Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Time to dig in to (what was mostly) last year's uneaten stash of goodies.

Before I can dive head first into any new nutrition plans.. I've got some base miles to put on, and a few piles of "food" to go through. Once some of these supplies are depleted, I can get on with this year's plans.

You can see, I've got some recovery protein bars. I really like the builder bars. There are some fairly non-descript powerbars to fill out the mix. You can see a gel or two in there.. I lived on gels last year (during exercise). For reference, I probably had 12 gels during the Spirit of Racine 1/2 last year. Brand-wise, I'm fairly equal opportunity. I tend to like Clif stuff (except the gels) much more than the competitors. Gu, Carbboom and the like are nice gels. Many, many I have yet to try though.

I'm looking for the good bad and ugly on the Clif Bloks. I dig how you can evenly divide them out over an hour ( about 33 cals per blok ). And how they are so much less messy than shots. My non-scientific guess is, they take up more space per calories than a shot. The "less mess" factor may well be worth it. This year, I'm going to give them an honest try. I tried them on one ride last year. It was pointed out to me, that perhaps I hadn't eaten enough of them. Thus I couldn't tell if they weren't absorbing, or I just didn't eat enough.. I won't make that mistake this year.

Until then, does your basement stockpile look like this? It's hard to beat 70 cents per box. Eek gads! What reason # is this for doing Ironman? "burn calories so you don't waste last year's stockpile of energy bars." I will be the guy with the knife and fork taped to his top tube.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm not duffing them all.

Well, I did toss a few to the wind this week with my knee and all. But I hit the real ones where they count. Weird weekend, but I'll take it.

Saturday - long day, daughter is sick. Got on the trainer after they went to bed. 9 PM to midnight. Then I had time to shower and play a few rounds of Burnout Legends on my PSP before I got to work from 2 AM to 3 AM.

Sunday - up at 8:30 AM. Walked dogs as usual. Hit breakfast and the normal routine. I got out for some real live pavement miles in nice weather. I was almost hot out there in my duds. Rode 11:00 - 1:30. Five minutes for transition. Then I got in a 25 minute "run" and 10 walk. I can quote run, because it was pretty slow. I was really tight. More of those to come I'm sure.

Funny thing, I recall these 3+ hour bricks from last year. I think I did only a hand full, and certainly I hadn't started in March. They weren't the day after another 3 hour ride. This is going to be, ahem, "FUN!"

See you all out there.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mistakes II

Short and sweet. I'm skipping my strides run tonight. But that wasn't the mistake. My mistake led to the missed workout.

Last night, things crept into my evening which prevented early hitting of hay. I woke up late and "off". I put in a 1/2 swim. Then off to work. Home from work late, and tired. I will sleep good as my penance, then it's a freshly LSD run in the morning.

Deep breath. This takes work. Getting the workouts in is easy. Doing it right, getting chores and work done, sleeping well, and still getting good workouts in.. That's when one wins.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Quick Week in Review

Week 1 of "the official training plan" from crucible fitness. Tough one, cause I hate to call them excuses. I won't bore anyone with the gory details (numbers).
I held up well, sticking to the plan, until Thursday's run. Forty minutes into the run I tweaked a knee. No worries, my next workout was a swim on Friday morning. About four hours before that swim was scheduled, I awoke to an odd feeling. Long story short, I did a massive calorie output in short time. Some kinda bug was all up in my training plan bizness on week one.
Well, now that kinda ruined the idea of going for a swim. Turns out, I didn't work that day or run either.
Saturday I had a 2.5 hour bike scheduled. But seeing as I was still getting winded going up the stairs, I bagged it.
Sunday afternoon, after my second or third nap, I was feeling pretty good. I went down for my scheduled ride (2.5 hours). Later that evening I did the 30 minute run that was supposed to directly follow the ride. Now I'm in good shape for tomorrow morning.

Nighty-nite. I'm sticking to "It's my year".

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Week one. Runs one and two.

Yesterday, I was supposed to do strides. I kinda know what strides are. I know they're supposed to help run form. And, I do have the ability to concentrate on form. But at this point, it's fairly typical for form work to cause my HR number to rise significantly (whatever that means). It seems, I'm getting slightly used to thinking about form. Admittedly, I probably have a _long_ way to go.

I know that strides aren't supposed to be BTTW (term for all out effort). But, I hadn't run in five or six days and I was really having fun making the numbers go wacky on my Garmin. So, when I was doing 30 seconds ON for strides, I was probably (OK definitely) going WAY too hard. But it was FUN! I even clocked a 5:30-ish mile pace (for 30seconds). I didn't write home about it, but at least I know that my body could go sub 6 per mile if I fell off a cliff.
Where was I? Oh yes, happily going all out for short spurts on my 1st run in almost a week (and longer weekly training volume than maybe I have ever done). What happened? Nothing. I went back to work after lunch. Smiling.

Then I got up this morning. Set the scene, it's back to "colder" from 24 hours of 70-ish degrees. I've got a one hour long slow run on deck. I had trouble settling in, which sometimes happens when it's cold and windy. Around 40 minutes in, twang/tweak! What was that? Oh my knee is not as happy as it was seconds ago.. but it's OK. Slow WAY down. Finish out the run to get home. Shower up and head off to work.

Ow, it's a bit tender. No, wait. By the time I was walking into work, I could hardly bend it. Nice! Let this be a reminder to "take it easy on the strides!!!!". Dumb move jwm. Live and learn.

The update here is that my knee feels somewhat better. I suspect it would be tweaky if I ran again right now. But I'm gonna hold off until tomorrow night and go easy.

As for "the plan", I"m half way through my week one. I'm starting to think I'll know if the intermediate plan was too much of a stretch goal by mid-next week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 2 - LTHR Bike Test

LTHR is some number that tells you where your training zones are. HR means it's a heart rate. LT is (to the best of my knowledge) the barrier between zone four and zone five. LTHR is a level one can sustain for 30 - 40 minutes (maybe more if you're well trained and/or really want it). Above LT some nasty goo starts to build up in your muscles at a faster rate than it gets cleared out. This is why you can't sustain long intervals above LT. (all of this is "as I understand it").

Here's the part I know too much about (a little dangerous knowledge).. various prescribed methods for determining LT. All seem to include something like...

  1. Warm up really well. Including some sprints or efforts which will get your HR going.
  2. Go "as hard as you can" for some prescribed amount of time 30-40 minutes. Note, as hard as you can, still means at a consistent HR (not necessarily pace). If you are "normal" you will be far from comfortable.
  3. Cool down.. gasp, fold, whatever.. Drink something.
Where the tests (I have read) differ is which average HR to take. I have often heard do 30 minutes hard, taking the average HR of the last 20 minutes. Today's workout was "supposed to" be 40 minutes hard, take the average of the entire 40 minutes. I have heard the coaches logic behind the "40 minutes". Something like, "for strong athletes 30 minutes" isn't enough.

What about today's workout? I figured right out, I wasn't one of these "strong" athletes who needs the entire 40 minutes. So, I went with 30 minutes all on my own. I also did the occasional visual on the HRM to see how I was doing. And sure enough the first 10 minutes I was still warming up to my LTHR.. I suspect this brought my entire average down somewhat. Stupidly, I didn't take my HR averages in any kind of interval to provide actual data to said theory.

My final 20 minutes were all easily in the low to mid 150's, with some spikes up to 160. Yet my "average" said 146. Looking at appropriate zone charts for 146 LTHR, I suspect it's on the low side. Also note that my last run LTHR test was more like 170. Incidentally, I felt I had erred high on that one. I am aware the bike and run LTHR numbers can be somewhat different.

I have another LTHR test in 4 weeks. Hopefully I will have improved my biking and pacing significantly by then. Until next time..

Addendum... These tests are supposed to be taxing. You're supposed to take the rest of the day off. But, dang I haven't run since last Friday. And for the first time in I don't know how long, the snow is _gone_ and it's near 70. Tomorrow it will be 40-ish again. I might have to sneak "off plan" this once and get a recovery run in. Also note, I don't ever recall cheating on my plan by adding a run... this must be a new year.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


TSOTD strikes again.

I went to Camp Anokijig as a child. My parents took what was probably countless photos up there. But, what I have is this shirt. Now, mind you, this shirt isn't from when I was 5 or so. I got this shirt last year when some bad mojo was going down. A bunch of good folks got together and raised some money to save the camp. This T-shirt was bought for me during one of their fund raising weekends.

When I did my first Elkhart Lake Triathlon, I hadn't yet realized how close I was to the old camp. (I was pretty darn young the last time I went). Yet another small world link to the good old days.

If you fondly recall Camp Anokijig, you may want to help save the camp.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Treadmill Fixed.

That's right. Five or so weeks ago (probably right before all the snow, cold and ice started) the treadmill broke. I should say _I_ broke the treadmill. How do we know this? The deck broke. I'm 200+ lbs. Enough data for all you folks out there in blog reader land?

Anyway, we called the LBS right away. Low and behold it was under warranty for a mere 2 more days. Thank goodness. So, JWM gets a free deck. I still get to pay 100 bux for the LBS guy to order it and spend his precious waking hours wrenching on it in my basement. Not to mention he had to corral some sort of international shipping incident in order receive said treadmill deck. Five weeks. These are the days of Internet tracking and me getting my Ipod from China in a matter sub triple digit hours. It's hard to imagine that a package coming from Brunei could get lost 7-8 times almost to it's destination and still be here in 3-4 weeks. Of course, maybe treadmill decks are made from wood on an island that you can only swim too. And that wood can't get wet.

But, my rant is over. Because NOW the treadmill is back, fixed, good to go. No more excuses about icy sidewalks (which ironically I ran on tonight). Just in time too, the training plan starts Monday.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Someone Talk Me Down From The Ledge..

Grrrrr.. 1/2 a pizza that I didn't need from Little C's. Then I stood fully clothed on the scale at night (all variables which contribute to a higher number than I normally see on the little readout).

Breathe deep. It's just a number. Not even a fairly taken number.

Shoot my 4 year old son even ate more pizza than I did. (He's not over weight, just on a growth spurt). I on the other hand, am not on a growth spurt. Or I should say I don't want to be on one.

This post will serve as a reminder that even if it is "my year", I will falter. What I put in this blog is a goal.

Breathe deep. Move on. Pack my swim bag. Back to the pool in the morning.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I can't believe it. I let up.

Today, "I want a CX bike" slipped out somehow in front of my wife. Now, mind you I have four bikes (at least). My fixed gear works wonderfully as a CX single speed bike. And if you buy into the fact that I could do it with one gear, then fine. I think though I might need the extra help of more gears. Blah blah blah.. I got Ironman to worry about for now.. So why let the CX bike slip? It's not really even on the radar yet.

I got the complete warranted/expected "you're not getting another bike now."... OK fine. I got now quarrel with that, for now.

Then I get, "you need to do a full season of races. Then you can get one." What? Can I head off to a season full of CX races every weekend all over Wisconsin???? Dang! And after being rewarded with that, I can buy a new bike ??? She must have been sleeping.

Long story short, I told her I'd forget the conversation (until after Ironman). I don't want her stressing over some non-existent bike purchase for another 6-7 months.. And, oddly enough, I feel good for having dropped it. Win win...

But don't think I forgot about the "do a season of CX races". Oh NO!!! If I can still walk after Ironman, I'll be considering getting muddy.