"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went" - Will Rogers

Friday, February 27, 2009

much better...

Thursday evening:

After two complete recovery/rest days from any training I was ready to get on with the next routine on the training schedule - a recovery week 30 minute tempo run but I modified that slightly to run 4 miles instead in the health club. Warmed up by running 2 miles on the track then jumping treadmill for a mile in 7:26 with then a cool-down one mile run. Total time was 34:32 with an average HR of 128bpm and max HR at the end of the flying tempo mile of 148bpm...felt much better both during & after this run :-)


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

short-term burnt out...

Monday evening:

Got to the bike shop after work to start the first class of the 2nd six week Computrainer 90 minute winter class session. Now that I’m back on the ‘ole Cannondale specifically for trainer purposes the good news from that is I have all my Polar telemetry back via my infamous chart; HR, distance, cadence and speed…yeah! Tonight’s class was its usual drills, intervals, stomps, etc but at a slight higher and longer intensity. Since I took my FTP test the day before and my average wattage was now set at 263 I would be training myself now for the next level of cycling performance. As my legs & body were still flogged from the previous 5 days of running/cycling training I did my best to attempt to train this night at my 263 watt setting for class but at about 25 minutes into class I had to have the coach turn my training down to 220 watts if I was going to survive the 90 minute class. As I was able to ride better at this point I recovered to the point were with 25 minutes left in class I had Coach Linda turn the wattage up slightly to 235 watts which was fine for the remaining portion of class.

My max wattage for a standing stomp came in at 740 watts…that’s down from the previous week’s wattage but I was now back on the old bike again which has 650cc wheels and they don’t make sticky trainer tires for that size wheel like I have on the 700cc Ridley…excuses ;-) My average HR for the 90 minute class came in at 115bpm with a max during a stomp of 141bpm. My average cadence was low for me during the class at 82rpm and a max cadence during the first spin-up drill of 136rpm as my average pace for the ride was at 16.8mph and max of 30.6mph during the second spin-up drill.

Below is my techy Polar chart which verifies via my average HR & max HR that I’m presently over-training and not recovering properly…stubbornness I guess but I have forced myself to take complete rest days for any sort of running and/or biking on Tuesday & Wednesday of this week to recharge my batteries :-)



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FTP TT testing results are in...

Sunday afternoon:

So I packed up the car with all the biking goodies and headed over to Village Cycle Sport in Arlington Heights for my scheduled FTP (functional threshold power) assessment test via the Computrainer computerized set-up. The test day consists of a 20 minute warm-up with four - 1 minute interval blasts that ramp-up from 70%, then 80%, 90% and then finally 100% wattage you expect to hold during the actual 30 minute Time Trial testing process. I noticed during my warm-up process my HR was not getting into the proper zones per effort I was riding the specific percentage effort at per warm-up interval…I wasn’t too concerned as I figured I would be in my proper HR zones during the actual test plus I was riding the old Cannondale once again.

Then you get a five minutes break time to stretch, use the rest day, nutrition & hydrate properly or anything else you might keep to due before the testing starts…that 5 minutes fly’s by…

So then the 5 riders testing (8 were registered so 3 were no shows…scared away?) hop back on our bikes for a couple minutes spin-up before the Coach starts the 30 minute Time Trial test. Within the first 60 to 90 seconds of a Time Trial I know exactly where my HR should be and in this test it take a minute or two longer since its not like outdoors. By minute 3 of today’s Computrainer FTP test I know that my legs are not listening to what my mind is requiring from them today. Then by minute ten I’m trying to push a smaller gear on the rear cassette but my legs are screaming at me but I keep pushing thru it. At the 15 minute halfway point I’m averaging 255 watts for the test so I work harder negative split this (good) torture.

I’m constantly on a minute basis looking for the right gear on my bike to push at a proper cadence for my TT style which is at about 95rpm. Every time I choose a smaller gear on the bike about 30 seconds into it my cadence drops way down to around 75rpm which is not right forcing me to select an easy gear to recover and I repeat this process through minute 25 where I through all caution to the wind and just went for it pedal to the floor. As I was gasping for air, lunges & legs on fire I finished the test with an average wattage reading of 263 (last year I tested at the small time at 283 watts on properly recovered legs)…not bad on some severally fatigued legs going into this FTP test.

Below I have provided my infamous Polar HR graph for my stat’s during this test. In 30 minutes I covered 10.9 miles with an average rate of speed of 21.7mph and a max speed near the end of 30.1mph. My average cadence for the ride was 94rpm with a max cadence of 104rpm. The true indicator here is my average HR was only 143bpm and my max HR was only 154bpm which confirms by current state of over-training & not enough proper recovery. Normally I can ride these FTP tests with an average HR of 160bpm and a max HR of about 170bpm…my heart just didn’t want to do it this day…oh well…live and learn plus at least I now know what I can ride on fatigued legs & body ;)



Monday, February 23, 2009

back to old school...

Sunday morning:

After tweaking my old Cannondale tt/tri bike after it was re-assembled to get it ready again specifically for Computrainer class and riding it on my Kinetic trainer at home I needed to take it for a shake-down spin on the trainer in the house to make sure the shifters were working right, seat height was correct along with handlebar at the proper angle before my bike shop cycling test on this bike later in the day.

All went well on the bike during the super easy recovery ride for 30 minutes but even at this easy bike pace my legs were tired. I covered 7.4 miles with an average rate of speed of 14.7mph and a max speed of 20.6mph while testing the big 56t chainring up front. Average HR was nice and low at 94bpm with a max on the short interval of 117bpm plus an average cadence of 87rpm.

So the bike was more than ready for the biking Computrainer test but would my legs be???


running on a belt...

Saturday morning:

As we received some snow accumulation over Friday night and continuing thru Saturday morning I opted out of driving down to the lakefront to get in my scheduled 90 minute run and drove right to our health club close to home to get the run in on the treadmill for that time duration. I didn’t have the option of running on Sunday morning as I had my scheduled 30 minute FTP TT bike test that afternoon so I needed somewhat fresher legs for that workout.

As I hopped on the HC treadmill at 7am and started out easy to build-up the pace that I needed to run at right from the get-go my legs were still very tired from the hard week of training. Even as I got the pace at where I needed to run is at my legs were exhausted the whole time…over-training with not enough recovery time! I pushed on to get in the 90 minute run which I covered 10.6 miles during that timeframe with a mile pace of 8:29. My average HR was at 132bpm which is where it should be for a run of this time indoors and I maxed my HR 148bpm with 5 minutes left in the run so I was able to negative split the last 45 minutes.

Afterwards I walked the HC track to cool down and realized that my legs felt like cooked noodles ;-)


Sunday, February 22, 2009


Friday evening:

After picking up my old tri-bike from the LBS for specific trainer purposes now I went out for a 3.4 mile run in the neighborhood region in 32:09...my legs & body were flogged still from the 400 meter repeats the night before...ouch!!!


Friday, February 20, 2009

got those 400's in the book...

Thursday evening:

Week number two had scheduled intervals on the 12 week Hal Advanced half marathon training program as 7 by 400 meter intervals with 90 seconds (or a 10th of a mile) of recovery time in between each one. I ran these at the health club due to weather and ran a 2 mile warm-up on the indoor track and then went down to the treadmills for the 400 intervals…below are my repeats time with average & max HR per each:

1:42 – AHR 150bpm – MHR 156bpm
1:40 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 156bpm
1:42 – AHR 146bpm – MHR 156bpm
1:41 – AHR 149bpm – MHR 157bpm
1:40 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 156bpm
1:42 – AHR 146bpm – MHR 157bpm
1:39 – AHR 147bpm – MHR 157bpm

Ran a cool-down mile afterwards on the track as it was quite warm & humid in the field house tonight. My times at this point still aren’t where they need to be especially running them on a treadmill. I covered a total of 5.6 miles in 50:03 with an average HR of 131bpm…another good run in the books :-)


Lunch time boredom...

besides the iPod and song can anyone guess what else is in the picture?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

now that felt right...

Tuesday evening:

Before I could get in my tempo run at the health club I rushed over to the bike shop after work before they closed to drop off my original components to be re-installed on my old Cannondale TT/Tri-bike so I can specifically use this bike as my trainer ride whether it be on my Kinetic trainer and/or on the bike shop Computrainer set-up plus I can always used the bike outdoors if the weather is foul outside…they tell me it should be done no later than Thursday evening…FTP 30 minute Time Trial Computrainer test this Sunday so I hope I haven’t forgotten on how to ride this bike ;-)

So I eventually made it to the health club not too late to start my 45 minute tempo run but I forgot to pack running socks…no fret as I ran via triathlete mode with no socks in the running shoes. I ran my first 2.4 miles via the track at the health club (5 laps to a mile) which works out well for me as I’m properly warmed up for the real tempo portion on the treadmill which was a 1 degree incline for 15 minutes which I covered 2 miles with an average HR of 146bpm and a max HR at the finish of the ramp up at 156bpm.

After that was completed I went back upstairs to the track to run my one mile cool-down portion. My total run time was 45:50 and I covered 5.4 miles during that timeframe with an average HR for the whole run duration of 132bpm.

That tempo run felt really good and I like this set-up for these style runs as the treadmill keeps me honest on the speedy stuff ;-)


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

an odd night at computrainer class...

Monday evening:

Got to the bike shop in time for the final session of the first six week Computrainer 90 minute class. Tonight’s class was its usual drills, intervals, stomps, etc but at a slight higher and longer intensity. I still haven’t been able to get my Polar cadence & speed transponders to work on the new tt/tri-bike so hence no graph is being provided this week for those of you that might be following my progress over the last 5 weeks…sorry. I felt ok on the bike during the class with little energy I had in my system but I let it fly on the stomps in the last section of the class. My max wattage for a standing stomp came in at 768 watts…that’s 48 watts higher than last weeks best stomp as my average watts for the 90 minute class came in at 196 which was the same as last week but at a tougher training level. My average HR for the 90 minute class came in at 120bpm with a max during a stomp of 150bpm. Also during the pace line spin drills I was comfortably able to hold a 132rpm cadence per the Computrainers program. A good class as on Sunday February 22nd I have my first FTP (functional threshold power) test at the bike shop via a 30 minute Time Trial effort.

On a different note I was informed the week before and on Monday night that I might want to reconsider using my all carbon fiber new Ridley Dean on the Computrainer and/or via a stationary trainer due too flexing especially in the seat stay/post region. My coach and the shop mechanics recommend not using my bike in the rigid rear wheel floor trainers. So I had the joy after class to find all my old Cannondale tri-bike components at home to have that bike put back together for a trainer specific bike to train on…it was an interesting night to say the least…


just a spin...

Sunday morning:

Rode the Ridley Dean tri-bike via my Kinetic trainer for 45 minutes as I watched a DVD of the 2005 TdF mountain stage 14 for continued motivation as Chicagoland winter has returned. Recovery and adaptation ride to get used to the new bike. All went well as flushed out my tired running legs with an average HR of 103bpm and max HR at minute 39 of 130bpm...


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

grey sky day...

Saturday morning:

On the training schedule was a 90 minute 3/1 workout so it was business as usual at the lakefront path as always. I calculated the run into two timeframes; the first 60 minutes at a comfortable long half marathon training pace and finish off the last 30 minutes of the run with a stronger pace to simulate running though race fatigue. I ended up covering 11 miles in the 90 minute timeframe with an average HR of 138bpm and a max HR of 152bpm at about minute 72 of the run. Below are my splits times with average HR:

58:51 – AHR 134bpm
31:09 – AHR 146bpm

The run fell fine but my legs didn’t respond well & consistent during the last 30 minutes when the run matter the most. I guess my legs really weren’t properly recovered from the first week of speedwork during the 12 week session…but the run is in the books which is what matters the most!


recovery spin...

Friday morning 02.13.2008:

Rode the tri-bike via the Kinetic trainer for an easy recovery spin of 45 minutes. Since my Polar cadence and speed sensors are still not cooperating the only data I have is HR for which my average was 98bpm and max at 122bpm...


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday morning...

down by Diversey Harbor...brrr!

Friday, February 13, 2009

sweating indoors...

Thursday evening:

Ran my first 40 minute tempo run of the 12 week training program at the health club. Consisted of a 2.4 mile warm-up on the indoor track then popped on the treadmill from the pick-up portion of 1.3 miles then back on the track for a 1 mile cool-down. During the 1.3 mile tempo zone which I ran in 9:47 with average HR at 147bpm and a max at the end of 155bpm - Total run time was 40:36 for 4.7 miles plus an average HR of 134bpm and max of HR of 157bpm...a great tempo run for me!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

felt good...

Tuesday evening:

So it was my 1st scheduled interval on the 12 week Hal Advanced half marathon training program which actually called for 6 by hills but we have no hills within our direct region so I substituted 6 by 400 meter intervals instead with 90 seconds of recovery time in between each one. The last time I did any form of interval running workout was on 10.02.08 just 9 days before the 2008 Chicago Marathon. The running fast twitch muscles have not been used in quite a long time but I was glad to get back to them outdoors last night in the nice weather we were having. I ran a 2.2 mile warm-up in the neighborhood region as I leapt into the first 400 after my body was properly at temperature…below are my repeats time with average & max HR per each:

1:41 – AHR 145bpm – MHR 153bpm
1:38 – AHR 143bpm – MHR 155bpm
1:40 – AHR 143bpm – MHR 155bpm
1:39 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 156bpm
1:40 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 155bpm
1:37 – AHR 147bpm – MHR 158bpm

Ran a cool-down 1.3 miles afterwards as I reflected on my first interval workout in 4 months time and I was quite happy I didn’t forget how to run them and I was able to brick them time wise close together. My times at this point aren’t where they need to be but that will come back in the next couple interval workouts. I covered a total of 5.4 miles in 50:30 with an average HR of 129bpm…great run in the un-seasonally warm weather :-)


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

suffering is a good thing now and then...

Monday evening:

Week four of bike shop Computrainer 90 minute coached workout completed with the new Ridley Dean TT/Tri Bike for the first time. The bike feels fantastic and so much different than my old Cannondale. Only 4 riders showed up for class so the other 4 slots on the trainers were vacant, maybe those folks were gonna ride outside on Tuesday as the temps are forecasted to be in the low 60 degrees. My average HR was at 122bpm with a max HR near the very end on a stomp interval of 154bpm. My baseline watts used for my profile is still at 245 with a max class wattage output of 720 during the last 200% stomp technique as my average 90 minute class wattage was at 179 for the evening. Class was great yet again tonight as it will take a few more rides on the new bike before my body adjusts properly to its geometry set-up. I was fatigued going into class by felt better when I was done…


Here is my Polar HR graph from the session but you have probably noticed my cadence, distance and mph missing from the chart. I’m having a challenge getting the Polar sensors to work properly on the new carbon fiber bike as my old Cannondale was aluminum…I’ll get that stuff dialed in soon I promise…I need data!


Monday, February 9, 2009

a pleasing run...

Sunday late afternoon:

Finally after DirecTV showed up on the .dot at 4pm and replacing our hd satellite LNB – transponder arm I was able to get out and run my new training programs required 3 mile recovery run just as the sun was setting and the full moon was raising. My legs were tired but I knew I needed to keep this recovery run at a very controlled low HR pace. I ran the easy 3.1 miles in 28:40 with an average HR of 124bpm with a controlled max HR of 130bpm. It’s been quite awhile since I have had to run just a 3 mile run but it felt quite refreshing and stress-free…



Sunday morning:

Slept in a little bit on before I decided to hop on the new Ridley Dean TT/Tri Bike via the rear wheel Kinetic Road Machine inside the homestead. The night before I had installed my Polar Cadence & Speed sensors which were working properly at that time but did not work at all while I was riding on the trainer…I’ll sort that out at a later date but at least the Polar HR info charted.

I spun some easy gears during the 45 minutes I rode the bike getting used to the feel of this new machine as it felt absolutely fantastic. As my legs were still fatigued from the 2/1 – 10 mile run the day before I didn’t have a lot of energy in my batteries but even while spinning the bike for 45 minutes I could notice a huge difference compared to my old cannondale tt/tri bike. My average HR for the ride was at a low 98rpm with a max HR of 123bpm near minute 37. Few things I noticed to tweek is moving the seat about 5mm forward and lowering the seat nose angle by a few mm’s also…otherwise this bike is dialed in!

Also I watched stage 11 yet again of the 2005 TdF for continued motivation via the dvd player…


12 weeks till Indy Mini...

I have started my training towards the 12 week Hal Higdon Advanced half marathon training that officially kicked off today for my favorite spring time race...the Indy Mini on May 2nd 2009. Also this is my spring goal race for Team Red Bull where I'm looking to run the half in under 1:37:22. I'm looking forward to the challenge since it really has been some time since I've had a running race goal as 2008 was more of a multisport year for myself.

I have worked on my aerobic running base over the last 5 weeks and feel ready for the next 12 weeks of training towards my goal race!
Saturday morning:

K and I headed down to Lake Michigan as always for our early Saturday morning long run with our winter training friends. Since themps were to to get near 50 degrees today the lakefront path was swarming with all sorts of people due to the nice weather. The wind was quite brutal out of the SW at a constant 22mph with gusts over 30mph. Kristen started earlier than the group as her schedule had her running 19 miles today as she prepares for the Lakefront 50k on April 4th.

The group started at 8am as K ran 14 miles with them as I headed out on my 10 miler. Since my training plan really starts tomorrow I decided to use todays run as a test 2/1 run. I ran at solid, comfortable pace heading southwards into the strong winds until the turn-around point for myself at the 5 mile point. After I turned around I picked up the pace as a tailwind helped some put by my HR I knew the pace was quicker.

I ended up finished the 10 mile run strongly in a time of 1:25:25 which is a mile pace of 8:32 and an average HR of 138bpm plus a max HR with the last half mile of 156bpm. I negative split the run as you can see below:

1st 5 miles: 43:56 - AHR 133bpm
2nd 5 miles: 41:23 - AHR 144bpm

I felt good out there today as this test helps to boost my confidence for the goal I have set for the Indy Mini in May :-)

Of course afterwards we all went out for a much needed meal at a local establishment named Nookies in Chicago!


recovery run...

Friday evening:

Simple recovery run since the last time I ran was last Sunday after the doubles weekend. In the neighborhood region I covered 4.1 miles in 37:15 with an average HR of 126bpm as I dodged the puddles of water & ice from the snow melt off during the day...


Friday, February 6, 2009

it's alive...

The big day arrived as the Ridley Dean was all built-up and ready for fitment at my friend Vinces bike shop VCS. He threw me on the trainer as I worked up a sweat under the shop lights as he dialed in my fitment using the certified FIST fitting technique and years of his knowledge...this is sure one sweet ride!!!
...since I'm 6'4" I still dwarf the large framed Ridley...they only needed to cut off 2cm off the frameset seat post...
Can't wait to get this thing outdoors in attack mode via the 1st outdoor TT of the season around here on April 5th :-)


Puppy Obi turned six months old this week :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Looky here...

what just arrived...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the next step is in motion...

A shot of the frameset at home before everything went back to the bike shop last night for the build-up today...I didn't have the heart to take off the shipping padding from the frame before I took these photos :-) my digital camera doesn't seem to like the tungsten lighting from the Arri 650 watt source hence why the whites are dingy!!!

Fitment for me on the Dean will take place later towards the weekend so I shall post some photo's of the finished product once it returns home :-)


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

lbs class...

Monday evening:

Week three of bike shop Computrainer 90 minute coached workout completed...I had my old shimano 175mm left crank-arm put on the bike and the right side one was still the Grafton 177.5mm crank…it was only for one night. The 8 rider set-up was full with various longer drills, intervals & routines this week being slightly longer yet again to work on base conditioning. I rode 27.5 miles for an average pace of 18.4mph and a max pace of 36.7mph during a spin-up drill. Average HR was at 128bpm with a max HR near the end on an interval of 154bpm. My average cadence was low for me at 88rpm with a max cadence during the spin-up at 156rpm. My baseline watts used for my profile is at 245 with a max class wattage output of 456. I averaged 176 watts during the 90 minute class.

Great class yet again with alot of motivation provided by all...next week the the new bike will be used.


my polar HR chart from the class

a nice hilly run...

Sunday morning 02.01.09:

Kristen & I headed out to Barrington Hills for our 2nd mid-long run of the weekend which is the Home Economist 10.6 hilly miles loop. About 35 runners showed up on this slightly warmer day (32*) as we all headed out at 7am. I ran with K and a group of 10 until about mile 3.5 when Kristen said go ahead as I saw a group of three of my track friends up the road about a mile in front of us...the carrot was in place for the slow reel in. I ended up finally catching them with 1.5 miles left in the run as I ran it in to the finish with my friends. My run time was 1:38:14 for a mile pace in the hills of 9:15 with an average HR of 132bpm and a max HR climbing a rolling hill during the chase down of 147bpm...the aerobic base training continues!

I was amazed at how well I felt just 24 hours after running 13 miles down by the lakefront...Kristen felt the same way :-)


Monday, February 2, 2009

the call...

I just got the call the ceramic BB & SRAM cranks are in the shop...drop-off is tomorrow for the Ridley Dean build-up!!!


a great day for a run...

Saturday morning 01-31-2009:

As we usually do K & I headed down to Lake Michigan to get in the long training run for the week. We met up with all our friends at 8am so it wasn’t an early for day for us this week as K only needed to run 12 miles this week and I bumped it to 13 miles. Since it was nice & warm out when we started at 25 degrees a lot of folks from the group showed up today but the winds were quite brutal out of the SW at 20mph with 30mph gusts…brrrrrr!

I ran about the first 1/3rd of a mile with everyone and as they headed northwards I went southward decided to tackle to headwind start on for the first 6.5 miles to get that challenge out of the way. Since I’m still in a mid-mileage aerobic base training phase I needed to keep my HR in a certain BPM zone. At the turn-around I stopped for 45 seconds to take a couple thermolyte tabs, one eGel and hydrate properly with my 1st endurance EFS & Carboload fluids from the fuel belt and off I set back northward 6.5 miles. The funny thing I have noticed about running long on the lakefront path is even when you think you should have a tail-wind the wind is still hitting you hard because of all the big buildings funneling strong winds out of the west at you…it builds character!

I ended up running the 13 miler in 1:55:58 which is an aerobic building mile pace of 8:55 with an average HR of 140bpm. I have been working on my stronger finishes on these mid-distance runs so I maxed my HR at the end at 153bpm plus I turned a negative split of just over two minutes on the final 6.5 miles…the run felt great :-)

Afterwards is was off to our favorite breakfast place, Schuba’s http://www.schubas.com/ on Belmont for a great feast for all :-)