  Here's how it went!
  • Total Time: 20:00
  • Total Distance: 7.1 miles
  • Max Cadence: 111 rpm
  • Avg Cadence: 102 rpm
  • Max Speed: 26 mph
  • Avg Speed: 21.4 mph
  • Max HR: 175 bpm
  • Avg HR: 169
To be honest... I have no idea what any of that really means.  Although I do know that the high cadence is my way of compensating for lack of leg strength.  Soooo... need to work on that... shocking I know.  The one thing that I liked seeing was that I was able to keep my Avg HR close to my Max HR for the duration.  Coach Liz seemed to think that that was a good thing during my run test.  I have no idea.  I just listen and obey.

What I'm MOST excited about is that this is the END of the testing!  Now its time to get down to business!  Coach Liz has all the data she needs to tailor my training AND I have some bench-marks to test against in a few weeks!  I'm REALLY looking forward to putting in some real work!  Bring it ELF!

Hope you're all well and getting a little taste of Spring yourself!

Breathe...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

2 Down... 1 To Go...

Swim test today!

Yippeeeeee!  I wasn't terribly freaked out by this test.  I mean... truly... the swim is a VERY small portion of the event right? Essentially... if you're lacking in the swim there's a TON of time to make up on both the bike and the run right?  Having said that... I still want to be fast-swimmer guy.  Ideally, I'd like to come out of the water in 30 minutes or less in a half-iron distance swim or 1 hour or less in a full-iron distance swim. What's more... I want to come out of the water feeling fresh-ish and ready to go!  I've done a lot of work on my swim over the last few months.  If anything, its paid off in that I'm really really comfortable with the water now.  SO... I went into the test not really worrying too much about it... relaxed... ready... smooth is fast, (as my brother says).

Coach Liz had the test set-up as follows:
  • 500 yd warm-up (whatever stroke ya want)
  • 10 X 100 yds all out on 10 sec rest
  • 500 yd cool-down
  • Record total time and then take out the 10 second rest and you have your avg/100 yds
Here's how it went down:
  • Total Time: 14:50
  • Minus RI: 13:10
  • Avg Pace/100 yds: 1:19
  • Avg Pace/100 m: 1:26
So basically what that tells me is that I'm on target for the pace that I want. Wanna hear something really cool though?  This was NOT a stretch for me!  I wasn't tired.  I felt FINE.  I felt relaxed and smooth and strong.  If anything I could have gone quite a bit harder.  I had a TON left at the end.  I'm a happy boy.  I'll be even more happy once I really figure out how to pace a swim more effectively!  YEE HAW!

Bike test tomorrow!  Uhhh... the twigs are ready.

Hope everyone is healthy, happy, and workin hard!

Breathe...

Friday, March 14, 2008

This is what I ate...

last night:
  • 1/2 dozen Kumamoto Oysters
  • 4 pieces of bread
  • 1 plate steamed spinach
  • Ceasar salad minus the huge amount of greasy dressing (is it still a Ceasar?)
  • 1 Escolar fillet on a bed of mixed veggies
  • 8 fingerling potatoes
  • 1  10 oz fillet of beef on another bed of veggies
  • about 1/2 cup of cous cous
  • 1 strawberry souffle
  • the other half of Lynnie's 10 oz fillet
This is why its good to eat on the company dime in a fancy restaurant.

Breathe...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

1 Test Down... 2 To Go...

SO! Coach Liz has me testing in all three sports so she can assess my fitness and fine-tune my training from this week forward. Today was my run test. Can I just say that there is something about the word, "TEST", that completely freaks me out? I'm not talking about the kind of freak-out where you scream like a little Bigun and curl into the fetal position. I'm talking about the kind of freak-out where all of a sudden I'm little Robby and I'm asked to go to the front of the room and complete a math problem... on the chalk board... in front of everyone... without peeing myself! Yeah... that kind of freak-out. Doesn't matter what it is... if it has the word "test" in it... my mind screams, "RUN YOU IDIOT RUUUUUUN!" It could be chocolate cake right? Yum. But... if you say, "Chocolate TEST Cake"... I throw up. Ok, ok... I'm exagerating. Lets just say I like to beat myself up and freak myself out about any form of testing... especially one's that have a score attached to it. Enough said. SO... the run test went as follows:
  • 20 min easy warm-up
  • 20 min all out trying not to blow your wad in the first 10 minutes (sorry... that was crude)
  • Record Max and Avg HR
  • 10 min cool-down
Easy-peasy lemon squeezey. Here's what I did:
  • 20 min
  • 3.1 miles
  • 6:27/mile avg
  • Max HR 186
  • Avg HR 180
It felt weird to go fast-ish! I had trouble finding a rhythm both in breathing and cadence. Felt like I was stumbling. That's simply b/c the last time I went remotely fast-ish was last season. At this point in the season, I'm tickled pink with the results! I had a plan to do mile 1 at 7:00, mile 2 at 6:30, and mile 3 at 6:10. I clocked the first mile at 6:30 on the nose and decided just to hold that. I was definitely done at 20 min... I maybe had a half mile left at that pace... but overall I'm really pleased. Now Coach Liz will do some of that coaching stuff with the data and set my zones for me... YAY!

Swim test on Saturday and then the bike test on Sunday. Good times!

Hope everyone is staying healthy in mind and body!

Breathe...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Movin On...

After waiting around for roughly 5 weeks HOPING to hear back from my "coach"... I've decided to move on. I want to thank Jameson, Moonpie, and Scottie for giving me referrals for new coaches to check out. After much research and emails and discussion with a TON of people... I've settled on a coach! I am now officially under the, "dictatorship of Coach Elf"... as she says... Coach Elizabeth Fedofsky of Multisport Mastery. I'm VERY pleased to say that I sincerely doubt I will NOT hear from Liz. I must have gotten 10 emails both unsolicited AND in response to my questions in the time-span of a weekend! I also got my first week's schedule last night. The first week will be a lot of testing so that she can assess where I am fitness-wise. I'm really looking forward to working with her through my "A" race in July!

In addition to tackling some much overdo Spring clean-up in the yard... I got in a SWEET sunny recovery week ride yesterday! I have a very dichotomous relationship with recovery weeks. Yes Bigun... that's a word. What I mean is that while my body might crave the additional rest and relaxation... my mind often-times goes a bit nuts! Yeah... the ADD is on FIRE this week! I truly feel sorry for my wife and kiddos! Anyway... the ride was fun and it was good for me to get some time alone... in my own head. It's a fun place to be believe it or not. I actually processed a TON of stuff... got to give some undivided attention to a couple people that have been on my mind a LOT lately... you know who you are ;)

OH! Guess what I'm getting this coming week??? A POWERTAP!!!! YAY! That's RIGHT... I'm getting a SL 2.4... and did I mention that it's wireless? Well it IS! ZIPPY! No more guesswork for me! I watt is a watt is a watt regardless of what my HR is! This is going to be extremely helpful for my training AND it will give Coach Elf more data to help her taylor things a bit more accurately! I'm SO excited!
Hope you're all training hard, training smart, and having FUN!

Breathe...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

She's HUGE!

I just HAD to post this!  Look at the size of Aggie!  Crazy huh?  Aggie and her buddy Tom can spend hours entertaining one-another!  Gotta love boys and their dogs!

Recovery week this week!  FILLED with a LOT of boring recovery type stuff like sleeping and eating and just a bit of training.  BUT... we all know that you can't get stronger without rest... so that's what I'm doing!

Coming up?  A new coach and a sweet new outfit (say "sweet new outfit" with a slightly feminine lisp... you'll crack yourself up)

Hope everyone is training away and staying injury free!

Breathe...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I Luvs Me Some Apple Sauce...

Uh. I couldn't think of a witty title... so I went with the above.

The weather in Eugene was really kind to me this weekend! Saturday it was POURING down rain... then it was hailing... then I said, "Hey... I have to get my long run in!"... and it cleared. Seriously. The clouds parted, I called Scott, and we took off. Once again... everyone should have a dude like Scott around for training. The guy is unstoppable. I'm willing to loan him out... cheap. It'll only cost you like... one gel. ANYWAY... we did a hilly route along Loraine Hwy... which is good and bad. Good b/c the scenery is incredible. Bad b/c there are some sharp turns and generally at least ONE redneck in a big truck that likes to pretend he/she is in NASCAR. Here's what we did:
  • Total Time: 01:10:00
  • Total Distance: 8.73 miles
  • Pace: 8:01/mile
  • Avg HR: 150 BPM
Run felt great. Really concentrated on form... and holding it throughout the entire run. I'm pleased with the direction my run is heading... gradually increasing speed and maintaining a low aerobic HR... good stuff!

Woke up today to overly repressive fog. We live up in the hills and I looked down and couldn't see anything in the valley. Not a good sign for a long ride. Around 11:00 am... WHAP! It cleared! Had a REALLY enjoyable ride with plenty of climbing to give the twigs a little workout... 360 watts? PISH! Here's what we did:
  • Total Time: 02:28
  • Total Miles: 41.3
  • Avg HR: 138 BPM
You guys wouldn't have believed how great it felt to be out in the sun! I swear... sometimes I wonder why I live in Oregon... and then days like today happen! Ride felt good. Legs were a bit trashed when we got back. Again... this is why its good to have a "Scott" around... somebody to push ya a bit. Here's a couple pics n a video...


Could it get ANY better? Doubtful...


video

Scott gets a flat... Bah ha HA!

Feel the burn! Post ride... stretchin the twigs!

Heading into a recovery week... and I'm thinkin that I need the break. It'll be good to recover a bit. Still researching my coaching options... sent some emails... polled some friends. THANKS MOONPIE! I'll keep ya posted...

Hope your weekends were wunder bar! Robby need sleepy.

Breathe...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Apparently, I'm A Pansy...

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to get tested... as in VO2 Max tested. I met Steve over a year ago while he was managing the Eugene Running Company. At that time he was in the process of getting himself ready for a shot at the Olympic trials in the marathon... yeah... he's super slow. Anyway, since then he has entered his 2nd year of the PhD program in Exercise Physiology at the University of Oregon. He's a really great guy and offered to do my testing once he got his lab set up! Can you believe my luck?! SO... last Wednesday was the day.

I met Steve at the lab at about 8:30 am with tired legs from the previous day and started getting warmed up. I was surprisingly nervous about the whole testing thing. I'm usually afraid of the unknown. SO... my mind was struggling with the access to the knowledge I might gain during the testing. I was really afraid of finding out that I was a wuss. That's the bottom-line. I could go into all sorts of psycho-babble... but that is the nuts and bolts of it. What if I could only push 120 watts? You all know how the testing works so I won't go into detail and get right to the results.
VO2 Max: 52.4
Watts at VO2 Max: 360
Max HR: 181 bpm

VO2 at AT: 43.9
Watts at AT: 330
AT: 170 bpm

Seriously. That's all I got. It's funny... Steve gave me all sorts of hand-signals to let him know when I was done. I told him that he'd just have to turn the thing off b/c I wouldn't be giving any hand-signals. When he pulled the plug... I was spent. I hurt. I almost puked... and I only pushed 360 watts. In short... I was pissed. I'm not sure what I expected from myself... nor do I have anything to compare that wattage too... but I thought I should at least be pushing a higher number. Again... I have nothing to base that on... its just the way my mind works. I walked out totally dejected.

The GOOD NEWS??? Now I KNOW! YES! Like they used to say on Schoolhouse Rock, "As your body grows bigger, your mind grows stronger, its great to learn cuzz knowledge is power!" Uh, yeah. Seriously though. Now I know what my limitations are... and how to go about changing them. PLUS... I know exactly at what zone I should be training when! Good stuff.

SO, despite the huge shot to my fragile ego... I'm really really REALLY glad that I got the testing done. I'll be going back in a couple of weeks for Lactate Threshold and then have a couple of follow-ups before my "A" race in July.

Longish run today... in the rain! ZIPPY! Tomorrow? Long ride... hopefully outside if the rain lets up a bit and a swim!

Breathe...