Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Track workout tonight with some of the New Orleans Track Club (NOTC) members. The scheduled plan was for

4x800 @ 2 mile pace with 2 minutes of rest in between (walking, no jogging)
5 minute jog
4x800 @ 5k pace with 1 minute of rest

I had an idea in mind about what my goal paces were but quickly realized that I should just go with the guys in front because the gap between us and the next runner was significant enough that it probably wouldn't have felt very taxing. My eight 800s ended up being

2:35.4, 2:31.7, 2:34.8, 2:35.4 for the first set
2:42.5, 2:39.9, 2:40.8, 2:38.3 for the second

Came out to a 5:14 average. These felt pretty good, considering how little speed/stamina work I've done in the past 3 months. My breathing was fine throughout, it was my legs that could have used a little help (EPO, anyone?). That will get better the more workouts I do, however.

I'm hoping to stick mainly to tempo runs/fartleks and maaayybe some longer track workouts. I'd rather focus on stamina than speed at this point. 800s will probably be the shortest repeat I do (that's such a blanket statement that will almost certainly not hold true, but whatever).

Good last workout of 2008!


Went out for a longer run at 1 this afternoon and it ended up being a pretty well paced effort. Did a bunch of laps of Audubon Park's outer trail loop which is just over 2 miles averaging 6:45ish pace for a 9.8 mile run. The effort level was not 'easy' but it was really close. I could hold that pace for a long time.

Also ran with May for 4 miles later in the afternoon (at 5) at a great, easy pace that really felt excellent. It was cooler, which was awesome. I was surprised at how nice it felt to do another run so soon after a good, long effort.


Felt a little better on my run today but only physically because mentally it was tough to know that my mileage suffered so much this week. Luckily, a down week was 'on the schedule' but not as down as this week was. Oh well, stuff happens. Fortunately it was apathy, not injury that caused the downward spiral. In Charlotte I just don't have that much else to do other than work out, but here at home there are so many other options that sometimes it's hard to motivate myself to go out for a run or a bike (or swim I guess, but that's a whole different ball of wax) when I could just spend time with the family. Just under 9 miles today in an hour.


Did a quick bike ride, the first part of which was with my dad and younger brother. It was funny to be all kitted up for a ride while leisurely riding along at 12 mph. Don't do that everyday. Went out and back on the levee to get in 19 miles...most of it at a pretty quick pace. I'm looking forward to training camp; my cycling fitness really needs it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


AM: (barely)
Went out for what should have been a 10 mile run but I only ended up doing a little over 5 because of the heat and humidity. As soon as I started out my HR was really sky-high (10-15 bpm over what it normally is!) and I didn't feel all that stellar. It was 70 degrees with 70 percent humidity when I started and when I got home and checked, said it was 80 degrees. That is a big difference for my body. The last run I did in Charlotte (on Monday) was clear and cold (30) so I'm hoping that the heat and the day off contributed to my not-so-great feelings... Got in a 1.8 mile tempo though in around 6:05 pace, which felt pretty terrible. I'm hoping to get in an easy (longer than today) run in tomorrow and then maybe a real workout with a group on Friday. We shall see. Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Drove 11 hours back home to New Orleans today and was in no mood to run. Good thing too, since it was dark when I arrived and doing anything after dark in New Orleans can end up being a relatively sketchy experience. It's 65 here...

Monday, December 22, 2008


Sat around most of the day but was slightly productive owing to the fact that I got my car's tires rotated (about 3000 miles too late), my oil changed (not too late, as I use synthetic oil which is nice but too expensive), and my car inspected (my previous inspection was done in November of Virginia; yes the sticker was still on my car). That took a big chunk out of my day and an even bigger chunk out of my wallet. That is added to the large chunk of change I dropped on a new bike frame last night: the Planet-X Stealth Pro Carbon.

So that's pretty exciting. Hopefully all goes according to plan and I have a new bike ready to rock on February 28th when my first race rolls around...I suppose there's also the issue of being able to really 'afford' it but I know how to be careful (usually).

Got in 10 miles tonight, about 4 by myself and about 6 with Chris. We talked the whole time and I was pretty out of breath and tired. One of the reasons my HR is consistently higher on 'group' runs is either a) I'm just more excited or b) there is talking. I'm hoping it's the latter. Not that it really matters. Didn't feel too hot today; it was 30 degrees so maybe that explains it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Motivated myself to actually get on my bike after scouring the internet for adequate Tri framesets that I don't technically NEED but really, really want. I feel like if I want to go anywhere in this sport I have to not only BE fast; I must also FEEL fast. Mental preparation and readiness is so important in competitions like triathlons because you have to really WANT to do well to finish well. So, shaving your legs makes you LOOK faster and consequently you'll probably go a little faster as well. With a tri-specific frameset, however, it's really not only about looking fast because the correct geometry and aerodynamics of a decent triathlon frame far exceed the capabilities of my beloved Klein's road racing geometry. As much as I love that bike (and really, I do), triathlons are really not it's future.

That being said, I got in a short but fast bike ride today (50 minutes) and covered a "staggering" 17.3 miles while out there. I was little underdressed for 50 degree weather so it was slightly chilly. I could have used some arm warmers.

After the bike I put on my shoes and headed out for a little over 2 loops to get in my first transition run in a while and also get up to 70.3 miles on the week! Woo-hoo, a career high. I feel pretty solid too and I feel as though my body is certainly capable of handling higher running mileage but at this point it's not really necessary to push that boundary.


Kept it pretty easy tonight on the booty loop. I was having a little trouble motivating myself so I sat around for a bit once we got home from work in a light drizzle - not cold - that fizzled my desire to run quite a bit. Once I got out there, however, it was really almost pleasant. 65 degrees with a cool rain is never a bad thing, especially if it's not a heavy rain (which it wasn't). Set a new high in mileage with today's run.

Friday, December 19, 2008


AM: Woke up and for the first time in my life forgot that today was my birthday. I guess once you're past 21 it's not a big deal anymore. You just get older. At least when you turn 25 you supposedly get a nice car insurance break. At 30, you are 30; that's a big deal (in a bad way). Then you just keep going, and going, and going until one start taking Viagra. Then you go some more.

PM: Celebrated in style with a 10 mile run that felt just 'ok.' Wasn't great, wasn't bad. You know the drill. Not as quick of a pace as the last two days but still under 7:30 on a hilly course (for Charlotte). I'll be at a career high for miles after tomorrow, actually. I'm at 53-55 right now (I can't remember exactly and don't feel like looking at my log) and tomorrow I'll be adding 9-10 miles to that and since 60.4 is my high......I'll be awesome again!!! Yay

The injury to my hand rules out swimming (and biking too as the cut is right where my hands sit on the hoods) so I'm just going to let it heal before doing any of that. Well, I might bike on Sunday and next week but I'm going to bandage the s*** out of my hand.


PM: After gashing my hand today at work I was scared that getting my HR up would lead to blood pouring out of what was basically an open wound (that honestly could use a stitch or two) and me fainting and dying. Well, just kidding. Sort of. But not really. Did a quick 9.4 miles today in just over an hour and did 1 lap at my cap HR. Felt pretty solid, the quick lap was...quick. I'm feeling quick these days. My quickness has become quick quickly. I'm tired.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Got my new Adidas Adizero Tempo lightweight trainers in the mail when I got home from work and really flexed their muscle on my run today. Kept it easy and did the exact same route as yesterday, except for a little over 2 minutes faster with only a 1 bpm rise in average HR. I felt really, really solid today and am confident in my ability to put down some pretty good run times this coming year. I might do a MAF assessment test on Sunday because I'm almost sure my MAF mile is in the 6:40s range right now. That's down over a minute from when I started this gig 3+ months ago. That's some real progress. My endurance has come a long way as well, as I can finish a 10 mile run and feel perfectly fine. Hungry (my god was I hungry in the last 15 minutes of my run today) but very fresh.

I was within 3 feet of getting hit by a dumba** driver today who wasn't paying enough attention when SHE was turning left. I was watching her the whole time, knowing that she was not looking for pedestrians and just waiting to see what would happen. I was 'prepared' to jump out of the way if she didn't see me but she did (albeit late as heck) and I hopefully scared some s*** out of her and some sense into her.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Got in 10.35 miles tonight in some pretty dreary weather. Did 3 laps of the booty loop and then added on an out-back to get up and over 10. Felt pretty fatigued, but that's understandable considering the number of miles I've put in recently. In the past 30 days I'm up over 200, not bad. I'm excited for this week, but know that my mileage is going to take a pretty big hit from Dec 29th to January 20th - a lot of that 'hit' will be countered with a massive bump in bike mileage, but still. I'm thinking that I'll take a couple of down weeks, maybe 50 next week and then a couple of weeks around 30-45 depending on how I can fit it in my schedule. Also not sure about swimming, but I think I'll be able to do at least one swim while I'm at home and maybe even an open water event in the Gulf if we go to our beach house.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Went out for a long run and since I wasn't wearing my HR belt it ended up being a little faster than I really intended. Not a bad thing, just means that I was more tired at the end than I would have been otherwise. Got in 13.52 miles in ~95 minutes and was happy that it was the longest run I've done in a good long while. My plan to hit 70 this week has started pretty much on track.

I was going to swim this evening but I've been feeling pretty tired all day so I decided to bag that and just be lazy the rest of the day. Considering I probably burned over 1400 calories on my run this morning (it was actually pretty warm outside today - and will be the rest of this week) I think it's ok that I sat around and ate some junk food.

I was running by this day school at about mile 8 or 9 and it was recess time so there were a ton of kids out in the fenced in playground of the school. As I was running by this group of boys runs up to the fence and one of them said "Excuse me! Excuse me! Could you please get that?" and pointed at a nerf football sitting just out of their reach. I said sure and picked it up and tossed it to him. As I started to run again I heard him saying "Thank you sir" and I was really taken aback by how polite this kid was. It's funny to me that rather than that being the norm it's really the exception. So many people these days - let alone children - just don't have any sense of etiquette or decency. They don't care when they're impolite or rude and don't care about anything other than what they are doing or want. Some people really are just selfish. I would have thrown the football to them regardless of how polite they were but the fact that this kid was so polite made me feel a little better about society. I guess it didn't hurt that this child was attending a very, very nice school and his parents hopefully are raising him well and in complete comfort. No, that definitely probably certainly contributes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


25 mile bike ride on the Booty Loop in the 40 degree weather. Actually, it may have been slightly higher than that but I don't really care because I felt very cold. My toes were like little ice blocks at the end of a measly 1:15 bike ride. For shame. Felt just ok on this ride. My legs were tired and didn't really agree with the whole 'biking' thing. I wasn't going slow though, which was a small consolation. When training camp rolls around on January 7th I am going to be thrashed. Cory is going to ride me pretty much into the ground. Should

6.1 miles on the treadmill to get up to 60 for the week. A light drizzle began as I was returning from my bike ride so that instantly de-motivated me for an outdoor run, even though I really wanted to get in a transition run this week. Oh well. Mixed up the paces a lot just to keep from being bored. Did a bit as fast as 5:15 pace and a bit as slow as 15:00 pace. I enjoyed the walking pace much more.

Did my swim exercises as well plus a lot of stretching after the run before hopping in the pool for a quick 100 yards. Yes, I jumped in the pool for a mere 100 yards (that's 4 laps, fyi). I really just wanted to cool down a bit and loosen up and it worked moderately well in achieving those goals. Just gotta keep working on that stroke; it felt pretty good today. Still have a long way to go if I want to do a ~31-34 minute swim come April.

As a side note, this week I got in 11 hours and 40 minutes of swimming, biking and running. While not a career high, it is close. I feel pretty tired, but not in a way that I can't get over with rest and food. I don't have any pains or injuries that I'm aware of (always nice). My career high came back in August but I had 50 more miles of biking that week and biking is where you really get your hours in on a weekly basis. Although the trade-off is of course my run volume wasn't nearly as high then (13000 yds swimming for 4:07, 82 miles biking in 4:05 and 27.6 miles running in 3:30 hrs). There are trade-offs with everything in life I guess.


Did my usual run but instead of doing 3 easy laps plus an add-on I decided I wanted to test myself out and see how I felt about going fast after having some miles in my legs. So I did my first two laps at relatively easy pace (although not quite as easy as I had intended) then did a lap at 170 bpm. It was tough at first to get my HR going enough to get up to 170, my legs just didn't want to turnover fast enough. But I managed and ended up with just under 3 miles at 6:12 pace all while feeling pretty comfortable. I was tired for sure, but I think that was a combination of all the miles this/last week and the not quite so easy miles before the hard stuff. Not too shabby.

Also did a little bit of swimming at the Y. Swam a continuous 400 free and for the first time felt pretty solid in the water. The stroke is starting to feel much more natural, which is a big step. The more and more I do the exercises (which I also did today) and practice my ODS (also did that today) the better it'll feel and the smoother I'll become.

Friday, December 12, 2008


With my birthday a week from today I decided to do an early celebration by...running 9+ miles yayy!!! Just kidding, I was scheduled for 9+ so I ran 9+. Pretty uneventful except for the fact that my stomach was kicking my a** on the run (almost literally...). I took it very easy - average HR of just 141 - but my pace was still decent and sub 7:30.

Drove to the Y from my run to swim but realized that I had left my swimsuit behind. I probably could have done the swim in my running shorts but I was already skeptical of swimming anyway so I just decided to bag it and do some light resistance workouts that Lance gave me last week instead. They consist of basically strengthening my shoulders/upper back/weird arm muscles that are all involved in getting me to both pop my elbow consistently in the beginning of the 'catch' phase and to push strongly all the way through to my hip. It's a lot harder than it sounds.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Got in a solid 9.85 mile run tonight and it wasn't even raining! Throughout the day at work it rained and poured but once 5 o'clock rolled around the clouds started to dissappear...if only to make way for the moon. Ran 2 laps of the Dilworth loop with people then added on a little over 2 by myself to make sure I stay on track this week. I think my endurance has definitely improved this past month. A 9 mile run no longer feels like it leaves me tired. In fact, I've been having trouble falling asleep for the past week, but I'm not really sure if there's a correlation between that fact and the length of my runs. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say there isn't one.

I'm trying to come up with a good Christmas list (better late than never) and have so far put one thing on it: the Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet. I can't decide on things because I'm never sure whether they will be a lasting investment. For example, I want a pair of tri shoes for the bike but it's hard to justify that when I'll probably only use them for races and they wouldn't give me much advantage in transition. The aero helmet, on the other hand, is THE most cost effective aerodynamic improvement you can make to your setup for races. So instead of purchasing a whole new tri bike I'm going to turn my beloved (and old!) Klein Q-Carbon Team into a triathlon setup. Hopefully it will fit correctly.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Enjoyed an easy run in a light to moderate rain tonight. Did my usual 3 laps of the Booty loop plus an add on to get me to 9.4 miles in under an hour and ten minutes. Felt pretty solid doing so. It's kind of amazing to me how many 'fair weather exercisers' there are out there; so many people claim to be 'runners' or 'bikers,' etc but chicken out when the weather is 'inclement.' I'll be the first to admit that I do indeed run on the treadmill at times but it's usually because of convenience, not cowardice (exaggeration). Really, it was so, so nice out tonight (60 degrees and a cool rain) but I only saw one other person running. Oh well, everyone's loss.

Did a little over half of the masters swim class at the Dowd before cutting out due to cramps in my left calf that refused to go away as much as I tried to work them out; I was also very tired. Did a bunch of 200 stuff (drill, free, stroke, kick, etc) which means that 200 is now the longest continuous swim I've done with this 'new' stroke. Felt pretty nice at times, but I still can feel my muscles start to get tired around the 100 mark. Gonna take a LOT of practice to get this going well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


On a spur of the moment, I decided to join some people for a track workout, something my legs haven't seen or even thought about in a long time. I got there a bit early so I could get in a decent (and slow) warm-up by myself then ran with Scott and Jocelyn (and later the always cheery Chris Cummins) before the workout. Scott and Jocelyn were doing 2x1.5 @ 6:10 pace and then a 1 mile so I decided that sounded like it would be fun and joined in for some slam bang fun.

Note: I have not 'abandoned' the HR training plan, I've just started modifying it to gradually include more threshold work and higher intensities so by the time February rolls around (first race) I'll be able to lay down a pretty good time while still peaking for New Orleans (in an ideal world, of course).

Jocelyn, being the excellent pacer that she is, led everything on pretty exact pace for the first one (9:16) and then a bit faster for the second (9:11). She and I did one more mile and for whatever reason I decided to progress each lap and ended up with a 5:55. It's amazing how different those paces feel. 6:10 feels very comfortable. My breathing is regular, controlled and I don't experience any acid buildup in my legs. I guess speed-work really does have it's benefits. All told got in 9.75 with warm up and cool down today. I think I'm going to shoot for 60 this week, not 55.

Monday, December 8, 2008


2nd coaching session with Lance at 8am in Huntersville today (NOMAD); I felt a lot better about my stroke today than I did last time. I feel as though if I practice enough and everything clicks this will make me much more powerful and efficient. My stroke count is already down (per 25 yds) but I feel awkward and choppy. Got in maybe 500-600 yards during the lesson.

Went to the Harris Y to work through some of the new drills Lance gave me but I forgot a couple of my pool 'toys' and consequently couldn't do everything I wanted. I was pretty exhausted from the earlier session which, even though it was 'light' was still tiring. The South Meck HS swim team was practicing or something in 3 of the 6 lanes (about 5-6 per lane) so the water was extra choppy which was moderately annoying. Plus, half of them goofed off a good bit and the coach did nothing but talk on the phone and give them the workout. I was not impressed, although a lot of them were a good bit faster than me. Oh well.

Ran from the Dowd Y with Cummins, Jocelyn, and Pete for 6 miles but really slogged through it as I felt pretty tuckered out...the swimming today really left me hurting for any energy and I just felt super sluggish on this run. I was originally planning on getting there early and doing 2-3 beforehand but the Panthers MNF game caused a ton of traffic so my late(r) arrival nixed that idea.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Ran a bit on the treadmill to get to 50 miles for the week and just kind of get rid of some of the built up laziness in my legs from the lack of activity on Saturday. Did the run 5 minutes, walk 1 on repeat until the Saints game was over. Didn't feel spectacular, but that's fine.

Did the ODS in the pool today. I think I'm starting to feel how everything is supposed to work together but a good stroke still feels as though it is a long way off...I'm impatient. I'm having a hard time getting my rotation down but I know that I can work it out; hip rotation used to be a key component in what I believe was an excellent golf swing (long gone sadly) and I just need to get that muscle memory going again.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Went for a run with the intention of it being a pretty average easy run (and by easy I mean very easy). I just started going and kept my HR super low (high 130s to low 140s when it's usually high 140s to low 150s) and time just kind of sped right by...

So I ended up doing 12.9 miles, not too bad. It felt very easy and my legs only became fatigued around the 1:20 mark. I remember at one point looking at my watch and I was 35 minutes in and then the next time I looked I was at 1:22. That pretty much wraps it up for the week in terms of running; I'll do ~4 miles on Sunday when I get back from South Carolina to bring me up to 50 for the week. Next week I'm going to hit 55 (hopefully, of course) and then an increase again the week after. It'll be fun.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Ran 2 loops of 3.72 miles with the group. First one was a little faster than I intended but this was one of my 2 days/week where I don't have to care about my HR so I went with it. We ended up averaging 6:45/mi pace really only just pushing on the hills. That's faster than I have run in a long time (3+ months I think) and it felt very good and very easy...not bad. Second loop was a little less intense; it started drizzling a little bit but it wasn't cold (~50) tonight so the rain felt nice. I think some of the best runs I've ever had have been in the rain and almost all of them involved getting over a mental rut. I would be having a down week or two and then I sacked up and went out for a run in less than ideal conditions and ended up really digging it. Today wasn't really like that because my running has been going pretty well but it reminded me of those moments so it was extra cool.

One thing that really annoys me is when people pull up to a light but pass over the intended 'stop line' and/or over the cross walk. I mean, is it really gonna save you that much time, that 5' of space you don't have to traverse when the light turns green? There's definitely a reason 'stop lines' are painted on the roads. The worst is when you're trying to turn left and this car is basically a full car length over where it should be and you have to swing wide and go into the other lane or do something crazy. I like to pass very close to these cars and maybe give them a hint that they're idiots. Plus if I make a mistake and hit them I can just say they pulled into the lane of traffic and sue the s*** out of them. That would be a real lesson.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Just kidding. No way I'm waking up to run at 5:30 when it's 20 degrees out unless I've got a really, really good reason.

Did the same run as yesterday except almost 2 minutes faster. My 3rd lap of booty netted me a 6:59 average pace which is pretty sweet. I was definitely going faster than 'easy' pace but it was still 'easy' if that makes any sense. I like that my breathing is basically the same anywhere from ~7 to ~8 minute pace. I'm pretty excited about my running potential for next year. I think I could take some fairly significant leaps with the base I'm building right now in my legs. 16:30 5k? Who knows, anything is possible (not really, but it makes you feel better if you tell yourself that. Go ahead, try it)

Our softball game was canceled as the other team was a no-show which is always a huge pain in the a** because we all go out there, get warmed up and then have no game. I could have gone swimming 30 minutes earlier if I had just known...ugh those lazy pricks. So I went to the Y and got in a short 1100 yard swim doing a lot more freestyle than I've been doing with my ODS. The new stroke definitely changes the muscle groups I work which will require some significant adaptation but it certainly feels smoother if I put it all together correctly. I haven't timed anything yet because it would be silly to compare times at this stage. There were these two high school guys a couple of lanes over that swam for a while and then raced each other (they were definitely not swimmers) and it was funny because they were working really, really hard but going really, really slow. It's the exact opposite of what I'm trying to do! So cool!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


PM: Ran 8.65 miles on the booty loop today and felt pretty snazzy. I felt a little fatigue in my quads on the last lap (of 3) but other than that it was fine and dandy. Not too cold, maybe only 35 "real feel" which isn't really that bad. I wore shorts and under armor with a wind vest (plus the requisite gloves and beanie) and felt great. Added some new tunes to my running mix (MGMT's Kids, Time to Pretend and Disturbed's Land of Confusion) and all were great additions to what is already a stellar running mix. Thought about swimming afterward but I was feeling a little tired as I didn't get much sleep last night.


Started things off right today with a 2050 yard swim...doing my optimal drill sequence (ODS) given to me by my coach, Lance (how badass is it to have a name like Lance and be in the endurance sport business?). That basically entails doing a lot of work to change the way my catch, initiation, and pull sequence work together to create more power and more efficiency, which add up to me going a lot faster while doing less work. That's a combination anyone can enjoy.

Did 2 miles and some change before meeting up with a group to run 6+ from the Dowd Y. It had been a while since I did the Monday group run and I was happy to make my return. It was a good group consisting of some good runners and one professional triathlete, which is pretty cool. I decided last week that I'm going to let myself not care about my HR a couple of times a week just so I don't become overly obsessed with it when my readings may be higher (or lower, but mainly higher) than I feel like they really should be; I consequently let myself run at the pace the group was going and felt really good.