Thursday, March 29, 2012

More. Better

For the past week and a half, I've adopted a radically different athletic and nutrition lifestyle. Why? Spice things up, I suppose. I started feeling the burn-out of longer workouts. And I've always been curious about the Primal Blueprint way of thinking.

So at the beginning of last week I:
1) Put away my Garmin watch
2) Stopped running junk miles
3) Eliminated grains from my diet
4) Increased my saturated fat intake by bringing meat back into my life
5) Increased my daily movement in the low HR zone (lots of walking, hiking)
6) Started lifting heavy things.

For a type-A endurance athlete and coach, this was a challenge!

The first three days I experienced a 'low carb flu' which pretty much means I felt foggy and tired. I confirmed the normalcy of this feeling with my friend Jules, who is a paleo Ironman. Paleo is similar to Primal, with the exception of grain allowances and dairy intake.

After day three, around the end of last week, I started to feel ... well... AMAZING! The fog lifted and all of a sudden I had energy. So. Much. Energy. The rollercoaster of sugar/carb crashes were gone from my day-to-day. I no longer beat myself up (or had any ammo to) with running paces/goals/times. Lifting made me feel much stronger and leaner. And - bonus points for vanity - I can see my abs. Huh, I have abs. Who knew?

My relationship with food has changed, too. I eat things I haven't let myself eat in years - bacon! avocados! turkey! olive oil! lots of salmon! steak! coconut oil! You want a perspective shift in your life? Mix some heavy whipping cream into your coffee. Holy Beans.

I won't sit here and preach the gospel about how this lifestyle is perfect. Frankly, it's been a about 10 days and I very well could get smacked in the face by something 2 or 3 weeks (or 10 months) into it. But for now, I continue to feel amazing.

I get more:
1) Rejuvenating sleep
2) Pleasure walking around the neighborhood
3) Endorphins from doing 15 (assisted...) pullups and 100 pushups
4) Energy and happiness at my job. We laugh A LOT in this office
5) Time to cook and experiment

I have better:
1) Focus
2) Strength
3) Understanding of biology from the caveman point of view
4) Dinners

I am, at least for the moment, happy and at peace. And full of bacon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Detach Yourself from the Outcome | Mark's Daily Apple

How to Detach Yourself from the Outcome | Mark's Daily Apple

I read Mark's website daily for a non-endurance perspective on life. And this week I've challenged myself to adopt more of the Primal Blueprint thinking and living. Just for a couple days or weeks. No deadlines, no goals. Just to see if this break from endurance training sparks something in me.

It's great that his post today focused on detaching from the outcome and living in the present. It's SUCH a great concept. It doesn't mean eliminating goals. Rather, it means enjoy the process and being present for it. Not putting your head down and "getting through." Really neat stuff.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Call it Flip Flop or what you will. Call it hesitation or weakness in the face of adversity. Knowing what I know about myself, I call it a calculated move. I am struggling with my IMCA decision. My struggles are both mental, physical and financial. I stare down +$700 plane ticket and a +$500 hotel reserve.

I stare down my own abilities ... can I do it? ... More importantly, do I want to do it? I have completed 1 Full Ironman Race. Is that enough? And to whom?

The questions echo every day. The answer is in some sort of spades ... but which way it falls, I know not.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

165 Days....

Training is going well. I hit up the Municiple Plunge for the 1st time in a while on Sunday. It's a great feeling swimming (1650m) in clear and sunny waters.

Last Saturday I swam 4250 yards in 1:12. The IM distance. Did I do it because it was on my schedule ... not really. I did have a 1:15 scheduled. But really, my motive was to get that damn number behind me! I will not haunt myself with swimming "what if's". I will swim it enough to have confidence for the dip in August.

The rain forecast this weekend has me planning on a 90-minute spin indoors (bore-ing!) but I will do what I need to do.

Thus far in my training, the one thing I have struggled with in incorporating my friends into the workout time. I'd planned to involve more people, but it seems to be easier to train when the time is good for me. Factoring others' schedules in at the moment is daunting. I hope things lighten up when I wrap up TNT coaching up in June!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

172 Days...

Yesterday's workout:
Swim: 1500yards/28mins
Run: 3.25m/25:46

Yesterday's workout schedule got all hitched up due to some unexpected overtime at work. I was able to squeeze in a run at lunch - my boss enthusiastically cheered me out of the office for the break. Spun around the neighborhood faster than I expected to - and I'm feeling a bit sore from it today.

Wanted to hit the pool last night after catching up with one of my friends. But 5 minutes before my clock out time I was asked to stay late and work. So the dinner plans fell through as did dreams of a long swim. I didn't want to drive myself to the pool after a long day, so it was a victory that I went. It was crowded, but I managed 1500 yards before conceding my lane to another waiting swimmer.

Today I'll lace up after work for a 45-minute run. I have the Malibu Night Half Marathon this weekend, so I'm keeping the midweeks lowkey. Looking forward to a trail run under the stars!

Monday, March 5, 2012

174 Days...

Today's grab bag workout was a Beach Cruiser ride!

More and more I accept the importance of taking time away from the training mentality and just enjoying life. Because frankly, a life is made up of the dozens and hundreds and thousands and billions of seconds that pass us by. Some days, riding the Beach Cruise around town is workout enough.

So today I took a "rest day" mentally. I enjoyed the cruise to work on Jolly, my red bike. I enjoyed riding him to lunch - a delicious salad and wrap from Jackson Market. And I thoroughly enjoyed my ride home. Just me and that sunset and some traffic.

Sometimes life isn't measured in miles. It's measured in sunsets.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

175 Days...

Today's workout:
Bike: 22.44miles/1hr15sec
Swim: 3500yards/60mins

My garmin 310xt (the new one) is giving me hell. Apparently the Training Center Software (version 3.6.5) is the culprit of the rapid-fire auto pause and GPS dropout. I came to this conclusion after a very frustrating ride this morning. Within a minute of starting, the autopause fired off. I was angry, but rode anyway.

When I returned, I mapped out my ride and used the "Time" data (which is the only part that is accurate) to fill in the blanks for rpm, HR and calories. Did some research on the problem: uninstalled 3.6.5 Training Center and replaced with an older version. I hope this solves the problem or else Garmin will be receiving an unfriendly customer support call.

Went to the pool aiming for 45 minutes of stroke work. I was all agitated about my ride so I pounded out some sprints. Then calmed and did some pull bouy and paddle work. Efficient workout!

Sign on the exit door of the 24hr Fitness pool. I appreciate the encouragement!

Tomorrow is a grab bag day. I get to do whatever I want. It's part of my "compassionate training" mentality. The sunrise will decided - run, Insanity, bike, yoga or nothing at all.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

176 Days Until Ironman Canada

Only a quick summary of the past 24 hours...

Last night I laced up for a rare evening run. Having slept in Friday morning, I owed the IM gods a 45 minute workout. However, I decided that with my 5AM wake up on Saturday morning, I'd go easy on myself and only do 30 minutes.

Friday night run: 4.21miles/33 minutes ... blazin' speeds for me. A 7:49 average, which - 18 months ago - was normal. But 10 months ago was a dream. Happy to have a little bit of my step back.

Sunrise, Balboa Park. Team in Training Warriors Home Base

Saturday Workout: Coached the ever-awesome San Fernando Valley Marathon team through a 6-mile workout. I logged 8.3 for the day, which includes a fair amount of slow running and walking. Followed it up with 3200 yards in the drink in 59 minutes. Feeling good, amphibian-wise.

The bike and another hour in the pool await me tomorrow!

Friday, March 2, 2012

177 Days til Canada

The drawback of sleeping in is that you have to do your workout at night. After work. When your brain is tired. I used to enjoy running in the evenings after work when I lived near Griffith Park. But now that I'm in a more urban (ie traffic lights and cement) area, I'm less inclined to get out there post-sunset.

I do have two gyms (work gym and 24 Hr) that I can go to. But man, I hate the treadmill!

That said, today's run will be an evening one. And the weekend is also looking packed!
Today's Workout: 45 minute run
Saturday's Workout: Coaching TNT w 6miles; 60min Run; 60min Swim.
Sunday's Workout: 60min Bike; 45min Swim.
"Any idiot can train himself into the ground; the trick is working in training to get gradually stronger." Keith Brantly.

Almost done with Training Week 1!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

178 Days til Canada

Today's Workout:60-min bike ride.
Results: 18.70 miles / 1:02:03

With my new watch strapped to my wrist and the appropriate "chilly" apparel on, I rode down to the Pacific Ocean and back for today's workout. Focused on spending time in aero position to make sure my neck and shoulders and back get used to being dropped down and my core is engaged.

Later in the day, caught an article about Tabata sprints (which I normally think of as 20sec on/10sec off) for biking. Bicycle Lab provides evidence from experiments showing 30secs of "on" or "sprint" threshold with 4m30sec of "off" or "recovery" work is valuable in making quick cardio gains.

I first read about Tabata Sprints on Mark's Daily Apple, and I used them to train for the NYC Marathon in '09, which still is my PR. Coincidence? Probably not. Maximum results with minimal time spent. Good stuff.