Saturday, February 6, 2016

Zombie Tired

I ran 6 miles this morning but my hip didn't like it at all. I'm super bummed. It's killing me right now even though I've done everything I know to try to make it better today. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. Prob take several days totally off running (not even dog jogging- Maia will be more depressed than me) and I'll call my favorite chiropractor, Dr. Zen, on Monday morning. I haven't been in to see him for a while b/c I was doing fine on my own but I think this hip thing might be (okay obviously is) beyond my ability to fix on my own. It feels like a tender bruise right at the iliac crest, like where something (TFL?) attaches there is all irritated. If you know anything about this type of situation please shoot me a message- I'm all ears.

It's a good thing this swim challenge is going on right now to distract me from my hip misery. Right after I got done running I met Mark at the beach and we swam just a bit further than yesterday. No wind again so it was glassy smooth and while we were swimming back I had the thought that one of these days when our wind comes back we'll be out there truly battling the whole way. These last two days might have spoiled me and made me a bit soft because it was so nice and easy out there. A "cold front" is moving in right now and I think I heard that tomorrow is supposed to be wet and windy (50mph wind gusts??) so that would indeed make for some challenging ocean conditions. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to ocean swim or pool swim tomorrow, but there are 4 people right now in the swim game who are going for max points so if I skip a day getting in at least 5k, I'd give up my lead. So obviously I will not skip a day! It's just a matter of how challenging the ocean decides to be tomorrow? 4 miles in a small craft advisory would be pretty bad ass, but if I'm honest, I'd admit that I felt like a zombie for most of the day today after what was really quite an easy swim (even if it was long). So swimming long in super chop small craft advisory conditions- given my current state of cumulative fatigue- might really hurt me. We'll see. Mark asked me if I wanted to swim 10K one of the days and I told him no. If someone in the challenge throws down and does a 10k then I will respond and do one too... but I'd be happy to not have to go that far. Lol. I'm zombie tired at the moment.

I've been contacted 3x this week by athletes I used to coach asking about coming back to TeamBSC. That scenario always makes me feel really good, you know, like I'm doing something right with the people I work with. Whether they leave because they just want/need a break, or because they want to explore other paths with other coaches, I always understand the desire to do something different. That said, having an athlete return is confidence building for me. I don't know that they all have the same reasons, but I suspect that part of it for each of them is that they know how much I care about them as not only as athletes but as people. I pay attention and communicate as often as they like (because coaching is my full time job) which unfortunately I think is not as common as you'd think it should be given the partnership that is coach/athlete. And then of course they have success when we work together, which is the ultimate goal... Today I got a few emails from athletes that really made me smile- two emails with running race results. It feels awesome to have played a part in experiences like these... :)

~It was great!!!  So much fun!  My legs felt superfantastic too!  It was like, hey wait this is a half marathon, on a trail?  And I feel this good?  And just cruising?  Right then you realize the training is paying off and you're in the best shape you have ever been and its still 11 weeks til race day!  I want to always feel like that in a half marathon! 

~This was, for me, the best running race I believe I have ever done. I executed 110%. I don't think I could have run faster today. I am completely, 100% satisfied with the result!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Aloha Friday

Took a break from the pool today and was treated with perfect ocean conditions for a long swim. Mark is loving it that I am on a swimming rampage at the moment because he loves long ocean swims.
Seriously. We live here. Oahu has really been showing off this week.

I set my garmin to auto lap every mile. I didn't feel like we were swimming that hard/fast but it buzzed 2 miles right about where we expected it to (Kalama Beach to Lankai for locals wondering) in <44min, and we got back in about the same time (+1min). Glassy conditions- simply perfect- and I was thinking that it's not really fair that I'm competing for volume against mainland folks who are swimming indoor 25yards. 

I wanted to run longer today- hip feels good- but I ran out of time b/c had a decent amount of work to accomplish today. I did run with Maia before I went to pick up Moana though. It's pretty humid today b/c of the lack of wind (hence, perfect ocean conditions). Maia is amazingly smart/intuitive about how much energy she will expend based on the weather conditions. In the mornings when it's cool she immediately goes blasting off dragging me by the leash. In the afternoons, she starts off walking and then just gently jogs and wants to stop a lot for short breaks along the way. I think summer will be tough on her. While it's been warm lately, it's nothing like what we experience in Aug/Sept. It would be tough wearing a black fur coat all the time!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


I had a telling dream last night about my hip issue... It was almost like a premonition of sorts. Weird, but I woke up convinced that the reason my TFL and glute med and other stabilizer muscles in the area won't loosen up is because that joint is not stable enough... Like the femur isn't seated back in the socket enough so it's ability to rotate and have range of motion is poor... therefore the surrounding muscles are on high alert trying to protect it. I remembered watching a Kelly Starrett video about how to fix this a few years ago so first thing this morning I went searching for that video and found it. Kelly Starrett is a genius when it comes to fixing injuries so I got out my thick band and went to work doing what he shows in that video. I've spent 5-10min 3x today with that band wrapped around my hips/knees trying to jam my femurs back into the back of the sockets, and wouldn't you know it? The surrounding muscles have really relaxed! I wouldn't say the hip feels 100% quite yet but it def feels a ton better. I ran with Maia today and it was not perfect but ok.

If I keep swimming the way I have this week I think I'm gonna have to start paying attention to the videos Kelly makes on shoulders as well... They're not hurt or anything but sore and overworked? Yes. Swam long again today. It's weird how my thought process on this swim challenge has changed over the last few days. I went from just wanting to challenge myself with it to now wanting to win it. Because of the time change between Hawaii and the mainland, I have the advantage of seeing what the others post before I go to the pool... So today I knew exactly how much I had to swim in order to get my name at the top of the rankings. I felt like crap so tired yikes but didn't put any pressure on myself to hit any paces today (and didn't pull very much only a little) but got 5800m in which gives me 21,200 for the week so far- which is more than I swam all of January- and ~150m more than Justin. :) The lifeguard suggested that I might start paying rent at the pool since I've spent so much time there this week. Lol. Tomorrow Mark and I are going to the ocean. That should be a nice change of scenery. I don't typically wear a garmin when I swim but since I need to note distance for this challenge, I will wear one tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Just Keep Swimming...

Mark showed up to swim this morning and it was good to have a partner. Hopped in for the new standard 2k warm up... came through the first 1000 in 15:54 and felt really smooth and solid. Started the negative split and at 1800m saw that I was at 28:25, which meant that a 3:05 last 200 would put me right at 31:30 which is the goal I set for myself for the end of next week! But ta-dah! Knocked it out today. 31:30 on the nose! Another 40+" drop from the day before! Woot! I think I'm gonna have to avoid the 2k warm up for a few days though b/c I know myself and I will just keep racing myself on that which isn't really ideal. The effort on that 2k hurt me and I paid for it on the long main set.

I often tend to make up the main set while I'm warming up... sort of based on how I'm feeling that day and who else is there and what I feel like doing... Based on the fast warm-up I got cocky and thought I'd knock out 10x300's pull as 4 off 4:50, 3 off 4:45, 2 off 4:40, then 1 fast. Ha! *Maybe* had I taken a break after the first 4 and not tried to do them straight through it would have gone a little better, but I bet I still would have faded b/c that is a hard set and I was tired. Mark and I did the first 7 off those intervals but I wasn't getting faster- started at 4:35 then as slow as 4:40 before bringing it back down to 4:36-4:37. Mark had to get to work so he stopped at 7... at that point I swam an easy 100 then tried to get after 2 more but couldn't do them every fast. Another 100 easy then one more shot at it but was slowest one of the day at 4:41. So part of that fatigue was 3rd day in a row of long swim when I'm not quite fit, a warm up that was too hard, and just too much paddle work- it was a muscular fatigue that I just couldn't seem to overcome. Anyway, no worries. Got 5400m in today. That ranks me currently 4th in the EC Swim Game rankings. There are 4 of us who appear to be going after 5k/day and now I feel the need to keep it up for the next 11 days. #peerpressure Plus, now I have this little thought in my mind that it would be possible for me to win the game if I gave a little more each day... I'm not that far behind (only like 500meters behind). Contests that come down to who is willing to do the most work make me salivate, so there's a possibility that tomorrow I will just keep swimming and knock out 6-7k. We'll see.

In good news, as tired as I was at the end of that swim, the fatigue didn't last all day. By afternoon I felt ready to head out on my bike. It was such a gorgeous day seemed a shame to stay inside working all day! I mean seriously. It was like postcard perfect.

Maia was dying to get out and run as well so when I got done riding I took her out on a short jog around the college. I've been working hard on loosening up my glute med and TFL, which I feel confident are the root cause(s) of the hip pain I'd been feeling. Hip didn't feel perfect today but it didn't feel too bad and I feel like if I'm diligent about rolling often with the supernova + lacrosse ball that I can control it. The issue with rolling is that it needs to be done on the floor. And when I'm on the floor I am clearly fair game for the animals to climb on. #triathleteproblems

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's A Mindset

My plan today was to swim 2k just to get the frequency point in the swim game... instead of swimming big I wanted to have a solid run and bike day. Unfortunately my hip still didn't feel great today and while I think I could have run, it would have made it worse to do so. I looked back at some notes I wrote in my training log from 2013 when I had this same pain... and looks like I ran through it as 'normal' for about a week and then I couldn't walk and for the next few weeks was in to see the chiro and acupuncture and PT... trying to fix that mistake. So. Bailed on the streak because I'm not interested in setting myself back just to say I ran every day. I spent a ton of time trying to release the spasming in my glute and TFL and psoas. I'd say it feels better tonight than it did this morning so I'm hopeful that I can nip this thing in the bud so it won't be a long term chronic thing. One interesting note- a precursor to the iliac crest hip pain both in 2013 and most recently was some hamstring tightness/pain, especially up at the insertion point at the pelvis. I don't think it's a stretch to say they are related.

Anyway, Running was out, and I'm not convinced that riding wouldn't irritate it, so I thought that if I was going to give it rest, I should give it legit rest and take a day off the bike too. The fact that the swim game is going on right now helped my brain b/c I figured I could still do some training that felt legit if I swam a solid 5K. So, good timing!

Back to the pool I went. One of the lifeguards who I've known for a long time questioned what I was doing there on a Tuesday... b/c I never swim on Tuesdays. Lol. I laughed and muttered something about a dumb online challenge and that I needed to swim 5k. She asked why I wouldn't just say I did it but not actually do it... she said she would vouch for me if I needed a witness. Lol. I explained that would be squarely against the spirit of the challenge, and besides, I actually do want some swim fitness again and lying about training doesn't actually gain you any fitness at all.

Funny thing- today the 5k distance didn't cause the same angst that it did yesterday. It was more matter of fact, like 5k was standard and a non-issue. I expected that mindset to come back but didn't think it would already on day 2? It was cool realization though that our limits are indeed all in our perceptions. And that what seems 'big' is all relative as compared to what you do often. I'm sort of hoping this mindset translates to running as well... like during this year if I actually manage to run 7 marathons, will the marathon not seem like such an impossible distance to conquer? I do remember (years ago!) getting to a point where I ran 20 milers often enough that they became no big deal. So once this hip starts cooperating I'd like to move back in that direction. Anyway.

Swam the same 2k straight w/u and neg split it in 32:12 which was 48" faster than yesterday and didn't really feel any harder. Progress! I'm thinking by next week Friday I'd like to have that down to ~31:30 which is 15:45 or 1:33 pace. We'll see if I can do that. Seems reasonable.

6x150's w fins as 50 kick/50 swim/50 kick. I don't generally spend much of my swim training time kicking, but when you're swimming a lot (like 20k+/week) then I think it's good to dedicate some time to kicking. Didn't time any of those just rested maybe 15" as needed then went again.

Main set 400, 4x100's, 400, 4x100's, 400. Used pads for that 2k. 400's as descend 1-3 off 6:30 and 100's just steady off 1:40. Managed a decent descend 6:16, 6:10, 6:05. Right before that last one I felt the fatigue starting to settle in and I wondered if I'd be able to get <6:10 but then as soon as I started the last one I knew I had an extra gear so committed to the descend and made it. 100 easy c/d gave me 5k and I'd say I felt less tired than I did yesterday.

I'm actually looking forward to another 5k tomorrow morning. And thinking about committing to 5k for all the swims? That would give me 60k for the 2 weeks, though I think next weekend I won't be able to get that much in... We'll see. It'll prob depend on my hip and when I can start back running again.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Let The Challenge Begin

So the Endurance Corner Swim Challenge started today. 2 weeks to swim often and see if my swim fitness might come back? My plan is to play the game according to the rules and score as many points as I can without truly compromising my ability/energy to bike and run. Given the way today went, I'm not sure how well that's gonna go...

Basically, I need to swim 2k nearly every day, and I'll score a bonus point if I swim 5k. Well, 5k is a hell of a lot more than 2k, so on my "off days" I'm only going for 2k. That said, my plan is to add drag on my short swim days so at least maybe they'll be worthwhile? I started with 5k today.

2k straight w/u as descend 500's. I started super slow/easy 8:30 then went 8:16, 8:07, 8:07. So didn't quite make the descend there on the last one but kept with my goal of not overworking this session. Then I did a 3k main set all with paddles as:

500; 2x250's
400; 2x200's
300; 2x150's
200; 2x100's
100; 2x50's

Did those all off 1:40 base just straight through blah boring swimming. It was probably good that I was alone this morning b/c I didn't have anyone pushing me and making me feel like I should go harder or swim faster. Honestly just getting 5k done was a HUGE leap for me. I haven't swam 5k since early October. Even though none of this was 'hard' it nonetheless kicked my ass and I felt like a zombie for the rest of the day. It's weird how swimming leaves me fatigued in a way that biking and running do not.

Eventually I did manage to get my ass out the door for a run in the afternoon. Ran ~7 miles and while I didn't feel as bad as I anticipated I might (based on how limp my whole body felt when I was home working between sessions), I felt frustrated at how I don't have any flat options for running from my house, AND how it's freaking winter and yet afternoon runs still make me feel like I'm melting. I guess it's only like 82 or whatever but the sun is strong and it feels warmer than it should for winter. I have memories of feeling genuinely cold during wintertime here but that hasn't really happened this year. I know I know, cry me a river. But it would be nice to maybe like for once be able to run without my heart rate being sky high due to heat or hills. I feel like my option if I run from home in the afternoon is either to run with a HR higher than I want... or to walk... a lot. Sometimes I handle the walking thing okay but today it irritated me. I opted to not walk but instead to wait at the top of each hill until my HR came back down to a reasonable level then continue on my run. Not sure if that's a better option than walking up the hill to keep my HR low? I'm just over the walking up hills at this point. That's all.

Part of my current pissiness might be that my hip hurts. I've felt this pain before (~3 years ago) and I ran through it... until I couldn't run through it anymore... Then had a few weeks off while I tried to figure it out and let it heal. It feels like a bruise at my iliac crest. My right glute is full of spasms and that TFL hurts like mad when I lay on a lacrosse ball, so I'm sure this is related. I think last time I fixed it by loosening up my upper quads and glutes. Tight upper quads seem to be the root of all my problems... That's what caused the pain in my left knee (which mysteriously disappeared when I ran that marathon, only to be replaced with this hip pain on the other side, go figure)...

Anyway maybe tomorrow I'll be back with some fun pictures instead of just words? Last week I drowned my phone in the washer (whoops!) and I finally got it replaced today... Trying to set it up now. It told me it couldn't back up from the iCloud or whatever but for the last hour it's been stuck and telling me it's "Updating iCloud settings" so we'll see what it does. The only thing I've really missed is being able to take pictures though I guess texting with my athletes would be a close 2nd to that. Anyway, 5 days without a phone really hasn't been that bad. Anyway, I'll leave you with this...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

End Of Month

End of January already! Just for fun I went back to add up some numbers... I ran 169 miles this month which was less than Nov/Dec but with being sick and trying to recover from that marathon it makes sense. And it pretty much puts me on track to hit 2016 miles for the year, which isn't a huge pressing goal but seems like sort of a fun thing to shoot for if I can.

I didn't even swim 20K during the whole month. Maybe one of my smallest swim months ever?? GAH. Endurance Corner is hosting another 'challenge' that starts tomorrow... A 2 week "swim game" that I am going to play. Essentially it rewards swim frequency with points per swim... so I'll try to swim a minimum of 2k, six times/week. The way the game works is that to score an extra point for any given swim, I have to get to 5K. I haven't done a 5K swim in I can't remember how long? But if the week goes to plan I'll swim 5k three times this week which might kill me. Lol. If I back off the intensity then I'll better handle the volume. This whole past month, swimming has just completely kicked my ass. Like so so so tired after almost every swim. I'll be interested to see if the giant increase in volume helps that at all? I mean, I expect it to seriously fatigue me in the next 2 weeks but after that I would expect it to get better. So we'll see.

Biked more miles than I ran, but not by much. I rode again today with the small group I rode with last week. Same route, slightly stronger effort today. Avg HR was same as last week but avg power was +7 watts. Progress! If that trend continues then in about 6 weeks I'll be good to go. ;) I am finding that balancing the running I feel the need to do (with 6 more marathons on tap this year) with swimming and riding enough to not feel like shit in both sports is super tough. Tougher than I expected it to be.

Today at our turn around point (Turtle Bay Resort) we saw couple of big buses and a bunch of police cars... Figured it was the Pro Bowl players since they were playing here today (and staying up there at that resort). As we were riding home, a police car drove by then 2 big buses followed by another police car. We were riding single file (4 of us, I was caboose) on a fairly narrow section of road and one of those damn buses buzzed by like a few inches from my elbow. I screamed out loud and then was super pissed off. Seems like the policeman should have seen that and ripped that bus driver a new one. I'm not a football fan but after feeling like my life was endangered today I sort of actively despise them all. I wonder how that would have gone over on the news if fans found out that the team driver took out a group of cyclists on the way to the game? Unfortunately I bet a lot of football crazed fans wouldn't even blink. <Rant over>.

In better news, wow I made the best dessert tonight! I modified a vegan black bean brownie recipe so it included peanut butter... so in the blender (I don't measure anything): a can of black beans, a bunch of chocolate chips, a scoop of peanut butter, some coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and baking powder. In the oven for like 30min and um wow most decedent dessert ever. I've eaten like half the pan already. Lol. Would go quite well with red wine.