Ramblings of a Southern California Triathlete

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Recovery Walk

Recovering from surgery last Monday, I did this 5K walk.  Enjoy!
Cucamonga Challenge 2015

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Racing Beauty

I raced in the Iron Mountain Xterra Epic Triathlon this weekend in Arkadelphia, AR on DeGray Lake.  In a netshell, it was the most challenging, but most beautiful off road race I've done.

It started with a clean lake!  While the bike was extremely challenging, the entire ride I was amazed at the terrain and the scenery.  And the run...a three loop run climbing the DAM hill with each loop.  Tough, challenging, but fun!

Definitely one to consider in the future.

Train safe!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Always train for your next performance

I'm sitting here at lunch with an aching back.  While many suffer back aches from long rides on the bike, I've never had that problem, likely thanks to a good bike fit!  Today isn't any different.  My back isn't hurting from a long bike ride.  Nor a long run.  Not even for doing too much yard work.  I'm hurting because I wasn't prepared for last "performance".

Monday was Labor Day.  We decided it was a good day to rent a boat, enjoy a local lake, and do some water skiing.  Mind you, over a decade ago I skied nearly every weekend.  How hard can doing it once a year be, after all?

I jumped in the lake and, of course, had to go out on one ski like the old days.  I popped right up (OK, with a LOT of work climbing out of the water) and proceeded to cut back and forth.  I felt a little less stable than years ago, but figured it probably the ski.  Eventually, I felt a little tired, dropped the rope, and decided I would do a few minutes on two skis (even though my back felt a little tired).

I was amazed how simple it was to get up on two skis after just having skied on one.  I continued to cut back and forth across the wake, showing off to our exchange students a bit, and finally dropped the rope.

My back was now feeling very tired, even somewhat sore.  I've felt it before coming out of T2 in triathlon before, and it eventually relaxes and goes away.  Well...not this time.  Since then, I've been wincing every time I stand, bend, or really attempt to do much of anything.  I can tell it is only muscular, basically overuse.

Yep, I hadn't prepared my core for the riggers of water skiing (and probably pushed it too long as well).  I needed to make sure I was better prepared for this performance.

Train safe!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Let's Disco

I completed the Disco X-50 Triathlon today.  This race is put on by Dallas Athletes Racing and was more or less the same course as the Texasman X-50 they held back in May.

Surprisingly, the day was cooler than May's race thanks to yesterday's thunderstorms.  Unfortunately, the rain didn't cool the lake down.  It was 84 degrees rendering it not wetsuit legal (read: Grant will swim slower).  It felt sort of weird at the race start with 69 degree air while running into 84 degree water. I was able to execute well and even pass two folks in my age group within the last mile AND hold them off with a sprint to finish to be sure.

I felt I had a better race today, and certainly felt better AFTER completing the race.  There were a couple of changes I made that likely account for this.  First, I gave myself a taper which I did not do prior to the Texasman.  Second, I eased back on the bike, riding in HR Z3 (rather than Z4 in Texasman), and pretty much kept my Power in the Z2-3 range.  Third, I eased into the run, starting out in HR Z2 and then easing into Z3, ending in Z4.  Finally, I used Endurolytes throughout my race, taking two every hour.

Next race: Dirty Rock Off Road Sprint Triathlon

Train safe!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Week of Recovery

This past week was the most challenging recovery week I've ever, ever faced.  After racing the the Texas Independence Relay last weekend, I decided to take two days of complete rest (i.e. no training or workouts).  Monday and Tuesday I felt fatigued, but thought that Wednesday would be better and a couple of easy workouts would help.  On Wednesday I strolled into LifeTime, swam an easy 1500 meters at a nice slow pace followed by a spin class where I went relatively easy.

All day Wednesday the fatigue continued.  "This will end soon," I thought to myself.  So on Thursday, I did a sort of tempo bike ride on the trainer followed by a five mile run.  I still felt terrible all day on Thursday.  I could not wake up!
Friday I slept in again and proceeded with another rest day.  I STILL felt fatigued all day.  Saturday I woke up feeling just OK, but had to ride the Tour Dallas, since I had registered for it along with my entire family.  It was a nice, slow "Tour" of Dallas on the bike. 
Finally, I was feeling better.  I still felt a bit sluggish this morning, but was able to pull together an 8 mile run and a mile swim.  Still feeling fine and looking for my regularly scheduled Monday "rest" day.
Evidently the multiple "tempo" runs last weekend on minimal sleep took a greater toll on me than I anticipated.  Looking forward to a better week of training this week.
Train safe!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Texas Indepence Relay

We started the race at 11:18am on Saturday (March 31, 2012) in Paige, TX.  Well--we actually started the night before at the pre-party...but that's a different story... None of the 11 of us on the team had done this race (or I don't think anything like this race) -- ever. 

The Texas Independence Relay is a 203 mile running race in which teams of 8-12 people run 40 relay legs that average 5 miles, this year starting in Paige, TX and always finishing at the San Jacinto Monument.  It (sort of) is a tribute to the march of Sam Houston on march across Texas to hunt down Santa Ana.  This year there were over 200 teams racing.

It was an incredible, intense, exhausting, and extremely logistical experience.  We were challenged to make sure our team runner assigned to the next leg was staged and ready take the handoff BEFORE the current runner arrived at the exchange.  We were challeged by each of us essentially being required to run three to four 10K's at a fast pace within a 28 hour period of time--with minimal sleep (I caught about a total 2.5 hours of intermintent sleep the entire two days).  Oh, and it was HOT and HUMID!  We had to work through issues such as one of the vehicles breaking down, one of the team members having to run our first leg, play in a band at the Beerfest in Austin, and then come back and run some more relay legs.  When some of us attempted to sleep, we were woken early.  Due to the cooler temps overnight, the team could run faster, causing us to be ahead of schedule.  We had to get our next assigned runner to the correct handoff point an hour ahead of what we anticipated.  There were many, many more stories/memories that I and the other team members could share.

I found this personally challenging.  By the middle of Saturday night I was tired, my stomach was rebelling, and I still had more three more  6+ mile legs to run.  The anticipation of the runs...and the desire to run them fast (in the dark, alone) built up anxiety.  I stated before my last 6 mile leg in 88 degree humid temperatures that I would never do this again.

However, the team members stayed in great spirits, worked well together to get us to the finish.  Never again--well, maybe.

Train safe!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hard Work Pays Off

Because I was in a "recovery" week, I had purposely set my alarm to wake me up 30 minutes later than my normal time.  I woke up this morning feeling fatigued.  I hadn't slept well for some reason and moved my rest day out to Friday instead of the normal Monday to make sure I got a rest day in before the racing the Texas Independence Relay this weekend.  I almost went back to bed, but at this point, the dogs insisted on being fed.

Today was a scheduled time trail test where one regularly rides the same course every four weeks to see how you are progressing with your training.  The course I use is called the Computrainer 10 Mile Time Trial, a 10 mile slightly hilly course.  I ride it as fast/hard as possible, letting the Computrainer collect speed, distance, and power (measured in watts). If one is improving, average watts during the ride would increase, indicating my training is cuasing improvement.  A decrease in average power from the last test would likely indicate I'm losing fitness.

So I fed the dogs and trudged over the Computrainer. Warm up the trainer and my legs for 10 minutes, calibrated the machine, reset the course, and started.  After halfway through the test, my average wattage was much higher than I expected!  I thought that I likely had pushed too hard and the payback would come during the second half by my legs giving out, bringing my average way down.  It didn't happen!  I hung onto the same average wattage for the remainder of the ride!!  This was a 4.4% improvement.  For comparison, in the previous four weeks, I only gained 1.3% in average power output.

I couldn't believe it.  Even though I was not in the "mood" to do this test, the training I'd been doing the previous four weeks (since the last test) must be working!

I proceeded to cool down for five minutes, logged my workout, updated the stats in my training plan using this new test data and am rejuvinated to continue training hard.

Train safe!