Archive for June, 2008

So for two days in a row I was out in the open for at least two hours each.  This would be early morning to noon.  Temps around 90+.

Normally I don’t mind the heat when I’m inside.  But since I’m out there, I really feel it.  I drink plenty of fluids and the ocean breeze does help a little.  I think it’s just a hot day when even the SPF 45 sunblock can’t keep the skin from becoming fried.

As of today, I’m on vacation mode.  That means, all training-related tasks are set aside so the final plans are set in motion for the trip.  Yuck–I feel like I’m going back to a flabby state already.  I should be headed out to Asia on Tuesday and be talking a different language by Thursday.   Hope I can find ways to maintain my fitness while I’m away.

Don’t know if I’m packing my GPS watch.  There is a power conversion issue, and I’d rather not pack anything I might mind losing.  It would be cool to post some data from my running over there though.  I’m sure I’ll be using my older running shoes to get around; in case I get a chance to, I’ll just get out of the hotel and start running!

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Yup, only in small marathons.

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Okay, I asked for it.  Hepatitis A and B shots.  I also have follow-up shots.  For Hep B, then next one is July 18th, and then Jan 18th.  For Hep A, next one is Dec 18th.

The nurse got me in both arms–ouch!  My friend who just happens to be a doctor said that I should try not to engage in risky activities.  Ha ha.  I got my sports to worry about.  Crazy!

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Attended a group swim/run.  Thought it would be short, but the coach said a mile swim and a 40 minute run.  Didn’t think much about it–completed the swim in slow time due to leaky goggles (new) and also helped out a new swimmer reach the mile mark.  She’s only done half-milers before.  The run was great.

I decided to watch a movie since I haven’t done it in months.  Watched Indiana Jones.  It was fun but the SciFi angle kinda pushed the story to the edge.  Would have liked the son and the psycho girl to have fallen for each other; it might have been a fun side-story.

After I got back, I did a long run of 21 miles.  Long slow distance that is.  After I got done, I was truly spent.  No energy at all.  I slept good last night!

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Fourth outing, and we completed a mile swim! Basically going to the La Jolla Shores buoy (#2) after the cove buoy (#1). The goal was to try to swim with few stops.

The sky was cloudy, and the water temp was around 64 C. There was no thermocline, so it was just cold all around. There were no swells or occasional waves, but the current did make itself felt near the second buoy.

Lifeguard boats were all around–I guess they were installing more upright buoys for summer season. The area around La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier is a no-boat zone, so those special buoys are probably for the kayakers.

Plenty of swimmers–I saw two different groups at the buoy #1 (out and then back) which was almost too funny. The second group was a bit annoyed to be interrupted from talking gossip! We ran into two groups of swimmers in the swimming lanes, but no bonking at all.

So on the way out, the moving stops were mainly for going around plants (more like forests if you ask me). We either did free stroke or breast stroke to get around these slimy things. We somehow had to wade across two croppings on the way to the buoy #1.

After a short rest at the buoy #1, we pushed on to the buoy #2. The coach made me decide whether we will do two-quarter mile out-and-backs, or just do the whole mile in one swim. I of course opted for the 1/2 mile buoy #2 option. Much easier not having to deal with getting out of the beach a second time.

So the whole session looked like this:

1 ) shore instruction, then swim to buoy #1
2 ) wade across plants at 200 meters
3 ) arrive at buoy #1, saw group of swimmers there
4 ) 2 min rest at buoy #1, then swim to buoy #2
5 ) wade around plants at 500 meters
6 ) arrive at buoy #2 and a celebration tap at the buoy!
7 ) 2 min rest at buoy #2, then swim to buoy #1
8 ) arrive at buoy #1, saw second group of swimmers there
9 ) rest at buoy #1, then swim for shore
10 ) wade across plants at 200 meters
11 ) arrive at shore and short discussion about the swim

This was a good solid outing lasting almost an hour. The coach at one point had me follow him through the plant maze, but I had to get him to slow down since his pace was fast. After that, we stayed side-to-side pretty much.

Here are a few observations I made:

1 ) I couldn’t get a comfortable rhythm going until after the first half. The water was colder and my TRI suit was bunching up in the back
2 ) I ate at least an hour before the swim. Big NO NO. Two hours minimum next time. Have you ever tried swimming with stomach full?
3 ) I swallow AIR. So I was automatically using the rest stops to burp off the air from my tummy. I guess I tend to slow down when my tummy gets big!
4 ) I found myself daydreaming between buoy #2 and #1. I thought about doing scuba diving again, because I know the topography of the land underneath the water I was swimming in. It made my swim for that segment leisurely and the coach noticed how relaxed I got.
5 ) During the wading at the last two hundred meters before the shore, my body couldn’t decide whether to rest (it didn’t want to) or to move on (just weird). I decided that the only logical solution was to keep moving. Within 10 strokes, the body felt normal again.

The coach mentioned that he didn’t doubt my ability to swim 3 miles and keep up an even effort. I guess he knew this from just knowing my solid endurance base. He did say that the whole thing about open water swimming is finding a comfort zone. Being out in the elements is different from swimming laps in the pool. I knew that instinctively.

We’ll do a few more accompanied swims until I can do 3 miles! That’s what the coach said. This is the distance from the cove to Scripps Pier and back. The coach said that in the near future, this swim will be nothing for me.

Saw a seal before we entered the water. There was no tall silver fin following so that was a good sign. (We had a shark attack that killed a triathlete only a month ago).  After the half-way point, I almost ran into a jellyfish; that would have been painful. Plenty of fish to see near the shore–just schools of multi-coloured fish without a care in the world! Some big ones showed up too!

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Track workout today

10 min easy
10 min drill

4 X 400 Z3 @ :30 sec rest
2 X 200 Z4 @ :20 sec rest
4 X 800 Z3 @ :30 sec rest
2 X 200 Z4 @ :20 sec rest

10 min cool down

Since the coach said Z3 should be 5K pace and I never ran a Z3 at a perceived 5K pace, I decided it should be around 6:30 since I can manage a 7:15 pace for a half-marathon.

So I maintained a 6:30 for each Z3 and then a 5:15 for each Z4. The 5:15 is just the number I spotted in the middle of the 200; that segment is too fast and you really only get to see your watch once. Parts of the 200 may show a lower figure, but around 5-ish is what I was going for.

This was a true track workout since it was challenging and it asked me to run at my current fitness level. I’m sure the coach would have wanted me to slow down, but my perceived 5K is spot on and I really would have felt like a slacker at anything slower than a 6:30.

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I don’t know–scheduled this visit to my old hometown way before I knew what was in store for me this year. So it will take some discipline to keep training while visiting the Philippines. Looking forward to it, but at the same time I dread having to slow down on my training.

My question for you is:

1) Are there day-use gyms that I can use in Cebu?

2) Are early-morning runs of short to moderate duration okay health-wise? What time does the smog build up when running becomes uncomfortable?

3) Does anyone know of a tri-coach I might be able to work with in Cebu? My visit is two weeks long.

I can see it now–I get so fat and come back losing at least half of my gains in the last 6 weeks. Don’t think I’d lose any of my running base because I got years of it. More concerned about the bike and the swim aspects.

So if you know some answers to my burning questions, please drop me a line. I’d really appreciate it.

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