Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Panama City Rocked!

Had good trip over to the course in PCB. I had the best run I have had to date and a great ride on the rollers. I had forgotten just how many there were over in that area. Here is a map of where I was in relation to the course:
Got in a little latter than planned - imagine that! Met a friend for a late lunch across form the hotel and had a good time chatting and catching up with her. Let lunch settle and then went out for a run. I have got to get some mace and was pretty dumb for not thinking of this beforehand. I got chased by 1 dog on my run and after fending him off, got picked up by 3 little wiener dogs shortly after. I will have my mace on the next trip.

I found a dirt road that was perfect for doing some repeats on - 3 of the 4 lengths were dirt. As took my first lap on it (located in the North-East section off of HWY 231) each of the 2 blocks had loose dogs on it. So, that changed the plan up. I actually saw a 9:xx pace on my watch for several of the repeats I ran. Was very encouraging to see that. Just had a great run and the area I ran in was flat - so not running on the actual course was not that big of a deal. I actually have more undulating roads to run on here at my house. I ran around 6:30pm and it had to be in the 90's still with the humidity. Gotta love FL!

The next morning, I loaded up the bike and headed for the corner of Hwy 77 and Hwy 20. I drove in on Hwy 20 and then took Hwy 77 to my hotel, so I got a good look at where I wanted to ride. I haven't been back on the course since 2003, so it was good to get a little preview. Hwy 20 to the West of Hwy 77 was pretty flat and seemed to have a good bit of traffic on it. Hwy 20 to the East of Hwy 77 is where the nice rollers are and has virtually no traffic on it. So that was my choice ride for the trip.

Really have some improvements to make on my power and cadence distribution. I am looking forward to seeing these improvemnets on future files and rides back on the course. This file should be much much cleaner. Always room for improvement!

So, coming off a great run, I was pretty excited to hit the rollers and see where I was at. About 15 minutes into my ride, I hear barking and think "Oh SH*&!". Now, there are only a few houses on this stretch of road and not many cars. Surely there was a fence holding these hounds in. And, it sure didn't sound like the wiener dogs from the night before.

Already having sweat on my glasses, it was hard to focus into the tree line and see what was coming my way. All of the sudden I see 2 chows coming after me just a bark'n. My threshold power is 210 watts. I looked back at my file and held 796 watts on my fight or flight - I chose flight :) Peaked out with 908 watts during the chase. So, thanks to those stupid dogs, I now have a new peak 5seconds, 10 seconds, and 20 seconds wattage. Man, it seemed like they were on me for 5 minutes - not 20 seconds.

So, I ride about 32 minutes out and turned around to head back. Only was riding for an hour today and was feeling the run and the rollers and figured it was a good point to turn back. I hit the rollers coming back and get to the last 'hill' to climb before the flat the dogs were on. I stop at this point, hit my HammerGel drinks and flip the coin on what to do about the dogs. Stopping and thinking about it meant the decision was already made. I am in the South, and knew someone would pull over and let me hitch a ride back to my car that was just up the road. About 5 minutes of contemplating was all I needed and a lady pulled over to see if I was okay. I told her I was fine, but there were a couple of chows between me and my car. She told me to throw my bike in the back and hop in. All i could think about was the time lost in training from the broken toe and the 3 weeks down from the staff infection. All I needed was to get eaten on by a couple of dogs at this point.

Note: get some mace before heading back to Panama City.

Met Veronica for some lunch and then headed back home. Good weekend of training and looking forward to heading back when I can. Big thanks to Rick, a buddy from TNO that lives there, for giving me some ride info and helping me out with the logistics!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

6.28.06 - 40 lbs down and kicking some #$*

First off, I have to start with the topic of the lady in my Pilate's class tonight. Strategically positioned directly in front of me and wearing what appeared to be stripper shorts - the only thing she was missing was the clear heals. Now, to set the record straight - I could only imagine that strippers would wear shorts like these and have heard that they are partial to clear heals. I have no personal, first hand knowledge of this. And, I have no SO, so I am allowed to look and even gaze :)

However, Pilate's was way more fun tonight than it was on Monday night. I shant be missing a class and will pray each night that she wears those exact shorts to class. Oh, and the workout was great too!

Got up this morning and hit the pool for a good Master's workout. I squeezed out 1450 again with little to no effort. Concentrated on a lot of kicking drills today with long sets. Form is feeling better and it was great to feel my back muscles and lats involved in the mix.

Had a 40 minute cadence workout today. 10' warm-up 20' @ 105+ RPMs with a 10' cool down. Once I settled in on the warm up, I set the calibration on the CompuTrainer and started my cadence work. As I kicked up the cadence, and I could feel the fat on my back bouncing, I figured that was a good place to back off and settle in - or at least try to. Still don’t have a smooth cadence but was staying higher than I ever have. And, most of this workout was done in aero - which would not have ever happened before my fitting right before my injury and illness. Still amazed at the difference a few tweaks here and there make. Was nice to see the majority of my distribution was in the 90s to the 109s. Even during my cool down my natural selected cadence was 85-90, which is a huge improvement. I did take 2 breaks to shift things on the saddle during the 20'spin, so I laid in a couple extra minutes for coach to make up for that. Plus, I forgot to tighten my trainer and had to get off during warm-up to fix that before I went down again.

Power file is looking much better! The blue is where I highlighted my 20 min session in Cycling Peak's WKO+.

Heart rate held up great here and I didn't feel like I was dying. I pulled up a report in my TrainingPeaks account to flag the past workouts I had done like this and found one, with HR data from March. 100% of my time was spent in zone 1. This time it was much better distributed.
Another great day of training. I did move my walk to tomorrow and will get an extra spin in as I am heading to the IMFL course in Panama City Beach in the morning for a couple of days. Will be my first ride back on the rode as I can actually get a helmet on my noodle again - finally! Looking forward to some ocean swims and runs and rides on the course.

In closing, all I can say is 'Man, Pilate's class rocked tonight!"

6.27.06 Coming together!

I only had a ride and a strength workout for today - and it included core. Since I did my core in my new class at the gym Monday, I did my strength workout and took an extra 30 minutes to hop up on the treadmill and turn the legs over for an extra workout.

It was so nice to not feel rushed going from strength to core. And, I feel like I got 10 times the core workout in with the class as opposed to doing it on my own. That makes the class so well worth it.

I did move my bike to Wednesday and that may force me to shuffle a 1:15 Zone 2 walk on Wednesday to Thursday. Since I am taking some time off from work and heading to Panama City to get some swim, bike and run course training in, I should have some extra time for everything.

Tomorrow I do have my morning swim, a 40 minute cadence specific drill ride, the walk and Pilate's. Don't see getting all that in with work, church, and edging the yard. Bumping my walk to Thursday should make for a hectic, but doable schedule.

Hallah is off spending the night at a friend’s house. So, that frees me up just a tad as well.

I got called today for a meeting to help put on a Tri and Time Trial here in the area. So, it looks like a lunch meeting is in order tomorrow as I head to PC Beach. Thankfully, we are meeting by the bay and it is right on the way anyway. I hope they aren't wanting to do this anytime soon. Certainly don't have the time to add this to my plate right now. But, I will go and see what they are looking for.

Felt great today and felt like I am back on track. A shuffle of a workout or 2 doesn't bother me. It happens and is almost expected. So it is all good.

Oh, and I just realized what I am passing everyday as I head to and leave Masters swimming. I refer to it as Mecca and sometimes Heaven. The challenge continues!

Monday, June 26, 2006

6.26.06 Back in the pool finally!

Went down to swim with Grace this morning. Closer to home and a more flexible schedule where I can work around Hallah than where I was going with Steve out at the local Junior College.

Was able to pull out 1450 back in the pool and felt pretty good about it. I was definitely feeling it, but it was a good feeling!

Went to what was to be a yoga class at the gym, but the instructor is out for a month and they had a Pilate’s instructor taking over for that time. I was all about getting my core done with a group as I just suck doing it on my own with weights. So, I was staying.

I confirmed that I have the flexibility of a 2x4 - still. My hips were soooo tight. Hope after a few weeks of this that will improve. I can so see the benefit on the bike and running from the ball work. Best core workout I have had since I have been doing core.

Being the only guy in the class, one of the ladies came up to me afterwards and said she hoped I would come back on Wednesday night and there would be a couple of guys that come on Wednesdays. I simply told her I was here for the ladies and didn't care if another guy was there or not :) She just smiled. I think she knew that was a joke.

Tomorrow is weights and a ride. Going to get a good, extra walk in after weights. I tried to get one in today, but it was 8:30pm when I got off my Deere and finished up my yard work. And, I was tired. No trouble passing out and going to bed last night and slept like a baby!

In the words of Ice Cube - Today was a Good Day!

6.25.06 Summary of the week - the path to Hell is paved with many good intentions...

You know, I was excited last week about getting a few workouts in and about being able to get back on the road since I could wear a helmet again. Really looked forward to this week. But, looking forward to the week does not cut it.

I got a well deserved and very nicely put ass chewing from Mike about over-extending myself with other priorities. To my fault, I have always had about 10 more irons in the fire than I should at any time and continue looking for more to throw in there. Volunteered to head up the presidency at our local tri club, which is above and beyond the duties I volunteered for last year to coach this year's training group for 16 weeks. I think that was the final straw with Mike :) I also work way too much - a fault of just simply enjoying what I do - coaching and my day job with TrainingPeaks. Donavon, our CEO, has talked to me about this a couple of times over the past 3 years as well. You think when your boss requests you to cut back a bit you would. So, I am making a very concentrated effort to manage my time better, take full care of my work, and also get my training back in the priority list where it should be. Having the 6 weeks off with the broken toe and the nasty staff infection has made it tough to get back into a rhythm.

Then, to top things off, a friend of mine from high school was in town, called, and we met up. Not meaning to close down the world famous McGuire’s Irish Pub - we thought we were 18 again and did just that Thursday night. It was a much needed break from life in general to throw something in the mix and get out on the town and do something - which I do not do - ever. Had a blast, but paid for it through the rest of the week from just being exhausted. Had a call with a coach first thing Friday morning and it felt like I shut my eyes and the alarm went off and there I was on the phone with the coach. I was worthless through the weekend! Regrets – none, I think the mental break was well needed. But, gotta keep that in check.

So, I think I am heading to Panama City Beach to stay a night and get Saturday's workout in on IM FL course. Looking forward to riding back over there again and maybe spark some memories form the '03 race.

I did manage to get a couple good bike workouts and runs in this week. But, being pretty much all healed - with the exception of being able to get back in the pool last week - I should have gotten a lot more in.

Doc released me to the pool for now. Will miss another week as I have to let a surgeon cut on the back of my head and clean some tissue out and sew it up. So, stitch time will force me back out for about a week coming up.

We will see how I do with my new concentrations. Now I have to add to my schedule an additional 21 days of the Tour de France viewing starting Saturday as well. Thank God for Tivo! Only about 19 or so weeks away - it is past Go Time!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

6/12-6/17 Catching up last week

Well, has been super crazy here with one of the guys out on vacation and me covering for him. Plus my regular duties and then starting up the Mere Mortals training group here. Just not enough time in the day.

BUT - I did get back out last week and got my step test done for LT and Power on the CompuTrainer, another bike ride in on the trainer and a couple of walk/runs - mostly walks :)

The step test was pretty cool. I had Hallah sitting with me recording my HR and RPE as I started at 100 watts and did two 1 minute intervals increasing the wattage by 20 watts after the 2nd minute. We recorded data for each minute. I think I threw a lung around the 2nd minute of 240 watts. Tough test, but cool to do. Hallah had a lot more fun than I did. Man how their attention fades at 11. Glad she was there to help out. I was in no shape to write anything down since I got into it.

I actually was able to get a little jogging in on my runs for the first half. Any fitness gains seem to be lost from the 5 or 6 weeks I was down. Can't get back into the pool just yet. Hoping the week after next is go time for the swim. I need the running work more than anything.

I actually was able to get a little jogging in on my runs for teh first half. Any fitness gains seem to be lost froom teh 5 or 6 weeks I was down. Can't get back into the pool just yet. Hoping the week after next is go time for the swim. I need to running work more than anything.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

6.12.06 Back on the bike and dusted off the Computrainer!

Well, I didn't get my extra walk for an hour in like I planned. But, I did get my step test done on the CompuTrainer. David at Gulf Coast Cycle Fit gave me some advice after our fit session about getting my bars up and out just a bit. I took him up on it and Robbie over at Bikes Plus was able to get me where David suggested.

Doing my first ride after bout a month or so off with the broken toe and that nasty infection, I was pretty stoked to get back on the bike and see how the new adjustments felt. I went down shortly after getting my new fit with David, and now with the newer changes, I wanted to see how it all pulled together.

Couldn't believe how comfy I was on the bike with the total package in place now. Great job by David and Robbie to pull this all together. I hope to see some great improvements as I get my fitness back.

Got a ride, weights, and that walk to get in tonight. Tivo'ing the game, so I should be able to hit the gym and skip the commercials when I get back :)

Hope Shaq shows up tonight to play!

Monday, June 12, 2006

6.12.06 It is good to be back!

Going out for a lunch time run and have some testing on the CompuTrainer tonight. I will have to dust that puppy off since I broke the toe and then got the staff infection right when it was delivered. But, I did manage to get it all set up and hooked to a scrap dedicated PC I built before I went down for the count.

Started working with our local group, Mere Mortals, where our tri club trains for 16 weeks with mostly newer triathletes in the area to prepare them for our local sprint race and help them grow in the sport. I am fortunate enough to get to write the training plans and work with the group at our training sessions each week out at Pensacola Beach. Getting up at 5am is a challenge on Sunday, but well worth it.

Hope to check back in tonight with 2 workout updates. Not able to hit the pool just yet. Still have some stuff running out of my noggin - so I don't think anyone would appreciate me getting in the pool with them just yet. May go see a surgeon this week to get this thing cleaned and packed. Hope to be in the pool next week!

Friday, June 02, 2006

6.2.06 I can't even begin to describe the pain I have been in

For the past 11 days, I have been huddled up in the fetal position in my recliner. I developed a staff infection at the base of my neck and I tell you, in 37 years, this has been the most excruciating pain I have ever had to endure. Past the pain of the infection itself, every muscle in my neck and back feel torn and twisted.

I started growing a knot on the back of my noggin and once it hit the size of a softball and hurt bad enough that I could not put any pressure on it, I thought it might be wise to see a doc about it. It got to that point after a day, so i didn't wait too long. The doc said they couldn't drain it since there was nothing to drain - it was hard as a rock. I figured it was just an ingrown hair that got infected or something.

I will spare you the gory and gross details of this fun event. Yesterday, I went back to the doctor for a 2nd draining and to get my culture results. As I was on my stomach with my wound uncovered, the doc walked in and all I heard was 'Ewwww'. I couldn't help but think, "that ain't good!".

He wanted to go ahead and send me to a surgeon to get the area really cleaned out and remove any bad tissue in there. He started to do the draining and decided to hold of on a visit to the surgeon for now. The lab results showed that I didn't have the staff infection that would require them to remove my neck to get rid of it - I call that bonus! So, we switched from the $100 antibiotic to a $17 10 day cycle and more pain pills to help manage the pain.

I asked if he could give me something a bit stronger for the pain as I told him what he prescribed was like giving a tic tac to a whale. I am not all about taking medicine and stuff, but I was not bearing the pain very well.

In short, for 11 days, I was either in my recliner, trying to find a comfortable position or in the shower running hot water over the area to clean the discharge. No where in there was sleep time. If I was lucky, the pain medication knocked me out for maybe an hour each night.

So, you have to find a silver lining in all of this stuff. I lost another 20 lbs - 6 of which I gained back from being down on the toe. And, with the law of averages, I should be golden from here until race time with no more mishaps... knock on wood!

I talked with Coach Mike yesterday and told him I thought I could get back to running and biking on Monday. I can finally use my CompuTrainer that has been sitting in the garage since I bought it :) Not sure how soon I can get a helmet on or get into a pool. But, I can at least walk and run and ride the trainer. I am hoping in 7 to 10 days I am back to normal - and normal is a relative term :)

Hallah asked me the other day how my toe was doing. I asked her what she was talking about. She said, "You know, your toe...you broke it, remember?" I was like, oh yeah; toe is fine honey, thanks! I totally forgot about that. Funny how your focus gets sifted....

So, looks like a 3 week break and still time to get back and come back strong. Keeping up with the nutrition and hoping to come back strong! It's all about the journey!!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

5/23/06 - Still Down and out...

So, it has been about 9 days and I put a pair of shoes on for the first time yesterday. Man, that did not feel good. The actual toe feels okay - it is the gash and the missing nail that is still pretty tender.

Pulled the rest of the nail off my toe Friday and forgot to medicate it after doing so. Got a little infection there and that just made things worse. Been putting some ointment on it the past couple of days and it is feeling better, but still a little red.

Thank God I have my John Deere to ride around the back 40. But, today, I may try and get back out there and edge. That should be interesting. I am really hoping to be back on the bike by Friday/Saturday and walking by then as well. I am good if I don't have any shoes on right now. So, I hope I can get the skin healed up good enough to start putting pressure back on the toe again.

Up 6.5 pounds during the lay off - not good. that is just total lack of effort on my part and being lazy. Gotta re-focus and move on. Less than 6 months away. Plenty of time, but it will be here fast!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Little toes aren't really important....'till ya break one of 'em

Friday night I was walking into my bedroom to turn on the TV, set the sleep timer, and hit the bed. I was attempting a David Blaine like stunt and was doing this with no lights on. The stunt went array as I approached the TV and forgot that I had recently re-located a sharp-edged sub-woofer in between my dresser and armoire. Do guys have armoires?

I took a full stride into the corner of the sub with my 2nd to smallest little pig. That little piggy ain't going anywhere for a while! Gashed my toe, broke it , and had the nail standing straight up. I did the man thing and just turned on the faucet in the tub and ran some water over it to clean it and then rubbed some 'tussin on it. Tussin is good for anything ya know.

Let's flash back to '02. After a tri, I was walking through a parking lot and was distracted by a mind-blowing set of boobs. Ahhh, I still remember them both! I took a full stride into a parking block wearing flip flops and broke 2 toes then.

Again, in '04, I was walking through my living room that was filled with boxes after just moving back to Picola. As though I was trying to kick a 50 yd, game winning field goal, I took yet another stride into a box of hardback computer books from grad school. Still not sure why I kept those things. Broke my little pig then too.

So, the other night I had the option of heading to the emergency room and waiting for probably 8 to 10 hours (no kidding, I did that last hurricane season when I laid open the back of my hand, enough to see the bone running from my middle knuckle half way up my wrist, as I took a full swing into the corner of a brick column trying to start the generator so we could have electricity. I don't think I will be manning the generator this season). Seeing that injury as being far worse, I didn't feel like sitting at the hospital all night and paying them 3 bills just to tell me to take some aspirin and tape it up. Tussin is much cheaper. Now, unless I got the smoking hot doc that stitched me up last year...

Needless, to say, not much working out. I did get the weed eating on the back 40 done. My entire body is sore from adjusting my weight. I guess that counts for something...

You know, my pigs have enough pressure on them, literally, with having the responsibility of carrying my fat ass around all day, every day. They don't need to be taken out of action. Re-working the schedule with Mike and moving forward. Still going to try and get a swim in tonight and just push off with one leg. Can't wait :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Catch up - Golf makes you drink...

Well, my dad fell Friday and had a pretty good fall. So, that meant my Saturday morning ride had to be ditched to go over and help take care of some yard work for the rents. Then, I was off to Destin for the day to meet with one of my coaching clients, his wife, and one of his new coaches coming on. Dave and I met at a couple of clinics last Nov. and Dec. and he is from Kentucky. So, he called me up and asked if I could swing over for a visit since they were only going to be an hour away. Had a great time and it is always good to see my clients.

Couldn't ride Sunday as I was in a golf tournament after church and wouldn't be home until dark-30. Good time just forgetting about everything , playing for a great cause, and hanging with my boys. The tournament was for 2 Coke employees whose children were dating one another and were killed in a car accident. I owned a grocery store in a previous lie and knew both families - one of which happened to be a good customer of my store. We knew a lot of the Coke employees and my roommate wound up working for Coke for several years before he and his family moved to Alabama. So, 2 old employees of mine, one of which was my best man in my wedding and my old roommate got together for the tournament and simply had a blast.

I am not ever much of a drinker, but there is something about golf that just drives you to drink. It couldn't have hurt my game... much :) All in all we had a great time and helped contribute to some scholarships this event was raising money for to the local college in the two kid's name. It was definitely worth it.

Been back on track good this week with some walks, 2 great swims (2500 yds in an hour - volume is coming up) and playing with my CompuTrainer.

Sorry for the delay in getting things posted. As always, we are hammered at work with some big releases and just staying very busy with new clients and taking care of our existing folks.

Today we run...ugggh. It is yucky and dreary outside - the day fits the excitement of the workout today :) But, it won't get any better if I don't keep drudging along.....