Thursday, July 30, 2009

Triathlon Training: 750 Yds Swim + Video Gear Check

Hello!

So, I had another crazy day at work and I am sitting here now at 11:00PM finally able to slow down. I got home around 6pm this evening and went straight to the gym. I did 30 easy laps and just focused on my technique and breathing. I felt really good after I left pool.

After that I stopped at Target and picked up power bars, whey protein, and some other supplies. From there it was cleaning out the car, packing my luggage, strapping the bike rack to the car, cooking dinner and packing up all my Tri gear! I think that everything is good to go. I have a bunch of stuff to do tomorrow for work and then we are leaving for New Braunfels.

If you want to learn more about the event I am participating in here is the website: http://www.jacksgenerictri.com/

The only negative news is that the weather forecast is now saying that on Sunday the high temperature is going to be 105 Degrees!! As you can imagine, I am not real pleased with that, but what can you do! I am guessing by the time my run starts it will already be in the low 90's - definitely going to wear my hydration belt!

Anyways, whenever I first decided to do a Triathlon one of the the things I found myself asking over and over again was, "What gear do I need to do a Triathlon?" So, after a couple of months of asking questions and Googling like it was my job I am pretty sure that question is answered. Now if you are considering doing a Tri here is my video checklist:



Wish me luck and I will be back with a full report on Sunday evening.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Triathlon Training: 5K Hard Run + Tri Goals and Thoughts

Hello everyone. Bear with me, I am feeling even more long winded that usual!

One heck of a day! I drove all over the city of Houston for work and my baseball team made two big trades, tons of AM sportstalk radio!! - The Pirates traded Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson for a boat load of prospects. I absolutely love MLB this time of the year and I am happy with the trades. Buccos need to restock their minor leagues and they picked up 6 guys today. Very Moneyball-like moves!

Anyways, I was thinking about doing a video for the first time. My buddy Boomer over at the Project Exercise blog does videos and I enjoy them so I thought about doing one myself! But I am too damn tired and need to go to bed AND, unlike Boomer, I have zero editing skills so the video would be rather raw! If I have time I might try and do one tomorrow going over all the gear needed for the Triathlon.

This evening I hit the treadmill. I was planning on doing a mid-tempo (8-9 min/mile) type of run, but after about a 1/2 mile in I was feeling great and decided to bust some ass. I was running at about a 6.5 mph pace but bumped it up to 7.5-8.0 mph for the next 2 miles. Then with a half mile to go I pretended to be approaching the finish line and ended up cranking the treadmill up to 9.9 mph. I finished my 5k in 22:49 - a personal best. My max HR got all the way up to 185 BPM so I probably pushed a little harder than I should have but I wanted to see what I could do! Quite the difference from when I could barely break 30 minutes in the 5K a few months ago!

So with my Triathlon coming up on Sunday some of you may be wondering what my goals are for the event? Initially when I decided to do this I had two goals: 1) Just finishing; & 2) When standing at the starting line do not question whether I trained hard enough. I can tell you now that I honestly believe that I have trained hard enough - I am ready. If i don't finish it will be because my nose got broke or I crashed my bike. Not because I was too tired. So #1 should take care of itself.

But since I am a goal oriented -type A personality type of guy I want to do more now. The Swim is 500 Meters. I'd be happy finishing around 12 minutes but am hopeful I can do it under 10 minutes. The conditions of the lake (we are in a severe drought) will probably have more to do with this then my freestyle stroke or fitness level. The Bike is 14 Miles. My goal here is to do this in 50 minutes or less. I am hopeful this can be done in around 47 minutes. The Run is 3.1 miles. My goal is to complete this in under 30 minutes. I am hopeful this can be done in around 26 minutes. Overall with the 2 transitions I'd like to finish under 1 hour 40 minutes.

The part of the race I am most concerned about is surprisingly, the run. Most triathletes worry about the swim but I feel pretty confident with my Total Immersion stroke and I feel that I am tough enough (just did the Tim "the toolman" Taylor laugh) to take the beating that inevitably happens during the swim. The reason the run concerns me is that it is freaking hot in Texas. The race begins at 8:00am. My flight starts at 8:09. If all goes as planned my run should be beginning around 9:15-9:20ish. By this time the sun is going to be up and it is going to be 90 degrees already. I plan on hydrating like crazy and am going to wear my water belt for the run.

Here is the forecast for New Braunfels on Sunday:
Sun Aug 2
Partly Cloudy
High -103° Lo - 74°


Notice the 103 degree high!!!

So those are my "goals" and pre-race thoughts. Tomorrow I am going to try the video and that will more than likely be my last post until the race. I will try and update the blog on the 3hr ride home in the car after the race. The wife of my buddy who is doing the Tri with me is a photographer so she'll probably have a bunch of great pics and I will share on the blog.

Final swim is tomorrow!

Thanks or Reading,

Jeff

Triathlon Training: 1000 Yard Bilateral Swim

Last night I was able to get to the gym around 9pm and get in a quick 40 laps. For the first 30 laps I did nothing by the bilateral 5 stroke and then the last 10 laps I did five on the left and five on the right every other stroke. I want to be efficient with both strokes in case the conditions are rough or if sighting becomes an issue.

Other than that my eating has been nothing but clean since I've returned from Spain. I don't even think I have had a single beer. And my body is responding to the high quality nutrition because my strength and stamina has been off the charts the last few days.

This evening I am going to do a medium-high paced 5k. Going to try and do it around 24-25 minutes just to give my heart a good aerobic and some anaerobic workout. Tomorrow will be an easy 30 or so laps at the pool. Friday I was planning to do a light 2 mile run but I may not have time as it is the last day of the month at work. Then we are making the 3 hour drive to New Braunfels. We rented a house for the weekend since the the Tri is on Sunday morning.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Triathlon Training: 3.5 Mile Run

With the race now less then a week away I decided to keep going hard with my workouts. I plan on doing a light run on Friday and then taking Saturday as a rest day and that will be my mini-taper into the event.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the gym to hit the treadmill. One of the things I dislike about running is that I seem to get bored rather quickly. They have TV's at the gym but I cannot hear because the volume is down and cannot read the subtitle because my vision sucks! I bring my iPod to listen to music but even that gets old after a short time. So, my new thing is downloading movies to my iPod and watching them while I run! The difficulty was that the iPod would tend to bounce around from the vibration of the treadmill. While I but some double-sided Velcro on the back of my iPod case and stuck it to the treadmill and problem solved! So now I have movies to watch while running! So as I was watching, "Taken" yesterday I did 3.5 miles. I felt very strong and could have went another mile or two but I had to go meet Annie and friends for dinner. My 5k split was 24:40. With each passing day of training I am becoming more confident that I am going to do well at the Triathlon.

I have decided what I am going to wear for the Tri. This is sort of a tough decision. Do you change clothes behind a towel at the transitions? Do you change from swim trunks, to bike shorts, to running shorts? Do you wear a speedo? Well, after a few trials I have decided that I am going to wear Triathlon shorts for the entire event. These look like a pair of biking shorts except the pad in the ass is not as large. Because it is a smaller pad you can run and swim in the same shorts. And the material is neoprene like so they dry rather quickly. Now one of the problems I was having with these shorts is the lack of "male" support. Since you are swimming in these you cannot wear briefs underneath because they will be wet and uncomfortable for the rest of the race. So, I found a cheap little Michael Phelps looking speedo at the Academy Sports and will be wearing that underneath. I have tried it out on all three events and my brick it it worked out perfect. Hopefully by keeping my clothing options simple my transitions will go much smoother for me than most newbies!

Today is another swimming day. I am going to do a minimum of 40 laps (1000 yards) and possibly a few more.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Triathlon Training: 1500 Yd Swim + Ab Ripper X

The countdown is on ... 6 days until my race!

I am not at all nervous, somehow I have been born with out that emotion, but I am anxious!

This afternoon I went to the pool to do laps and practice my bilateral breathing and Total Immersion technique. I am happy to report that today was my strongest swimming day in months! I did the first 20 laps (500 yards) focused on alternating breathing every 5 and 3 strokes. So my cadence was like this: 5 underwater strokes - Breath, 3 underwater strokes - Breath, 5 underwater strokes -Breath ...repeat .... I would normally take me about 17 strokes to per lap so I was breathing an average of 4 times per lap. And by breathing on odd numbers it has me alternating on the left and right while taking my breaths

The next 20 laps I just breathed every 5 strokes. This went much better than the last few times I have done it. The best apart about this is that you can really work on your freestyle technique when breathing doesn't get in the way and I was moving like a fish through the water! By far the best my TI stroke has felt since I began swimming a few month back. I am pretty pumped about this development more importantly confident.

The next 20 laps I did a pyramid. 6 laps (30 sec break), 5 laps (break), 4 laps ...etc. I stopped at 2 laps because it was the side of the pool I started on and I had to grab my towel and locker key! The last 4 laps of the pyramid I did the backstroke. I decided that if something went wrong (cramp, muscle pull, elbow to nose...) with my freestyle stroke at the Tri I better have a back-up. I was surprised at how well the backstroke went for me considering I had no idea how to do it. But if something does go wrong I'd be cool with doing this for a little bit.

I have started to lay the supplies out that are going to be needed for the race. I bought myself a bag that is made for Triathlons. It has a ton of compartments and a little chair/bench that comes off so I can sit down in the transition area to put on my shoes. It also has a compartment that is water proof to put your swim gear in after the race - very cool. And it comes with nylon mat that can be used to stand on in the transition area. Yeah, I took that out because a towel will be fine! Anyways, my dining room table has become my staging area and will continue this way until Thursday night when I pack everything I need in the bag.

Tomorrow is a running day. Will try and do 4 miles on the treadmill.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Triathlon Training: Brick Day

It has been over a month since I attempted to do a brick and I was looking forward to it. A brick is a term used during triathlon training when you do two of the three events back-to-back. Today I did a 14 mile Cycle followed immediately by a 3 mile run. The reason this needs to be practiced is that you need to train your body to get used to moving from one event to the next. Also, it give you a chance to practice your transition!

Today I got out of bed around 6:30am and had a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter as soon as I woke up! I wanted to some fuel in me for the upcoming torture my body was about to endure. Next Sunday my Tri starts at 8am so I wanted to start about the same time today so I can get used to it. I ended up starting at 7:45 so I was close enough.

After some stretching I jumped on the bike and hit start on my Garmin. It took me about 5 miles for my legs to feel decent. I should have did a little more stretching and warming up before I started. I will be sure to do that next week. The ride was pretty nice. I stayed in my community so I had to stop and/or slow down numerous times but overall it was a good ride. I did the 14 miles in 48:12. This is about as good as I can do in my community due to all the stopping. I'd actually be happy with this time next week!

I rode into my garage (transition area) and parked the bike, removed my helmet, strapped on my water belt, toweled off, grabbed my iPod and started to run. The total transition only took me 1:15 - I'd be thrilled with this time next week!

Now the difficult part began. My legs felt so goofy. When you are sitting on a bike pedaling for 48 minutes your legs get used to that motion and so does your vascular system. When you start doing a completely different motion with your legs, like running, it takes a little while for your legs to feel right again. The first 1/2 mile was absolutely ridiculous. My legs felt like two two-by-fours attached to my hips. But shortly after that I started to feel better and found a groove - a slow groove - but nonetheless a groove! I ended up finishing the 3 miles in 28 minutes. The part that was concerning for me was the my Average Heart Rate for the run was 171 BPM with a max of 183 BPM. That is extremely high for me, but for some reason I felt fine running the entire time. I actually could have run a little harder but I kept watching my HR during the run and backed off some.

Overall I was happy with the Brick. The last mile was hard because the sun was sitting high above the trees at this point and I was running due East, right into it, and it was HOT! Not just hot, but Africa Hot! I needed to do this Brick just to see where I was physically. You always think you are ready but until you actually but your body through the ringer you really do not know. Now I know because I really wasn't very tired after I was done and I felt good the entire time.

This coming week I am going to train pretty hard up until Thursday. Friday will be a light day and the Saturday will be an off day. If you are considering doing a Tri or just are wondering how the thing even works I am going to write about that also. Clothing, Transition, Check list, Nutrition, etc .... I will cover it all from start to finish!

Tomorrow is a swimming day -- 1000 yards minimum.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Triathlon Training: 1500 Yd Swim

Yesterday afternoon I went to the pool and got in 60 laps which is 1500 yards. Although I am still pretty slow in the water my conditioning felt good and I wasn't even that tired when I finished. I considered going for 2000 yards but since I am doing a Bike-Run Brick the next day I decided to stop and save a little for the Brick.

Not much else to report. I have 7 days left of training before my triathlon with this morning's cycle will be my last workout on the bike and I will alternate swimming and running over the next 6 days!

Alright, time to go do the Brick!

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Triathlon Training: 3 Mile Run + Nutrition Review

Started the morning off with my usual 2 scoops of Whey protein with ice, a banana, and fat free organic milk in the blender for a tasty vanilla shake. I also had a whole wheat bagel with 2 teaspoons of organic peanut butter. Around 10:30am I had a chocolate chip cookie dough flavored Balance Bar for a snack. For lunch I changed it up a little and had an Almond Mocha High Protein Shake from the Smoothie King. The thing has like 50G's of Protein so it really feels me up. I had a banana and some almonds for a midday snack and for dinner I had whole wheat pasta with 8oz of scallops using extra virgin olive oil as the sauce! I probably had 15-18 cups of water so far today.

I haven't talked much about nutrition since I finished P90X, but this is pretty close to what I do daily. Except I usually have a turkey or chicken sandwich for lunch. I usually take in between 150-200 G's of Protein and at least that much in complex carbs. If I add up the calories each day I am always between 2400-3000. So, basically I am doing phase 2 and sometimes phase 3 of the P90X diet.

The reason I bring this up today is because it has been awhile since I weighed myself in the morning and my weight is 152 lbs. When I began P90X I was 181 lbs and 6 months before I began P90X I was over 195 lbs. Since I began training for the triathlon my weight has dropped about 4 lbs. The real kicker is that I feel absolutely wonderful.

If you are reading this post and are considering doing P90X or have already started but you haven't really committed to the nutrition plan you might as well just stop right now. Sure the P90X workouts are hard, but you will not see results like you do on the infomercial or even on my blog if you ignore the nutrition plan. If you are going to half-ass it then why even do it? Commit fully or not at all!

I am living proof that the P90X nutrition plan doesn't have to end after 90 days. My intention was not to get on my soapbox here, but I get so sick of hearing people make excuses about nutrition. (Yes, I had this conversation with someone today!) None of us are perfect when it comes to clean eating. I have made poor choices at times, Tony Horton probably has too. The key is to make a hell of lot more good choices than poor and you will succeed at this. But it is up to you and you alone. Do not blame the restaurant, the party, the friend, the family member, the co-worker, the busy schedule .. blah, blah, blah. If it was easy everyone would do it. So suck it up, quit crying about it, and just make some sacrifices.

Alright, I am done. Ended up hitting the treadmill today again instead of running outside. We had much welcomed rain showers, some violent, popping up all over the place! This was my 3rd day of running in the last four and I must admit the legs felt a little rubbery today. I ended up running 3 miles in 26 minutes. A couple of minutes slower than I'd like but overall not too bad. I used the heart rate monitor on my Garmin today just to see how it was going. The Garmins GPS function is rendered useless indoors so I can only use the timer and heart rate functions. I stayed around 165 bpm and ran at a 7.o mph pace.

Tomorrow I am going to swim 1500 yards and on Saturday a bike-run brick is in the plans!

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Triathlon Training: 1000 Yard Swim

Well, I just realized I forgot to post yesterday! I got caught up in a book and read it through the night and never even check anything online. Was a good book, I guess!

9 days until the Triathlon!

It should be a fun weekend. My friend Chris is also doing the Tri and his wife and mine are good friends so we rented a house in New Braunfels for the weekend. On Friday afternoon we are going to make the 3 hour drive to the house and then Chris and I are going to go to the local bike shop that is sponsoring the event in Austin to pick up our race package and register. Then on Saturday morning we are renting tubes and floating down the river. This is an absolute blast and usually requires a cooler full of beer! I might have one or two but will probably designate myself as the driver so I am not tempted to have more. We figure after the tubing we can hit a nice restaurant and carb-load away and turn in early that night. The race starts at 8am on Sunday morning and is about 15 minutes from where we are staying. I am planning on getting there by 6:30am to get the transition area all set to go.

Anyways, yesterday I went to the gym and again there was a group in the indoor pool. It turns out that it is the local high school and they are holding try outs this week. And the goofy french looking dude with the crazy accent I mention the other day is the swim coach - always makes me laugh when stereotypes are spot on! And the first lane is open for us members so my bitching was somewhat short-sighted, but a couple of water-walkers were in the lane moving rather slow. Since it was around 6:30 and the sky was clear I went to the outdoor pool.

The water temperature was pretty much like a bath - very warm! But that is good because I imagine the lake I am swimming in is going to be 80+ degrees so it is good to get used to it! I felt pretty strong in the water and I can tell my conditioning is coming back. I was on my 40th lap when I noticed a little old lady was trying to get my attention. I stopped and looked at her and she said, "What the hell are you doing?", shocked I looked back at her and said, "What the hell you talking about?", she pointed to the sky, which was filled with lightning bolts and was no longer clear. She then purposefully strode away without another word - nice. I was so engrossed in counting my bilateral strokes that I didn't even notice the huge storm clouds developing overhead and the accompanying light show! So I jumped out of the pool and ran for cover.

Probably could have done another 20 laps but I had such a strong swim that I cannot complain.

I was planning on Swimming again today but have decided to go Running instead and let my swimming muscle recover a little. This way I can swim tomorrow and then on Saturday I should be fresh for my bike-run brick!

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Triathlon Training: 3.1 Mile Run + Ab Ripper X

So I go to the gym this evening with the intention of swimming and practicing my breathing. I get there and some swim club/team/group/thingy is in the pool. Some crazy foreign dude was yelling at the people swimming laps. A coach, I assumed. I listened for a minute and couldn't tell if he was yelling in English or not. Very weird. It was about 5 minutes after 6pm and they are usually done at 6:30. Luckily, I brought my running shoes and shorts so I decided to jump on the treadmill and get a lower intensity run in and then go swim when the pool opens up.

I did 3.1 miles in around 25 minutes. I ran at a nice pace and can really feel my conditioning coming back to me. And a huge difference in my HR without the NO-Xplode! I could have pushed it a little harder but wanted to save something for the pool. By the time I finished and cleaned off the treadmill and had some water it was about 6:45 and they were still in the damn pool! So, I went up to the weight area and grabbed a mat and did ARX. Used an 8 lb medicine ball again for the Mason Twists! By this time it was 7pm and I went down to the pool again and as I was walking down the steps I noticed a new pool schedule hanging on the wall. This group has the pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-7:30pm! I was too hungry to wait another half hour so I just went home. I am sort of PO'd that my gym lets this group have the indoor pool for 3 hours during peak time. On M/W/F another group has it from 5-6:30, I can live with that but the Tues & Thurs is not cool. Might have to find a new gym!

I'd like to go to the pool early tomorrow but our upstairs A/C is not working and the repair man is coming at 7:30am. I am very concerned that my Quintana Roo fund is going to have to be used to fix the stupid air conditioner. Hopefully it is a small insignificant part that needs fixed (yes, I am aware that I am delusional) and it won't cost hardly anything. But when it is 100 degrees everyday the A/C in your house is a lot more important than a new Tri Bike!

Tomorrow will be a swimming day.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Monday, July 20, 2009

Triathlon Training: 4 Mile Run + 5 Mile Bike + Bilateral Breathing Advice

Hello everyone!

First I want to start off with some advice I received from my buddy Todd. Todd has been doing triathlons for a couple of years now and recently completed a 70.3 (Half Ironman). I have been tinkering with my breathing during my swimming - which is probably stupid considering my Tri is less than 2 weeks away! But he posted this response about bilateral breathing (Boomer you will find this very interesting) yesterday and I found it very informative:

As for the bilateral breathing, if you can do it great, if not, it's not
mission critical. The more oxygen you get the better, and until your lungs adapt
you might actually be doing more harm than good with the bilateral breathing. I
just alternate sides each lap (left-down, right back). This helps you be able to
adjust to race day conditions when the waves are coming from one side or the
other, or you need to sight the shoreline, or stay away from the guy who keeps
slamming into you.

Thanks Todd!

Anyways, after my little crash yesterday I was able to muster up some energy and get back on the horse. Monday's are always just crazy days for me at my job! My phone started ringing at 7:30 am and didn't stop until 6pm. A lot of Docs take off Friday and then come in to the office on Monday morning and they have all this crap to deal with. So, when they have crap to deal with they call me. Pretty much every Monday is like this and today was no exception. Finally I made it to the gym around 6:30. I was feeling a little down so I decided to take two scoops of the pre-workout booster NO-Xplode. For those of you who followed my P90X progress you will remember that I talked about this supplement all the time and I absolutely love it. However, this was the first time I have tried it before running.

Well, it definitely gave me a boost. Driving to the gym I was about to jump out of my skin! This stuff is great. The only problem is that my Heart Rate was out of control. Usually I will set the treadmill around 7.6-8.0 mph for my runs and my Heart Rate will usually stay in the mid to upper 160's. Today I checked my HR at the 1.5 mile mark and it was at 180 BPM .... way too high. Now my conditioning is not where it was before my layoff but it is not this bad. It had to be the No-Xplode that was causing this. I slowed my pace down and my HR dropped down to the lower 170's. With the slower pace I finished the 5k at 26 minutes. I walked a little to get my HR down and then ran another mile at a 9 minute pace for a total of 4.1 miles on the treadmill today.

Now I jumped off the treadmill and I was still pretty jacked up from the NO-Xplode so I jumped on the spin bike and did a quick 5 miles. I wasn't planning on doing any biking until the weekend but since I had the energy I figured it couldn't hurt. I am glad I did the bike because it allowed me to stay in the aerobic zone and burn of the rest of the effects of the supplement.

Lesson learned today was that pre-workout supplements are for weight training days only. I think I may have made this mistake during plyo and kenpo a couple of times in the past but completely forgot -- oh well, at least I got in the extra biking!

Tomorrow is a swimming and ARX day. I am going to work on the bilateral and side-to-side breathing like Todd recommended. Not really sure what the conditions are going to be like so it is probably better to be prepared for everything!

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff



Sunday, July 19, 2009

Triathlon Training: Crash and Burn

Today was not a good day. I struggled to get out of bed and did not accomplish that until 9:30 am. Which is beyond abnormal for me. I am a morning person and usually jump right out of bed. Then I made it to the kitchen and Annie and I made a nice healthy breakfast: Whole Wheat Waffles, Turkey Sausage, and Egg Whites.

I then became engrossed in the British Open and sat down to cheer for Tom Watson. Well, five minutes later I was passed out on the couch. I woke up right before he missed the putt on the 18th and then dozed off again until the final hole of the playoffs. Once again, high unusual for me!

After that Annie and I had a bunch of errands and grocery shopping to do. I pretty much sleep-walked through my entire day and could go to sleep again right now. I did not have the energy or desire to even consider actually running today?

Well, I got to thinking and this was pretty much my body saying it needed a break. Not so much from working out but more from the last couple of weeks. Overseas travel, jet lag, sleep deprivation, long hours at work, more sleep deprivation and the wisdom teeth extractions. When I look back I am shocked I didn't shutdown a few days ago. I could have pushed through today as I have in the past but I firmly believe this would have done more harm than good to my overall training.

I can now start tomorrow and hit it hard being completely refreshed and energized.

I want to focus this week on working on my Total Immersion technique and especially my bilateral breathing. I also want to pay a lot of attention to my running as well. So, I am not going to bike again until Sunday and alternate running and swimming this week. Should be fun.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Triathlon Training: 24 Mile Bike

Got up at 6am today, tossed the bike in the SUV and headed down to the rural roads of Huffman, TX. I met up with my buddy Chris and we ended up doing 24 miles. We somehow missed a turn because normally this trail is 26 miles - not sure what really happened?

Anyways, it was a very comfortable ride despite the heat. I was able to keep myself hydrated and that really helped. By the time we were finished at 9am it was already 92 degrees! We checked my Garmin at the 14 mile mark, which is the length of my upcoming Tri, and we were at 48 minutes. I'd be good if I did this time for the Tri. The good news was that we really weren't even busting ass either so I believe this time could be even better by a minute or two.

Chris recently acquired a "vintage" Trek 1000 Road bike via craigslist and I rode it for a couple of miles. This bike is a lot faster than my cheap-ass Schwinn Prelude and it convinced me that if I decide to continue doing Triathlons that a new bike is in my future. On my bike I have to work hard to maintain a 20mph speed. On the Trek it was a lot easier, the crank just feels more powerful with each turn. He said the same thing after riding my bike. However, we both agree that my bike is a more comfortable ride ... which in terms of time means nothing at all so I have that going for me! I can't even imaging how awesome my time could be on a brand new Quintana Roo? I might find out soon enough if a couple of things break my way over the next few weeks!!

Tomorrow morning I am going to try and run around 9am. The reason for choosing 9am is that the starting time for my race is 8am and I figure 12 minutes for the swim and 50 minutes for the bike which would put me around 9am for the run. It should be in the upper 80's/low 90's by then so it might be a ton of fun!

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Friday, July 17, 2009

Triathlon Training: 1000 Yard Swim + Fresh Air Fund 1/2 Marathon

I received and email from an organization called the Fresh Air Fund asking if I could mention a 1/2 Marathon that they are Sponsoring in New York City on August 16th. According to the website the Fresh Air Fund is:

Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free
summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City
children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children
visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town
Program or attend one of five Fresh Air Fund camps.


So, if any of you are in the NYC area this looks like a good time and a great cause. Here is the sign up link: http://www.freshair.org/half-marathon.aspx

Okay, today was another busy work day. I packed power bars and water in my travel cooler and was able to eat clean all day! Around 6:30 this evening I was able to fight the fun Houston traffic on over to the gym and get in 1000 yards swimming. My conditioning has definitely declined since my last swim. The first 750-yards or so were pretty strong but the the last 10 laps were tough. My HR was up like it was when I first began swimming a few months back. The good news is I still have 2 weeks and the Tri is only 500 Meters!

Tomorrow morning at 7am me and a buddy are going to do the 26.2 mile road bike trail. My legs are feeling pretty strong so I am looking forward to it. The next two weeks I am going to try and do more of my training outside. This is going to be a challenge because Houston is absolutely ridiculously hot right now. We are always hot, but this year is just sick. We are having a record heat wave and I can't even remember the last time it rained. The reason I need to do this is because my Triathlon is going to be in these conditions and I need to be ready.

It is so damn hot that I got my head shaved yesterday. I couldn't handle the sweat in my hair anymore so I said screw it and I figure I will be more aerodynamic for my race (hehe).

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff






Thursday, July 16, 2009

Triathlon Training: 5K and ARX

Alright everyone the Carrot is back up and running!

After my Pamplona excursion and wisdom teeth extractions I am back on track and ready to blog.

First off, the removal of my wisdom teeth wasn't all that bad. I went in the Doctor (who is a good buddy of mine) gave me a few shots and he yanked those suckers out. The crackling sound they made was sort of cool - yes I am demented! The problems occurred after when my sockets would not stop bleeding. Two-and -a-half days of bleeding and it sucked. The first day was awful because I had to change the gauze like every 20 minutes and I had that shitty iron taste in my mouth. I was actually nauseous for the entire time - a very rare occurrence for me.

Anyways, I am back on solid foods and have my sights set square on the Triathlon. I wanted to ease back into training today and just do a light 1.5 mile run followed by 1.5 miles of jogging. Well, I got to the gym and hit the treadmill and just ended up running 5K. I did do it at a little slower pace - finished in 27:10 - just to be safe. My HR was up a little higher than I would have liked but I guess that is to be expected considering the amount of time I was inactive.

After the run I went to the back of the gym and did a pretty aggressive Ab Ripper X workout. Even used the 10lb medicine ball for the mason twists. I was feeling beat up when I left - awesome feeling!

Since I have been home my diet has been clean. I had some fried rice tonight at dinner (Benihanas) with coworkers and I wasn't pleased but that was the only choice and I was starving. Scallops and Chicken Breast for the main meal. And the last few days have been tons of protein shakes since it was hard to eat anything solid. I found myself craving carbs.

I basically have 2 weeks to go until the Triathlon. Tomorrow night I am going go swimming and get in at least 1500 Yards and do ARX again. Saturday morning is going to be an early AM cycle on the 26.2 Mile Road Course. Sunday will start a hole new Run-Swim-Bike repeat, until race day.

Good to be back!

Jeff

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Triathlon Training Days 77-86: Running of the Bulls




video


I am finally back in good old Texas! What a great time we had in Pamplona at the Festival of San Fermin and the Running of the Bulls. This video above was taken from a balcony on the first day of the running. If you watch closely a runners gets jacked up pretty good!

I ran on the the second day and the only word I can use to describe the experience is: SURREAL!

We started towards the end of the course and made it into the arena where 20,000 spectators were cheering us on. When the bulls began to approach I could actually feel a rumble on the cobblestone road and started to run like hell! One bull passed me on the left side and I made it to the entrance of the stadium with the remaining bulls right next to me. At that point my heart was beating like never before and I made an immediate right into the stadium, avoiding the bulls, and celebrated like a madman!

Here is a picture of my friends Chris, me, and Jeremy in the stadium shortly after the run:


I am not sure what was more dangerous: the actual bulls or the crazy runners coming at you like a swarm of bees. I ended up getting a little dazed by an elbow that caught me solidly on the jaw but adrenaline took over and I didn't even feel that until the next day. I also woke up with a huge bruise on my ribs. All worth it for this once in a lifetime experience.

Now, my training has gone to hell. I did not get a single day of exercise in while on the trip, ate like garbage, and was sleep deprived. The funny thing is the place we stayed was like 4 miles away from the Festival and we probably walked 30-40 miles over the four days and I actually came back weighing a pound less! Actually the eating wasn't horrible the problem was the mass quantities of beer!

And tomorrow morning is not going to get any better. I am having all four of my wisdom teeth removed. In a perfect world I would wait until after the Triathlon to have this procedure done but I am experiencing a great deal of discomfort and they need to come out. I have no idea how I am going to react. Usually I am a pretty quick healer and am able to tolerate minor pain but from what others have told me the wisdom teeth can be pretty bad. I am hopeful that I can resume training on Wednesday or Thursday.

So wish me luck for tomorrow and I will be back soon with an update.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Friday, July 3, 2009

Triathlon Training Day 76: Pack and Travel


Well, I was unable to find the time to get in a workout today. Ended up having too many loose ends to tie up at work before I went! Getting ready to leave in a couple of minutes and I will be away from the blog until Saturday, July 11th.

Check back in then because I should have plenty of pictures and maybe a video or two from The Running of the Bulls!


Jeff

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Triathlon Training Day 75: 4 Mile Run

I was looking back over my last month of posts and realized that I haven't spoke about nutrition too much lately. Probably because it has become habitual to me and I know longer think of what I am eating as different. When I started P90X last year it was so new and weird for me to measure my food, count calories, and read labels. Now it is weird not to!

Anyways, my days are pretty similar nutrition-wise. Today for breakfast I had a vanilla whey protein shake. It is comprised of of 2 heaping scoops of EAS Vanilla Whey Protein, 0% Fat Organic Milk, Ice, and a banana. Also for breakfast I had a whole wheat bagel with a teaspoon of peanut butter. Around 10:30 I had a Pure Protein bar for a snack. For lunch I usually try and have a turkey or chicken sandwich on whole wheat, but today I stopped at a Smoothie King and had the 45G Protein filled, "Gladiator". They are awesome! They also account for about 550 calories depending on the fruit you add -- I like strawberry and banana! Around 3:30 I had a chocolate chip cookie dough Balance bar. This bar is 210 calories, 21 carbs, and 15 G of Protein. I love the taste of these bars! For dinner I baked a 8 oz of chicken breast and cut up and had fajitas on whole wheat shells and mixed veggies in the side. I had 3 of them and the calories were about 800, protein 60Gs, Carbs 75Gs.

If you add up the numbers my carbs and protein are about 50/50 and I am averaging around 2400-2700 calories per day. I am not as strict as I was during P90X with Protein, Carbs, and fat but instead I now focus on eating as clean as possible. By eating clean I try to avoid saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup, simple carbs, enriched white flour, sugar, alcohol (not completely(-:), all sweets, anything processed, high sodium, and all soda! These things no longer make it to my kitchen. I easily drink 12-15 cups of water a day, usually as much as 20 a day. My favorite thing to do is mix in the Crystal Light Green Tea with my water because I love the taste and the antioxidants are good at flushing my system daily.

So that has been the way I have been eating. My energy level is just wonderful and I feel great. Each time I go into a workout my body is prepared because of my eating habits. I used to have acid reflux all the time and I can't even remember the last time that has happened to me! I used to write that when I was doing P90X that the diet was very important. That was a complete understatement because the diet is so much more than important, it is essential!

Today's workout was 4 miles running on the treadmill. I made it the gym at 9pm tonight and watched, "The Office" on my ipod as I ran - helped with the mundaneness of the treadmill! My 5k split was 23:49 and I finished the 4 miles in 31:50. I backed off a little at the end as my left knee started to feel a little stiff. Stretched it out afterwards and it feel fine! I also did an abbreviated ARX after my run. I was the last person at the gym, they close at 10pm, and I could see the staff looking at me because I am sure they wanted to go home! After the Fifer Scissors I jumped right to the Mason Twists with an 8lb medicine ball and finished up.

I have a ton of loose ends to tie up tomorrow before I leave for Newark. I was thinking I would love to get up around 5am and drive down to my bike trail, but being that is is midnight already and I have a few things to do before bed that ain't gonna happen! I will probably go to the gym and get a swim and a stationary bike ride in!

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Triathlon Training Days 73 & 74: Swimming, Stationary Bike, ARX, and Pamplona!

Good to back in the pool. Was able to go to the gym this evening and get in 750 yards (30 laps). I was a little rusty in the beginning but the good news was that my conditioning is as good as ever. I would have done more then 30 laps but the local swim group had the pool reserved so I had to leave. Instead of going home I went and rode 10 miles on the stationary spinning bike and did Ab Ripper X. Very solid cardio day.

Yesterday ended up being a missed workout day because it was the end of the month. As an outside sales rep I have a monthly quota that I am responsible for. And the company also has a monthly goal as well. We all had to push hard and it resulted in me getting up at 5am and getting home a 10pm. I was actually going to try and get a P90X workout in but by the time I changed out of my suit and tie the adrenaline of the day had passed and I couldn't even muster enough energy to check my email!

Well, I have two more days left to get my workouts in before I leave for Spain! When I return on July 10th I plan on doubling up my cardio workouts. Morning and Night until a few days before the race when I will taper. July 11th and 12th will be butt kickers and then on Monday the 13th I am having all four wisdom teeth removed. That should be a blast! I will probably be down for a day or two (hopefully not more) after that fun procedure.

My schedule in Spain is probably not going to allow any workouts. On Friday night we are flying to Newark, NJ. On Saturday morning we are going to the Nathan's Hotdog eating contest. I know it is gross but it should be a fun time nonetheless!

On Saturday night our plane leaves (10 and 1/2 hours) and we arrive in Madrid on Sunday morning. From there we need to find our way to the train station and make the 3-4 hour ride to Pamplona. On Monday morning the festival for San Fermin kicks off followed by an entire day of partying. Tuesday morning we have a balcony reserved to watch the opening day of the Running of the Bulls and hopefully get some good photos and video. That night will be another big party night. On Wednesday we have a guided tour of the street on which we will be running. We will determine our starting and jump off points. Followed by another night of partying! Thursday morning we will be running. After that we are taking a train back to Madrid, spending the night in a yet-to-be-determined location, and catching the flight back to the States on Friday morning. I think we arrive back in Houston around 10:30 on Friday night.

It should be a fun man-cation with my buddies and I will miss working out but how often do you get to go run with the bulls in Pamplona?

Tomorrow is a hard 4 mile run and another ARX session.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff