2006-09-29 Bike Trainer

2x15 minutes on the powercranks, then some totally unstructured stuff (high cadence, standing, one-legged (which is somewhat implicit on PC's, but still...).)

I'm diggin' the "all over" fatigue the PC's inspire. When I walk around after riding on them, I can tell that I've worked my running muscles more than when I normally ride.

Stretchfest after. My hamstrings are starting to loosen up. I can now reach past my toes without bending my knees.


2006-09-27 Various

Whoops! I haven't been logging my workouts, not that there have been many.

I'm trying to get in 20-30 minutes/day on Debra (on the trainer). The PowerCranks are getting easier, but I'm still quite weak in my hipflexors. I think that some really dedicated winter training on these things will do wonders for me.

I've been rather stressed about my dog. We found out on Monday (though we very strongly suspected last Thursday) that Dreyfus has cancer, and the stress associated with the news has been HUGE. I was stress-starving for a few days, then stress-binging. I would like to get to a state of stress-exercising, which is still stressing, but is at least productive :-))


2006-09-19 Swim

Masters. Bailed after 1000 yards. I was in a *pissy* mood, and the swim wasn't taking my mind off my bad mood.


2006-09-18 Bike Trainer

Hehehehe. Bought some PowerCranks, and put them on Debra. Oh my... I have some work to do! I could only ride 5 minutes at a time. Did a total of 6 or 7 or them, and my hip flexors are toast.

Strangely, my LEFT leg is smoother than my right. I would have expected the opposite. I think I'm going to like powercranks after I get used to them. They are certainly going to help smooth out my pedalstroke and work my hip flexors and hamstrings!


2006-09-14 Swim

Masters. Walked in, went over to the lanes, noticed I was the only guy. The other seven folks were all female. Nothing will make a dude feel self-aware faster than standing in front of seven women while wearing only a speedo :).

My testosterone must have be ragin', because after the warmup, we did 100 sprints. I came in at 1:16, which is a hefty 5 seconds faster than my previous fastest 100!!! That's huge! K was in the lane next to me, and after the first turn she got 1/3 body length lead. Super-competitive-jerkwad mode kicked in and decided to not let her get a full body length by the end. She did, but only just barely :). I forget the rest of the workout, as always. We mostly do freestyle sets from 50-300 yards, so any one workout is more or less like the rest. I was so bored with freestyle that by the end I tossed in some butterfly. Coach Andy pointed out a few things about my fly, but I was too tired to really try to put any of them to practice tonight.

2500 (?) total. I can't remember.

2006-09-12 Swim

Masters. Forgot to log it the night of the swim... 200x[pull/kick/swim], 200 pull, 200 kick warmup. Main set was... uhhh... 6x150? Then... uhhh... 8x50? Then 8x25 breathing once for the first 4, twice for the second 4.

Weak workout. My mind was elsewhere.


2006-09-10 Bike

Fantastic weather for a ride. GP IM'd me and said:

[13:53] mrgalihad (Gerrit): you up for a ride this afternoon?
[13:54] MarkARebuck: yep. gonna have to be something not too long or fast, though, as i'm waaaaaayyyy undertrained.
[13:55] mrgalihad (Gerrit): how about 30-40 miles?
[13:55] mrgalihad (Gerrit): not hard
[13:55] MarkARebuck: that should be doable. 2 hours-ish.
[13:56] mrgalihad (Gerrit): it involves going over the ridge
[13:56] mrgalihad (Gerrit): but I'm going to take it very easy today

It somehow slipped my memory that GP was the guy who went out for a "quick 30 miler" that ended up being over 70. Oops.

So, 48+ miles, 3500 feet of climbing, and one emergency-Gatorade-refill stop later... I've got my ride logged for the day. Today's route was up to and over Sterrit's Gap, then down into the next valley, over the next ridge, then back. Four good climbs today. I started out STRONG but couldn't keep up with my hydration and fuel intake, so I had a rough time on the way home.

I was on J today because Debra is down for maintenance and installation of her fancy new PowerCranks. Hey, it's hardly a year in MarkWorld without at least one frivolous cycling gear purchase, eh? I hadn't been on J in ages, but she was still more comfortable than I expected. My hands and butt were a bit sore at the end (as expected), but other than that I felt pretty comfy on her.

Grrrrrreat weather lately. Riding in PA in the fall can be damn pleasant!


2006-09-09 Racquetball

Went to the Y earlier in the week to pick up some guest passes, and the gal at the desk decided it was too much trouble to ring me up, so she just gave me a free punch-card with six passes. Score! I used one pass to get Tex into masters swimming, and another to get BK in to an aborted racquetball game yesterday, but still had plenty of freebies to spare. So this morning I used two of the passes to play cut throat racquetball with Team Bill (B[K/H]). Cut throat is fun... you really have to be on your game when you are on offense, and it is hard coordinating your play on defense because you opponent/partner change every point.

General level of play was high, and fun was had by all.

Beth is coming back from Richmond (her new home!) later today, but I'm planning to hit a bike ride at some point.


2006-09-07 Swim

Masters. Forgot to log it earlier. Felt strong at the start but faded hard. My form felt all to hell. My mind was elsewhere.

I forget the exact sets, but they were pretty generic. 600 pull/kick/swim WU, 4x200, then I forget what. I think I was done after 2100 yards total.

2006-09-06 Tennis

With BH. I wasn't doublefaulting, but still managed to get crushed :-). When it got to 1-5 in the second set, I started serving UNDERHAND, just to see what would happen... final score of that set was 4-6. So I guess we can conclude that my serve only helps my opponents :).


2006-09-05 Swim

Masters swim. Nice to see the gang again. Nice also to get my butt kicked all over the pool again. At one point, K asked if she was "holding me up." Crap, couldn't she see that I was nearly ready to explode just trying to keep up with her?!?

200x[pull/kick/swim] WU. 4x25, 4x50, 4x75, 4x100, 4x75, 4x50, 4x25. 4x[13 run, 37 swim]. 100 CD.


2006-09-04 Bike Trainer

Great weather today, so of course I stayed inside all day :-). Did a warmup+30 minute+cooldown bike trainer workout in PM. I hadn't been on the trainer in AGES!.

Stretchfest after.


2006-09-03 Tennis

Tennis with BH. Just practice (his shoulder isn't 100% so he didn't want to serve, and I learn more practicing than playing). Nothing too intense, but I can feel my swing improving.

2006-09-02 Swim

Nearly every time I've dragged my videocamera to the pool, I've screwed up the settings, resulting is mostly useless footage. Tonight I was determined to get some solid tape. So I invested 30 minutes or so making a solid rigging for my underwather camera housing. And I remembered to set the camera to the proper settings (infinite focus, sports mode, exposure +.) The resulting footage was quite educational. I saw that I have made some slight progress on my historical problem areas (I'm not leaning on my left arm as much, and I'm keeping my elbows higher), but my kick is still horrific, I'm still overrotating to my breathing side, and my toes aren't pointed at all.

I saw a few interesting videos of a female swimmer doing a two-beat kick. I've never tried to do a two-beat kick, but it looked interesting. I suspect a two-beat kick would make a lot of sense for me. I also suspsect it is what I do naturally when I'm wearing a wetsuit. But I've never filled myself swimming in a wetsuit. I think I'm going to try to the two-beat kick next time I'm at the pool. I'm also going to film myself in my wetsuit. With both a camera and a wetsuit, I think I'm going to set some kind of World Dorkiest Guy At A Swimming Pool Record. I'm glad I don't have enough pride to give a crap how I look :-).

Masters moves back to the indoor pools starting Tuesday. I think. The pool area is still under construction, so I'm not sure if they will be open for masters yet. I'm looking forward to masters again.


2006-09-02 Back

OK, I'm going to start recording my workouts again. I should add as a disclaimer that I'm going to include tennis and raquetball in this log, so calling it a "triathlon" blog is a bit imprecise.

The last few months have been a bit sporatic. I did almost zero swimming and running, but still managed to do better than I've ever done in both the swim and run legs in my last triathlon.

Let me ramble about my races, while I'm at it. I only did two races this year. In the first, I finished 3rd/9 in my age group. In the second, I finished 7th/26. In both races, I had big gaps over the people one place behind me. In the first race, I could have had 2nd/9 if I had ANY run skillz, but in the second race I would have had to make up almost four minutes to go up one place. So... I seem to be stuck in no-mans-land, better than the Average Joe racers, but not able to bridge the gap to the Studly Studmeister triathletes. I think that I could crack the top 25% with good training, and maybe even the top 10% at big races if I were really at the top of my game.

My weight/body composition are not hugely out of line, but I'm 10 pounds heavier than I was this time last year (when I was as lean as I've ever been... This time last year I was lighter than I had been since my junior year of high school!)

My key limiters, as I see them now, are:

  1. Injuries. I can't seem to bump up my run volumes without getting injured. All of my problems are on the back side of my right lower body, mostly in the right glute. I think the issue is hamstring flexibility, but who knows? I'll probably see a sports doc about this sometime this fall. I'm going to focus on stretching for a month or two and see what that does.
  2. Run speed. See above.
  3. Weight / body composition. Nothing impacts run speed more than weight. There is a rule of thumb that a given % drop in body weight gives the same % speed increase while running. I think I can safely lose 10% of my bodyweight. If I got a "free" 10% run speed increase, and combined it with some gains from TRAINING, I would be exactly where I want to be with my runs (my goal is a 20 minute 5K off a hard bike.)
  4. Swim. I can shave at least minute off my 750M swim time

My strenghts continue to be:

  1. The Bike. In my first race, I was 2nd/9 in my age group on the bike, way behind 1st place and way ahead of 3rd place. In my second race, I went a bit easy on the bike, but placed well in the bike leg. As happy as I am with my bike, there is still room for improvement. I can buy some speed with equipment changes (more agressive position would cost nothing, and I could get a wheel cover and aero helmet for a combined $130 or so... cheap speed!)
  2. Transitions. I'm almost always in/near the top 10% of the field in my transitions. I see transitions as 4th leg... the "thinking man's" leg, because speedy transitions have nothing to do with athletic ability. I often make up a minute or more of some of my competition, which is the same as knocking 20 seconds per mile off my run speed!

So... my plan for the rest of 2006 is to get my weight/body comp back to where it was last year, keep the bike volume up, and fix any remaining injuries which are run-related. I'm not going to think about my 2007 race season until the end of the year, but I strongly suspect that I'm going to continue focusing on sprint races. There is a social pressure in the triathlon world to do longer races, but frankly... I like short races. I can't explain why, and I don't care why.