Monday, July 13, 2015

A full couple of days...and learning

Yesterday was a run day, my present HR-interval runs encompassing three miles (5km).  It was a good run in that I was able to recover to 95-100% between intervals for 2.3 miles (3.7km).  Previously, I was fortunate enough to maintain that type of recovery for only the first 1.2 to 1.3 miles (1.93 to 2.1 km).  I marked an improvement in time over the previous run, but still 15 seconds away from pre-Santa Fe.  I ran with a metronome, trying to get my cadence back down to 180 spm.  The metronome helped, but I am still not the consistent 180 spm (it was practically a straight line regardless of terrain and speed) I was doing for many, many months prior to my broken ankle.  Using a higher cadence is simply wasted energy, unless one is trying to speed up at the end of a race.  I will get back to my 180 spm; it will take using the same training methods that allowed me to achieve it before.

Today was swimming and cycling.  I did push myself more on the bike, but I also had to wait on traffic more than usual today, so the numbers do not really show my push.  I did manage to set a new max-speed high for myself at 16.8 mph (27 kph).  I cycle on flat terrain, so that means no hill assist -- all leg effort.

My swim workout extended my frustration with my inability to generate any propulsion with my flutter kick in the freestyle.  My breast-stroke is getting more consistent and rhythmic, but there is still substantial room for improvement -- at least there seems to be progress.  I went back to the swimming website I mentioned before, and reviewed all the videos and re-read the articles.  It seems runners have an issue with stiff ankles, and stiff ankles are death for the flutter kick.  The site recommend flippers, so I went and bought some specifically for training (shorter than normal flippers).  We'll see what happens when I return to the pool on Wednesday.

Altogether, the last two days have been good fitness days.  I cannot complain.

Keep moving forward.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A little Turf-n-Surf

Ah-Ha!  You were thinking about that ribeye and shrimp combo down at the local steak joint, right?  Sorry to disappoint your taste buds, this is not nearly as satiating...

Yesterday morning I ran.  I must admit, I did not want to run yesterday, but I could not come up with an excuse that would sound acceptable when I typed it out here.  As usual, making the run turned out to be the happier choice.  It was 75F (24C)/95% humidity.  I did OK, though, two minutes faster than Tuesday's run, so I am getting back to where I left off.  It was indeed a hot and sticky run, but much better than not running.

I got the opportunity to swim later in the day, when the heat was in the 90s (+32C).  I worked out for twenty minutes, which is not such a long time, I know.  I am either doing drills or swimming laps the whole time.  When I got finished, I showered, but I had those post-shower sweats -- I had not realized what an intense workout swimming can provide (especially one that is less than efficient in the water).

Honestly, swimming and running the same day gives me a whole new level of respect (already high) for triathletes.

Today would normally have been a cycling day, but my presence was required at our house's construction site -- they finally got the slap poured.  It required 350 cubic yards (268 cubic meters) of cement, but really, that is for the other blog.

Meanwhile, keep moving forward, and run if the mind says 'no'.  It will thank you later.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Got to ride after all...

Today I was hoping to be onsite of our new house at 7 AM to watch them pour the slab.  It will take between 25-30 truckloads of cement.  As luck would have it, we got pushed to Friday.

I hopped on the bike and took a ride, extending it almost 0.5 mile.  I must say, the thighs are still burning.  I also note from my Garmin stats that I need to step it up a little bit more.  I fall into the trap of not wanted to push myself because I want to make sure I finish my distance target.  Since I am using the cycling as cross-training, I need to get my cycling to level 3 or better in Garmin's "Training Effect" index.  Level 3 or higher indicates that I am improving aerobic fitness, which is what I need from my cycling and swimming.

I did not have access to a pool this morning, so no swimming.  I do have a couple of things to try in order to improve my kick, which will, in turn, help me improve form and efficiency in the water.  Depending on how I feel after my run tomorrow, I could do a makeup swim session.

The plantar fascia did exhibit discomfort later in the day.  I went to cold roller therapy and it helped quite a bit.  I am not out of the woods with it, and will need to keep up with the roller massage until it is pain-free.  I was careful to note my running form, and I think my running form is OK.

I'll run tomorrow, looking for whatever improvement I can find.  Thanks for coming along.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back in the saddle (literally and figuratively)

OK, literally back in the bicycle saddle as of yesterday, and figuratively, back to swimming yesterday and running today.

A week in Santa Fe at high altitude and a week off to let the left foot's plantar fascia finish healing still represents two weeks of not activating muscles in the way one does in cycling, swimming and running.  This is the week to get things going again.

I extended my cycle ride to just over six miles.  The swimming continues to baffle me, but I stay active doing drills and actual swimming (in addition to reading and watching video online as to how to address my challenges).  I will continue these "two-a-days" at least twice if not three times a week.

The run today was a challenge from the get-go.  It was 81 degrees F (27C) and thick wall of 89% humidity.  The thermodynamic effects on HR came on much earlier than normal.  Running form was good, but I have to do more tempo work to get my cadence in the right place.

The plantar fascia is not talking back at this point, a small victory I will celebrate.

Tomorrow they are supposed to be pouring our foundation at our house.  I want to see all of it, so I might not workout in the morning.Thursday's morning run is still on schedule.

Keep moving forward.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A time to heal...

OK, some of you looked at the title and went right to the Byrds.  Those who did not, do not bother, the title is what it is -- no secrets.

My recent trip to Santa Fe (elevation 7000 feet) was revealing in two ways.  First, being at 7000 feet makes one from sea level a little winded by walking, and when it hits nearly 100 degrees F (38C), the air thins even more.  My wife took altitude sickness shortly upon our arrival, and I decided not to push my luck by going on a run.  We walked, and being that Santa Fe can be a little hilly (especially for someone living in the Gulf Coastal Plains), we decided that was enough exercise.  I did come back two pounds lighter, despite all the great food.  Secondly, the plantar fascia in my left foot really began to heal.  It made a lot of progress last week, so I am going to continue to rest it this week.  Even now, it feels 95% well.  We have a lot of work to do around the house and with the property, so I will be busier than usual.

Nonetheless, this week affords the opportunity to do tempo and balance drills, in addition to catching up on some self-study.

Next week I will continue to incorporate cycling and swimming on the same day, pushing the cycling to six miles.  I will continue to run the "HR Intervals", and may incorporate a second run on one of the days.  We'll see; I have to honor the left foot's plantar fascia before getting too crazy.

Meanwhile, keep moving, and forward if at all possible.