27 August 2008

Just for Laughs...

In case you're struggling from withdrawals from the Olympics...

25 August 2008

Railsplitter Triathlon Race Report

Swim -36:29
T1 -1:33
Bike - 2:07:14
T2 - 1:28
Run - 1:28:20
Total Time - 4:15:06 (My time goal was 4:15, so I'll take it...but it really doesn't make sense)

My alarm went off bright and early at 3:33am. Six hours of sleep is probably not enough for a race, but I'll take it. I laid in bed for 10 or so minutes, feeling very glad that I packed all of my stuff the night before. I finally got up, got dressed, and go ready to go. I hauled my bike out to the car. I almost forgot my PopTart which would have been bad. I rode down to the race with my friends, the Hills, which turned out to be a very good thing, and we left at around 4:45am. The race was in Petersburg and was about 1 hour and 15 minutes away; however, when we arrived, we discovered that finding the actually race venue was a bit tricky.

We arrived at the race site and checked in, did the packet pickup thing, and headed over to the transition area. Apparently, they mowed the transition area the day before the race and there were wet clumps of grass everywhere, which for some reason really bugged me...perhaps because I ended up wearing grass for the ENTIRE race. My feet were covered with wet grass and it was making me cranky, although I'm not sure why. I should probably mention that this was the inaugural race, so there were some organization issues. I started to set up my transition area and I decided to skip using my towel because the grass was so gross. Good thing my tri backpack has a mat in it. I set up my spot but forgot to open my water bottles and check the gearing on my bike, which ended up being okay, but I should have remembered to do that. I did remember to open my nutrition for the bike. I also had to get all of my numbers attached. The bike number was supposed to be attached with twist ties, which turned out to be a bad idea, since the number didn't have holes in the right places. Anyways, it was almost time to start and there was some (alot) confusion about whether or not wetsuits were legal. It was determined that they were legal, which resulted in several participants running back to transition to get their wetsuits. I was actually quite happy to be able to wear my wetsuit because I really don't like to be cold. So, finally, it was time to start (late).

There was only one wave of swimmers, so the start was a little chaotic, but no more than the regular wave starts. It took me about 10 yards before I finally felt like I could swim. It was an out and back swim, which was a little different. The water was gorgeous, except for the floating plant material. There was no wake and while it was murky, it wasn't green like the Miller Park Lake. Oh, the temperature was 78, so it was nice and warm...just the way I like it. I had a few collisions in the water, but absolutely no freak outs which was GLORIOUS! I'm finally settling in to the open water swimming. I was out of the water in 36:29, which is faster than my BAM triathlon swim time. My average HR was 165. I should also mention that it was a kinda longish run from the lake to the transition area. Also, I had TONS of grass inside my wetsuit, on my legs and arms, which wasn't cool, since it stayed with me until I got home that afternoon.

Once I finally got to my transition spot, I was winded from the long, uphill run. I was concerned about putting my bike shoes on because of all of the grass, but I decided to take a chance. I put on my sunglasses, strapped on my helmet, grabbed my bike and headed out of transition. Once I hit the pavement, I checked my cleats for grass (there was none), hopped on Oscar and took off. My transition time was 1:34 and my average HR was 174.

For the first few minutes on the bike, I felt like I was flying. I was ready for a drink, which was when I realized that I hadn't opened my water bottles. I took an Endurolyte and grabbed a quick drink. My goal on the bike was to push an 18mph pace. I should also mention that it takes me about 30-45 minutes before I start feeling good on the bike. After a couple of miles, I started to hit the hills. There were some rollers and there were some hills. My nutrition plan was to eat 1 shotblock every 10 minutes and 1 Endurolyte every 30 minutes. I had 1 bottle of water and 1 bottle of Heed. I was actually feeling pretty good and was going somewhere between 17-18 mph by the halfway point. At one point, I thought I had taken a wrong turn because I couldn't see anyone on the course, either in front of me or behind me. Around mile 18, I hit the wall and bonked. It was so weird because that has never really happened to me before on the bike. I'm not really sure what the problem was, but I do know it was not a good feeling. I had to drop down to my small ring and spin up the hill at a very quick 6 mph. I was seriously worried about my ability to finish the race. At some point, I pulled myself together and got going again. I actually started to feel really good. I only got passed on the bike by 2 women and maybe 8 men, but on my way back, I passed one of the women. She kinda pooped out around mile 30. I ran out of fluids at mile 24, but they were handing out water bottles so it worked out. Did you know that trying to grab a bottle from a kid while riding by is tricky? I did manage to grab a very welcome bottle of ice cold water and I was so glad to have the extra rack on the back of my bike. Anyways, I pushed myself hard on the last 8-10 miles and went rolling in to transition at 2:07:16. My average HR was 168. I took in about 500 calories on the bike and 2 bottles of water. I also took 7 endurolytes.

I hit the dismount line and had no problems clipping out. Of course, my legs were wobbly and I waddled back to my transition spot. My legs did feel better than they did after my long ride last weekend, so that was good. I racked my bike with no problems and surprisingly my bike shoes slipped right off. My running shoes slipped on easily and I downed a raspberry Hammer gel, grabbed my visor and bib and headed out for the run. My T2 time was 1:23 and my average HR was 173.

As I was heading out for the run, it was really starting to heat up and get more humid. I guess I should mention that the temperature was supposed to be around 90 and feel like 97. It was very humid and felt like it got more and more humid as the day went on. I felt pretty good heading out on the run and I knew I would feel better after the first mile. I cruised along and was passing a couple of people until my quads started to cramp up. There were no mile markers out on the course, which made the run more tough because I really had no idea where I was. I would check my watch, but I wasn't sure of my pacing or anything. I was dumping water over my head and shoulders and trying to stay as cool as possible, but it was really hot. My shoes were soaking wet and I ended up with alot of hot spots and a very good sized chunk of skin missing from my left heel. There were enough water stations, but it seemed like they weren't in the right spots. There was WAY too much winding around on the course and when I finally finished, I discovered that the run was almost a mile longer, which made me feel somewhat better about my time. Still, it ended up taking me 1:32:18 to run 7.8 miles, which is just depressing. I did struggle with cramping, but mostly got frustrated with the course and it was blasted hot. I had a hard time getting my heart rate down, and the average HR was 175, which is higher than I like it to be. I really just wanted to be done running and was so happy to cross the finish line and get the small ice cold bottle of water with a smiley face on it.

At the finish line, there was alot of discussion about the run course and how long it was. They had tons of really cold drinks which was awesome. They also had hamburgers and hot dogs which made me want to yak. I did eat 2 bags of Cheetos that might have been the most delicious Cheetos ever. I was covered in salt when I finished, so I'm guessing that's why the chips tasted so yummy. I was also pretty thirsty and drank a 180 energy drink which tasted fabulous...very refreshing. I was pretty wiped out after the race and was so ready to not be wearing my sweaty, soaking wet, stinky clothes. My shoes were squishy and my heels were really starting to hurt. We stuck around for the awards and I ended up winning my age group, but only because I was the only one in my age group. My overall time ended up being 4:19:03 (according to my watch), which was longer than I wanted, but this race was really a catered training to make sure that I'm ready for the 1/2 IM in 2 weeks, so no beating myself up over the time.

So, what did I learn from this race. Let's see...I realized that I can have a really great open water swim if I stay calm and swim like I know how. Body glide and tri-slide do work for chafing, but I need to apply more under my arms. I need to keep swimming at Miller Park to continue gaining confidence. I did realize that I have some serious tunnel vision when I exit the water.

On the bike, I realized that I need to carry more fluids. I don't think I was super dehydrated, but I was thirsty. My nutrition worked well, really well. I'm going to try taking the endurolytes every 20 minutes instead of every 30 minutes, so hopefully that will help ward off any cramping. I'll also probably carry them on the run. I've been debating about a mph pace goal for the 1/2 IM. Initially, I was sort of planning on 18 mph, but that will probably depend on the course, which means I need to do some map studying this week. I think that maybe I went too hard on the bike for this race, but since the bike course was hilly, its kind of hard to tell. So, over the next week, I need to decide how to approach my pacing on the bike course.

On the run, well, I just need to run faster and be mentally tougher. I'm not sure how the 1/2 marathon will go, but I really hope the course is not alot of out and back wanderings. I still need to work on staying focused and mentally tough. I hope there are mile markers at the 1/2 IM so I'll at least know where I am on the course.

Overall, I'm pleased with my race. I would actually do this race again, mostly to ride that bike course. I'm finally loving the bike and feeling good about my open water swim, so all of the time I spent working on them this summer has paid off. On the flip side, my lack of run training has become my weakness. I'll be able to focus on my running this winter, so hopefully, I"ll be more balanced. Now it's time to focus on the game plan for the 1/2 IM...

22 August 2008

Pre-Race Dreams

Last night, I was sitting on the couch, watching the Olympics and thinking about my race tomorrow. I'm doing the Railsplitter Triathlon ( in the morning and was just doing my race preparation stuff. I was thinking about time goals and what I needed to pack and that sort of thing. Apparently, I was still processing this stuff when I went to bed last night, because I had a very interesting dream. The dream hasn't stressed me out or anything and actually made me laugh, so I thought I would share it, so here it is...

In this race (the dream race), we had to ride in a boat out to an island in the middle of the lake and then swim back to the transition area. No worries for me since I have no problem swimming back towards land. So, I start swimming and am feeling good. All of the sudden, I swim into a wall of breaststroking 8-10 women across. I thought, "Really" and decided to swim around them, so I went right. Well, that didn't work, so I decided to swim left, which also didn't work. I was really getting frustrated because I felt like I'd been stuck behind these women for a really long time and I wanted to be done with the swim. Apparently, the competitor in me came out roaring because I decided that I was going to swim right through them and I didn't care who got hit, kicked, head butted or whatever. So, I made my move and then my hand touched the sand and the swim was over.

I was so frustrated because I got stuck behind this wall of women that I rushed into transition and got to my spot, only to discover that I was wearing a t-shirt. I thought, "What?!?" and took it off. Except that I had another t-shirt on underneath it. I was completely puzzled. I took it off, but there was another t-shirt and another. I had no idea how in the world I ended up wearing 4 t-shirts under my wetsuit, since I would never do that. Anyways, by the time I got all of the extra shirts off, I looked down to start getting ready for the bike. Should I mention I was fuming? When I looked down, my pile of stuff and bike were gone. I started frantically running around trying to find my stuff. It was nowhere. Finally a woman stopped me and said, "I threw your stuff over by the lake because I needed more room to cook." What?!? More room to cook? What! I rushed over to where she had thrown the stuff and discovered my bike was in the lake. That's when I woke up...

I'm not really into the whole meaningful dream thing because I have some pretty bizarre dreams. I believe that dreams are my way of processing the plethora of information that I take in each day. For whatever reason, I had a lot of frustration regarding this race, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out. I'll be sure to post my race report on Monday, so hopefully this dream won't come true.

20 August 2008

Lessons from an Olympic Hero

I've spent the past few nights trying to catch up on some much needed sleep. For the past week, I've been staying up late to watch Olympic swimming, along with most other Americans. Yes, I got caught up in the Michael Phelps quest and I'm glad that I did. This man has completely charmed me, with his crooked grin, his pokey out ears and his sparkling eyes. As I have watched him, I have learned or noticed some pretty cool things. So, in an effort to remember those lessons, I've decided to write about them.

1. Dreams - Michael Phelps has dreamed of being an Olympic champion since he was a kid. He did everything in his power to make those dreams come true. Those around him also provided him with all of the tools and support to achieve those dreams. He surrounded himself with those who believed in him. He believed his dreams and believed in himself.

2. Focus - Michael Phelps is one of the most focused athletes that I've ever seen. His ability to mentally prepare himself for his races is incredible. His ability to know what works for him before the race and then to follow through with it is awesome. I was so impressed with his ability to know exactly what he had to do to win the race and then to carry out his plan.

3. Teamwork - While swimming seems to be an individual sport, Michael Phelps is a phenomenal team player. When I learned that he had given up his relay spot to a teammate in Athens, I was so impressed. When I watched him cheer his relay teams on, I was pleasantly surprised at the intensity he maintained. He surrounds himself with successful people and then encourages them to be even more successful.

4. Class - Michael Phelps continually surprised me with the amount of poise and class he showed in the midst of his Olympic glory. His smile was so charming and sincere and he went out of his way to downplay what he was trying to accomplish. He was modest and confident and carried himself with alot of class and maturity.

5. Heart - This man has incredible heart. His desire to achieve never overshadowed his own integrity. His relationship with his mother is so touching. His smiles and exuberance when he won were so inspiring. He recognized that he was changing history, but never let that change himself.

There were many other things that I noticed during the swims, things like mechanics and technique, but the thing that stands out to me the most was watching Michael Phelps smile on the podium. What an incredible athlete! I hope that I can carry myself with as much grace and class as he does.

19 August 2008

100 Things About Me

Apparently, there is a blogging tradition that when you reach your 100th post, you tell the world 100 things about yourself. I've had a very hard time coming up with 100, here they are.

1. My name is AJ Hansen.
2. I turned 30 years old this summer.
3. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
4. I grew up in Utah and South Carolina.
5. I attended college at Wingate University in North Carolina.
6. I attended graduate school at the University of Utah.
7. I have a doctoral degree from Illinois State University.
8. I am a certified athletic trainer.
9. I majored in athletic training and minored in biology.
10. I was three credits (one class) short of a minor in English.
11. I took literature and neurobiology classes for fun.
12. I have worked at a grocery store, a tobacco warehouse, a meat packing plant, a bank, a library, and a couple of nurseries, as well as a university.
13. I have 2 brothers, 1 sister, 2 sisters-in-law, 3 nephews, 1 niece, and 2 parents.
14. I work as a professor.
15. I love teaching and my favorite class to teach is human anatomy and physiology.
16. I love to read and am reading 3 books right now.
17. I was a 4 year letterman in volleyball and basketball in high school, as well as a 3 year letterman in softball.
18. I batted .401 my senior year and .000 my sophomore year.
19. I won a best supporting actor award in a state high school drama competition.
20. I've run 9 half marathons and 6 marathons since 2005.
21. I was chosen as an All-State volleyball player twice and an All-State softball player once.
22. I've completed 11 races this year and 5 more to go.
23. I love dogs and am allergic to cats.
24. I have lived in Utah, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Illinois.
25. I have studied at Lancaster University in England.
26. I have traveled to Italy and can't wait to go back.
27. I have traveled to 34 states.
28. I have published a photograph in a coffee table book.
29. My parents taught me about goal setting when I was 6 years old and have been supporting and helping me achieve my goals since then.
30. I've won my age group in a triathlon.
31. I love disco music.
32. I have been involved with the Team in Training program since 2006 as a participant, coach, and mentor.
33. I love to hike, but don't go often enough, even when I have the opportunity.
34. I really enjoy art, especially photography.
35. I wore a retainer in 6th and 7th grade.
36. My master's degree is in Sports Psychology.
37. My favorite colors are red and green.
38. I read the Book of Mormon before I turned 8 years old.
39. I love plants and can't wait to have my own flower and vegetable garden.
40. My favorite musical is The Sound of Music, but Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a close second.
41. I subscribe to Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, Runners World, Vogue, and Outside magazines.
42. I go to the library at least once a week.
43. My three favorite places in the world are Hawaii, Scotland, and Moab.
44. My favorite type of food is Mexican, but I also love Sushi, Chinese, Italian, Steak, Seafood, and most other foods.
45. If I ever decide to get a tattoo (not likely), I would wait until I complete my first Ironman and get a white M-dot.
46. I own many pairs of sandals and very rarely wear shoes with socks unless it's required.
47. My favorite kinds of pie are strawberry and banana cream and I don't eat pie with a top crust.
48. I love to eat french fries and chips, and will usually choose a salty snack over a sweet snack.
49. I love to visit zoos and aquariums, but I always feel sad that the animals live in cages.
50. I love to travel and wish I could go on trips more often.
51. My favorite outfit to wear is jeans and a white t-shirt.
52. My nickname as a little kid was "chatterchin" and my parents actually had to purchase a book called "Gabby" to teach me how to shut up and listen. Some would say it worked too well...
53. I love ice cream and would eat it every day if I could.
54. I think that riding on a train is one of the most relaxing ways to travel.
55. I really enjoy learning new things and look for opportunities to become more well-rounded.
56. I don't speak any foreign languages but I can sort of read French.
57. Pop tarts are my pre-race meal of choice.
58. My favorite AL baseball team is the New York Yankees.
59. My favorite NL baseball team is the Chicago Cubs.
60. I've had very long hair and very short hair and everything in between.
61. I rarely watch professional sports, except for triathlon.
62. I rarely paint my toe nails because I think the polish makes my feet look dirty, even when it makes other people's feet look cute.
63. Swimming is a very relaxing workout (except for lactate intervals) and sometimes I even feel like I might fall asleep while I'm swimming.
64. I think Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs in the yellow package are the absolute best Easter candy and Peeps are the worst.
65. I have a very hard time walking past a person who is asking for money or a hand out.
66. I don't like toasted marshmallows but I do like hot dogs cooked over a fire. Banana boats are also a great campfire treat.
67. I have a small crush on Michael Phelps. He has totally inspired, impressed, and amazed me this Olympics.
68. I want to take a cycling tour across Europe.
69. I always have incredibly odd, crazy, bad luck sorts of things happen to me...enough that people who know me well avoid traveling with me or expect things to happen.
70. I want to have an elephant farm where retired circus elephants can come and live out the remainder of their lives.
71. I love to run and I love sharing my love of running with others.
72. I taught a hamster named Harry to run through a maze and won a science fair in 6th grade.
73. I eat cereal for dinner sometimes.
74. I avoid ironing if at all possible.
75. I love summer and warm weather.
76. I can play the piano and read music.
77. I love dark chocolate and will not eat white chocolate.
78. I can blow spit bubbles off of my tongue and into the air. I've taught small children to do this trick.
79. I really enjoy doing yoga, but I laugh my head off if I have to chant.
80. Naps make me cranky.
81. I own a car named Derek.
82. I have a really good memory, which is not a good thing sometimes.
83. I am incredibly stubborn and determined and will always push back hard if pushed.
84. I have never had my ears pierced.
85. I do not want to swim with sharks, dolphins, killer whales, or any other animal that might mistake me for lunch.
86. I love James Bond movies.
87. If I were an actress, I would aspire to be a Bond girl.
88. I really like to eat cheese.
89. I have never been arrested and would like to keep it that way.
90. I used to dream of being a rodeo queen when I was a little girl.
91. I believe golf is a game that makes you angry and raises your blood pressure.
92. I'm not allowed to play golf.
93. I drank a goldfish once to win a student body election. My little brother carried on the family tradition.
94. I've had my racing bike for over a year and still haven't figured out a name for him.
95. I want to adopt a greyhound.
96. I'm the oldest granddaughter in my family.
97. I feel very claustrophobic in big cities with tall buildings.
98. I think being a forest firefighter would be an awesome job, but I'm too chicken to try it out.
99. I wish I were taller, but I'm glad I'm not shorter.
100. My favorite pre-race dinner is a burrito with lots of guac.

18 August 2008

One year ago...

*I wrote this last night while watching the Olympics, so it is from yesterday's perspective.

My body is completely thrashed and it feels wonderful...except for the staggering around with very sore legs. I was lying in bed, trying to wake up from a nap and was thinking about how sore my legs are and I realized several things.

Almost a year ago, I went for a long ride with my friend Sherry. She was getting ready to head to Madison for the Ironman and I needed to learn some routes for riding my bike in IL. We met on a Saturday morning at the trail on Raab Road and we headed out to ride around Lake Bloomington. This was my first real ride on my road bike. I remember thinking, "this should be too bad," but I wasn't sure how it would go.

Sherry and I started riding and she set the pace around 16 mph or so. She showed me the different turns and the house where the dog runs out to chase bikes. We made it out to Green Gables (they make fabulous cheeseburgers) and then headed around the outer loop. I had forgotten my water bottles back in UT, so I only had some Accelerade in some bottles with screw top lids. This meant I could only drink when I was stopped. Did I mention that I hadn't figured out how to drink while riding? I also had a really goofy helmet (they're all goofy looking, but this one was especially funny) and I had some toe strap pedals, except that I couldn't really get my feet in them while riding, so I usually rode with my feet on top of them. I think I may have managed to get my feet in the toe straps occasionally, but not very often. We made it around the outer loop and I was tired. The route is very flat, but I was feeling every single little slight incline. On the way back to the car, my legs were cramping up, I was really tired of sitting on that rotten, uncomfortable saddle. I was tired and just wanted to get off the bike. It seemed like forever. I made it through...but it was not pretty.

This morning, Sherry and I met at Raab Road and headed out to Lake Bloomington for a 3 hour ride. I've been staying up way too late watching the Olympics and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done the ride if I was going by myself. This was a completely different ride than the one a year ago. Sherry ran 17 miles at a very quick pace and I struggled along at a much slower pace for 10 miles, so we both started the ride with not fresh legs. I had my new, less goofy looking helmet, my big girl pedals and shoes, water bottles with Heed, my Bento box with Shot Blocks and electrolytes...oh, and probably most importantly, I had some bike mileage and training under my belt or in my legs might be a better way to say that.

So, yeah, we headed out to the lake and were cruising along and I was feeling pretty good. We rode around the outer loop, just like last year, and then Sherry showed me the inner loop, which might have been my favorite part of the ride. Then, we headed back to Green Gables. Sherry suggested that I do the outer and inner loop again, and she would do the outer loop, and we would meet back at Green Gables before heading back to our cars. It was so gracious of Sherry to offer to do that and I really pushed myself and had a fantastic ride. I have learned that I love to ride fast. Sherry's husband Howard came out on his motorcycle to be our own personal SAG wagon and he was riding next to me at one point and said, "Are you having fun?" I think I smiled and nodded my head, but inside I was grinning from ear to ear (didn't want to eat too many bugs or have bugs in my teeth) and doing the happy dance.

Sherry headed back to the cars a few minutes before me and I rode hard to catch up. We chatted a little bit here and there and talked our legs into pedaling up the inclines to get back to the trail before we arrived back at the cars. When I got off my bike, my legs were seriously wobbly and I was thinking about the race next weekend and wondering how in the world I am going to run 7 miles after a 36 mile ride. I'm so glad that I got to get out and ride today. The weather was gorgeous and I truly loved being on the bike today.

As I think back to my ride a year ago and compare it to my ride today, I can't help buy smile. I don't have any quantitative data or proof that I've improved on my cycling, but it sure feels like I've made some huge improvements. I rode in my clipless pedals with absolutely no problems at all. There were no tipovers. I ate my shot blocks with absolutely no issues and even managed to drink two bottles of fluids. I rode in my aerobars. My cornering has improved tremendously and my hill climbing and gearing is so much better than it's ever been. My confidence has increased and like I mentioned earlier I am really learning to love riding. I'm actually looking forward to my next ride... What a difference a year makes!

Week 22 1/2 IM Training

August 18, 2008

BIKE - I took a day off yesterday and allowed my legs to recover. I can finally walk around with no staggering.

Tempo ride 30 min. (1 h. 25 m. total time)

August 19, 2008

RUN - Tempo run 24 min. (44 min. total time)

August 20, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (250), Time trial (2112), Cooldown (250) - Total 2812 yds.

BIKE - Foundation ride 2 h.

August 21, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Threshold intervals (3x400, 1 min. rest), Sprint intervals (6x50, 20 sec. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 2500 yds.

RUN - Long run (1 h. 10 m.) + Strides (4x20)

August 22, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Base intervals (6x100), Lactate intervals (6x150, 1 min. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 2500

August 23, 2008

Railsplitter Triathlon - Swim 1 mile - Bike 36 miles - Run 7 miles

August 24, 2008


09 August 2008

Week 21 1/2 IM Training

I'll be in IL for this training week, so I'm hoping to get back into my training groove. The goal this week is to finish the long swim, ride, and run this week feeling good and strong.

August 10, 2008


August 11, 2008

BIKE - Tempo ride (28 min) - Total ride 1 h. 20 m.

This workout didn't get done because I ran out of time (I didn't get home until 10pm and still had to unpack).

August 12, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Base intervals (6x100), Lactate intervals (6x150, 45 s. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown 300 - Total 2500 yds.

RUN - Tempo run (22 min) - Total run 42 min.

I didn't get these workouts done because I worked and then ended up not getting home again until 9pm. Note to self: Do training in the morning...

August 13, 2008

BIKE - Foundation ride (2 h.)

Last night, I went to the Tri-Shark WOWS (Wednesday Open Water Swims) and actually had my first OW swim with no freaking out at all. None. I was completely calm the entire time I was in the water and I ended up swimming 3 loops or 1800 yards. I'm quite proud of myself on this and am still doing the happy dance in my head. I got home, put the bike on the trainer and rode for 30 minutes before I started to have some serious cramps in my legs and foot. I got off, stretched, and tried again, but it wasn't happening. Apparently, I'm not as hydrated as well as I should be and I probably need to take a look at what I'm eating.

August 14, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Threshold intervals (3x400, 1:15 sec. rest), Sprint intervals (6x50, 20 s. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 2500 yds.

RUN - Long run (1 h. 5 m.) + Strides (4x20 s.)

I didn't work out this day. I was in meetings all day and then attended a birthday dinner for a friend.

August 15, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Base intervals (2400), Cooldown (300) - Total 3000

I didn't get this done either...for no reason other than being mentally tired.

August 16, 2008

RUN - Long run (2 h.)

I completed this workout on Saturday morning with Team in Training. Actually I only did 1:45 and ran 10 miles so it worked out.

August 17, 2008

BIKE - Long ride (3 h. 30 m.)

I completed this workout yesterday morning and my legs were toast. I did thoroughly enjoy myself and am looking forward to some more longer rides. Nutrition went well and fluids were okay. I need to remember to drink more.

03 August 2008

Open Water Swimming

So, since I've been struggling with the whole open water swimming thing, a friend and fellow triathlete suggested that I take some pictures of me swimming in the open water so that I'll have something to use while working on my visualization. I have several pictures, but I also have a video that you can't see too well, but it is me swimming out in the open water, with fishes, without freaking out.

While I was in Hawaii, I had the opportunity to practice my open water swimming and while I didn't swim as much as I could have or should have (mostly due to fear), I did manage to get 3-4 good swims in the 10 days I was there. I also mentioned in an earlier post that I would talk more about my open water swimming experiences and what I learned from them. So, here goes...

My first open water swim in the ocean was with the entire family. I decided that I needed to just relax and swim. Earlier that morning, my brothers and their wives went snorkeling and Karen saw an octopus. I was swimming along fine until I saw a rock (I'm choosing to believe it was a rock) that looked like an octopus. Sure enough, I started swimming awfully fast to get out of there. I swam around for awhile and talked to my dad while I practiced treading water and worked on calming myself down.

For the next few days, everyone else went snorkeling, but I skipped out...mostly because I really don't want to know that I'm swimming with fish. I'd rather just pretend it's a pool. Finally, on the Friday morning before we left, I went down to the lagoons with Brooke. She was planning on snorkeling and I was going to swim across the lagoon. I swam across the lagoon once and saw LOTS of fish down below on the reef and believe it or not, I didn't panic. I decided to just enjoy the fish and work on my swimming. I swam about 1000 yards and saw alot of fish, cut my finger on the reef (I was swimming along and all of the sudden the reef was 12 inches below me and my hand hit it), and had a blast.

Later that afternoon, I went swimming again and got another 1000 yards in or so and saw more fish and was feeling more confident. I actually even wondered if I should have done the Tinman in Oahu while I was there, but oh well... On Saturday morning and afternoon, I swam across the lagoon several times with my brothers and their wives. They snorkeled and I swam. We would stop to look at the fish and such, but I was truly feeling good about my swimming.

So, now I have some positive pictures to use when visualizing my open water swimming. I've also learned that it's okay to swim with fish and that I don't need to freak out. I'm hoping this will help my confidence for my next two races.

Week 19 1/2 IM Training

Since I'm not doing the Utah 1/2 IM now, I've switched around my training schedule to prepare for The Great Illini 1/2 IM on September 6 in Mattoon, IL. The good news is that my back is feeling good today and I'm ready to get back to my normal training. This week on the schedule turns out to be a recovery week, which is good since I've had about 2 weeks off. It will allow me to get back into my groove. So, here's my training for the week...

August 4, 2008

SWIM - When my alarm went off this morning, I turned it off and planned on staying in bed. However, after 10 minutes of laying in bed, I got up and headed to the pool. My back was a little tight this morning, and I could feel it during the warmup, so I was thinking I would skip the lactate intervals and just swim the yardage. After I finished my base intervals, I decided that I needed to just go ahead and try the lactate intervals, and surprisingly finished them all in 1:45, except for the last one which was in 1:38. The workout took 44:54.

Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Base intervals (5x100), Lactate intervals (6x100, 1 min. rest), Cooldown (300) - Total 1900 yds.

BIKE - I'm not sure if today's ride was a tempo ride, but it was a great fabulous ride nonetheless. My dad and I rode out to Smithfield and then up the Smithfield Canyon. So, we rode uphill for 45 minutes and then headed back home. On the downhill, I was flying and having a blast. We rode for 1:12 and I burned 1189 calories.

Tempo ride - Ride at tempo for 26 min. Warmup and cooldown to reach total time (1 h. 10 m.)

August 5, 2008

RUN - Tempo run - Steady run (20 min.) at threshold intensity; warm up and cooldown to reach total time (40 min.)

August 6, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Threshold intervals (5x200, 45 s. rest), Cooldown (300) - Total 1800 yds.

BIKE - Foundation ride (1 h. 15 m.)

August 7, 2008

RUN - Foundation run (50 min.) + Strides (4x20 sec.)

August 8, 2008

BIKE - Long ride (2 h. 45 m.)

August 9, 2008

BRICK - Bike (1 h. 15 m.) + Run (30 m.)

This week did not go well. I had some stomach issues from Tuesday-Friday and have been tired and just haven't had the energy to workout. However, I did get a good ride in this morning with my dad. We rode up Smithfield Canyon and I had a blast. I think I love that ride!

01 August 2008

Tough Decisions

If you've kept up with my blog, you've probably noticed that there is no week 19 training plan. I've been dealing with some serious low back spasms and have struggled with walking, let alone training, so no week 19 training this week, due to injury. I still need to write up my open water swimming post, but I do need to mention something that happened while I was swimming in the ocean.

My dad was out in the ocean floating and I swam up to where he was and was practicing my treading water. We started talking and he complimented me on my swimming and then he started talking about the race. Perhaps I should mention that my dad is a total risktaker. He always encourages me to do things (like swim in really cold water at the BAM tri) and he keeps me doing and trying daring things often. Anyways, my dad, who never says anything but go out and do your best, said, "I don't feel comfortable with you swimming in Utah Lake. In fact, I think it's pretty irresponsible for the race director to put on a race that involves a swim in the most dangerous lake in Utah." He talked to me about the waves and boat turnovers and drownings and rescues that occur there every year. In fact, there have been 3-4 drownings this year. Anyways, he encouraged me to consider not doing the race.

So, after much thought, I've pretty much decided that because of the back spasms, not so great training, and a possibly unsafe swim, to not do the Utah 1/2 IM. Although, as I type that, I'm thinking that maybe I should wait to see how it goes next week... The good news is that I've found a 1/2 IM in IL on September 6 that I can do, so I'm thinking that might be the way to go.