Sunday, February 28, 2016

Makaha TT

On Thursday I saw a post on Facebook from one of my local tri-geek friends that mentioned something about the TT out at Makaha this weekend. I'd totally forgotten about that race but made a mental note... maybe? The thing was, my TT bike was still in limbo b/c at that point Mike was still trying to source the creaking sound... and then there was that nagging thought about how I'm not anywhere near close to race shape!

The first excuse would have been a legit reason to skip a TT. But the second reason? Not in my book. I mean, if I was afraid to race because I didn't want to get my ass kicked by my friends, well that's nonsense. I think as I get older and more mature/confident about who I am as a person, I find that I don't associate race results with self-worth nearly as much as I did when I was younger. When my athletes were here kicking my ass on the bike a few weeks ago I found that incredibly motivating... like Must.Fix.It. So I figured another dose of reality would be good for me. So my thought was essentially, go do the TT, get yourself some current threshold power data, see how far off you are from the fast girls, and use that knowledge as motivation and direction going forward. My expectations were quite low which honestly I think is the best way for me to go into a race situation?

Anyway, I put my Enve wheels back on my bike (and thanks to YouTube figured out how to change the brake pads too!), sent the race director an email asking if I could enter race morning (thumbs up from him), and packed my car up for an early morning departure. Long story short, I miscalculated how long it actually takes to get to Makaha (a long freaking time!) and by the time I got there they said it was too late to enter. Damn! But then they took pity on me and called my name in to the timing guy and gave me a number and a timing device (yay small local races and friendly accommodating volunteers!). I was the last rider off, but there weren't many people in the race (~60) so I didn't have time to warm up the way I would have wanted. But whatever.

To be honest, I don't even remember much about the race. It was short and mostly flat straightforward out/back route, only ~25min, and the whole time I just kept glancing at my 30" power and avg lap power, trying to get those numbers to be higher than 225, bc that's what I remembered doing last time I did this race 2 years ago (I looked it up this afternoon to check and turns out it was 227 back then). I missed that goal, finishing with 221w avg, which was maybe slightly disappointing but not as bad as it could have been. I didn't have time showing on my garmin, but I did see HR and it hovered around 172-173 for the bulk of the TT. So. Concrete data. I don't think I could have gone any harder this morning so the data is accurate enough for my purposes. I didn't think much about placing but I figured there were (at least) 5 gals in the race who would likely out-ride me so that wasn't a big concern of mine. Given that mindset, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out I won my AG and was 2nd OA?! To be fair, the gal who should have won OA blew a tire within a mile of the finish line (gah!), so really I should have been 2nd AG and 3rd OA, but still, I was shocked and satisfied with that result for sure. Only 42" separated 1st from 5th so we were all right there close! But to know that even with my current fitness I'm still in the mix with them is highly motivating.

I'm glad I put away any fear of getting my ass kicked and just went for it. Of course what makes the experience even better is that at these little local races you get to see a bunch of friends and hang out afterward and I like that. I like being part of my local race community. High five, Lectie!

Afterward Scott and Moana and Maia met me out there. It's rare we go to the West side. Beaches out there are simply outstanding, though some of the neighborhoods, how should I put this? They lack charm. While I was waiting for my family I went in search of food... found a little market with lead bars on the doors/windows and some shady looking people hanging around outside and wondered if I was in a scene from Breaking Bad? Walked into the little store, found the only options were soda and candy bars and chips, and walked right back out. Across the street there was a 7/11 and in there at least I could find something more like actual food. It's sad though when areas don't really have options for real food? I suppose that's a blog post all of its own.

Anyway, you can't really beat the beach out there. It was worth the drive!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Riding In A Postcard

I totally forgot to blog yesterday! I'll blame it on the fact that I've recently discovered Netflix and Breaking Bad (yes I know late to that party). That is a captivating series. I know absolutely nothing about the drug world b/c that's just not my gig, and that series confirms that avoiding that scene my whole life has likely been a good call. Still, I find watching the drama entertaining, except for the parts I simply can't watch! It's scary, yo.

Anyway. Nothing big happened yesterday anyway. It was standard swim 3600m in the morning then ride 50k and all of it was pretty relaxed aerobic work. One of those training days that's not particularly sexy just bread and butter do the work kind of stuff. The consistency on the bike, even though I haven't been riding hard, makes me feel good.

Today I actually got my TT bike out (I've been doing almost all my riding on my road bike) and got my power meter functioning again as well. I really like my P3 and found it instantly comfortable today. Last time I rode it was the long ride a few weeks ago with my athletes when they were here- it was making a horrible noise though so my mechanic friend spent a bunch of time trouble shooting that. Turns out it was the wheel, which was a much better scenario than it being a crack in the frame or something! Swapped wheels and ta-dah! A nice smooth quiet ride.

So it's been 3-4 weeks since I've ridden with any power data. I sort of wish I would have started this whole 14 day streak with a HR/watts ratio... i.e. like when I ride an hour steady at HR 145, power is 140 watts, or whatever... I'd bet a few weeks ago it was something like that anyway. Today I spent the middle hour of my ride targeting a steady aerobic HR (avg 146) and avg power for that 60min was 156w. So still a lot of room to grow there but certainly an improvement over a few weeks ago. Another 10w at that HR would be quite satisfying so I'll likely test that data point again end of next week.

I had to stop and take a picture. El Nino summer was a giant pain in the ass but El Nino winter has been good to us. It was another picture perfect postcard day here on Oahu. #fromwhereiride

Tomorrow I'm going to collect more power data.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Eddie Went.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and then couldn't go back to sleep, so I opted to get up and start working. It's amazing how productive I am at 4AM. I was less productive through mid-morning because the Eddie went off today up at Waimea Bay and I discovered the live stream with commentary and it was captivating! I mean, really, these guys are amazing. And the power of the ocean is mind baffling.

I had several tabs open today so I was trying to work in Training Peaks but also had the commentary going in the background and when I heard them raise their voices and get all excited I would click back over to watch, often seeing scenes like this one while the commentators were saying stuff like OOOHHHH... He just lept off a 4 story building!
It's shocking to think we swim this bay all summer long. Sure doesn't look like this in the summer!!

Word is that today was about the biggest/best ever conditions for the Eddie, which only ever is held when it's both big and perfect, so most years it doesn't actually get held. Last time was in 2009 and that year I braved the traffic and the crowds and went up with Moana (she was ~4 months old!) and watched in person. That's cool but I think the live stream was better b/c I learned more listening to the commentators and I could see the replays of the best waves and crashes.

Anyway, eventually I tore myself away from my computer and headed out to hit my 50k+ streak ride... Day 3! I headed north because that direction I just get to ride steady with very few interruptions... figured I'd just go 16 miles then turn around and come home, goal to keep HR 140s, which I was quite successful at doing. On my way home I was caught by my friend Mike who also happened to be riding same road same time... So of course I jumped on and immediately was at HR155. It felt ok though so I went with it. Essentially he dragged me along for ~25min and I was working fairly hard HR mostly 153-163 range but the difference was that today it was doable and I never had a thought about getting dropped (last 2 times I rode with Mike he dropped me repeatedly!). I definitely felt stronger and fitter than I was two weeks ago so yay! Progress! To be honest I'm surprised I felt the progress so soon- I thought it would take a lot longer to feel like I did today... but it was like confirmation that accumulating time pedaling with my HR 140's is highly beneficial for me... so then when it comes time to actually work (i.e. stay on someone's wheel and not get dropped!) I'm completely capable. I love that feeling. It motivates me to go out again tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Benefit of Overload

I attempted jogging down to the pool this morning (first attempt at running in ~10 days). No good. Grrrr. Pain was only maybe 2/10 but I could tell for sure it was the exact same type of pain, and had I run further or faster it would have come back full force. So. Damn.

Starting my swim I didn't feel good- part of that might have been mental/emotional b/c I was bummed that I couldn't jog a 1/2 mile without pain. Anyway, I felt heavy and sluggish and slow in the water and my warm up was shit. I've turned that around 100x in the past though and still come out with a solid main set so I didn't give up hope on the session.

Opted to do a set of progressive 200's today. My old coach Scott used to give me this set over and over and I grew to like it (unlike the 60x50's I also had to do all the time that made me want to blow my head off). Anyway, it's a good way to break up 200's and swim fast at the same time.

4x200's @3:15
100 easy
3x200's @3:10
100 easy
2x200's @3:05
100 easy
200 fast!
100 c/d

I started off 2:57, 2:57, 2:56, 2:55. Those felt pretty good. I thought for the set of 3 I'd try to keep the descend and was shooting for 2:55>2:53, so when the first one was 2:53 I told Mark too fast! But then we still managed the descend 2:51, 2:50. That felt like solid work. For the set of 2 we went 2:48, 2:47 and that felt hard. To be honest, when I started this set I was hoping for sub 2:50 for the last one, so to do it on the set of 2 felt like a win already. Going into the last one I told Mark 2:44, though if I'm honest I'd say that was a pipe dream... I thought saying it out loud might help. Mark spat back "2:40". I laughed. We worked it though and I got to the wall at 2:41(!). He was a full body length ahead of me so sub 2:40 for him for sure. During that set I thought that THIS was the benefit of that overload swim challenge I did... 2 weeks of a ton of volume followed by a bit of rest and ta-dah! Swim fitness is back and I felt strong and solid and fast. I suspect a solid overload like that would work for most athletes, but especially for an athlete like me who has a deep swim background. It was just perfect and exactly what I needed to inject myself with some swim fitness that had been missing the previous months.

It occurred to me that I bet I could overload myself on the bike the same way I did with my swim and see my bike fitness come back around. Given my current inability to run, it seems like maybe a good time to experiment with that? While I was out riding this afternoon I came up with my (tentative) bike overload plan... 2 weeks of minimum 50k/day. I figure yesterday was at least 50 miles, today was 50k+ at 32 miles, so I'm already 2 days in! That seems pretty equivalent to the 5k+/day I did swimming. So we'll see if I can make that happen. It would be 210+ miles/week for a few weeks and I bet that would make me tired but again after a bit of rest I bet I'd be riding a ton stronger than I am right now. I do remember in 2013 I avg 225 miles/week for 12 weeks straight, so this 'overload' would be mini as compared to that... it may or may not be enough but I guess we'll see! The goal would be to put in these miles as just mostly steady riding, nothing crazy hard but not too easy either. That might put me in a place where I can do the harder stronger more focused work later and get more out of it because I was ready for it.

I had a look back at my training logs from 2011-2013 when I used to be a strong rider. Whether training by HR or power or feel, what was in common when I was strong was total volume. Many coaches say that total volume is a useless metric and really it's about intensity, but that has not been my personal experience. That said, I don't think going out and soft pedaling for hours on end is the way (for me), so I strapped my HR monitor on today and tried to keep HR 140+ as much as reasonable (cap at 150, though I went above that 2x on longer hills when I stood up). My route today didn't lend itself to steady state riding (stop lights and downhills let HR drop) so there were times when I had to focus and push to get HR back up to 140, but I finished the ride wth avg 139 and given the route I think that was perfect.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Junk Miles

It was a gorgeous day today with light winds. Pretty much perfect for riding, so I headed out for 3+ hours of 'as you feel' pedaling. No garmin. I took my road bike and went south because the waves are so huge up north that they are crashing over the road. Scott said he can't remember a winter with such consistently huge surf. Anyway, I stopped to check out Makapuu and this picture doesn't do it justice- you might see a few black dots if you look closely. Those are people.

With no set intention for my ride today, it occurred to me that maybe some would consider what I did to be 'junk miles'. I don't think it was junk. Given my sorry state of bike fitness, I think keeping it simple and just riding as much as I can is quite beneficial right now. Every time I get on my bike I feel a little better/stronger than I did the day before. I think I'll go again tomorrow.

My hip almost felt good enough to try jogging today, but I opted to give it one more day anyway. I have a lot of guilt about not taking Maia out running, so I took her hiking for a bit this afternoon before we went to pick up Moana. I find happiness in exploring these trails with her. She knows now too... as we drive to this trailhead she figures it out now and starts licking my face. It's gratifying to make a dog happy.

Monday, February 22, 2016

On Doing What I *Can* Do

I rode my bike down to the pool this morning, sort of excited for a real swim workout that didn't have to be 5K (or more). Unfortunately the pool was closed for some maintenance, so we couldn't swim there today. So we went to Plan B and got a pretty decent swim done.

I wish I could report that my hip was all better and that I'd started back with some light running, but that is not the case. I've been to my chiro 3x now and have been diligent about rolling and loosing up the soft tissue all around my quads and hips and glutes. It is getting a little better and I can now walk up and down the stairs without pain (progress!) but I tried a few jogging steps and it's still a no go for now. I feel like I've been pretty patient with this injury, but it's been a few weeks now and I'm starting to get antsy about when I'm actually going to be able to start running again. I guess it would be easy to focus on what I can't do (RUN), but today I started focusing on what I *can* do.

I can do squats and deadlifts and multidirectional lunges. Did those.

I can do glute bridges and hip hikes and monster walks with a resistance band. Did those.

I can't do V-ups without pain, but I can do planks and hollow holds. So I did planks and hollow holds.

I can feel it (a little) when I jumprope, but surprisingly, I can box jump without any pain. So I box jumped.

It felt good to proactively do something to help myself. I feel like if I can't run now, well, eventually I am going to be able to run again, so I might as well set myself up to handle it when I do start back.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Old Friends

I feel like I'm in need of a day spent entirely in flannel curled up on the couch watching Netflix or something. I'm not sick, just tired and in need of a break! It's been a super fun and social last 10 days or so but the older I get, the more I need to balance that with solo hermit time.

Camp ended then my old friend of ~15 years popped into town and was like Let's ride bikes!! Who am I to say no to that opportunity? So we rode bikes.

Theresa and I go way back. We figured out that we started riding together in 2001, and she saved me when I needed a place to live after separating from my ex-finace in 2002 (dodged a bullet there phew!)... We partied our way through Ironmans in Brazil and Canada in 2003-2004... With a history like we have it was super cool to have the opportunity to catch up again so many years later. I spent much of the ride asking her to back off the effort b/c pushing for 50+ miles wasn't what I wanted to do. Ha! Really I just wanted to talk. We spent the evening at Sunset beach doing just that!

She's a member of our tribe. I feel like I won the lottery in finding Maia. She's best dog ever.

Friday, February 19, 2016

BSC Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday and also the finale of camp (yes I planned it that way!)... When I planned it, I expected to be running in the gardens with these guys but instead I pedaled my bike. That was a bit of a bummer b/c of course I'd way rather be running, but it is what it is. I made a good photographer anyway.
I don't tend to bring my camera along when I'm running so I don't often get to post pictures of this run, but this is why I love it. I mean, seriously. I don't think running gets better anywhere in the world.
I told them to pretend they were Athleta models... Run tall!

I showed them to the end of the road then sent them off under a gate to continue on running in an area where my road bike wouldn't go. I figured I had about an hour before they came back so I rode off to a neighborhood hill I know and repeated up/down it (11x) for 42min in honor of my 42nd birthday. If I'm honest I'd admit that after ~13min (3 reps!) I was huffing and puffing and my legs were screaming at me and I started thinking that was probably enough work for the day... but then I remembered getting dropped on that long ride and I knew that bailing on these types of sessions because they're hard wasn't going to net me the fitness I want, so I shut my brain off and finished the reps as planned. I felt proud at the end of that!

After lunch we drove over to the pool and prepped for the birthday swim in the parking lot.
After a few of those brown bottles I had some fun playing in the park playground. Really I was just following directions when Nalani told me to sit in that blue bucket thing... I had no idea what I was in for. Ha! A minute twirling around in that thing left me laughing so hard I was crying and my abs were cramping!

Ok let's swim!

In my view, birthday workouts should be challenging. After swimming 5-6k every day for 2 weeks, 42x100's didn't seem adequately challenging to be a birthday swim. But 42x100's with my feet tied together? That seemed like a legit challenge. And it was. But I did it! The session was way more fun since 8 of us swam together (Nalani not pictured). I promoted them to ceremoniously sing Happy Birthday to me before we started and we all had a good laugh. Definitely a fun time!

So with that, the training part of camp was officially over and we headed straight over to Lanikai Brewing Company for some porter/IPA tasting. They brew special ones using local ingredients and, um, really good!
A few of my local friends joined us (Scott and Moana and Maia of course too) and we took the party to the beach park where we got some use out of the wine glasses we won at the biathlon on Sunday. 

Was a super birthday and a great way to end camp. Thanks, friends, for celebrating with me. Cheers to 42!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On What It Takes To Succeed At Camp

I've attended a couple of training camps as an athlete, and I've run several as a coach. I've witnessed athletes have amazing breakthroughs and I've also witnessed major meltdowns. Here are some of my thoughts about what it takes to end up in the former group vs the latter...

~Have some solid fitness going into camp. You don't have to be in the shape of your life, but you don't want to be untrained either. Backing up 4-6 days in a row of big solid training requires a minimum level of fitness to achieve. Plus, the fitter you are, the better you'll absorb the work you do. If the camp completely thrashes you and you need two weeks to recover from it, you did it wrong.

~No matter how fit you are, be prepared to be humbled. Most athletes show up to camp with a desire to get their asses kicked, and they are ready to work hard. And while not every session is (or should be!) a race, when you gather up a bunch of fit and motivated athletes and set them off on their bikes in a warm climate, the pace is eventually going to ramp up. You'll probably find yourself on the rivet and it likely won't be you at the front. Having the opportunity to be around athletes who are fitter and faster than you should be a source of motivation... maybe a bit eye opening and maybe you leave camping thinking Wow if I want to be as fast as him/her I need to work harder.

~Have a good attitude and keep your negative thoughts to yourself. Everyone gets tired and grumpy and everyone is a bit out of their comfort zone, but if you're the one constantly verbalizing it you may find others wanting to avoid being around you.

~Take care to fuel and hydrate really well. You need to eat and drink more when training big and if it's warmer than you're used to (likely!), hydration becomes a bigger factor than it is at home. Screw this up one day and you might find yourself paying for it for the rest of camp.

~Above all, remember that camp is supposed to be fun! Look at your training sessions as opportunities, not as threats. Make an effort to get to know your fellow campers. Socialize. When you're done training, put your feet up! Drink a beer. Relax in the evenings. Enjoy the break from your normal life. That's why you came to camp!


Running hill reps were on the schedule today. I took the campers on a tour of my neighborhood hills... I still can't run so I stood on the sidelines and barked orders.

Maia led the athletes up the hill.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Camp Oahu... The Long Ride

Forecast called for stronger winds today (20-30mph, the state is under a high wind advisory) so I warned my group that the Honeymoon was over and now they get a real taste of training on Oahu... I think the key to successful training/racing is always about setting appropriate expectations so I really tried to scare the crap out of them about how hard the ride home was going to be.

The way out was pretty cruisy and fun though! Nice tailwind, nice day... We stopped at some of the famous beaches along the north shore, took pictures, enjoyed the sights.

They (obviously) didn't really have much fun.

We made our way to a coffee shop and when the gal behind the counter asked if I wanted whipped cream on my mocha, I said YES.

Funny thing- I had never even been to this coffee shop before. Normally when I'm riding I have exactly 4 hours to get a 4 hour ride done so I don't screw around at coffee shops, but this was a special scenario and was a nice break before facing the headwind on the way home.

The scare tactic about the ride home worked because everyone steeled themselves for a long solid hard effort... and indeed, they absolutely crushed it (and me!!). My lack of recent riding showed up for sure and they had me on the ropes and eventually I just ran out of fitness to hang on any longer. I was genuinely impressed with how strong everyone rode and how great the attitudes were today. I think most everyone probably got a best ever 60min power number on that ride home today. I'll admit though that I really missed being able to ride like a boss and it made me want to put in the work to get back to that kind of fitness! I've ridden 4 days in a row now so it's a start back down that road.
Camp is a place to get your ass kicked, but it's also super fun!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Camp Oahu... Day 3!

Camp is super fun but exhausting! Yikes. Sorry but this will be mostly pictures. I do have a ton of thoughts and a long bike ride tomorrow should help me clarify them so I can write them out in a way that makes sense... For now... Our day in pictures!
We jumped in with a local group of friends for an ocean swim. This was cool in a ton of ways but mostly fun to show our mainland friends how it really is here in Hawaii. Yep. This is what we do on holidays!

I asked Scott to come along and escort the swim. Everyone was fine just as I figured they would be, but this was really our first 'real' ocean swim of camp. Saturday we stayed right along the buoy line so were never more than maybe 100 meters from shore... and yesterday was in a protected cove the whole time. Today was legit ocean, complete with some waves and chop, and while they all did great, it does feel good to know someone is there watching. Moana makes a good lifeguard! :)

The group got their first taste of some real Hawaii wind today. It was blowing pretty good but they all rode super strong and it was awesome. One more obligatory group shot at Makapuu Lookout...

Then a run off the bike around Diamond Head area... I didn't run because I can't walk without limping, but it was fine I made for a good photographer. :) It was pretty damn hot out there today, but Anne Marie didn't seem to be affected.

I had to rush off to another chiro appt. No time to shower but baby wipes work in this scenario.
Zen spent a good amount of time with me poking around and testing where I was weak (i.e. what muscles weren't working) and came up with lateral quad as the primary culprit which then affects TFL and iliacus secondary. He didn't seem to think I was really 'injured', in that it's not like a stress fracture or even tendonitis... just seriously pissed off muscles, which makes sense to me. Prescription: Keep my neck/spine/pelvis in alignment and loosen up that damn lateral quad so everything else can relax. He had some extra time and did some weird massage on my temples and diagnosed me as having excess stress. Fair enough.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Camp Oahu! Day 2...

Today started with the Valentine's Biathlon in Waikiki. 5k run followed by a (long) 1k swim. I probably shouldn't have done it but I'm an adult and I made the decision to run even though I knew I would hurt my hip in the process. Indeed. Now I limp. But I won a fun Valentine's wine glass and got to celebrate with my 3 of my athletes who also won wine glasses (and we all had a blast) so I'm calling it #worthit.
I won't run again for the rest of the week. At least.

Since we were at Ala Moana and it was the last day of the Endurance Corner Swim Challenge, I added a bonus ocean swim to our schedule. Had to make sure I got in at least 5k today to get #maxpoints! Finished the challenge with #maxpoints and 77,700 meters, which is a new 14 day record for their game. Honestly I was most motivated to go for the record knowing it was Gordo's record. That guy is not known for being a slacker! Anyway, I got to swim here so really have nothing to complain about.

Eventually we got on our bikes and headed toward Tantalus, where we spent the next few hours climbing or descending. Everyone did great and I was super proud!

Second time up I gave Kelly a small head start and yelled at her Don't let me catch you!! And believe me, I tried, but I couldn't catch Kelly. She won Tantalus today.

Simply stellar day here on Oahu. I'll have more overall thoughts on training camp and what it takes in the coming days...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Camp Oahu

Camp Oahu officially started today. :) I have a fun group of athletes here and if the next 5 days are anything like today, they'll all go home quite happy I think!
Of course everyone from the mainland thought it was warm enough to go without a wetsuit. Then there's me...

We started the day with an ocean swim (of course). I went an hour early so I could get 2 miles in before the group started because I needed my 5k+ for #maxpoints. Conditions were pretty standard today- some wind gave the water surface a bit of texture but it wasn't nutso like last Sunday. We swam 1/2 mile down the buoy chain together then raced and chased through our accordion swim, TT style which made it a bit more fun... practicing starts and finishes and sighting. Lesson of the day (repeat after me) The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

It was another beautiful Hawaiian day for a bike ride, and taking these athletes on a tour of the southeast side of the island was ideal! Day 1 mandatory picture at Makapuu lookout...

Much of the ride was pretty relaxed but we did have a few sections where some athletes let loose a bit. At one point I think Matthew was wondering if he could rip my hamstrings off... Almost, Matthew! Almost.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Outside Is Free

Mark showed up to swim this morning but wasn't in the mood to actually swim, so he got out after the 2k warm up and headed home. I've totally done that before- I knew exactly how he felt! That's the first time though in 6 years of swimming together that I've seen Mark do that.

I started swimming and honestly had no idea what I was going to do for a workout today. Funny though I checked my watch at 400 and saw I was holding a decent pace so I went for the 2k PR. To be honest I don't know what my 2k PR is in this pool so I don't know if what I did today was actually a PR, but it was 2+ min faster than the same 2k twelve days ago when I started this swim challenge, so we'll say the swim challenge has been a success on the fitness front. 7:51, 7:46, 7:40, 7:38. Was pretty stoked to get in <31min when my original goal starting this challenge was to hit 31:30.

To be honest I felt like I needed a 100 easy to recover from my 2k w/u (ha!) but instead set off on a longish main set that again I sort of made up as I went...

3x400's pull @6:15
100 easy
3x300's pull @4:45
100 easy
3x200's pull @3:15
100 easy

That gave me 5k but I stayed in and did 4x200's with one of my athletes who is visiting and we worked on her technique. So, 5800 for the day.

Technically I guess I could get away with only swimming 4k/day this weekend and still would break the EC Swim Challenge Record. I need 5K/day though for max points in the game, and at this point 5k doesn't seem like a huge ask, so my plan is 5k(+) the next 2 days. #maxpoints

Tomorrow officially starts TeamBSC Camp Oahu! 5 athletes flew into town plus some of my locals will join in to our sessions the next 6 days... should be a fun time! A few who were here early enough came along for a hike with Maia this afternoon. I have to say, showing Oahu off to folks who have never been here is awesome!

We hiked out to Likeke Falls and I learned that these athletes are super cool about getting lost in the woods. I think we go that way??
But hey we found the waterfall!

We joked... Right now there are people inside walking on a treadmill... You guys... #outsideisfree

Thursday, February 11, 2016


I was nervous heading out for a short jog this morning with Maia- I think I knew deep down that it wasn't going to be all good. And indeed, I felt my hip with every jogging step. :( We jog/walked 2.2 miles really relaxed/easy and while it never got worse, it definitely didn't get better as I went. I guess in good news, it didn't hurt anywhere near as bad as it did last time I ran (Saturday), and the pain didn't cause me to limp the rest of the day. Prob not fair to compare the two runs since today I went so much shorter and easier. I'll guess that had I run the same distance/pace as Saturday (6 mile progression), it would have ended up hurting just as bad. Shit.

My latest hypothesis is that it's something to do with iliacus muscle. Maybe some psoas involvement as well b/c I feel a pull on my lower back as well. Zen taught me yesterday how to find the spot that really hurts by digging into around that ASIS bony spot and indeed it almost feels like a muscle spasm or trigger point in there... and the research I did to find out what muscle that is points to iliacus.
Anyway, I'm doing all the soft tissue stuff I know to get that muscle to relax. I don't think I'll attempt running again tomorrow.

I procrastinated my swim about as long as I could today. The pool closes for lap swim at 1:30pm which meant I had to be swimming by noon (latest!) if I was going to have time to get the full 5k in. Again it was a gorgeous day. We have seriously been spoiled by good weather recently.
I assumed I'd just swim slow/easy today, but my 1000 warmup was a full 40" faster than it was yesterday even though I'd say it felt the same. Interesting. Mostly made me think I have lost my sense of pace! Did a further w/u set 4x250's kick w fins, mostly just to add volume (while saving my poor tired arms) so I could do a shorter main set, which I was still deciding on. Came up with this 1800m main set, which turned out to be pretty kick ass.

500 strong/fast pull @7:30
100 easy easy swim @2:00
2x250's strong/fast pull @3:45
100 easy easy swim @2:00
5x100's strong/fast pull @1:30
100 easy easy swim

To be honest I wasn't sure I'd make those send-offs, but once I got going had no problem. Basically held 1:27's for the 500, 1:26's for the 250's, then 100s were 1:21, 1:24, 1:24, 1:23, 1:23. That set completely thrashed me and I still had another 1200 to go to make the 5k. Ugh. I started to do a 1000 fartlek with pace changes, but was so tired I cut it at 500 and then just did an extra long flop type cool down to finish up the volume.

I needed to get more work done when I came home but was so hungry and tired that all I could manage to do was stuff my face(!) then lay down. I guess that's part of the beauty of my job is that I can work a lot on my own schedule so if I have to work at night because I didn't during the day, well, no worries really.

I've spent 5-10min in this position every day of the swim challenge... Lots of grunting involved but it actually feels quite good. Maia is always by my side.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Snap Crackle Pop!

Mark didn't show up to swim this morning. He went to the North Shore b/c there was all the hype that The Eddie was gonna go today... That's super cool to watch for sure (I watched it last time it went I think in 2009?) but the North Shore is not set up to handle a billion people watching surf competitions. At the last minute I guess waves weren't quite big/good enough so they cancelled it. Too bad they couldn't cancel the traffic.
Anyway, it was another solo swim. I got in for a 1000 w/u and thought I was swimming pretty well but my watch said otherwise. It's one thing to swim slow when you know you're swimming slow because it feels slow, but another thing when you think you're moving along pretty well, except you're not. Yikes! Ok so there's some deep fatigue in these arms of mine! My plan was to knock out a 400TT today (part of the swim game is scoring bonus points by knocking out TTs)... my slow warm up made me think twice... like no way I'll be able to pull off anything decent so I almost didn't try. But then I did a set of 50's as 25fast/25 easy, then a 50 fast and hit 38" which for me in this pool is pretty good, so I went for the 400.

Sometimes I check splits in the middle of TT efforts (it's quick/easy for me to glance at my watch as I flip) but today I didn't. Mostly b/c I felt like I was moving well and if I looked at the 200 and saw a number I didn't like I might have quit on myself. So I figured just keep doing the best I could the whole time and whatever it was would be fine. Hit the wall at 5:53 and felt satisfied enough with that.  After 56+k in the last 10 days, I don't have much pop but I also don't really fade. I was reminded today of (Joe Friel's?) graph that shows form, fitness, and fatigue... At the moment I'd say my fitness and fatigue lines would both be pretty high up there. Form? Notsomuch.

Finished up the session with 1000 kick/swim, then a main set 32x100's off various send-offs. I did that set about as lazy as I could (like just swam fast enough to make the send-off). Breaking them up like this makes 32 go by super fast. Total 6200m.


An hour later I was on the table at Dr Zen's office. Zen has fixed pretty much everything that has ailed me for the last few years... I should have gone in to see him earlier! He just looked at my back and said he could see the rotation where one side was rotated like 1/2 inch or something. So that really explains the hip pain. If you're running (and riding?) with one hip way off like that it makes sense that muscles would pull in weird ways... and stay tight/contracted in an effort to protect the joint that is not stable. I'll be honest, when I walked out my SI joint felt awkward... like I'd gotten used to it being in that weird position so having it set 'right' felt odd. I didn't try running today b/c I wanted to give it a bit more time to settle in but hopefully I'll feel stable enough to try tomorrow.