Tuesday, February 24, 2009


"Dont go searchin' for a mermaid if ya don't know how ta swim."

~Great Big Sea

This morning it struck me: I sometimes feel like a Moose swimming across a lake.

Questions to ponder:

Are you ever really "ahead of schedule" in training?

How little training is too little?

If you wait long enough, does someone really do it for you?

Are hills more resistance training on a bike than cardiovascular training?

Can I average 19 mph and then run a 3:30?? Really????

What shall we do with a drunken sailor early in the morning??

Yes, its Tuesday, which means its the beginning of another week. Man, this is going by quickly, now... I feel terrific; the bike riding is "ahead of schedule" about a month and the swimming is in the same place. My running is kind of lagging only because I wasn't planning on ramping up the marathon training until March, which is now a week away. Gulp.

Can you be ahead of schedule? This is such a hard question. Just because I am stronger and able to do more this time around than I was in 2007, is it merely the fact that I am in much better shape overall and have done a greater number of triathlons and therefore training miles/hours in the time since IM 2007? Knowing that my physical state is not the same, should I adjust to match my current fitness level and abilities even though that deviates from the plan, or do I stick stalwart to my plan, which I admit seems a bit light for my lofty goal. Gulp again.

Can I average 19 mph over 112 miles? Yes, I feel this now.

Can I do it after that swim, and before the marathon, though?

I am trying to weigh the value of hills versus all out distance. Jan and I rode nothing but crazy hills last year and it wasn't the distance I am used to cranking in, but man, I was really strong on the bike. So, this year we are kind of doing a mix. I can not believe, every time we go out, how good we are feeling. Sure, we have not increased our speed consciously yet, but we are getting faster anyway. And, we are approximately 1 month ahead of my planned mileage and I am considering staying that month ahead and working on some speed during my longer rides in May. Wow, can I last that long? My poor body.

My poor wife.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Now, try to LOOK like you're having fun...

"After all, what is your host's purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi."

~P.J. O'Rourke

Holy crap, I started writing this on the 8th? What is today, the 20th??


When I started writing this, I believe it was the 5th week of training...the end of the 4th week. Today I write near the end of the 6th. And wow, its amazing how things roll on. With or without you, everything keeps ticking on by.

The 4th week was hard, the 5th week harder. The 5th week included a 3 hour ride around Whatcom and Skagit counties, South and East of Bellingham. The ride was difficult but fun, and the next day Jan showed off her excellent new running form on the trail between Fairhaven and downtown Bellingham in the sun. It was a terrific Valentines Weekend with terrific training to boot. It was a good end to a good week of training, and a much needed change of scenery.

Not to mention some REALLY amazing food. Holy shit.

The 6th week has been different, because I thought I was getting sick early on after taking Tuesday to go skiing all day. Wednesday I woke up feeling pretty bad, swam anyway, and by the end of the day was really feeling awful. When standing in the pool you get chills and feel kind of dizzy--thats not a good sign that you are on top of your game. Wednesday night I took it easy and also took Loratadine, a generic, Costco form of Claritin, and hoped for the best. Thursday I was pleasantly surprised to wake up feeling good again--whether from the drugs or the Vitamin C I was pounding all day Wednesday (to the tune of about 6 grams over 12 hours) I do not know. What I do know is that I am suspicious of my yearly February allergies, lurking at just the wrong time. In 2007 I dont remember the allergies, but we were religious about taking Claritin (the original form of Loratidine) so maybe I didn't know when I had them. Maybe I just forgot.

At any rate, its Friday now of the 6th week of training, and I had the best swim yet of 2009. It was perfect. The pool was empty enough that Jan and I were 2 of 4 in our lane and 3 of the 4 total swimming at a reasonably quick pace for me. One guy was swimming slowly enough that I could pass him without adjusting my effort--all in all, I was able to swim 3 x 500 and 2 x 250 followed by a set of 200, 2 x 100, 4 x 50 and a 200 cool down. Grand total yardage for the day: 2800. Not too shabby for 45 minutes of swimming in February.

Tomorrow is the Pharmaceutics Department ski trip, which I am attending. Not that I plan on being social, screw that. This last Tuesday Brian and I dodged school for the day, and it was THE best day of skiing I have ever had out of the probably 8 total outings I have had in my life; now I am looking forward to getting a little extra in tomorrow. Afterward the whole gaggle (approximately 20 pharmaceutics/med chem students) are ending up at our house, and so it will be interesting to see where all of these people sit... better clean off some extra chairs...

I have to figure out what my weekend training schedule is going to be, because I normally bike on Saturday and run on Sunday-- but Saturday is skiing, so I don't know yet how to adjust. Maybe a brick on Sunday. I think that may be it. Let's see what the girl thinks.

June 21st is so close. Its almost March already.

Marathon training is about to begin in earnest. Its a huge difference completing a casual 17 mph 112 mile bike ride and then a 4:15 marathon versus pushing the bike pace to average 19 mph over that same 112 miles and then plunging headlong into a 3:30 marathon. My fastest marathon ever is 3:24, but that WAS with terrible and less than minimal training. My point is that the times may not look so different but the effort required is HUGE, and I have got to experience these tempos in training soon.

And my stomach excitedly knots up. I love this shit.