31 July 2008

I'm starting to enjoy training.

Training this week has gone pretty well.
After work on Monday I went up to Hains Point to swim. Walked in around 5:45 - score, no attendant taking $$ since it was near the 7pm closing time. This pool (pictured below. be jealous) is by far one of my favorite places to swim.
50 meter outdoor pool, has a few lanes roped off for swimming, and usually a plethora of decent looking triathlete guys to swim with. Heading away from the starting blocks, if you look up to practice sighting, you can see the tip of the Washington Monument ahead. It just reminds me that I really enjoy living here, and wouldn't trade it for anything right now. Some days I still can't believe that its where I live. Must be the lack of 8th grade field trip to DC, so its like I'm still experiencing all of this for the first time.
Did a few loops around HP to get the legs spinning, went to the roomies softball game. I was looking forward to a nice, deep sleep, however I had to go take care of some unfinished business. Guys confuse me, and I remember again why I should swear them off and just stick with my training. Though I have interest in someone on the team currently. This would make life easy, because they understand the need for sleep and the time commitments triathlon takes.

Tuesday, did an easy early morning swim, went to work, and then rode from McKinley afterwards. Helped Marie with her riding on the W&OD for about 45 minutes, drafted Matt most of the way back (which, is awesome because I hardly had to peddle. He did notice though, saying he could hear a lot of coasting going on behind him), did two hill repeats (ouch. I need to get better at those), and called it a decent workout. Took Talia home, and met up with Collin, Benke, and Matt for dinner at Rincome Thai on Columbia Pike. Tim joined in later and told more stories about the 'boys' and their chaffing from Ironman than I cared to hear about. :) Walked over to Baskin-Robbins for a scoop of icecream, and called it a night.

Wednesday, I went for a short jog in the morning, came home, preceded to fall asleep until 8:30, and frantically got ready for work. Went for a 2000m swim at Tysons Sport and Health, where I was able to really develop the catch phase of the swim, and work on my flip turns.

This morning, I swam with Chris Wren. Yep, the age group record breaker at Lake Placid... sub 1 hour swim for 2.4 miles. Tuesday night he made a comment that no one was in his lane and he was sad, so I told him if no one was there again on Thursday, I'd swim with him. I laughed that he was alone again when I walked by, and he was like "join me.. I dare ya!" So, I did. What a freakin workout to keep up with him. Almost embarrassing being 23 and barely able to keep up with a 60 year old man. But, he's a damn good swimmer. It made me realize that my catch is finally where it needs to be, but I don't have the muscle power to really pull me through the water like I need to. We had a lot of fun, and he didn't lap me at least... so it was a good work out. Haines Point for some speedwork tonight, though I'm most likely donating blood, so it will be a nice slow ride.

3 Covered Bridges ride this weekend, pretty excited. Not so excited about having my shoulder drilled into tomorrow. More on that later.


28 July 2008

Warning: Blogging Inconsistancies.

Its true. I'm terrible at this.

So, lets get to the point of things.

Last weekend, I was in Lake Placid, NY. The Adirondacks are absolutely stunning. Reminds me how different the terrains are within the confides of our nation's boundries.

Team Z tents out in full force.

Here's a picture of Mirror Lake. What you CANT see, is that by the far tree line is the turn around point for the swim. Note, 2 loops of that. Oh and let me tell you how bad it is to be at that turn around point and have a severe thunderstorm including hail hit. Not fun.

Pretty much the best sign ever, considering there are 2300 people in the water just aft of this sign. :)

While I was up there, I swam 2 loops of the swim course, rode the bike course, went for a short run, got stuck in a monsoon (okay, 14+ hours of pure rain for race day. Poor racers), and then

I signed up for next year. Yep, there's my official registration. #900. Registration info is blacked out for security reasons, but this piece of paper is hung in my office, in my bedroom, and might very well become the background of my computer screen. 363 days and counting. I couldn't be more excited/terrified by the road that lies ahead. Today marked the official training endeavor (took a week off to recover from the drive, etc for ironman.) Woke up at 5:45 this morning to get a quick run in before work. I headed out my door with the intents to run to George Marshall high school and do some timed miles on the track. Upon arriving? Gates are locked. They're reconstructing the football field. So much for that idea. I continued my journey around the apartments and finally back home. I learned I love watching the sunrise while I work out. Its something I've loved about swimming in the early AM's (okay, well, when I'd actually go).. Dawn just beginning to break as I left, and the sun being up on the drive home. Many times it seemed half the neighborhood was just waking up by the time I had 2-3000 meters in the pool.

Life is good.


10 July 2008

I wonder what I'm actually drinking...

I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for anything that promises quick recovery and no soreness after hard workouts. I've recently become a fan of Endurox R4, and it really has made a difference. I'm not sore the following day after a ride or run. This morning, after the swim, I took down my usual 8 oz (I cut back from the 12oz serving.. Its not like swimmings THAT hard), and got halfway through it before I started to question what I was actually ingesting. For those of you who have never enjoyed Endurox, Fruit Punch being my flavor of choice, its a semi thick, semi milky tasting drink. I feel like if I tossed scoop of ice cream in when I shook up my bottle of it, it would make a delicious milkshake. Sans the ice cream (which, now I kind of what to try), its just a little odd. Oh well, its "good for you", right?

Swim this morning went well. One of the very few times we've completed a full workout. It was only 2000 meters though, versus the normal 3500 that tend to appear on the sheet. Tuesday I had a bit of an issue getting up. My alarm went off, I stared at the clock, and began to have the following internal conversation with myself:

me: Ugh... I really don't want to get out of bed at 4:45.. Maybe I'll just go back to sleep.
me: C'mon. You already told yourself you were going to get up and do the swim early today.
me: Then again, I'm biking later tonight.. I COULD just go straight to the night swim instead, and sleep in.
me: Shit... I am supposed to clean my room and get some things done before mom gets here this weekend. Thats why I wanted to get my workout in this morning.
me: there's always tomorrow to clean my room.. I could get up early tomorrow and knock out some laundry.
me: but 2 workouts in 1 day is really good for the metabolism. And I want to shed these pounds.
me: Okay.. I've had a 5 minute internal debate.. I'm freakin awake now, might as well get up.

::stands up:: damnit. I should have just stayed in bed.

Head to Tuesday's practice before the birds are awake (seriously, there's a bird that stays on the top of our porch light. I opened the door and the bird nearly fell to its death, albeit the fact s/he had wings to catch him/herself. I'm pretty sure the bird was like WTF? I'm not even up chirping yet, what are you doing up? Practice consisted of a decent amount of Kick drills. I enjoy those - I'm insanely fast at kicking. The rest of my lane dreads them. I enjoy them even more since I've been having shoulder issues. I suppose I should schedule the arthrogram, and face the fact that I'm most likely going to have shoulder surgery. It'll be for the best, and hopefully I can return to my faster swim lanes and keep up.
Biking on the W&OD was uneventful. Matt tightened my brakes for me before the ride, since apparently you aren't supposed to be able to pull the lever to the handlebars. He tightened the front a bit too much and it was rubbing, so I had to disconnect it midway through the ride, and have him fix it when we got back. I had to laugh - after all that debate in the morning, I ended up going out with Matt, Annie, Dave, and his wife to a little mexican place in Clarindon. We ended up there until 10:30 at night.

Bike tonight at Hains Point, maybe a short run (or out to eat with the standard crew), finish cleaning my room before my mom gets here tomorrow, and rest.

Diamond in the Rough Saturday. Its supposed to be so freakin hot. :(


06 July 2008

Lazy Sunday

I was supposed to get up this morning and ride Skyline Drive. Instead, I didn't set my alarm, and woke up around 8:30. Since Skyline is an hour and a half away, and the other ride option of Rileys Lock started at 8, I had to ride alone today. So, I decided to sleep in until 9:30, got up, tossed my bike on my car, and headed to the W&OD. Started out at a good pace, shifted into my big chain ring, and all of the sudden it felt like I was braking. Looked down, not in the big chain ring. Shifted back and forth again. No luck. Hopped off the bike and pretended to be a mechanic. Turns out I'm not, and I made shifting my back derailleur more difficult than before, and still couldn't switch into my big chain ring. I accept this, and continue plugging along in the little chain ring for another 12 miles, and then turned around and headed back to my car. Passed Ken along the way... always nice to see Team Z'ers out even when its not an organized ride.

I went to the pool this evening and worked with hand paddles. I love those things... it makes you swim correctly. My strokes after I took them off were as close to flawless as I know how to get. Awesome. :) Came home, ate some Naan and strawberries, and came to check mail/post.

Off to do some yoga, then sleep.


03 July 2008

The Beginning

(ignore this picture.. using my own blog to host images..)

We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start. -Anonymous.

I figured it was about time to start one of these blogs where I keep track of my training and bitch about random things along my now Ironman Journey.

My race season so far hasn't been to great. Lake Anna was a flooded mess, and I injured my knee at Columbia, forcing me into yet another knee surgery. Back in the saddle and trying to gear up for Diamond in the Rough though. I'm excited... Mama Mauldin is comin out for the race, and will get to see the hot mess that is Team Z. Should be good times. Hopefully my race proves to be good times as well.

Looking into the future a bit, my long term goals include Ironman Lake Placid. Since I'll be investing thousands of dollars and countless hours training, I've decided I'm not just going to finish, I'm going to compete. I've been complacent with merely completing triathlons for 3 years now. Might as well pick a big one for my all time "A" race. I've been researching Placid finish times over the past 3 years... looks like I just need to break 11:30 for my finish time (Not hard for 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and then a marathon... right?).. I'm looking forward to the challenge.

All for now. More updates as the week moves on. Just wanted to get the ball rolling on this.