Sunday, March 27, 2011

Double cookout weekend (3 weeks until NOLA)

Besides enjoying training, I love to cook on the grill.  Warning: do not read this post if you are hungry.  I grill just about every weekend year round, regardless of the temperature and weather.  It's rare that I get to cookout both days due to various social and volunteer events, but this weekend I was able to cook both days and made the most of it.  We had some snow Saturday and for some reason, cookouts in fowl weather taste even better for some reason.

View from my driveway where I grill
So Saturday, I went with the standard steak and a bacon wrapped, cream cheese chicken roll.  To mix things up, I added some chicken wings that I later mixed in hot sauce and some grilled pineapple.  Grilling the pineapple caramelizes the sugars oozing from it and gives it a unique taste.  Yum.

The yellow stuff is the pineapple.  Give it a try!
Sunday, I grilled for three families.  I normally grill for two, us and our neighbors across the street.  The neighbor's wife has ALS and the other neighbors and friends rotate providing meals just about every night.  Since I love grilling, it's not an inconvenience at all for me.  Sunday was tricky with the amount of food I was cooking, but luckily my neighbor, also a die hard griller, had extra space on his grill that he let me borrow.  So I cooked the mushrooms and asparagus on his grill.  For the mushrooms, I put some garlic, thyme, sage, and olive oil in a bowl, mixed the mushrooms in then put the mixture in aluminum foil.  I made three packets, one for each family.  For the asparagus, I put olive oil and Parmesan cheese on them and also put them in aluminum foil packets.  On my grill, I cooked a couple steaks, some bbq chicken breasts, a piece of Mahi Mahi, and put sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and put them right next to the coals.  Yum!

The fish has some oil, lime juice, and cilantro on it.  Yum!
Anyway, back to NOLA.  This week was a recovery week, which was nice.  I could definitely feel my legs getting even more fatigued on off days followed by feeling strong on the weekend.  I'm ready both mentally and physically (it's a relief to say that!).  Now it's about logistics and nutrition.  I do wish I was about 10 pounds lighter for the race, but given my cooking passion, it hasn't happened.  I do wish I was faster on the run, but I've been focused on building endurance without injury.  I might start focusing on run speed a bit this summer.  There is no reason I shouldn't be able to get down to a 7:30 pace (or lower).  I just need to put in the work.

Lake Pontchartrain is warming up quickly and at this rate, the swim probably won't be wet suit legal.  I bought a sleeveless wetsuit in December and finally tried it on today.  It's the same size as my sleeved Xterra wetsuit so I wasn't too worried about it.  I hope it's wetsuit legal, but if not, I'll deal with it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dialing things in (4 weeks to NOLA)

I had a long run Saturday and a long ride Sunday which is the perfect time to dial in the nutrition.  On Saturday, I had a GU 10 minutes before I left, another at 45 minutes in, and a third at an hour and a half.  I also drank a bottle of Ironman Perform on the run, that is the sports drink that will be available on race day.  Once I found out it was the drink on race day, I ordered a case of each flavor from a place that I get a discount from and that has free shipping on orders over a certain amount.  I've been drinking it during various workouts for the last two months and it sits well with me.  I also tried out salt tablets during the run and noticed no difference in performance.

On my long ride Sunday, I filled my aero bottle with water, and two water bottles with Infinit bike formula.  The Infinit sits well with me too, but I've learned through trial and error that I like variety.  So on the ride today, I ate a Cliff Bar and drank water for the first hour, drank Infinit for the second hour, ate Gu Chomps  and drank water for the third hour, and went back to Infinit for the fourth hour.  After a couple rides with it, I've decided I'm ditching the aero bottle.  I have to stop pedaling and lean forward to drink from it, the straws poke my helmet if I look at the ground, and it's kind of bulky.  I'm going to opt for two water bottles, one with water and one with Perform.  I like Infinit, but I decided to live off the course for hydration.

Aero bottle

Besides nutrition, I've also learned I don't have the patience for long plans.  I'm on a 20 week plan and this week I was wishing it was a 16 week plan.  I was ready to get this race going so I could stop obsessing about it.  Every workout for the last 16 weeks I've thought about NOLA.  How will I feel on the run after the bike?  How will I handle my longest OWS by 2X? How will the humidty be?  NOLA, NOLA, NOLA.  I can't imagine doing a 27 week plan.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Big Brick (5 weeks to NOLA)

5 weeks to go and the plan called for a brick workout Saturday and a four and a half hour s/b/r Sunday.  The brick was good timing.  It's time to nail down the nutrition and the clothing I'll wear at NOLA.  I'm pretty sure I'm going with my DeSoto 400 mile shorts and my Tyr tri tank.  I've had concerns with both pieces of gear.  The Tyr top has caused chaffing issues under my arms in the past and the DeSoto shorts have a pretty large pad.  I wasn't sure how that pad would feel during a run.  I used body glide under my arms to help with chaffing,

So, after getting everything lined up, off I went.  I ran to the Y carrying my towel and goggles.  Once I got there, I took off my jacket, tri top, shoes, socks, HRM and Road ID then waited while the life guards put the lane markers in.  Then I swam 2500 yards in my DeSoto shorts.  My hips/glutes were cramping or feeling tight.  Not sure which, but I broke down and swam the last 1000 yards using a pull buoy to make sure I could finish the work out.  After the swim, I got dressed pool side, ate a GU and ran home. 

Once home, I put on my bike shoes, shoe covers, gloves and Rudy Aero helmet and headed out.  Oh, I also tried out a Halo head band designed to keep sweat out of your eyes.  Usually within 30 minutes my sun glasses are covered in sweat.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to try the Halo.  It was pretty windy, like 15-20 mph with gusts close to 30, but it was really nice riding outside.  On the bike I drank 20 ounces of Infinit Ride formula, 16 ounces of water and ate a package of GU chomps.  I rode my usual 26.6 mile loop at a slightly higher level of effort than what I plan to do at NOLA.

After the ride, I changed in to my running shoes and headed out.  Off the bike my calves felt they were going to cramp, but after a quarter mile or so, they loosened up.  The run was uneventful.  I ate a GU 20 minutes in and drank some water at 20 and 40 minutes in.  Oh, and the Halo head band worked like a charm.  First ride ever that I could see through my sunglasses through out the ride.

Overall is was a good brick workout.   No chaffing issues with the tri top and no problems with the DeSoto pad.  I did do another sweat test.  I lost 2.5 pounds and took in 56 ounces out fluid so I sweated a total of 6 pounds in 4 hours.  I had salt caked on my face and jacket, like usual.  I'm going to try to have more sports drink than water at NOLA.  It will be much hotter and more humid at NOLA than it was this weekend.

So here is the workout.

4:40 - run to the Y
6:34 - T0.25 - change and wait for the lifeguards
55:20 - swam 2500 yards
4:16 - T0.75 - get dressed after the swim
4:43 - ran home
6:25 - T1 - A bit long since I didn't lay out a real transition area
1:32:23 - 26.6 mile ride
3:27 - T2
1:00:38 - 6 mile run

On one hand, my first Olympic distance tri shouldn't be a problem in May, on the other hand, I was really really tired Saturday night.  I slept in Sunday then road 3 hours on the trainer.  It was a slow ride on really tired legs.

Next week should be the biggest yet then ramp down from there.

Sorry about the lack of pictures.  I didn't feel like messing with my phone and the gloves and the wind.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Random Throw In

Had my biggest training week yet and had church sound this week too. Lots of training and volunteer hours this week and they all fit easily. Amazing.
If you are in to Christian music, check out David Crowder Band - How He Loves - Single. We played this at church this week and it was pretty cool. With my BIL battling liver cancer, another good friend Dave with a rare cancer, and my neighbor with ALS, it's been an emotional week/month.
Love the line, "all of a sudden I'm unaware of these afflictions".

Feeling Alright (6 weeks to NOLA)

This week was a good one training wise.  I got in all eight workouts, managed a morning run, and had my biggest volume week to date.  One highlight of the week was getting Monday off work due to a power outage.  This was good timing.  I was feeling pretty run down, so after calling all my employees and telling them not to go in, I went back to bed. 

I did my longest continuous swim yet, 3000 yards this week.  I was pretty excited about it since two years ago 30 yards was all I could do without a break.  My shoulder wasn't bad either.  I did need to ice it afterwards, but it is definitely getting better.

My long run Saturday was chilly and dreary and windy, but I got it done.  Afterward I had several cold glasses of water then soda while out to lunch.  Then my body temp dropped (or it felt like it did) and I was shivering quite a bit.

The section of trail I lost my headband on 2 weeks ago.  Didn't find it this week.

Windy run.

Someones roof damaged in the storm last week.

Refueling lunch after my long run.

Sat by the fireplace to warm up.

My long ride Sunday was on the trainer.  I'm a wimp when it comes to cold.

A four hour tour, a four hour tour :-)

So training was 11 hours for the week.  2 hours swimming, 3 running and 6 biking.  I think that is the perfect mix for me.

Oh, and what can be more geeky than a middle aged, pasty white guy in spandex?  A pasty white guy in spandex and an aero helmet.  My aero helmet came in this week.  I tried it on and my son said I look ridiculous.  My wife said, she can see why it was on sale :-).    They were out of white so I ended up with red, white and blue.

No chanting Rudy at NOLA :-)

On a not so good note, my BIL Steve is having liver surgery Monday.  He has liver cancer and they are taking 2/3's of his liver out.  Please pray for him and his family.  They have had a rough ride through his pancreatic cancer journey that started about 3 years ago.