Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 11 Training Summary

Week 11 was a great one.  I met all of the weekly goals I set out to achieve this week.  I biked 182 miles, ran 50 miles, and swam 5,700 yards.  This was my 3rd week swimming and progress is being made.  Training has been much more consistent over the past 4 weeks and I'm starting to feel that consistency pay off.  This was my 3rd week in a row running 50 or more miles.  The goal this week is 60 miles.  My body weight is slowly coming down.  I was 166 lbs. this week after 169 last week and 170 the week prior.  I finally got my body fat % tested at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care today and it was exactly what I guessed...15.7%.  I've been tested 7 different times over the past few seasons so I tend to have a pretty good idea before I go in there.  I was guessing 15%.  My body weight is higher than it has been at that % in the past but I could tell I'm carrying more muscle on my legs right now and the higher weight of muscle was confirmed.  My body cell mass is 78.1 lbs. which is the highest it has been in the seven times I've tested.  Most of body cell mass is made of muscle...about 60% of body cell mass is made of muscle tissue.  The lowest body fat % I've had in the seven tests is 9.3% and that was when I weighed 151 lbs.  At that time my body cell mass weighed 71.6 lbs.  I've got some work to do.  Before my first big race in Ohio in late July I'd like to have my body fat % down under 10.  Last fall for Beach 2 Battleship I weighed 154 and my body fat % was 10.7%. 

I've been eating the same thing for breakfast every day.  I eat 1.5 servings of 100% plain oatmeal with 2-3 tablespoons of 100% natural peanut butter, 1.5 tablespoons of honey, and a handful of Granola added to it.  It makes for a very filling breakfast.  I wish I could be just as consistent with my other meals through the day.  I typically pack 2 apples for school and I have steamed rice or protein shakes at my disposal for when I'm hungry but the food that gets brought to our school and left in the break room often trumps my plans and is what I need to pass on. 

My best workout of the week was a repeat of last week but it went even better.  I did 3x10 minutes hard on the bike at 272, 283, and 292 watts respectively and after each I ran a fast mile in 5:36, 5:30, and 5:24.  I do very little brick running but when I do I try to make the bike at a race effort and then run at least 1/2 mile at race effort.  I don't believe too much in just riding easy and then running easy for race preparation unless it is for Ironman in which case the run pace is much slower.  I'm trying to get myself ready for early season races which all happen to be short ones until July.  My hope is to build speed early to drive up my threshold pace so when I move up in distances to the 1/2 in July 5:50 pace off the bike feels easy.  I've been steadily increasing my long runs and rides.  Over the past month I've biked 50, 60, 60, and 66 miles at one time and I've run 13 miles for my long one the past 3 weeks.  This week will bump to 14.  I won't start getting up to 4 hour rides until mid-June and 5 hours won't be until mid-July and mostly August. 

I was thrilled this week to receive iHope business sponsorships from General Constructors, Inc., Happy Joes, and Lindquist Ford.  My goal this year for the foundation is to get support from 15 businesses.  We still have a ways to go but I'm continuing to visit local business in hopes they see the benefit of the foundation and willingness to contribute.  General Constructors, Inc. becomes the first "Gold" level sponsor of 2014 and will be on my race jersey come June.  Speaking of races, I'm planning to make my 2014 debut in less than 2 weeks in a duathlon.  I will then race 4 times in 16 days through the middle of June.  All of those are sprint distance races with 3 triathlons and 1 duathlon.  In July I will do an Olympic Distance triathlon followed by my first big race of the year in New Albany, Ohio (1/2 Ironman distance).  August will be one small race but mostly my big Ironman training block before finishing the season with Ironman Chattanooga on September 27th. 

If you'd like to make a contribution to the iHope Foundation you can click either link on the right side of this page.  The top link contributes to the iPad portion of the foundation from which we provide low-income students displaying outstanding character and work traits with an iPad.  The scholarship link is below it and the money goes to the scholarship fund of iHope.  Every student that receives and iPad also receives a $1,000.00 scholarship provided they meet academic, attendance, and character standards through high school.  BIG thanks to Kevin and Kelly Pennekamp for making a very nice contribution in honor of our administrative assistants at PV Junior High this week!  Thanks so much for reading.  DREAM BIG!!
2014 iHope Foundation "Gold" Sponsor General Constructors, Inc.
2014 iHope Foundation Platinum Sponsor Lindquist Ford
2014 iHope Platinum Sponsor Happy Joe's

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week 10 Summary...iHope Business Sponsorship Campaign

Week 10 was a great week of training for me.  Monday morning I woke up and weighed in and was frustrated by another week of not losing weight.  It killed my motivation and I took the entire day off of training and went to bed early.  The day off had me feeling like Superman for the majority of the rest of the week.  Tuesday was my highest single-day training time of the year with 12.5 miles running, 25 miles biking, 2,400 yards swimming, and class at Barre563 to go along with pull-ups, push-ups, core, lunges, plyometrics, and jump rope.  The day totaled about 4 hrs. 50 minutes.  Friday was another HUGE day of nearly 5 hours with 2,900 yards swimming, 66 mile outdoor bike ride, and 6 miles running with some 1 minute hard intervals to go along with core work.  My best workout of the week was Wednesday which was a big confidence boost after the big day Tuesday.  I warmed up 30 minutes on the bike indoors and rode 3x10 minutes with the trainer set at 270-280 watts and after each 10 minute period I jumped straight to the treadmill for a fast mile and went 5:40, 5:35, and 5:30 respectively.  This workout really simulates the feeling of transitioning to the run on race day in a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon.  10 minutes at that effort on the bike was enough to make my legs wobbly when I started the run but after the first mile they seemed to remember how to do this sort of thing and I felt better with each one.  The bike segments were very challenging.  I'm not sure why but it seems getting the wattage high on the trainer is more difficult than the open roads which others have confirmed to me to be the case.  Sunday I ran 13 miles for the 2nd straight week and my weekly totals were 5,300 yards swimming, 150 miles biking, and 56 miles running.  It was my highest run week yet and I was happy to do it on 6 days of running.  The bike mileage wasn't high but I did that on 4 days of riding. 

This week is the kick off to the 2014 iHope fundraising campaign. 
The mission of the iHope Foundation is to provide low-income students in our community who display outstanding character and work traits with technology (such as an iPad) and scholarship money for post-secondary education that will aid in academic achievement and success. 

As part of helping the foundation grow I rely on support from businesses to sponsor me by making a contribution to iHope in lieu of supporting me personally.  Like last year I will recognize businesses that contribute in various ways.  In 2013 I had 10 businesses that sponsored me by making iHope contributions.  My goal is to increase that number to 15 or more this year.  It will be challenging.  I have begun dropping off letters telling about the iHope Foundation and including a sponsorship level proposal.  The picture below can be enlarged if you click on it.  For various levels of iHope support I will post business links and logos on the website, make sticker logos to go on my race helmet or disc wheel, add a business logo to my race jersey, or even do 12 weeks of personalized coaching towards a fitness goal. 
The iHope Foundation was created just over 1 year ago and I have been absolutely blown away but the support it has received.  We originally did not have the scholarship component but with the support from year 1 we were able to add this component so every student that receives an iPad will also receive a scholarship of $1,000.00 for post-secondary education provided they meet various academic, citizenship, and attendance standards through high school.  It really ties the mission together by no only building confidence and helping them with school by providing an iPad but also making college a real option and giving them something to think about they may have previously not had.  To date we have awarded 4 students with iPads and scholarships and we met last week to discuss awarding 1 or possibly even 2 more yet this year.  The students must be nominated by teachers, before having the foundation board assess the need, character, and work habits.  Once the list is narrowed down teachers submit recommendations and students are selected from those. 
If you know of a business that you think would consider sponsoring me for the 2014 race season by contributing to the iHope Foundation please e-mail me and I will get them the necessary information.  Any amounts make a huge difference to a small foundation such as iHope.  All contributions are tax deductible and contributions made towards the scholarship component also qualify for the 25% Endow Iowa tax credit which is pretty awesome because the contributor will make a big difference to iHope and will get 25% of the contribution back as a tax credit in addition to the federal deduction.  For me last year that meant about 1/2 of what I contributed came back at tax time. 
We also rely heavily on individual contributions to make this happen.  If you would like to contribute to the iPad portion of the iHope Foundation you can click here.  If you would like to make a contribution to the scholarship portion (Iowa donors earn the 25% credit on this part) click here.  Thanks for making a difference...if you don't believe me check out the note one of the iHope recipients left for us below (click to enlarge).  HUGE thanks to Dan Westbay, Robert White, and Jason Rangel for recent contributions!! 

Thanks for reading!!  DREAM BIG!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Week 9 Summary

Week 9 was my first week back in the water although I only swam one time.  It was my first swim since Beach 2 Battleship on October 26th.  I started with 300 yards and my triceps were burning something fierce.  After kicking some they loosened up and except for feeling slow I started to regain a feel for the water.  The week was a good one.  I biked 150 miles, ran 51 miles which was my highest weekly total in that discipline so far this year, and swam 2,400 yards.  My total training time was 17.5 hours.  I did a long ride of 60 miles on Friday with local triathlete Dan Ward and it was VERY windy.  We rode almost straight into the wind the first half and then had a comfortable ride home although it seemed like the wind was dying down substantially in the evening.  We didn't begin the ride until almost 4:00 so by the time we turned the evening calm was probably setting in.  Sunday was my longest run yet this year of 13 miles.  It was the best I've felt on a long run yet.  My past few runs of 70 minutes or more all have left the top of my right foot a bit sore in the big tendon that runs over the ankle.  I didn't have any soreness after this long run.  I've been doing more interval work on the bike and while running.  I had 2 interval bike sessions and 2 interval run workouts.  Wednesday I ran a 10 minute warm up and then ran 6x3 minutes hard with 2 minute jog recovery between each.  Saturday I was really pleased with a track workout I did with Jen.  It was in the morning only 14 hours after finishing my long ride and my legs could still feel that ride in the wind.  I ran 4 sets of (600, 400, 200) trying to get some speed work at faster than 5k pace.  I ran consistent times all the way through hitting my 600's in 5:12/mile pace, the 400's in 4:56 pace, and the 200's all in 33 (4:24/mile pace).  I was most pleased by how my legs responded after the long ride.  Jen was very quick as well averaging under 5:20 pace through the entire 3 miles of intervals.  We were able to let the kids run around the track and play in the "sand box" (long jump pit) while we did the work out.  With the kids growing up so fast they are becoming much more a part of our workouts.  On Tuesday we ran 6 miles as a family with Owen on his bike and me pushing Payton in the single running stroller, and Super Mom running alongside.  Owen had his first big bike crash a few weeks back with some road rash scars and a bruise on his head under his helmet (thankfully he knows the importance of wearing that!)  He hasn't let that scare him away from his bike.  The kids are in tee ball on the same team and I found out practices are on Wednesday night.  That created a conflict for me with the Wednesday night group ride I enjoy getting to on the same night.  I decided I will help with tee ball and ride intervals alone before practice so I can be there to help with their practice.  I knew when I began this journey in 2009 that if I was still going strong 5 years later there would have to be changes to the way I trained.  Those changes are in place but I believe my best racing is still ahead of me despite the changes.  It adds motivation knowing I can prove to others that the balance of family, work, and competition can still produce good results.  The start of this week has been very encouraging.  I'll post more on that Sunday or Monday.  Thanks for reading.  DREAM BIG!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Excuses...Weeks 3-8 Summary

I apologize for the sporadic posting...or lack there of.  There is no good excuse.  I want to post every week to update followers on this journey.  I am now 8 weeks into training for the 2014 race season.  I'm excited but the first 8 weeks has had ups and downs.  Out of the gates I was ahead of where I was last year.  Then for some reason after taking a mini 3 day break from training after 30 straight days I struggled to get things back on track.  I was not recovering well.  My long run left me with deep quad soreness that would not go away.  Over our spring break a couple weeks ago I could tell my legs were REALLY tired and not recovering well.  All I could muster on the bike was base mileage rides on the trainer.  Anything hard I did not have power for.  Running was even worse.  The deep soreness made easy runs feel hard and hard runs unattainable.  I was humbled when I started a track workout with my wife.  Initially I had a faster goal pace than her.  After warming up and feeling the deep soreness in my quads I decided I would just run with her.  We were supposed to run 3x (1200/400).  On the first 1200 I stopped after just 1 lap.  I decided not to dig the hole any deeper.  I watched Jen go on to run the workout at 5:45 pace on her 1200's and 5:20 pace on her 400's.  I managed to run a 400 with Owen in 2:05. 

I have been frustrated with my lack of losing weight.  I am only 5 weeks away from a race and I'm not near where I wanted to be by May 11th.  I haven't lost any weight in the past 5 weeks and I'm just fluctuating between 168 and 171.  I weighed 152 for Beach 2 Battleship last October.  The extra 20 lbs. doesn't make running very fun.  I could think of a lot of excuses.  I hear excuses all the time.  In the past week I've heard the following...
1.  I missed practice for a doctor appointment (after the fact)
2.  I missed practice for a funeral
3.  I don't have my assignment because I left it at home
4.  I don't have my assignment that was handed out last week because I was gone yesterday
5.  I don't have my assignment because I lost it
6.  I didn't try in the mile time trial because I'm not in good shape yet
7.  I didn't turn in my goal sheet because I forgot my goals

Some of these are great excuses and some are not.  The point is there are always reasons not to get things done.  One of my coaching mentors onetime told me "There are 2 kinds of people in this world...those who get things done and those who find reasons not to get things done."

I could sit here and say that I'm getting older and it's tougher to lose weight (something many others have told me when I say I'm struggling with getting to race weight).  I could say it's tougher because my kids are getting older and playing 2 on 1 basketball in the basement may trump my run workout.  I could say I'm struggling due to the crumby weather.  I could say I just haven't felt great and I needed the extra rest so that is why I've skipped some workouts.  I could say maybe because I haven't started swimming my metabolism hasn't kicked into full gear...there are lots of excuses but ultimately I'm someone who simply realizes I haven't done the work to be where I want right now.  The reasons may be good (or maybe some don't think they are).  The reasons don't really matter come May 11th.  I won't get a head start when I say that I'm not in as good of shape as I should be for this or that...I'll have to deal with what I have set myself up for. 

I am far from giving up or feeling sorry for myself.  I'm accepting I'm not where I want right now but plan to get things turned around.  For the first time this year I printed off my weekly goal checklist to help me stay focused on doing the little things I think have made me successful.  I changed my eating habits about 2.5 weeks ago and have cut down tremendously on the amount of refined sugar I'm consuming.  I am addicted to sugar like millions of Americans.  The more sugar I eat, the more I want it. Currently I'm eating less than 10 grams of refined sugar a day.  I've only given in to the addiction twice in that time.  I'm feeling like I have more energy.  I'm recovering better.  This week I did 2 bike interval workouts, one track workout, 1 tempo run, and got in 43 run miles and 230 bike miles.  Things are starting to look up and I'm remaining confident my weight will fall if I continue eating healthy.  My point in all of this is to show that any training cycle...any journey for that matter is rarely met without ups and downs.  Training is a series of tearing the body down...resting up and gaining new strength...and then tearing down again so the adaptations will leave you in the best shape of your life.  The graph below shows what most hope from training and the 2nd one shows how it really works. 
I'm excited about the weather turning to spring finally!  This weekend I rode my first outdoor rides of the year so far.  I put over 1,300 miles on the trainer (65 hours on the saddle) before getting outside.  I rode 50 miles on Saturday and was tired after doing a morning long run of 11 miles.  Sunday I rode 60 and felt very strong.  I pushed the hills at the end of the ride and even got my wattage over 700 on some of the final climbs.  I got a new Garmin 510 from Healthy Habits this week and a SRAM Red Quarq power meter crank that give me a lot of cool data to learn from.  This next week will be my first week of swimming and I'm really excited to get back in the water.  I haven't swam a yard since October 26th at Beach 2 Battleship.  I really hope our lakes warm up soon because I enjoy open water swimming much more than pool swimming.  Thanks for reading...remember when things are difficult the next peak is just around the corner.  Stick with it.  DREAM BIG!