Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wrapping It Up in Tucson

Today is my last big day or training in Tucson and the weather looks perfect.  80* and sun (though windy).

The two weeks started off a bit rocky because of some residual fatigue, but I came around and ended strong. The days after Lemmon have been about recovery and now two solid days to end my 15 days in AZ.  Lots of training, lots of good times and a few more friends made.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the camp, I have a feeling that Cliff's crew is going to do great things this year.

Now just 3 weeks until the first race of the year.  More to come soon!

BB

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 10 -Attack on Mt. Lemmon

Mt. Lemmon is probably the most well known of all the climbs in the Tucson area.  It's LONG (at 25miles) and takes you up just over 8000 ft in elevation (see pic).  It's a very scenic ride, though today I don't think many of the guys were noticing.



Justin and I rolled out at 8am from the westside of town and met the group about 30min from the base of the climb.  I actually preferred this because it gave me an extra 45+ min of warm-up. Once over there we fueled up and were off.

I knew the climb up to mile 20.5, which is where most turn around...I then heard that there was a descent of about 2.5miles before climbing and descending again into town.  If you have been following my blog, you know that I am NOT a good descender and I figured at the 20.5 mile mark I would need about 2minutes on anyone who I was going to stay away from to the end.

So my plan?  ATTACK at the bottom.  I wrapped my head around the length of the effort and lifted the pace just enough to slide off the front, then lifted again at the mile 1 marker.  With 24miles to go, the group was happy to let me go. I thought that I could probably manage 300w on the day, taking into consideration the altitude and other training in the legs. So I started out at about 310-20, knowing it would settle.

So how did it turn out?  TJ caught me at mile 9, but I managed to keep him at about 10-20sec for almost the next 10 miles.  I thought this would give me enough of a cushion over the rest of the guys, knowing TJ would eventually pull away.  At mile 18 heard the bad news that JD and Damon were only 90sec back...and the light headedness started to break my concentration.  I knew that I would not hold them off on the descent...so I crested mile 20.5 at about 1:35 with a normalized power right at 300w, which i was pleased with.  I descended cautiously per normal and then started the last few miles into town when i finally relinquished my 2nd place on the road.  We rolled in and I think TJ finished in 1:44/45, JD and Damon at 1:47 and myself at 1:48.  Not bad for a solo effort with lots of running in the legs. Happy with the day, our awesome coach bought us pizza and cookies (below) before we turned around and headed home.  All in all a very fun and long day with almost 100mi in the bank and just over 5hrs 30min in the saddle.


For the record I have coke, coffee, water, pizza and cookies in the above picture.

I am now off for a short swim with JD, followed by more coaching work before bed.  We have a big, but fun swim scheduled for the morning. For the first time I think I am actually getting stronger as training camp is going on.  This is a great sign with the first race of the year, Puerto Rico 70.3, only 3 weeks from Sunday.

TGIF!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 9 - Definitely Moving Faster Today

Well today was not very long in duration, but it sure didn't take away from the pain of the sessions.

Morning swim was a cracker (as Chris would say) of a session. 5.5k with a main set of 4x (4x100 on 1:15, 400 on on 5:15). This went well for the most part except I needed about 2 gels that I didn't have in the last 2 rounds of the above.

We then got a good rest, which was good.  I opted for my normal oatmeal, fruit and cottage cheese, but then opted to add a few more carb cals and went for an entire box of sweet potato bisque soup from Trader Joe's. Amazing stuff and easy to digest before a hard afternoon run session.

At 2:30 we headed to the track for a 90min session.  We had a longer warm-up followed by 6x400 as 200fast/200easy on 2:15.  Then completed a main set of 2x (1600,1200,800,400).  Basically descended from 5:25 to 5:00 on the first set and 5:15 to 4:50 on the second.  It's amazing how long it can take the legs to warm-up.  Hats off to Justin D and Chris B for leading most of the workout. They had the leg speed today. Also great job to all the other campers and Cliff for sprinting back and forth to give us splits...Im not sure which one was harder, running the set or coaching the set.

Tonight is recovery night for a big day on Mt. Lemmon tomorrow!

Day 8 - Rolling Along

Day 8 was the first of 3 solid days of training.  We started at 8am with a fun 5km swim that included 6x100 band only and 1600 pulling steadily.  I am surprised that my strength/speed is back nicely after I've had to be a bit careful since my NYD fall on the bike.

I then took a little time to myself before heading out early on the bike before the group.  I wanted to get a few extra miles in to really take advantage of the weather.  We then met as a group before rolling out to do some 'fun' intervals.  The mainset ended up being 4x (10minutes at 70.3 watts, 5min easy, 5min at threshold, 5min easy) ... this is a challenging set to pace correctly.  Everything felt good and I ended up finishing with just about 90 miles on the day.

Dinner included a trip to Sweet Tomatoes with JD and Marilyn.  If you haven't been, it's definitely worth the $12.99 all you can eat.  Though we reassured ourselves that the amount of food we ate was reasonable, I still question it after the looks we got from other restaurant goers. Needless to say this was our excitement for the day and we didn't celebrate Fat Tuesday.

Today is day 9 and there is pretty tough pool set that awaits.  After that I have a feeling I will find myself at the track and then eventually...wait for it....on the BIKE! But first, a 30min jog to wake the legs up.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 7 - "Coming To Play"

"Coming To Play" were Cliff's words on deck this morning.  Needless to say that I am feeling rested and back into a groove.  The 8 days before I left for camp seemed to really take a toll on my body, one that took almost a week to come out of...take away for everyone is to listen to your body and be patient.  It doesn't forget to do what you have taught it, it just needs to be listened to in order to bring it out again.

Today's swim was a good one with some generous rest from Cliff.  I was back where I am most comfortable, leading the lane.

5350 yards today:

WU:
800 easy choice
400 as 25drill/75swim

TS:
3x200 as 50build/50easy/25sprint/75 easy on 2:45
100 easy

MS:
3x
400 on 5:20 (in 4:45 +/-)
300 on 4:00 (in 3:30-35)
200 on 2:40 (in 2:15-20)
100 on 1:20 (in 1:05-07)
50 easy + :20

CD:
300 Easy

This afternoon calls for some coaching and strength work, an easy spin with JD, perhaps some time spent next to the pool and a nap.  6 BIG days to come...

Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 6 - The Legs Arrived

Well I knew they would make it eventually and today seemed to be the day.

This morning I headed out with Chris and Justin for about 15 miles.  Nothing too over the top, as I have been rolling about 16-18 for the last month. We started at Trader Joe's and then ran along the river (dried up) for our pace work.  Mainset was 30min, 20min, 10min descending on 5minutes recovery.  We cruised the first set at 6:15ish and then finished up with a quick 10 at about 545/mi.  All in all a good run and the body is finally starting to feel normal again.

After a nap out by our pool (see below) I am headed out for a few short hours on the bike and then hitting up sushi with my friend Erin, who lives here in Tucson.

Tomorrow we are back at it in the water and I have a feeling week 2 may be a bit bigger than week one!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 4 & 5 - Sleep

I haven't forgotten about blogging, I have just been sleeping more than usual over the last two days.  I usually don't do naps and I have had two of then for a combined total of almost 4 hours, I have also banked 19hrs of sleep over the last two nights...this is a huge jump for me.

Friday was a big day in the pool with a main set of 11x200 on a descending interval of 2:40, 2:30, 2:20 with and easy recovery 200 between the sets of 3. The rest of the day was off besides an easy run before dinner with the McDonald's and JD.

Today was a solid day of training with just under 4hrs of riding over to Mt Lemmon.  We had a fairly large group of riders who rolled over together.  Good times.  I ended up doing about 8 miles at a mod-hard effort with Chris and JD, then dropped back down and did a few more efforts before rolling home.  I came back, napped and then headed to probably the most awesome pool in Tucson - Oro Valley. 

Tomorrow is another solid day before heading into week two.  I'll write a bit more when we get to Monday. More to come!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 3 - Bringing Up The Rear

Well so far during this camp I have been at the back more than at the front.  The ironic part is that up until camp I had trained at a level that would put me off the front, then hit a bit of a bad patch about a week and a half ago and I just haven't come out of it yet. I'm trying to keep a sense of humor about it though because i do know the legs will come around. They always have and always will.

This morning we rolled out at 8am and rode to the top of Madera.  It's about 100miles round trip and very fun ride.  We started with about 30min easy and then rode in a double pace line for about 90minutes (building by 30min increments).  This was tough at times with a false flat and headwind the entire way. We  stopped and fueled up and then headed to the climb.  It was a total of 13miles with the last two at well over 10% grade.  It is typically a tougher climb, but when you don't have legs...well, you're off the back.  That's exactly where i found myself at the 10mile mark.  I shut it down and just rode comfortably (as possible at 10-15% grade) to the top.  Then again on the descent I got dropped because of my lack of descending skills.  I think I am the only pro here who doesn't live near mountains.

Anyway, I got directions home and just decided to roll solo...only problem is that one turn was left out, so i got to find my own way home...thank you IPhone for GPS and directions! 5hrs and 30min later I rolled in at a bit over 100miles.

Not an ideal way to start the 4 or 5 long rides in the next two weeks, but if your body isn't doing it, you have to listen.

After a nap, food and a little convincing, I headed out for an easy recovery jog.  Now dinner with a good friend who I haven't seen in over a year.  Should be great...perhaps I will get something blog worthy!

Tomorrow is another day and perhaps my legs will show up...if not, well then we'll just have to try again Saturday. It's February after all and when coming from Wisconsin, i can't have too high of expectations to start....

That's all for Day 3!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 2 - Back At It

Today was a solid day for sure and though I am still not firing on all cylinders, I am on my way.

We started out with a tough 5k swim at 8am.  The main set was 3k of hard swimming on a 1:20 and 1:15 base.  Essentially we swam 6 rounds of 200,150,100, 50.  It was a very fast 3k.

Highlight Of The Day: After swim, I got home, was standing in the kitchen with my roommate (stud mountain biker, Sam Schultz) and watched a hawk swoop in and attack our resident morning dove that lives on the porch.  The hawk knocked it out of the nest, onto the ground, then picked it up and flew with it into the door, they fell to the ground before the hawk finally won the battle and flew off with our animal alarm clock.

Next session of the day was a 90min run with a main set of 3x ~3miles.  I did NOT feel great for this session, but got it done.  I have been running well up to camp, so looking forward to feeling better next week.

I finished the day off with a nice 90min ride with buddy Justin, before getting back just in time for dinner....again, nothing exciting today with left overs from last night (fajita's). There has been a lot of talk around the house on diet...my conclusion is that no matter what philosophy I subscribe to, i don't think I could ever give up dark chocolate, which i am quickly finding that I am addicted to.

Tomorrow is long ride day #1 with a solid 100+ miles on the schedule to start at 8am!!

More to come...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Good Stuff..

Read this on a friend's blog (Joe Sweeney). I couldn't help but copy them and share them with all of you. Enjoy...
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Here are some of my favorite John Wooden Quotes:  
  • “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are”
  • “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out”
  • “It’s what you learn after you already know everything that really counts”
  • “Parenting is the most important job in the world”
  • “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
  • “Sports do not build character.  They reveal it”
  • “Make each day your masterpiece”
  • “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but what you should have accomplished with your ability”
  • “Be prepared and be honest”
  • “Do not let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do”
  • “Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time”
  • “Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.”
  • “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
  • “You can’t live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
  • “Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”

Day 1 - Bringing It From Wisconsin...

...and I am not talking about the training or fitness, I am talking about the weather!

The day started as planned with a 75min swim session this morning.  For all of you who like training, we swam the following:

3x300 choice easy on 15s rest

4x200 as drill/swim/drill/swim on 20s rest
- #1 6-3-6 drill
- #2 1 arm
- #3 choice
- #4 stroke form focus

2x through the following:
- 3x100 band only on 1:30
- 4x50 descend on :50
- 100 easy

5x300 pull with paddles cruise good form on 4:00

300 easy cool down


The plan was to ride for 3-4hrs at 1pm, but mother nature had other ideas.  The temp dropped to around 40* and rain started mixing with snow...with a 30mph wind, it was just too rough and the ride got called.

In place of the ride I rode 90minutes indoors (pretty chill) and then added a 45-60min jog later in the afternoon.  There will be another 1-2hrs of riding added tomorrow to make up for things today, so all in all, as longs the weather comes around, we should be in good shape for thursday's BIG day.

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For those of you who wanted to know the menu, you can be rest assured that there is nothing too exciting on the menu today.  The theme was definitely oatmeal, with 2 rounds of that coming 630am and then again at 10.

More to come tomorrow!!

BB

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tucson Bound

I am currently awaiting at the "Big Top" out in Denver, this is my nickname for the Denver International Airport.  If you haven't flown through here, it looks like a giant bigtop circus tent.

I have chatted with a few friends at home and it sounds like I got out of town just before the snow started.  Although that was music to my ears, my eyes have seen the forecast for Tucson over the next week.  What was a promising month of January with temps in the 70's and 80's, has turned into a week or 50's and 60's with rain...of course it has.  While I won't be complaining, it will definitely kill my tan a bit and make those 15hrs of riding, slightly less enjoyable...just slightly.

Nothing more to report other than the highlight of my day being my delicious Quiznos sub that I had for lunch (The traditional on wheat with no ranch). After getting into Tucson, I'll have a few hours to get things sorted, head to the store, say hi to friends and then possibly get out for a spin before dinner; then an early bed to be ready for 8am swim.

More to come tomorrow after Day 1 in Tucson.

BB

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ramping It Up & The Season Ahead

The last month has been productive on the training front.  I have put in 2 solid blocks of training that turned out to be just over 20hrs per week.  When training exclusively indoors, this is plenty of volume.  As a result, I am seeing some solid fitness progression across the board.

The next month will bring more of the same, except with a change in venue.  I am headed down to Tucson, AZ for 2 weeks to work with my coach, Cliff English, at his annual CEC Pro Camp. I am looking forward to the weeks ahead and just hoping to survive what will be a substantial increase in volume.  Stay tuned to this blog, I am planning on posting daily updates.


On the race schedule side of things, I have planned out most of the coming season.  The fun begins shortly, check it out!

- March 18th - Puerto Rico 70.3

- April 1st - Texas 70.3 (U.S. Pro Champs)

- May 19th - Ironman Texas

- June 24th - TBA

- July 15th - Racine 70.3

- August 12th - Rev3 Half Ironman

- September 9th - Ironman Wisconsin

The rest of the season is TBD...


Have a great weekend, more to come soon!