Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Running with Garmin Forerunner 405CX

For Christmas I requested a watch I could run with for training and there was a special at Costco for the Garmin ForeRunner 405CX at $210. So now I have a new watch to track my training with.

I took it for the run this morning which was a warmup followed by HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at 8x30 second pickups with 8x 30 sec recovery jogs and finishing with a cool down.

I uploaded the workout of 43 minutes to the Garmin Connect site and got this nice little graph. The pickups were between miles 1.8 and 2.8 where you can see the up and down evenly paced.

I thought that was the fastest I had gone, but based on this graph the downhill section in the loop I did helped me be a bit faster than in the HIIT sections.

Overall was 43 minutes and 3.6 miles with average pace of 11:58 minutes per mile.
I have a way to go of course in my training, but  I expect to get better and being able to track and see progress will be motivational.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Down time for sickness

I went swimming on Christmas Eve and I just felt off - sluggish and slow and not quite able to move my body. For the most part I can claim this is due to my level of fitness, except I then got out the pool and felt dizzy and sick in my stomach.
This continued on Christmas and today - so I'm calling it officially sick days.

In the pool I did practice some swim techniques: sculling, leg floats, and dead man swimming (no arms and rotating torso only to move forward).
I also read about the goal of becoming more efficient by reducing the number of strokes it takes to get across a certain distance.
I tried this out in the 25M pool and including the push-off it started at 27 strokes but then got to a more consistent 24/25 strokes per 25 meters.
I felt proud of myself as a base set - and looking forward to getting this better over time. I don't know what it "should be" or "could be" in the improvement factor and assumed I could get to a 20 strokes level and without the push off.

My bubble got deflated when I asked the husband to try the same technique and he replied "my strokes were 17 with the push off and 20 without". Uurgh! And he claims to NOT be a swimmer at all.

Merry Christmas to all. I ended up watching many many movies on the couch to rest up. Next week is back to work and back to training.

bike post missing

i'm going to search for my biking blog post from last week....seems to have not posted from my iphone app

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Swim little fishy

I've been attending a swim clinic hosted by the local Tri Club, San Diego Tri Club, who by the way is the largest tri club in the world at over 2,700 members in San Diego County. They are all run from volunteers and have an amazing calendar of events every single day to learn about the swim-bike-run components of the triathlon.

It's an amazing set of benefits for $60 per year, and each swim session is $2.50 if you buy the set of 10 sessions. You can't go to your local swimming baths at that price, let alone an Olympic swimming pool of 50 meters (man that's long) as well as having expert coach swimmers teaching small groups techniques.

I don't claim to be a great swimmer, I learnt to swim as a kid by playing in a pool and the ocean. I can move my arms and legs to keep me above water, but never learnt a standard stroke. That could be a benefit for me this year as I don't have to un-learn something ingrained in my head. But we'll see.

The past 3 sessions have been quite different - keeping the variety of this activity up. I have many more of these in my future.

Session 1: Coach Trevor taught us about sculling, the movement of the hands and position of the arms in the water. We practiced many techniques juts focused on this. Little swimming, lots of technique.

Session 2: Coach Sergio (and his 2 side coaches) told us to swim. Every 1-2 laps we would have individual critique of our performance. Breathe more often (every 2 or 3 strokes) as your body needs the air. Keep your head facing down during the stroke, only a side turn and not a lift when you need air. The  extra push of the arm out front using your core for extra speed and efficiency rather than trying to spin your arms faster. This was an awesome class in that you walked away with a good workout (close to 1 mile swim) and also personalized understanding of what you have to learn.

Session 3: This was a technique focused class with 4 coaches that rotated. They each focused on a particular aspect of swimming. Head position, use of your Core, an efficient Kick, and Arms. We got to practice drills focused on each piece for 15 minutes each.

The last coach singled me out - but not in a good way! He said I was not breathing at the right time. I was taking a breath too early, before my arms had reached the maximum glide position out front. I took another lap and thought I ha improved but he called me out again! This time he said "I'll video you with my iPhone" and off I went. When I saw that video....well let's say reality sucks! I have this internal image that I look and feel like a little fishy in the ocean, gliding around. But instead I see a manatee huffing and puffing. And the breath / arm pattern was way off. I'm glad to have seen this video...recommend it as a tip for others to see what they do. But allow for an ego hit!

I searched for a video to try and watch "what should be done" and found this video of Ian Thorpe, an Australian swimmer that has many gold medals from the Olympics and World Championships.
This video is like a work of art to see the gliding motion of the arms, the minimal use of legs (want to save those for the bike and run), and the breathing occurring at the peak of the extended arm. The video states this is from an extended video called "beneath the suit'" that is available for sale (if you wanted to know)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The best and worst run ever

I'm in Week 1 of our training plan from our new best friend and coach, Julie.
She laid out each week in a training plan document and puts up with my non-stop questions.

- What speed is a pick-up?
- Should we run on flat or hill or treadmill?
- Should we train for speed or time?

In week 1, I had the weekend where there are 2 long events. Saturday was a wicked bike and run split practice. Doing a 5 mile loop, then a transition run for 10 minutes, then back on the bike. Back and forth with 6 bike sections and 4 runs. Amazingly exhausting!

Sunday I had running. It listed 60-80 minute and I planned it as a 6 mile run. I am NOT a runner by any means. I hike and will run/walk during adventure races. But could not claim to be a runner. The idea of a marathon is an amazing feat, let alone at the end of swimming and biking.

I set out the course to run on, it was an abnormally hot day at over 80 degrees in December (that's why I love San Diego). I wore a racing belt and added 2 8oz bottles on it. One had plain water and the other I mixed in a Hammer gel with water. I read that mixing the gel was a good way to consume it, but it did not mix well in the water bottle. I was shaking it for a long time and it just ended up looking a little weird. The kind of weird that makes you think "I am NOT drinking that".

Well, that's why we train....learn about nutrition as well as the body.

So off I go on a run with the husband (I signed him up for this race, so he'll be joining me in the stories and early mornings) and we finish 3 miles - the half way point before we turn around to complete our 6 mile race. We both look at each other and immediately we both say "let's run a bit further" and off we went to the bottom of the road. We hit 4.5 miles and then decided to turn around. The potential for a 10 mile run?!

That would be the first and best run we have ever done! We were sticking to a heart rate zone of 2-3, so not hitting the Anaerobic Threshold (AT), and we were feeling good.
The sun was rising higher in the day and a drink was needed. Sharing the 1 8oz bottle of water didn't go far. But we felt great, so didn't worry.

The way back was the uphill....one of those long gradual uphills that don't seem like an uphill but just never seems to end when you are trying to run up it. I had to walk at the 5.9 mile point which was a major bummer, but kept at a fast clip pace of 13 mph.

Walking and running for the next 3 miles on the way back. Water was gone and I had succumbed to the nasty hammer mixed water gel drink. It was bad, but bad is better than nothing. Heart rate zone was definitely up, at the AT level, but not excessively so. I would walk to bring the hear rate down and then go to a light jog.

The last 1 mile home was mostly downhill and I'd gotten the mental downfall and heart rate back so I gave it a good pace home, mentally thinking of that strong finish to the crowd at IronMan Arizona.

Finish was 10 miles with average pace of 10:30 minute miles.

I felt so happy and proud of the accomplishment of a double digit run - my first ever! But when I told my coach proudly what we'd done, she gave me a disapproving look and told me about over training, injuries, and not taking sufficient nutrition.

My best run ever soon became the "rookie mistake" and worst run ever! Oh man!

How did I get here?

Everyone has a story for why they signed up, some are noble, some are not. I can't claim the noble route, but maybe you'll forgive me for it and keep reading.

I moved to San Diego in 2009 and thought my life and career was over. I was in a severe depression and was lucky to have seen January 1st 2009. The year went by in a fog and I only managed to just take 1 day at a time. Wake up, put clothes on, go to work, eat food, go to sleep. Repeat.

The year 2010 arrived and from all the help I received I was starting to be aware of life around me. I was overweight with an extra 20lbs from 2009 and everyone in San Diego was active....it was time to get out into the world.

I was doing the traditional web surfing and talking with colleagues and re-found adventure racing, something I dabbled in a few years back. I found this night orienteering hike class and signed myself and my husband up. Had a fun time and the leader, Barrie, mentioned he had a Wednesday night hiking group.

The Wednesday hiking group turned my life around. It was always a great workout (the hikes are 3 hours in all weather), with a touch of adventure (if a critter once walked here then it's a trail), and a great set of people that come and go over time.

The people all share their stories and with the hiking theme it soon becomes talk about adventure races, triathlons, and ironman races.

Suffice to say after 10 months of these Wednesday night hikes, I've done 1 triathlon, 5 adventure races, and signed up for 1 Ironman!

So that's how I got here....planning ahead for the year 2011.

BTW - my adventure races are all typed up as race reports on my 'other' blog (yes I am one of those people...just trying to keep audiences clear)
It's mixed in with my geocaching hobby too.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

OMG!? I signed up for an Ironman

I am officially registered for IronMan Arizona 2011.

I am in part shock, part excitement, and part naivety mode (not understanding how much hard work this is going to be and instead just believing I can do this).

True to my technology social media lifestyle - I'm starting this blog dedicated to the next year of training to get to be an IronMan.

Let the games begin!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010