An Extra 10%

This morning, once again, I completed a back-to-back workout.  First, I spun easy for about 35 minutes (instead of 45) and then bolted to the pool to cram in another session of 10 x 100s, descending 100s for time and a 500 at T-pace (1:43/100).  I felt much better than Tuesday, when I was still recovering from the Pacific Half Marathon. Lately, I'm noticing I'm cutting roughly 10 minutes short of each scheduled workout. It's mainly because I'm busy and need the extra time to get ready and head to my next destination.  However, in my own subtle way, I think it's my small mini-rebellion against the heavily regimented nature of Ironman training.  Be here.  Do this exercise at this intensity for this amount of time.  Rest on this day.  Do this, don't do that.  Eat this, don't eat that.

It gets old after a while.

So perhaps this is my way of playing hooky while still getting credit for doing the homework.  Is that an oxymoron?

Whatever it is, I'm totally cool with it.  I'm getting the main thrust of the workout done and trying to do my best to keep my body and spirits fresh heading into the stretch run.  My hope is that the extra time off here and there will help me on IM CDA race day.  Maybe that extra 10% of extra overall energy can be the difference between being fresh and over-trained.  Doubtful, but I'm thinking in those terms at the moment.

Then again, on days like today, I didn't do much resting with that extra 10%.  Instead, I FINALLY got a strength training session in with Shannan.  Yoga and lifting have been the main casualties in this especially busy phase.  I'm hopeful in the coming weeks and months that I'll build back up on the strength and stretching to stay strong but limber.  Right now, I'm tight and tired!

I'm very much looking forward to my off-day tomorrow, that's for sure.  And it starts tonight, with Lakers tickets!  It's my first Lakers game of the season, and it couldn't come at a better time -- the biggest game of the season.  We've got to hold off Dallas for second place in the Western Conference.  I cannot wait.

Waking up early to get both main workouts done before work was entirely worth it.

Will try to upload images tomorrow morning before heading to work.  Go Lakers!

82 days and counting.

More Tech, More Problems

So I have this badass new Garmin 310x watch/supercomputer. And like many impressive pieces of technology, it's not working.  I took my pet supercomputer with me on my tempo time-trial bike ride this morning.  Granted, there was some pilot error to start -- I couldn't remember how to switch between a bike, run and swim workout.  But there are so many damned settings to master that who could blame me?  I settled for a regular "non-denominational" workout with speed, calories and a heart-rate chart monitoring my progress.

The ride itself was uneventful, save for the City of Los Angeles street sweeper truck cleaning the bike path and doing so in reverse while taking up both lanes.  That's not good when you're rounding a corner and traveling more than 20 mph.  Carbon brakes 4tw, as the kiddies say.

As has been the case lately, it took me about 20-25 minutes before I could work my heart-rate up into the zone 3 area (146-154 bpm).  Once I got there, I stayed there for just over 35 minutes.  My power is still slightly down but once the legs got loose I found my rhythm.  Pedaling home through the morning rush-hour traffic was the usual harrowing experience.  Now, I'm proceeding south on Sepulveda Boulevard, turning left on Magnolia Street and using Kester Avenue to get back on my home street just south of Ventura Boulevard.  It's a little out of the way, but it beats being pancaked by a stressed out motorist.

Upon arriving home, I excitedly tried to upload the workout to my laptop and Training Peaks account.  No such luck.  The MyGarmin site didn't recognize my account name, which is strange since it worked last night.  I got an internal server error, and that was that.  Then, I was late to work, and frustrated.  Yay technology!

Oh, and I didn't have that problem with my quaint little Polar 200.  It worked, in all its simplicity.

Few things annoy me more than technology that promises big and under-delivers.  Especially when it's as expensive as the Garmin supercomputer.  I'll hope for more success tomorrow.

PS: I'm supposed to lift weights or do yoga tonight.  But I can't.  I'm going to a Clippers basketball game with my work teammates. (Is that considered self-torture, btw?)  Instead of the second workout, I got a massage from our in-house massage therapist, Abby.  After a long absence, she's back.  Abby is a massage muse, a personal godsend for keeping my body in tip-top shape.  I already feel refreshed and ready for the rest of the week.  I think that counts as a second workout given the health benefit.

265 days and counting.

My X-Mas Tale

Well, my Christmas tale is pretty straightforward. No workout? No problem!

I slept in until 9. Apparently, Trudy and Bam-Bam were feeling benevolent.
I cooked myself breakfast. Yep, I really did. Three eggs and turkey bacon. Ahhh, yeah.
I jumped into Borderlands on Xbox 360. My thoughts? So far, it feels a little like Wild Arms on PlayStation 2 but with much cooler weapons. Art style is kinda cool too with the cel-shading. One might say Borderlands is a cross between Ratchet & Clank (upgradeable outrageous weapons) and Wild Arms (desolate pseudo-steam punk, pseudo-western), if there ever was such a thing. So far, I'm a level 11 hunter. I'm probably going to move onto another game (most likely Halo: ODST at this point) but can't quite put the controller down on Borderlands. I'm a little surprised by that since I'm not a huge RPG guy. But since this is cleverly called an RPS (my initials, and a "role-playing shooter"), I'm a little more patient. Plus, this is probably the most accessible RPG experience I've played in a while. Kudos for that.
After some extra stretching and a soothing hot tub bath, I plopped down to watch the Lakers pathetic performance against the Cavs. Forget the (horrible) referees for a moment, and consider how bad the Lakers' bench looked. Totally outclassed. It's definitely been a concern of mine all season (paging Sasha Vujacic, Josh Powell, etc. ...). And, I think what the Cavs did by playing Ilgauskus and O'Neal at the same time against the Lakers' big lineup was very smart. It took the Lakers out of their game. Something they're not used to seeing, and for one game, that Shaq signing looks like it may pay dividends. IF the Cavs come out of the East. That's a big if.
(By the way, speaking of LeBron and Kobe, have y'all seen those Nike "Most Valuable Puppets" ads? I gotta say, those are among the catchiest and coolest spots I've seen in a long time. They've outdone themselves compared to the Kobe-LeBron spots during last season's playoffs. And the NBA spots with the "defense" hip-hop remixes are strong too. No other sports league is marketed as well as the NBA, and the League has raised the bar further for the likes of sports brand juggernauts like Gatorade and Adidas.)
All in all, today has been a solid day. I haven't left the house (for a change), and I'm refreshed for another week of training, which starts tomorrow with a trail run in Pt. Mugu State Park, Boney Mountain Wilderness. I'm also to swim for an hour after the 13-mile trail course, which will have to occur after I visit with my long-time friend Jeff. We're going to see Invictus. I hope Morgan Freeman doesn't mail in another performance. He's been quite average lately, IMO.
Well, gotta go. The couch is calling to me again.
334 days and counting.
PS: If you haven't already, this LA Times column about a local triathlete couple whose husband has battled back from a coma is inspirational and heartwarming. I definitely recommend taking a few minutes to read it.