7 July, 2014

Fish and House Guests; Knee

Category: Annoyances,Exercise,Family,Health,Racing,Stress — Moose @ 9:52 pm

While I enjoyed seeing our guests over the weekend, I was also very glad to send them on their way back home this morning. Living with two other people in your apartment, which already feels cramped as it is, even when those two people are related to you, is draining as all fuck. Didn’t help when the 3.5 y/o would get cranky because her uncles wouldn’t put up with as much of her shit as her mother would.

Did get a little bit of sun out in a paddle boat in the Tidal Basin. That was fun, and it showed that the case of runner’s knee I developed back in March/April is finally well on the way to being healed (the boy and I were the paddlers). I’ve been taking it very easy the past few weeks, canceling this race season and letting the knee heal properly. Didn’t want to repeat 2008’s year of the plantar fasciitis goof but continuing to re-injure the knee again and again. While it’s definitely better, I’m still going to take this entire month off from swimming and running. I haven’t tried cycling yet, but I will do so soon on a trainer in the living room, to see how that does. In the meantime I’m doing weights and core strengthening to give myself a good base to come back to when I do start back up with tri training. It’s been annoying as all hell, and my hips are incredibly sore from the strengthening, but the knee’s healing, and that’s the important part.

18 January, 2012

2012 Race Schedule

Category: Club,Coaching,Exercise,Racing — Moose @ 8:57 pm

After not really looking at racing, I’m now suddenly filling up a mid-to-late summer schedule. I deferred Rocketts Landing from last year (July 22), just signed up for the new National Harbor half-Ironman (August 5) and it looks like the Regional championship is going to be the Nation’s Triathlon (September 9), so I’ll be signing up for that once it’s confirmed. Not bad for someone who spent the last two months bitching about losing out on the one race I had actually affirmatively signed up for but can’t attend (Columbia – May 20 – same weekend as the boy’s best friend’s wedding). And the time frames give me time to get back to half iron shape. Yay. And hell, maybe I’ll try for the DC Tri sprint (June 17) as a training race.

Should finally be the push I need to get back into my groove. I’ve missed that since the Ironman in 2010. Last year just fell apart completely, fitness wise, though I don’t regret taking the time to (sort of) prioritize dating over racing.

Next week will be 28 weeks out from the half, and the start of a new season for me. The following week I begin ‘formal’ coaching for the club newbies. Promises to be a busy and fun season.

5 January, 2012

No Uberlist/Goals

Category: Coaching,Habits,Lists,Motivation,Racing — Moose @ 11:59 pm

I decided I’m not going to do an uberlist this year. I didn’t want to deal with coming up with 112 things to do over the course of the year, when my track record is getting only around half of them done. The list doesn’t change, but circumstances do, and I no longer find it a useful or fun tool. Instead I popped over onto Wunderlist and did up a number of lists in different areas (finances, health, “us” stuff, etc.) with some immediate goals, and a mind to checking in on them and updating them as life moves on. Goals are important, and reasonable, achievable ones even more so. We preach specificity of goals in coaching, so here I go. Won’t be posting them, but will be using them.

No clue what I’m going to do race-wise this year. I was signed up for one race, but we now have another event that weekend out of town, so no can do. Ugh. And I’m not thrilled with the local choices, mainly because I’ll be coaching folks through them. Might still do them (especially if I can get a comped entry or two), but at the moment I’d rather focus on my newbies.

31 December, 2011

Getting there

Category: Adult,Dating,Racing,Relationships — Moose @ 4:49 pm

Not quite done with the uberlist for 2012. Working on it. Overall, the year was not so bad. I didn’t race, but I did get engaged. And I’m now a certified coach. So, not so bad.

13 February, 2011

Lots Going On

So, ran Cupid’s Undies Run this afternoon. Fun event, saw lots of friends in the club, had a good time. But man, after the head cold from hell and just generally not training well of late (still haven’t started regular training again), it kicked my ass. Now, there were environmental factors (mid-40s, no clothing to speak of, etc.), but still, I’m just not at any sort of level of fitness now, which irks the hell out of me. Hoping this was the wake-up call I needed to get back to it.

CPR class tomorrow, last thing I need to do before the training class to get the coaching certification. Watched the little videos, read the book, I think I’m ready.

Finished the sock on Monday and wore ’em to work on Tuesday:

Dreidel Sock

Very comfy – tiny stitches seem to be much better for comfort over long time periods/distances than the bigger ones. Go fig. I’ve cast on a cowl I got from one of my Unique Sheep sock clubs, finally (a men’s accessories club I got last year – this’ll be the first project I’m doing from it!). Finally re-read the pattern and seem to make sense of it, so I’m going for it. Unfortunately it’s not a travel or transit friendly project (very involved pattern), so I hauled out the sock yarn last night and am trying to decide on some patterning to do this time around on the top of the sock & the leg. Plus I am signed up for a men’s sweater class at Stitch DC next month, and of the three choices for patterns chose the Alberta striped vest. Figure it was worth the investment to learn at least two new skills – two yarn knitting and sweater shaping.

Housekeeper came Wednesday. Pleased with the cleaning job, amused at playing “where did this get put in the kitchen”. She moved everything, of course, to clean under and around, and didn’t seem to note where things had been. Similarly on the dining room table where I had far too much junk out to begin with. So, my take away is to reduce the amount of stuff out on surfaces so she doesn’t have to move as much. The cleaner look will be more pleasant anyway, and having the discipline of her coming in every other week should help with that.

Saw another play at Arena Stage this evening. It’s the local theater here in my neighborhood, about 3 blocks from my apartment, and they specialize in American theater. They completely redid the space, gutting the buildings and building a large shell over the whole of it, even adding a third theater. Took ’em a couple of years and this year is the first season back in the new/old space. The renovation also seems to have influenced the quality of the work at the theater, which is much better than it used to be. Previously things were hit or miss (I walked out of one at intermission when the “crimson carpet” they rolled out was day-glo pink; seriously, high school productions do better than that), but I’ve enjoyed each of the productions they’ve done so far this season. I’m glad I bought season tickets, and bought two of them so I can take a guest, it’s been a good investment, and one I’ll repeat next season.

I’m debating a Body Electric retreat in August at Wildwood. They have a price break on the class price through the end of the month, just need to check the budget and the leave situation. Been feeling a craving for some BE work, and it would be nice to get back out to SF for a bit before and after again.

29 December, 2010

Winter Has Sapped My Will To Update

Category: Body,Club,Habits,Lists,Motivation,Racing — Moose @ 11:26 pm

I seem to be on the ‘once a month update schedule’ these days. Working on the Uberlist for 2011, a bit over halfway there. Managed to get over half the stuff on 2010’s list done, which I consider to be a successful list year. Way too many books ordered in the past week, and they all seem to have shown up at the same time. Along with a new living room rug (which I’d been eyeing for months and which I’m really glad I ordered the moment they put it on sale – I can’t find the thing on their site any more), which is currently sitting, rolled up, in the front hall because I don’t have the energy to move all the furniture tonight to get it in place. Plenty of time this weekend, and maybe even tomorrow night.

The aforementioned planning has gone slightly more slowly than I expected, but I’m not terribly worried about it. I will be writing this weekend to try & get stuff done and out for review by the other co-leaders next week. For my own training, I’m delaying the formal start of my stuff in order to do some weight loss related stuff first. I’m a lot heavier than I need to be to race well, and that’s gotta change. The 10 lbs (and 3-4 percentage points of body fat) I gained post-IM haven’t helped, either. Yuck. So yes, I’m going to be a resolutioner this year, but if I want to gain speed this year, I need to help improve the ‘infrastructure’ needed for that.

2010 hasn’t been a bad year for me, and 2011 is shaping up to continue in the same vein.

20 July, 2010

Tired

Category: Biking,Exercise,Mood,Racing,Weather — Moose @ 8:34 pm

Feeling a bit worn out this week, likely still feeling after effects from the all-day ride this past Saturday. The ride went fairly well, though I pulled out after lunch (108 miles), then reinserted for the last 17 at the last aid station, putting my total mileage at exactly 125 miles. Had some heat & nutrition issues, though was never dehydrated. Far from dehydrated, in fact – every chance I got I was peeing! And while there was a twinge or two in my inner thighs, I feel like I mostly did okay with nutrition, until I started adding in too much sports drink. Stomach couldn’t handle that many calories at once, so had to stop taking stuff in, which wasn’t good, and probably contributed to the post-lunch slump. So, either diluted sports drink this weekend, or perhaps try the “nuun” stuff (fizzy, electrolytes, but no calories).

The heat was definitely a factor, with several participants from previous years saying this was the hottest the event had ever been. Not that I’d have felt bad dropping back even if it hadn’t been ungodly hot, but it does help that the external factor of the heat was known and acknowledged by the group.

It was a good learning experience, though, which was what I needed for the IM. I’d still like to be faster going up hills, but that’s for next season I think. I’m also thinking after some down time post-IM that I really, really need to do some weights this fall in the off season. Might help, and can’t hurt.

But in the meantime, I’m trying to get back into a groove, and I’m just not there yet. I’ll get there, but until then I’m just trying to rest and recuperate. Another lesson from Saturday – give yourself adequate time to be down and recuperate. But I’m feeling tired of being tired.

14 June, 2010

Eagleman 2010 Race Report

Category: Racing,Triathlon — Moose @ 5:07 pm

This was my second attempt at the half-Ironman (or “Ironman 70.3” as they’re now insisting on calling it) distance. The first (Diamondman in 2007) was an almost complete meltdown; I finished that one fourth from last overall, and I was determined to do better than that this time, aiming for better times in all three events.

The day started out fairly warm and only got warmer, and despite multiple assurances at packet pick up the race director called for no wetsuits for the swim. Not a huge deal, I’ve done a non-wetsuit race before and I’m feeling much more confident on the swim in general (though I’m still slower than I’d like to be). Did remember to put lots of body glide on my underarms so there was no chafing this time. Popped into the water, started out fine. Discovered that I was consistently pulling to the left and never seemed to be able to correct without overcorrecting and subsequently zig-zagging all over the course. That had to be the most frustrating part of the swim for me – not being able to swim in a straight line no matter what I did. Zipped out of the water and hit the lap button on my new Garmin 310xt, and saw a very, very disappointing 1:00 time. I had honestly expected to do a hell of a lot better than that based on my Columbia time (forgetting how much of a difference a wetsuit can make). It was very dispiriting, but still faster than Diamondman by over 3 minutes, as well as not feeling completely blown out after the swim, so I took it and ran.

I was expecting wind on the bike, having done rides on the Eastern Shore before. The bursts of speed and slow just seemed to come at random, however. I’d be zipping along at 20+ MPH and then suddenly *bam* the wind would hit and I’d be down to 16 or less. This was the first race where I picked up bottles from volunteers, and I thought it went pretty well. Slowly enough and I was even able to pick up from the first volunteer and fill the Aerodrink and toss the bottle before I was out of the area. Tried that at the second one because I found the grabbed bottles annoying – they didn’t quite fit the water bottle cages, so tended to slip over and hit my calf while pedaling. Also, being able to stop at a port-a-john at the aid station at mile 23 was a godsend. I’m willing to pee during the swim, but I’m not hardcore enough to do so on the bike. Nutrition followed as per plan, lots of water and shot-bloks (I like that I have to chew them). Next race I think I’m going to alternate the margarita ones, which have extra sodium but which seemed to upset my stomach when I popped only them down at regular intervals, with other flavors and see how that goes since the stomach did seem to calm when I switched to the sleeve of mountain berry. Anyway, got in at 3:09, about 6 minutes faster. So far, so good.

The run? What else to say that other club people haven’t? It sucked. No cover, hot as hell, just miserable. I did do a lot better on nutrition this time, paid a lot more attention to how I was feeling, and never felt like I was going to bonk. I carry a hand strap water bottle when I do long runs so I can sip as I feel like I need to rather than depending on aid stations, so I had that on me, and several gel packs in my pockets. I sucked down a cup of Gatorade at almost every aid station, and still managed to almost empty my own water bottle between each station. I must’ve been sweating like mad, ’cause there was never an ounce of pressure on my bladder even with all that liquid. Insane. I never touched the gels, the Gatorade and water were enough. Club support, from other racers, from club volunteers/spectators, and from random folks yelling out “Go DC Tri!” was a huge boost. 90% of the run at Diamondman was completely devoid of spectators because of how the course is set up, so this was a welcome change. Thanks to the multisport time mode on the Garmin I knew with 2 miles out that I was going to get the PR, even if I walked the rest of the way. That felt really good, and provided a little bit of boost to get into the chute. Absolutely fried my shoulders and neck in that sun out on the run, though. Hell, even the top of my scalp is burnt, though the hair! Very glad I wore a visor, so my face isn’t really burnt, but I think a full hat will be in order for the next hot race of any distance. Finished the run in 3:04, a good 10 minutes faster, securing my PR.

Overall, I shaved about 15 minutes off my Diamondman time, finishing in 7:19:18, and nowhere near fourth from last. That felt really, really good, and cemented my record for the season with 4 distance PRs in the 4 races I’ve done to date (half-marathon, 10 miler, Olympic, and half-Iron). Two more races to go, both new distances for me (Total 200 next month, and IM Louisville in August), but so far I’m really, really happy with how this season is turning out.

11 June, 2010

Racing/Missing

Category: Exercise,Mood,Queer,Racing — Moose @ 8:10 pm

I haven’t managed to switch the swim and run workouts yet, but it’s been an odd couple of weeks for workouts. Got in a fun 5 hour ride last weekend to prep for Eagleman this Sunday, and it felt good. Overall I’m feeling good about this one, though it’s looking like it’s gonna be a really, really hot run.

I’m remembering now why it is I haven’t signed up for this race before, though – it’s the same weekend as Gay Pride here in DC, and I’m regretting that I’m going to miss the festivities. As much as I’m looking forward to another PR (gotta beat Diamondman’s dreadful seven and a half hours – ugh!), I’m going to miss seeing a lot of friends who only come into DC on special occasions like Pride. So as I sit and pack tonight it’s kind of melancholy. It’ll be better as the race excitement hits tomorrow, but tonight I’m feeling a little sad for missing it.

23 May, 2010

Columbia Triathlon 2010 Race Report

Category: Racing,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:11 pm

The day started with a bit of lightning.

A storm moving through the area woke me a bit earlier than planned, so I went ahead and got up around 2:30 to start getting ready. Got the car loaded up and took a slower than usual and much, much wetter than usual drive through the storm system up to the race site, where we parked on a sort-of grassy-sort-of-muddy field. Grabbed the one bag, got it down there and unpacked, took it back to the car, then brought back the pump to inflate my tires, then back to the car and off to the club tent from there. Got there with oodles of time to spare, so was very glad I had my portable chair for under the tent. The rain continued as we lead up to the swim start, and the weather report was threatening more as the whole race went on.

The water was particularly muddy once we got in, lots of feet having churned up the start area, so the beginning of the swim was like plunging into utter darkness. Where normal lake water lets you see to a little bit past your hands, this seemed to cut off around the elbows. It cleared up after a short bit, but it was a freaky way to start a swim, even for someone used to doing open water swims.

Only managed to get kicked once, going around a buoy. Otherwise I did fairly well with a steady-ish pace. Did tend to pull to one side or the other, and couldn’t quite get into my head which way I was pulling at any given time. In any case, the steadyish pace paid off in terms of coming out of the water not completely sapped of energy, and with a swim PR for the Olympic distance, 32:54.

The bike. Lord, what a mess. It was cold and wet, and as I believe I’ve observed before, drizzle stings at 20+ miles per hour. I had determined based on the rainy conditions that I’d focus on the swim and run and let the bike fall where it would. I did try to use downhills to the extent I could, and I suspect most other age groupers were riding fairly conservatively as well. Only one freakout moment, where a guy I was pacing down a hill veered suddenly off to the left in front of me (and I suspect may have gone down – someone did around that area), leading to a bit of “holy shit” on my part. Made it through okay, and the rest of the ride was without incident.

As I came up toward the end I glanced down at my time to see how I was doing, and was quite surprised to see that I was coming in faster than my previous top bike time on this course, and a good bit faster than I’d rode it in practice a few weeks earlier. Got a huge grin on my face and started laughing as I came up to the final turn, then into transition and another PR, though only for this course, 1:26:56, about 9 minutes faster than my previous best, though not as quick as the very flat Nations course. Still, I came into transition feeling pretty darned good.

The run out went pretty well, keeping a relatively quick pace for the first mile as the rain died out (not to return during the run), then gradually slowing with some walks on most uphills. Ran every downhill on the course, keeping to my new mantra courtesy Ken Mierke – “downhills are free speed” (use it on the bike, too, but learned it in the run context). I need to practice hills more, but as I came up to mile 5 I realized I could take almost 18 minutes to finish the last 1.2 miles and still meet my prior run score. Final score, another Olympic distance PR: 1:03:52.

Finished the entire race in 3:12:52. Overall, I shaved 21 minutes off my previous PR at the Columbia course, and about 4.5 minutes off my previous Olympic distance PR at Nations last fall. Completely not what I had been expecting out of this race, but I’ll take it!

This means so far I’m three for three this year for PRs at the distances I’ve gone. Barring a DNF next month at Eagleman I know I’ll PR there as well (simply because I was so unprepared for Diamondman that I have to do better than finishing third from last!). Pretty good way to spend this race season, I have to say.