Change of Pace Day 3

This week's theme clearly has been about shakin' up my trainin'. Today I "borrowed" Steph's iPod (mine's broken) and ran w/ music for the first time in months.  We won't get into the exact tunes on said iPod, or which tunes I chose to listen to while running.

Yes, in some instances, my Man Card would likely be pulled.

Yet I don't care.  What a boost to run with something other than my own thoughts!  Now I understand why iPods or any other music player are illegal in sanctioned races.  I felt a noticeable energy surge in this workout compared to other runs -- though my mere five miles in one hour would suggest otherwise.  Of course, I had five, three-minute hill repeats as the main segment of my workout.

I know.  Excuses, excuses.

In another training schedule shake up, I swam at Van Nuys Sherman Oaks pool this morning on my own with the Olympic-length lanes.  This made a big difference in my T-pace for some reason.  I was much slower than usual, yet I managed 2,650 yards in 55 minutes.  Here's the workout:


-- 300 easy

-- 3 x 150 (kick, pull, swim)

-- 6 x 50 (10 sec rest)


6 x 100 (10 sec rest)

500 TT


-- 200 easy swim, 100 easy kick

-- 200 pull

Admittedly, it was nice to have a lane essentially to myself and not deal with unnecessary delays between sets.  I could jump in the water, work at my own (rapid) pace, take quick breaks when I needed them, and plow through the entire workout.  As a result, I was able to swim more yardage than usual.  However, that yardage was slower, as I mentioned.  My six 100s were closer to a 2:05 pace and my 500 TT was a fairly abysmal 10:21, a 2:04 pace. That's what I used to swim at the beginning of the triathlon season when I first joined Fortius Coaching in November 2009.

I'm going to chalk this time up to a nuance of swimming long and hard for several sets.  I've swam TTs nearly a full two minutes faster than that, so no worries.

Tomorrow, my week of changing training pace may continue.  I'm without my four-door car for the week as Stephanie's decrepit Mustang is still at my Dad's auto repair shop, being coaxed to live just a while longer.  I don't have a ride to the Fortius workout and haven't heard from Coach Gerardo yet on whether he can pick me up.  If not, I'll be joining a new LA Tri Club group tomorrow at 7:15 a.m. in Encino for a 65-mile ride to Simi Valley and back.

It's definitely strange how much my training schedule has shifted this week.  And in the past, as a younger Ryan Schneider, this would have bothered me greatly.  I was an "order" guy.  I needed everything to happen the way it's supposed to happen!

Not so much now.

I think part of that is just getting older, hopefully a little wiser and a lot more flexible.  Perhaps some of it can be attributed to training too.  Flat tires happen.  People crash.  Roads are closed.  Water is too cold to swim in.  Water bottles fly out of cages.

Shit happens.

The clock still runs.

Gotta finish the race.

Until tomorrow...

77 days and counting.

The Music in My Head

Jane's Addiction - Three Days .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine
I've been toying with the idea of adding "soundtracks" to my blogs, to give the emotion behind them a little more dimension.  This is my first post where I'm going to try it out.  Please consider downloading the free tune and listening to it while  and after reading.  I hope it adds something to the experience.  Let me know what you think.
Today, members of the Fortius team (Richard, Paul, Mike, Cynthie and Coach Gerardo) ramped up our base cycling training with a 5.5-hour trek.  We pedaled from Calabasas Commons to the Pacific Ocean and back via Mulholland Road, climbing more than 4,200 feet along the way.  I burned 3,000 calories during the trip.
When you're cycling for that long, a lot can run through your head.  Sometimes, since I don't use an iPod while cycling, I play a mental soundtrack that keeps me fired up and going strong.  Today, I focused on my favorite song of all-time, "Three Days" by Jane's Addiction.  To me, it conveys such a wide range of emotions: Serenity, chaos, anger, exhilaration, bewilderment.  The energy in the music is infectious.  I dare you not to be ready to take on the world after listening to it.
"Three Days" matched how today's ride felt.  The climbs were persistent and intensity-filled.  The downhills were wild, occasionally hairy with traffic in Malibu Canyon, and the views were magnificent.  The weather really cooperated today,too, though I had to shed a thermal jacket, my headband and arm warmers along the way after a chilly start.
And, like the length of "Three Days", the ride was seemingly never-ending.  There's something about cycling for close to three hours and realizing you're only about halfway done.  And that's when you're staring at the glistening Pacific Ocean knowing you need to climb Mulholland Road all the way back to the Valley before the final stretch occurs.  It's hard to appreciate the beauty of the sea when all you can think of is a nine-mile climb that awaits.  But then, at the top of the mountain, the mood changes.  And the frantic downhill rocket ride ensues.
In my head, the song and the road were playing the same tune -- maddening, orchestrated chaos.  The beat served as both taskmaster and pacemaker, imploring me to pedal a little harder for a little longer.
And it worked.  I had a great ride, with enough left in my fuel tank to finish strong and avoid cramping up.
We'll see what pops into my head tomorrow for my 2.75-hour run and 3,200-yard swim that follows.
Hopefully not the theme from Titanic.
283 days and counting.