Thursday, July 26, 2012

We grew up and starting running; good luck Skip

One of my best friends, Geoff Fuller (aka Skip), a gentleman that will be in our wedding is running a 50 mile ultra this weekend. We text and speak about doing this stuff all the time. 

Skip and I both played baseball together in college and also lived together. It's amazing that we grew up from playing little league to running further than people should. I wish I could be at Skip's race this weekend but since I'm not I wanted to send him off right. 

No not with a keg of beer but first with an excerpt from the book Walden. Considering Skip took all his roommates in college to the movie Into the Wild at some low budget theater before it was a hit, I think this will sit well with him during the Ultra. 

The second is a video I got a few people to make for him. I even asked our college baseball coach, Coach Verdugo to be in it. Coach told me to wish Skip the best but that his "SD card" on his phone was going haywire. (I'm pretty sure coach knew the video would get out of control, which it obviously did!) 

And, Skip please share my apologies to Emily for not including her in the video but I do not have her number or email and you know how creepy a Facebook message is. 

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary."
-Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 7 in cost/benefit mode

(Written on a plane from Seattle to San Francisco, posted whenever you see this.)

This weeks training was a little interesting and unique. I traveled for work to Ragnar Northwest Passage on Wednesday afternoon through Sunday (when this blog was written on the plane). Before the trip I tried to squeeze every last drop of life out of training that I could. Long swims of 3,700 yards and 4,000 yard on Monday and Wednesday mornings, along with a recovery bike on Monday evening then put in a good thrashing on Tuesday. 

I decided to finally try Sergio's Tuesday brick workout (bike plus transition run). I've avoided it because you have to bring your bike along with trainer, turns out not to be that big of a hassle. It ended up not being that tough on the bike but on the run after. Particularly "Debbie's Hill", a hill that seems like Mt. Everest when running up the side at full blast as Sergio instructed. 

At the hotel on Thursday morning I planned to do an interval workout on whatever stationary bike the hotel had to offer for an hour before the participants arrived. This turned into an interval on an elliptical when the hotel's stationary bike was broken. Then it was off to the races.

Unlike last year, I was not a registered participant. Only the chaperone/driver of one of the vans for the Ragnar journey. With a 10:00am start time on Friday and no finish insight sooner than mid-day Saturday I planned to run along side someone as the weekend progressed. I ran on an eleven mile leg with another person with diabetes named Scott from Spokane, Washington. Over the past five years Scott has done five Ironman's so I had a lot to ask him about making the eleven miles go by quickly as the sun set and we avoided near crashes with cars along farms in Northern Washington state. 

Then Saturday came with nearly no sleep (two hours in the drivers seat of a van).  I weighed the cost of running another leg. My blood sugars were going up and up from the lack of sleep along with excessive snacking on "fake" food in the van so the exercise would really help. Though, I couldn't help but remember when my IT band was tight for some time following Ragnar last year. It's not the running that will kill you, it's the stiffness from the van with the body at 0% then straight to 150% of all engines go. 

Despite how badly I wanted to exercise and knowing it would help my diabetes I decided against running. I weighed the cost benefit of running another three to six miles against the risk of injury, with the ultimate goal being Ironman it just wasn't worth it. The basal rate on my pump would just have to increase 20% until Monday's workout. 

Now that it's Sunday, despite the fluctuating blood sugars I realize what a good decision it was not to run. My hips are tight just from sitting in the van and sleeping there. Sleeping for two hours right after an eleven mile run in the upright position probably didn't help at all! It's also a firm reminder the key exercise plays in blood sugar "forgiveness". 

After the race at dinner I sat next to Bill Carlson which is always an experience. His years of endurance along with diabetes knowledge just spewing out. We talked about what he thought an A1c reading should be when training and how to manage blood sugars. Bill has done more events than most humans could ever imagine and long before it was the "sexy" thing to do; Ironman's, the Leadville 100 (a 100 mile run at elevation in Colorado), a 2:39 marathon (in Los Angeles) among many others.

Hopefully at least twelve hours of sleep tonight then a good ride tomorrow. 

"You better put your foot in the door or it'll get slammed shut."
-Bill Carlson at dinner

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 6 Training and Venue Viewing

(Written on a flight from San Diego to Seattle on July 18…posted whenever I copy and paste this to the blog.)

Jamie is a pretty special girl, so special in fact I asked her to marry once upon a time right down in Fletcher cove where the sharks swim. Last week's training combined two reminders of that special event. 

The first was on Friday evening when we went to swim along the shore line for about a mile and half starting at the cove in Solana Beach. The second was wedding venue viewing in Redlands, CA at …. [I'll let Jamie tell you about this because I don't want to spoil anything, her blog can be found here]. We thought about making a funny video for the venue research but more of those will come [can't wait to make the save the date video]. 

I'm seeing the great value in open water swimming, especially when there is such a close location. Fletcher Cove is both a beautiful and scary place. In 2008 a swimmer was killed by a shark there, a hard thing not to think about while kicking a path through kelp. Lately, the water in California has been clear, the water in the cove area so shallow that we could see the bottom. Sounds great right? Wrong, it's just foggy enough that the shadows play tricks on your mind. I had my one freak out moment when I yelled for Jamie like a little girl eliminated from a 2nd grade four square game. All was well when the shore was reached as the night air loomed and the sun was ready to set. 

That swim and the Sergio run on Thursday were the highlights of the training week. Most of the other workouts lagged in intensity and effort. I had to keep pushing forward with the reminder that some workouts are mud and some are stones but they both build a house.

At Sergio's workouts I've tried to take in all of this advice. One days easy is another days hard. That represents both training and life very well. Despite how I don't want to say this it also represents diabetes. One day things click well and another they don't but it all keeps moving forward. Sergio's workouts have helped remind me of this. Let go, move forward, swim hard, even if the water may have sharks. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 5 training and rollers

A little fun on the bike other than the big miles. James Stout, a former under 11 country tennis champion (or so his blog claims but he has yet to prove this with a trophy), let me borrow his rollers. For those non-cyclist it's basically a torture looking device that allows you to ride inside just as you would outside.

A trainer will hold the rider upright and give as much resistance as someone would want, rollers let riders fall over in a pit of shame. They don't allow for much resistance but they sure put ones ego in check and improve the pedal stroke and balance. 

James is a professional rider with a broken tailbone (not to mention a broken pancreas like mine) so he allowed me keep his rollers warm and give them a try while he's doing his aqua-jogging. I opted to video tape the feat just in case I either died or fell over in shame for laughs later. I started by leaning up against the door and without clip in shoes just like James instructed. While I put the camera in a bad spot, it's proof I stayed up. 

Big thanks to James for letting me give rollers a shot. 

In honor of the start of the Tour de France (actually it was just because we had Monday and Wednesday off work) it ended up being a big bike week. Blair and I rode four hours on Monday, rode the fourth of July with Jamie and then on Sunday rode with the X-training group through Camp Pendleton to Orange County. I totaled 195 bike miles along with 24 running and 10k in the pool. My legs were flat while running, including a 20 minute T-Run following the 78 miles on Sunday but each ride felt great. The two ice baths definitely helped keep legs fresh. 

"You don't suffer, kill yourself and take the risks I take just for money. I love bike racing."
Greg Lemond

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom day ride video

A nice celebration of our nation's freedom with a ride in North County San Diego with Jamie and Blair. 41 total miles of climbing over the course of two and a half hours. We did our most ridden loop up the Del Dios Highway past Lake Hodges and back around through beautiful Elfin Forest. Jamie's riding has gotten a lot better since the first time we made her suffer up the Del Dios hill. She will do great during her second running of the Chula Vista Challenge Triathlon. Map and video of today's ride below (and a little extra fun from Jamie at CVS). 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Four Hour Bike Ride

There are few things I like in this world more than the four hour bike ride. Most of the things I place in front of the four hour ride are obvious loves of mine; Jamie, insulin, new socks, excel (yes, the spreadsheet program). But why the four hour ride? Let me explain. 

Four hour ride recovery after cramp. 

  1. Unless you're a pro cyclist/triathlete (a la Lance Armstrong, Chrissie Wellington or Alex Bowden), it's a special day off work when you can ride that long. You can't ride that long before work or after. Making it more special like Christmas or the Easter Bunny. It isn't around all the time and when it is you're a happier person. 
  2. It's a long enough workout that you go through at least one dark point but short enough that you aren't going to come home with a saddle sore or go totally nuts while on said ride. Is four hours a long time? Yes. However, four hours is short enough that you can be home for lunch and still make the "I'm now an adult run" to Home Depot (or Menard's if you live in Eau Claire, WI) for new shower curtains
  3. But four hours is sooooo long. Exactly! It's long enough that we have left behind anyone not considered a workout freak. You have to love riding to sit on a bike that long. The "I workout three times a week" person does not join the group on the four hour ride. They will be in the back of the two hour ride, most likely with a bright green jacket and review mirror on their helmet. 
  4. The four hour ride is long enough that you can vary the distance. Do we want to take the flat route where we go 80 miles or the monster hilly route where we end up only going 50? The options are endless!
  5. The route is short enough to convince someone to ride with you. If you say to someone "let's do a century ride", you've now gone into the "o yeah about that" category. To go 100, you need to find someone who is either (1) training for the same thing as you or (2) just as nuts on that given day off work with no Home Depot run needed in their life. 
  6. It's a long enough workout for a great thrashing! You will still be able to walk the next day but long enough that you need a great recovery meal and can possibly cramp really bad while on said ride if dehydrated from the prior week (just like I did yesterday when I needed kids Petalyte afterward). 
  7. Spoiler Alert: Totally Diabetes Related! The four hour ride is THE perfect blood sugar monitor. Honestly, I want to ride four hours every Saturday from now until death because of this one thing. I literally can not screw up my blood sugars for two total days following the four hour ride (and sometimes three). The diabetes instantly becomes more forgiving following the four hour ride. You want that cake? Sure do, I'll take two units of insulin for that, three hours later I still have perfect blood sugars no matter what!
  8. Murphy's Law back up of insulin.

    The best place ever for a four hour ride. Elfin Forest.
  9. Speaking of diabetes, Murphy's Law is less present on the four hour ride. What is Murphy's Law you ask? It's the tube I keep in my cycling kit with a spare syringe filled with five units of insulin for any ride that may take me more than an hour away from home (and during races lasting more than three hours). If my pump should break during the four hour ride there would still be debate whether I need to open Murphy's Law or not. The same incident on a century ride (5-6 hour ride) would become that much more complicated.   
The one dark point in the last four hour ride.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 3 and 4 training

The last two weeks of training have been unique while building the base for the Ironman Arizona. At Insulindependence we had our captains come to San Diego for the University of Insulindependence at UC-San Diego. We trained these individuals to be local community event leaders, mentor a child and had coaches attend to give them training/nutrition advice. 

Week 3 (June 18-24) had the usual tough Sergio workout, hard Tuesday trainer ride, masters swimming and a very early Sunday morning long run before the captains came to town. 
Swim: 10,300 yards (5.85 miles)
Bike: 112 (ironic)
Run: 26.5 (ironic as well)
The reason I put the totals; notice those distances? In November I'll do all that in one day. 
Monday morning run in Del Mar, CA. Watch out for the train. 

During my week 4 (June 25-July 1) training the training load was lighter while being lucky enough to get in some good workouts along side the captains. Actually, I ended up realizing how much water I drink at my desk during the week. I felt dehydrated throughout many week 4 workouts from not keeping up my normal water and electrolytes intake. 

Jamie coaching open water swimming pointing to the heavens.
Board member Felicia, friend Tom, myself and Blair during UofIN
While in and out of a few sessions during University of Insulindependence I was able to hear a lot of good diabetes information including Dr. Bill Polonski of the Diabetes Behavioral Institute who played this funny video, Dr. Ann Peters who is Blair's doctor as well as Gary Hall Jr's and a few others. 

Sergio at the HR Test. 

The captains also did a lactic threshold heart rate test with Coach Sergio while we took down everyone's information. Jamie was the swim coach for three days with both an open water swimming portion and two pool sessions. Any time I can get swimming advice from Jamie is good for my swim stroke. 

While week 4 didn't include as much training, it included a lot of good information. Also, Jamie signed up for the Chula Vista Challenge, an Olympic Distance race in August. Next up; week 5 with the fourth of July training!