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Century Sunday

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 31, 2009

The thought of riding a 100+ mile bike ride has been on my mind for a while, but I had some serious doubts if I could do it or not. Not because I was afraid my legs would blow out, but a lot of other factors such as overall body fatigue, if I could sit for that long, how I could stay properly nourished, etc. All of those things made me fairly nervous about the concept, but I got over it pretty fast when my training partner invited/challenged me to a century ride this past Sunday. Just him and I on a 100+ mile loop which I ended up mapping out and putting together (big mistake). So let me go ahead and describe the various stages.


Pre-Ride: I went out into the garage to check my bike over, lube my chain, and adjust my seat. Immediately, i saw that I had a flat which I took as a bad omen. This forced me to head to the bike shop where I got some excellent advice on nutrition for the big ride. They loaded me up with about 1500 calories of food and suplements along with a freshly fixed flat and sent me on my way.


Murrieta - Fallbrook: The ride did not start easy. We took a bike trail pretty casually down to the base of the De Luz area and began our mission through the hills on our way to San Diego. The first hill is a 2 mile 700ft elevation climb which I figured was going to be the hardest of the ride. Not really something I wanted to start with, but probably good to get it out of the way right off the bat than deal with something like that towards the end... so I thought.


Fallbrook - Leucadia: Once we got into Fallbrook, we started descending for like 20-30 minutes, diving down to sea level from some pretty good elevation. I am not sure what the elevation change was, but it was the longest decent I have ever done. Once we got down into the Oceanside area on our way to Leucadia,  we started hitting some barn burning hills. None of them were unbearable, but it was just a nasty 15-20 mile stretch of rolling hills which were all unexpected. Here I was expecting a nice flat road that ran parallel to the ocean and it was not by any means. The last hill we hit coming into Leucadia was probably the second worst of the ride to this point as well which was painful. At this point, we were almost exactly 60 miles in.


Leucadia - Oceanside: Finally a break! At the turn around point,  we had a leasurely 15 mile trek up Pacific Coast Highway which was awesome. A nice tail wind was pushing us along and we were using this time for recovery. Unfortunately, some old man on a Townie decided to show me the wheel at one point which inspired me to take off and beat myself up for this stretch that was supposed to be relaxing. My friend got a flat  a couple hundred yards before the burger shop we planned to stop at, so he fixed that and then we rested for about 30 minutes while we refueled on some delicious french fries and hamburgers. Yum Yum.


Oceanside - S. Fallbrook: We took off from the burger joint, bellies full and relaxed, ready for a nice leasurely 15 mile stretch before heading back up the hills into Temecula. That lasted for about 3 miles until we hit an unexpected hill which got us right back to questioning how we were going to make it another 45 miles. Ahhh. Luckily, after that, we did get a 10 mile stretch that was pretty easy before we hit Gopher Canyon Rd. At Gopher Canyon, I think we still had another 35 miles to go and this is where it started to get brutal. At the end of Gopher Canyon, we hit a 9% downgrade which got me going 51 MPH. That was super fun! Though, this also meant that I was just going to have to climb that much more after I got to the bottom... the pain begins.


S. Fallbrook - Temecula: Oh my gosh... After I calmed down from that high speed descent I realized I was about 90 miles into my ride and had about 15 miles of serious climbing to do. This was the strongest test of my will that I had ever gone through. I've played through pain and injury before becuse adrenaline would just take the hurt away. That was different because I was playing in a game where I'd be able to rest and recuperate in between action. When I looked up and saw the road ahead of me I knew it would take more than a little excitement to get me all the way to the finish. I dug deep and started the climb.


    • Hill 1: This was the worst (it was possibly the hardest of the whole ride, but I was so beat by this point, its hard to give n honest opinion) of this climb. I believe it was about 3-4 miles in total length and half of it was up a 7-9% grade and that was at the top. This hill was the closest I came to actually clipping out and stopping, but I held it together and made all the way going 4-5mph at the top. The backside of this hill was a 7% downgrade that was another lengthy decent that I had a hard time enjoying due to the fact that it just made the next hill that much steeper and longer.

    • Hill 2: This will was the gift that just kept on giving. A 5-6 mile grinder that took you up and over the mountain range into Temecula through the small city of Rainbow. This was a diffcult hill to climb at this point, but i was thankful to be going up this thing compared to the last one I was just on. As a matter of fact, just about all I thought of for the rest of the ride is how much I never wanted to climb Hill 1 again.


Temecula - Murrieta: Payday! We hit one last nice decent through some windy rounds and a golf course into Temecula. Their were a couple very small hills that we hit on our way to a bike path which would eventually get us home. To my surprise, we still had some energy and ending up doing about 17-18 on the flats which I was pretty happy with.


Stats: The ride took us 9 hr 15 minutes total to complete with an actual 8 hr 15 minutes of seat time. We rode a total of 116 of the hilliest miles I have ever ridden. We averaged a little over 14mph and I burned over 6600 calories. I ate and drank about 1800 calories worth of food in order to survive the journey. We only had 1 malfunction which was a flat tire. 52MPH was the top speed of the ride. 4.2MPH was the low speed of the ride. 7 hours is how long I had to endure a stitch that was in the right side of my stomach before it went away. OUCH!


What I learned: 


    • Be prepared. If I had not loaded up on carbs a few days in advance and talked to the guys at the bike shop on how to stay properly nourished, I would have probably given up or had to stop more. Take spare tubes and a mini tool kit with you. 8 hours on a bike can bring up a lot of unexpected problems that you will want to be able to fix.

    • Do not do this alone. For one, you will want a friend with you to help motivate you and keep you company. Also,a lot of the ride took me places where I had no cell phone service. It would have been a nightmare if I was alone and my bike had broke or I got injured.

    • Pre-Run the Course: I had never driven on about 40 miles of the course and I paid for it. Looking back, I would never have planned the hardest hill to be at mile 80. That was a mistake and I won't let that happen next time.

    • Never give up: The longest ride I had done prior to this one was a 50 miler. It was my heart and determination that kept me going on this one. I found out alot about what I was actually made of and am extremely proud to say I accomplished what I did.If you set your mind to something, it will be accomplished.


Here's a snapshot of my route. Those little blue things are mile markers.


831 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: team, cycling, triathlon, active, bike, ride, wildflower, run, century, first, bicycle, sunday, mike, d, ellis, miked

Racking up a few more miles

Posted by danger prone Mar 31, 2009


I did not cycle nearly as many miles as I should have in the beginning of my training for Wildflower. I was getting out, but many of my longer rides I had to cut short. I tried to compensate for my lack of outdoor miles by jumping on the indoor bike, doing some spinning classes etc.



I have started racking up some decent "outdoor" miles on my bike this past month. My latest long ride was Sunday. Adrian had this ridiculously long run with a group of other ultrarunners on the very eastside of town. That area of Tucson near Saguaro National Park and Colossal Cave has some wonderful scenery and is popular with cyclists.



Adrian started his 27-mile "fun run" up to the top of Mica Mountain and back at 6:30 a.m. It was chilly, so I drove back a ways into town and grabbed some coffee, before returning to the trailhead.



I feel more comfortable on the bike than ever before. My clipless pedals aren't so scary anymore. I knew how to shift before, but now I am using the bike more efficiently. I took a meandering tour eventually getting on Old Spanish Trail Road, an awesome cycling road for any of you who ever get out to Tucson. I road past Colossal Cave, where the Colossal Cave stage race was being held. I stopped and chatted with some other accomplished cyclists and triathletes - I swear they are everywhere here - and watched the bike race for awhile.



I started back only to have the cycling couple/triathletes I had left behind 15 minutes before come racing up behind me and of course pass me. The woman called out, 'Jump on board' and for a little while I did. I couldn't maintain their pace for longer than 15 minutes though and eventually fell about 50 feet behind.



I think training would be much easier if I had someone, who was better than me, to ride with regularly. Until then, I'm going have to keep poaching rides with random strangers.






696 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, cycling, triathlon, wildflower, kirsten_korosec

Change of Plans

Posted by stesaunde Mar 27, 2009


Knowing that I will no longer be competing in the Wildflower killed my motivation to train.  On Wednesday after I found out the race was on Sunday and I made the decision not to compete I didn't even want to play soccer let alone work out.  One of my friends that I'm doing a reverse order mini triathlon with in April was even bugging me to come to the gym yesterday and I didn't go.  I think I'm over it though.  The part I'll miss most is the change in elevation.  I was really excited to have that competitive advantage.



Don't worry, I'm still going to compete in a triathlon - just not one quite so prestigious.  While it's anti-climactic shopping for a local tri after my most recent plans to have 3 friends accompany me to California for a couple of days of fun, there's consolation in knowing that a little extra time to improve my swimming will definately not hurt. I guess the biggest upside is that I'll be in even better shape as I'll be continuing to train throughout May.  Not that I didn't have aspirations to continue working out after the race but let's be honest - races really do provide good focus and it's harder to get out the door without that race hanging over you.



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I Finally Get It

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 27, 2009

Let me go ahead an lay out my progression in the swim starting in January and going through March.




    • January: This was a tough month and almost broke my spirit in even doing the triathlon. I am extremely competitive and just could not do the swim where as the run and bike I was doing well with. I flopped around the pool struggling through every day I had to jump in the pool and perform the training program laid out for me. I had no sort of breathing technique and I could barely do a 75m freestyle(and that was right when I hopped in the pool).




    • February: Things started to look positive. I was making progress and the drills seemed to be helping, but not a whole lot. I also could not stand the drills because I could barely do them without stopping and catching my breath. The kick drill was a nightmare too and seemed to really get my shin splints going. By the end of this month I had progressed on my freestyle, but only to 200m when I was fresh. I had to switch to the breast stroke after that so I could catch my breath. My breathing technique was starting to form and I was taking a breath every third stroke.


-- March: I had started completing all of the swim drills, but I felt like the progress on my freestyle swim was about maxed out because I just kept running out of breath. This was pretty important because my breast stroke was signifigantly important and I knew the only way I was going to be competitive at the Wildflower was to get better at the freestyle swim. After watching other people swim, I decided to changemy breathing to every other stroke. That was the trick! Now I can do all of my swim training in freestyle mode and don't have to switch to the breast stroke.




I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now that I can focus on my swim technique without having to worry so much about suffocating from lack oxygen. April isgoing to be a good month. 



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Swimmin' With My Beats

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 26, 2009


I wanted to say thanks to H20 Audio for hooking me up with a waterproof headphone system and I-Pod shuffle to get me motivated during my swim training. When I got the system, I was skeptical on how they would work and totally thought they would fall out. After 4 different swims with them, I can tell you that I am pleasantly surprised that they have not come out once yet. The other swimmers are obviously jealous as I glad through the water blasting a little Bon Jovi and Guns N' Roses. Nothing like a little Hair Metal to get me fired up in the pool. Thanks H20 Audio.



P.S. Did I mention they helped increase my form tremendously. Check out my pic below.






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Race Day

Posted by stesaunde Mar 25, 2009

Did they change the day of the race?  I was told it was on May 2nd and have been planning on that since last year.


I went to rent a bike and they told me the olympic race is on Sunday.  I double checked my registration and there is no date.  When I click on the olympic link on the wildflower site it says it's on Sunday, May 3rd as well.  Before the schedule wasn't complete and didn't make any sense but now it has the olympic race clearly set on the 3rd.  Is this news to anybody else?

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San Francisco - for those of you not in the know - is hilly and a perfect place to get some much needed training in. And that's what I did while I was attending a convention there last week.



My husband, Adrian, has become my running coach and taskmaster. Naturally, he got us up early Friday morning to hit the streets of San Francisco. We started in Union Square and headed towards Chinatown. As we headed through the Chinatown gates most of the stores were still closed - their windows protected with plywood - and only a few shopkeepers were roaming about the front stoops.



We climbed up - arrghhh these hills -- and then plateaued as we approached North Beach. We kept to its edge, passed the famous City Lights bookstore and then made our way to Washington Square, where on an average morning you might see Italians sipping espresso and seniors practicing Tai Chi. It is here my favorite breakfast restaurant - Mama's - exists. We grubbed on some serious eats, hiked up to Coit Tower and then pounded out another mile or more back to the hotel.



OK, later that day we left San Fran and arrived in Glen Elen, a small town in Sonoma County. We decided to get a longer run in and took off from the Glen Elen Inn. We completed about a five-mile loop along small rolling hills, past ancient Zinfandel vines - per Adrian - and homes big and small. Adrian kept us off the main roads and even though I struggled a bit in the beginning and middle, we made it back to the room without stopping.



The final run. The next morning we drove up to Jack London State Park. Adrian took me on a trail run that began at about 400 feet up to the park summit near Sonoma Mountain at about 2,400 feet. We walked up the steep uphill and ran the whole way down. My quads were screaming at the end and a day later they were still rebelling.



I'd love to hear from some other guys on the first tri about any interesting runs they've been on lately.





552 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, sonoma, san_francisco, hills, glen_elen, vineyards

Tips from a champion

Posted by danger prone Mar 23, 2009


As I mentioned in my earlier post, last week I met Victor Plata, the 2007 and 2008 winner of the Pacific Grove Triathlon among other races. I was attending the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association and had decided to participate in the Chain Reaction spinning event. The event, hosted by HealthCorps and Star Trac, is an effort to raise money in the fight against childhood obesity. HealthCorps is an non-profit started by Dr. Oz - you know the doc that's on Oprah all the time.



Anyway, Chain Reaction held hourly spinning classes led by an instructor and featuring special guests. I participated in three spinning events and that's where I met fitness icon Kathy Smith and later Victor Plata. After my last spinning session, which just happened to be the one Plata took part in, I had to ask him a few rookie questions. Like, so is Wildflower hard? And, do have any advice?



Here's what he had to say about preparing for Wildflower.



1. It's hilly. I knew that, but he had this advice for training. Go out on your bike and pick a long steady hill, work at 70 percent, and stick with it for 10 minutes in your big gear. Build up to three 10 minute reps for 30 minutes -- always on a long hill. He said this will prepare us for that first mile from the transition, which apparently is straight up a steep hill.



2. Unless you're a strong swimmer, let the pack pass and then get in the water. Plata says unless you're used to swimming in a thrashing, chaotic sort of scene it's best to stick to the edge and let the really fast guys go first. Victor wasn't trying to freak me out. He just said swimming in a pool is very different then running from a beach into the water along with dozens of others.



3. Do lots of brick workouts. So bike and then run. Swim, bike and run. This he says is the best preparation. Gale already has us doing this, but I thought it would be good to mention it here too. I know I haven't done enough of brick workouts.



Thanks Victor for the words of advice and encouragement.






608 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, triathlon, wildflower, spinning, kirsten_korosec, victor_plata

Be Prepared

Posted by stesaunde Mar 20, 2009

I had running shoes on yesterday when I found myself stranded with some friends on the side of the road after the car we were in broke down.  We had just met at a parking lot that was now on the other side of the freeway from us where we had left another car.  As it only seemed like a couple of miles I offered to run and grab the other car and said I'd be back in 20 minutes.  It was much further then I expected but there was a nice 5% grade in my favor for the last bit.  When I got to the car I calculated that 21 minutes had passed so with driving I figured 25 minutes had passed by the time I got back.  According to google maps that stretch of road is 3.8 miles.  We weren't quite to the entrance of Micron so I'd round down to at least 3.5 but that doesn't sound quite right so 24 minutes would probably be a safer bet.  A 7 to 8 minute/mile pace sounds feasible.  


Anyway, it was a fun way to get in what turned out to be my only work out for the day as by the time we ate, finished our activity and got the car pulled down the same route I ran and then some with a tow rope ... let's just say I missed the Orem rec closing time of 10pm.  Don't worry though, I got up and played basketball at 6:30 this morning so I'm not a complete slacker.

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Unconventional training

Posted by danger prone Mar 19, 2009

Traveling on business generally crimps my style. My workouts are less frequent, I can't cook at home and my eating schedule can fluctuate. I just happen to be on a business trip that has helped at least maintain my training, although a little unconventionally.


I am in San Francisco attending the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association convention. I spent the week sitting in on various seminars - a standard convention activity. I've also spent a fair amount of time on the trade room floor trying out treadmills, Pilates reformers, Gravity trainers, Bosu, stability balls - you get the point.



The convention also had a few sports and fitness icons. Joe Montana spoke about teamwork and leadership and Olympian Dara Torres talked about developing a champion attitude. I even met Kathy Smith. For those of you who don't know Kathy, well let's just say she one of the first to produce a line of aerobics/fitness videos back in the '80s and '90s.



I had a few other experiences at the show that I'll put in future posts -- so keep an eye out - including a conversation with Victor Plata, winner of the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island in 2008 and the Pacific Grove Tri in 2007 and 2008. He won the Collegiate National Championship at Wildflower in 1997. I uploaded a video of Victor talking about his 2008 Pacific Grove win. Interesting and just a cool tri video to watch. I'll post my very casual interview with Victor soon. He gave some great tips on training and getting through Wildflower, which he plans to compete in this year.



694 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: training, triathlon, wildflower, motivation, kirsten_korosec, victor_plata

Taking it Easy

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 19, 2009

It finally feels like I'm reaching the home stretch on training and I'm starting to feel like I am actually prepared for my first triahtlon. The workouts have definitley jumped to a whole new level of intensity between the 40+ mile bike rides and 7-9 mile runs on the weekend back to back. I'm putting a lot more time in at the pool too, but that does not suck the life out of me like the rides and the runs. So, I've decided to take it easy this week and not run or bike Today, Tomorrow, or Saturday. Instead, I am going to let my legs heal all the way up so I can get back to putting stronger efforts into all of my training. After this little "break" I am not going to not miss anything and just put my head down and focus on getting the most out of these last few weeks before I try to tackle the hills of the Wildflower.

659 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: team, triathlon, active, to, first, get, mike, who, wants, d, ellis, miked

The Ups of Cycling

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 18, 2009

Here's why I bare obstacles like "The Gauntlet" and love to go cycling. I gave Steve and Javier a little extra inspiration at the end to conform to a traditional cyclist uniform.



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Hey everyone,


Great job with the Who Wants to Get Active program blogging contest! You all did so well that we decided to have another contest. It will

run from now through April 30. This time you can only win in one category though--we didn't want Levi snatching them all up again  .


Awards will be handed out for:


  • Most blogs from now through April 30

  • Most comments on other participants' blogs from now through April 30

  • Funniest blog post from now through April 30

  • Best true story and blog post about motivating another person to Get Active (For example: "i motivated my lazy dad to go running with me when he was visiting" or "I forced my kids to go hiking and they had so much fun they now beg me to take them!")


Prizes include:


  • $100 to your favorite restaurant

  • $100 to a sporting goods store of your choice

  • A one-hour massage

  • And another surprise!


Be sure to check out the other team blogs and comment on those too as the contest includes all 16 participants on Bye Bye Baby Weight, Team First Marathon, Rookie Runners and Your own First Triathlon team.


Way to go in your training so far and keep up the great work!

635 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: fitness, who-wants-to-get-active, contest

The Downs of Cycling

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 17, 2009

Ok, so here's my video of the dreaded "Gauntlet." Don't even ask what I was trying to say at the end. My cycling buddy was bugging me to get a move on before we were ran over so I didn't get a chance to redo it.


480 Views 3 Comments Permalink


So there are 6 weeks left and I'm feeling like I could use 6 more months of training.  Especially when it comes to swimming.  I've worked my way back up in biking and running but in swimming I feel hopelessly behind.  Everyone keeps on telling me that if I just keep moving then I'll finish before the cut off.  I hope that's true.



The weather has started to warm up allowing for our first ultimate frisbee games of the season on Saturday.  Over 2 hours of good solid exercise.  If it weren't for my hip bugging me from playing basketball before it would have been the perfect day.  That and my hops definately weren't there.  I'm wondering if squats are messing me up.  All I know is I'd go to jump and midway into the air in both of my upper calves I'd feel some kind of a pulse where my calves just gave out and were like that's all we have and it wasn't enough.  I've noticed the same problem in basketball but that was right after working out.  This was at least a day after which was kind of disconcerting. If anything I was hoping to come out of this with a little more of a vertical but I guess I can worry about that in May.



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The Temecula/Murrieta, CA area is a super clean family oriented community which I am happy to live in. The weather is always within a few degrees of San Diego and it's pretty easy to stay active outdoors. The only issue is that it is a growing community and a lot of the conveniences that more developed areas have have simply not been built yet. Below is a couple complaints.


-- Lack of pools: Their is literally less than 5 pools in this area that are even semi-accessible to the public. 2 are at other gyms that I don't have a membership to, 1 is at a swim training facility which you have to be taking lessons at to access it, another is a community pool that is open to the public that's always a mess. Which leaves me with my only real option that is the pool at 24 hour fitness. There I can use their 25m, 5 lane pool with my membership. Unfortunately, I have to wait until after 9:30 PM during the week to even be gauaranteed a lane to swim in. Ahhhh!!!





    • Not many bike lanes: This area is growing way faster than the current road system can handle which leaves everyone on bikes fighting for a piece of the road with all of the cars. Their is one particular scary 2 mile stretch that I have to ride on almost every time I go on a ride. On this particular stretch, it is a two lane road with no divider, no bike lane, a speed limit of 50mph (which is usually 60), a shoulder that conisists of loose dirt that leads into a barbwire fence, and rolling hills which help to abstruct driver's vision. One of my favorite loops through the wine country is almost as bad and that's a shame because less experienced cyclicts don't even atempt this ride and its gotta be one of the most scenic loops in the area. Look for a couple video and picture blogs that should be coming soon showing the Ups and Downs of Riding in the 951.


I hope a member of the Temecula/Murrieta City Councils gets a hold of this blog and addresses these issues before I lose my mind.



520 Views 1 Comments Permalink

A little inspiration

Posted by danger prone Mar 10, 2009

After my trip to New Jersey I returned to find that I didn't really feel like running much. I would feel a little dread as I laced up my shoes, not eagerness.


I'm pretty sure I found the secret elixir to cure my apathy around 6 a.m. Saturday morning as I watched my husband and roughly 150 other runners line up at an old mining camp in the rolling grasslands near Sonoita, Ariz. - the Santa Rita Mountains lurking somewhere in the darkness. The ultrarunners, both professional and aspiring, rose early to tackle the Old Pueblo 50, a 50-mile race along portions of the Arizona Trail and dirt roads in and around Coronado National Forest.



I was able to crew for Adrian at miles seven, 25, 29, 40, 46 and then watched in amazement as he sprinted towards the finish line in a last minute race with another runner. He finished in 10 hours and 31 minutes. This year's winner finished in seven hours and 18 minutes. Runners would continue to stream and occasionally shuffle in for a couple more hours.



These are normal men and women, with regular day jobs as engineers, salesmen, lawyers, doctors, personal trainers etc. It wasn't as if the entire group was filled with professional athletes. And yet here they were on a Saturday morning, giddy with excitment, chatting and laughing and about to tackle 50 miles. The end elicited the same joy, relief and emotion for the runners, some now hobbled from their effort.



The look on the faces of those that finished was one of ultimate accomplishment and contentment. I think I got a brief glimpse of what it might feel like crossing the finish line at Wildflower. These days as I lace up my running shoes, I think about cruising along, the wind hopefully at my back and all those folks who can't wait to get out there and run 50 miles.




629 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, wildflower, motivation, ultrarunner


Last week ended on a high note with my long bike ride. The day after I flew out to New Jersey to visit some family. I knew it would be difficult to get a swim or cycle in. I packed my running shoes in hopes of logging some much needed miles in even though I knew my schedule would be packed with family visits and work.



I've laid off running for a few weeks because of the lingering tenderness in my right knee. The pain finally subsided and I've been ramping up up running regiment ever since.  I had hoped to get a few long runs in during my five days back East. My first monring I woke up and the snow was already falling. A Noreaster hit that night, 10 inches of snow fell and my choices were immediately cut down to a treadmill in the hotel.



I can't complain. When I lived in Wisconsin the only option during the winter months was a treadmill or braving the cold and snow. My short time back in the desert has made me soft, so I stuck to running indoors. I managed two runs, which were a struggle because they were boring.



I can't write enough about how hard it is to stay on task while traveling. It's been my biggest hurdle to date. Luckily, I have avoided sickness. Everytime my schedule shifts - even one day trips away from home - my training seems to slip.



So what do all of you do when you're traveling with little more than a pair of running shoes?  And how do you get those necessary workouts in when you're traveling on business and are limited by a tight schedule or the weather?



757 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, travel, treadmill

Working and Training

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 5, 2009


Every day I continue my training, I am more and more impressed with endurance sports athletes. Its hard enough to continuallly train 6 days a week and eat right for an Olympic Tri at an amateur level. I'd imagine that training to compete at an expert level must take at least twice as much time and probably double that amount to race an Ironman. That means that training to just complete an Ironman would probably take 32-40 hours a week of training, eating extremely healthy 7 days a week, and no partying (my crutch). If you were still living with your parents and did not have to worry about sustaining a living that might not be a problem, but from what I've seen, most people that compete in endurance racing have jobs that they're at 40+ hours a week. That makes an average of 11.5 hours a day devoted to work and working out. That only leaves about 6 hours left per day to manage eating, family, friends, animals, religion, home, etc. On top of that, there are few people that get paid any substantial amount of money to compete and most people just to it for a pride and fellowship. All of the above makes me respect and admire all endurance athletes past, present and future for their efforts and dedication to a sport that does not offer huge monetary rewards, but an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.



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If anyone was wondering Javier is crazy.  On top of his workouts he played indoor soccer on Tuesday and Wednesday.  He was telling me about it on Wednesday morning and I didn't fully appreciate what he was talking about.  Then I played with him after my workout on Wednesday night.  First of all, I need to clarify that I'm not a soccer player and although Javier was nice enough to set me up for a goal after he beat two people I also accidentally deflected the ball into our goal on defense so it kind of evened out.  I guess there was one other one passed to me that I was able to tap in earlier on.  Nonetheless, I was beat afterwards and I didn't play half as long as he did.  My legs and feet were sore in ways I haven't experienced before.  I thought basketball once or twice a week was bad but soccer definately takes the cake. At least you don't have to jump so much in soccer.  On Monday, I was taking the ball in and pulled up for a jump shot and instead of rising into the air to a comfortable level for my shot I traveled so little that I was starting to wonder if I even left the ground.  I had come straight from the gym and apparantly my legs hadn't recovered from doing squats yet.  That was embrarrasing.  Suffice it to say I missed the shot.  As the weather continues to get better I'm hoping to start working in some Ultimate Frisbee.  I'm almost feeling like I'm getting back into the groove of working out after being out sick and I'm excited at the prospects of being in shape for a frisbee game.  At the same time I'm disappointed that I'm not in nearly as good of form as I would have hoped to be in by now.  I guess I'll just have to take full advantage of these last two months.

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For weeks a friend of our family's and longtime cyclist has suggested we take a ride to together. We always had good intentions, it just never seemed to happen.


We found a few hours to hit the road Friday and my only wish is I had done this much earlier. From the beginning, it was relaxing, yet challenging and I blocked out the cars. Tucson, Ariz., is a great cycling town and dozens of professionals and other serious riders descend on the city each year to ride the hilly terrain of the foothills. The strong cycling advocacy in my town has resulted in lots of nice bike lanes. I was still afraid of traffic, even with the bike lanes and never felt totally comfortable with cars whizzing by.



Friday's ride changed all that. We took off from my house and made our way along River Road, an east-west hilly road that splits Tucson between the foothills to the north and the city to the south. We rode to Sabino Canyon, a beautiful desert park at the eastern foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains and then cruised through a variety of neighborhoods. We returned following the same path for the first half and then headed south into the city and finally back up to my house.



I am no cycling expert. I fall much closer to the rookie category. Our ride was mostly instructional and I've started to inch my self away from rookie. I learned a lot more about shifting technique, riding with traffic and even practiced - as silly as it sounds - drinking out of my water bottle more effectively.



I can't wait these days to get back on my bike. Everyone has got to find a maven for themselves. Although Mike, it sounds like you might be one yourself.








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Mike's blog talked about the challenges of fueling and hydration for training and racing. On my main page of Active Trainer lives several reference documents. If you haven't read them lately (or at all), take a look here about 3/4 down the page.



Since the team is getting into some longer workouts, be sure to take a look at the Exercise Fueling document. 



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