Monday, June 29, 2009


So yesterday's run was supposed to be a 10k time trial. I did my warmups and planned on doing 6 laps + 200m around the 1 mile bark loop trail. Starting off, I took it a little easy at an 8:45 pace, which felt okay. My 2nd loop was about an 8:50, but the 3rd was a 9:07. After that, my legs had nothing left in them at all. Last 3 miles were 9:20, 9:43, and 9:58. Total: 55:37 or a 9:16 average, but it felt like HELL. Just a bit over a month ago, I cheerfully ran an "easy slow" 9 miles at a 9:22 pace and felt great. My last 10k in an Oly triathlon was 50:29 (8:24 pace), and that's after over an hour of biking and some swimming thrown in, not just a running time trial. WTH??

So I'm left wondering what the heck is wrong. I slept well, ate well, I feel healthy and rested. Why is my endurance shot to hell? I'm in my 5th week of the Crossfit Endurance plan, and I was hoping that I would at least be on par with what I was doing beforehand.

I've got a couple of theories going, but only time will tell which is right:

1) It was a fluke, we all have bad days and heaven knows, I've had bad workouts before

2) My body is still adjusting to the much higher intensity of the Crossfit Endurance workouts. Given another month or two, I will have adapted better and will be way faster

3) Intense workouts are great, but my body is really built for endurance, it's what it does best. So I'm short-circuting my natural abilities by focusing on faster work, and that's why I'm now slower.

4) All this short fast stuff has just shot my endurance to hell and my Oly triathlon in August is going to be a death slog of epic proportions.

Needless to say, I'm hopeful that it's #1 or #2. I've committed to this CFE plan until my Oly triathlon on August 23. If I'm wrong, that means I've only got about 3 weeks afterward to try to regain some endurance before my half-Iron in September. It's a gamble. Stay tuned and we'll see how it turns out...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Swim Workout: Long IMs and Short Intervals

It was a pool day (our Master's group alternates Saturdays at the lake with Saturdays in the pool), so this was the workout I put up for today. The "Long IM" set is done with medium intensity in freestyle and focus on your stroke sets. The sprint 25s are done with an absolute 10 second rest and are all out.

Warmup: 300 Free 100 Kick 200 Drill 100 Kick 100 Stroke 100 Kick
2 x 150 Pull Build

Main Sets:
150 Free
150 Long IM (Fly Free Back Free Breast Free)
100 Free
150 Long IM
50 Free
150 Long IM
50 EZ

3 x
(10 x 25 Hard, @ 10. sec rest
50 EZ)

Cool Down: 2 X 150 Pull, focus on using reaching forward, engaging lats
200 Swim, keep the lats engaged

3400 yards

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back in the Land of Low Tech

I'm at my mom's, with a dial-up connection after a week in the hinterlands of no-tech, low-tech seems almost fast. Funny how speed is all relative. I didn't do a ton of actual workouts this week. I brought my jumprope and a mat and did some bodyweight exercises when the killer mosquitoes weren't trying to eat me alive. Did you know that when you start sweating, it sends some kind of pheromonal signal to the entire mosquito population of the lake/wetlands you're camped next to and they arrive en masse and take battle formations over your body? I seriously look like I've got a case of the measles. I did get three runs in, and one amazing swim (wait until you see the photos I took of the lake, it seriously is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I've swum in a lot of beautiful places), and Mackenzie and I took the kayaks out for four days, plus hiking around the Lava Beds National Monument, in caves, around Captain Jack's Sronghold.

All in all, we had enough activity to keep me feeling great, enough downtime to devour three novels (can't remember when the last time I did that was!) Mackenzie worked his way through the first several of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. We brought my guitar, which Mackenzie is learning to play and we bought a couple of cowboy hats just because that's the kind of corny folks we are. Our camp rule was that you had to be wearing your cowboy hat to play the guitar by the campfire. Plus, it kept my head from burning. I forgot to bring my running hat though and I'm here to tell you that cowboy hats don't work well for running. At all.

Today I get to see Asa in the play she's been rehearsing all week (the Missoula Children's Theatre production of Jack and the Beanstalk) and then we're headed for home.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Training On the Road

Lots going on around here. My new Crossfit Endurance training has been going great, it feels very different to do so much shorter stuff, and no real long distance. This week has been crazy in so many ways. If you read my Blue Skies blog, you know that my daughter Asa's cat died of antifreeze poisoning. We're taking off in an hour to take Asa down to my mom's house for a week of a theatre camp, and Mackenzie and I are going camping, hiking, and kayaking for a week. So I'll be no-tech for at least a week, just doing my training and enjoying the great outdoors. It will honestly be nice to get away and maybe the pain of losing such a sweet pet will lessen a little bit being away from home.

Hope you all have a terrific week. Blue Skies from me.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Committing To A New Plan

So those of you intrepid readers who actually attempt to follow my meandering thoughts here probably fall into one of two categories. One who are already experiencing, or who are interested in the concept of the new workout experience in my life that is Crossfit. And the others, perhaps dedicated triathletes or other endurance athletes who really could care less to hear about lifting big hunks of iron or throwing medicine balls at walls.

If you're in the second group, you can tune me out about now, because I'm about to throw even more of my training eggs into the Crossfit basket. I'm embarking on full-scale Crossfit Endurance training, replacing any of my LSD (no, even though I live in the hippy holdout capitol of the universe, that doesn't refer to a mind-altering drug, it's Long Slow Distance training) with much more focused, targeted, shorter, more intense triathlon workouts. The reasoning behind this? As the Crossfit Endurance (CFE) website claims:

Studies demonstrate that the adaptations caused by anaerobic training are similar to high volume endurance training, however, this adaptation comes at much lower training volumes

As a very busy homeschooling mom, I'm extremely intrigued by the concept of training for endurance and ultra-endurance events on a much lower time commitment in terms of training hours. I'm willing to up the intensity of the hours I put in if it means more time with the family. But does it work? That's the big question of course. So since I have a good long-standing baseline of my triathlon times in various distances, I'm giving it a go for this summer's Olympic distance triathlon. With several months of CFE training under my belt, as well as my regular Crossfit workouts, I should be able to tell whether I'm: A) At par with my regular performance, B) Blowing my regular performance expectations away on a shortened schedule or C) Whether there really is no substitute for putting in the miles.

Based on the results of my Olympic triathlon, I'll decide whether to add back in some distance work for my September Half-Ironman.

So far I am on Week One of the total commitment to the CFE schedule. So instead of my usual Sunday Long Run (I'm sure you're all familiar with that one), I headed to the marked mile loop to do short time trials at high intensity. I have to say, the feeling afterwards with only 40 minutes of running was similar to last week's 10 miler, so maybe there's something in it after all.

Stay Tuned as the Experiment Continues.....