Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 506 - A Short Jaunt Down The Road!

June 28, 2014              

Hi all! Today I started of by having two raw food "cooking" classes. After the classes, I headed out to the trail where I got to really see what riding with the latest training zones was like.

 Honestly, it felt like I was starting from the beginning. As it was v-e-r-y easy to reach my mid Zone 2 heart rate of 125 bpm. At the same time, my mind kept telling me it felt "wrong." Like I wasn't working hard enough. Sigh.  .  . I ate the date and cashew ride fuel from last week and had no issues. Those little energy blocks are very tasty

I'm working on a video of the ride to post soon. Until tomorrow my friends!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 503 - Flying On The Ocean and New Training Zones!

June 25, 2014            238 lbs

What a week! Sorry for the delay, busy, busy, busy! I made the conscious decision to put sleep before blog and it is helping. Also, I have a minor injury aka plantar fasciitis. I finally got my blood lactate results back and new heart rate training zones. To sum up how I felt when I saw the difference between my old training zones and the new, I was shocked! Here are my old zones and what I have been training with as a guide for the past year plus:

First Blood Lactate Test  (2-26-13)

Z2 Bike HR - 135-145
Z3 Bike HR - 145-160
Z4 Bike HR - 160-170

Z2 Run HR: 140-150 
Z3 Run HR: 150-165 
Z4 Run HR: 165-175

Here are my new training zones.

Second Blood Lactate Test (6-18-14)

Z2 Bike HR - 120-130
Z3 Bike HR - 130-145
Z4 Bike HR - 145-155

Z2 Run HR: 128-138
Z3 Run HR: 138-153
Z4 Run HR: 153-163

Id say that is a big difference! This explains why I felt I had to work so hard to get to my Z2 heart rate. Honestly, I should have done the test sooner as I have been training in the wrong zones for several months and not getting the most benefit from the training. Oh well, can only move forward!

I had an interesting week.

 Saturday I had a 5 hour ride. I had a raw food cooking class that I had to attend for The Boss who was out of town. I know raw food cooking class sounds like an oxymoron but it was really cool. As soon as I finished I was off to Encanto Park.

 Unfortunately I had the worse case of "gut rot" from eating way too much fiber right before the ride combined with a very large batch of a sweet smoothie.

 Made the entire ride miserable. I couldn't even get into aero position.

 I was trying a new ride fuel I made up with The Boss made from dates and cashews.


 I loved them because they were each about 200 calories and much smaller and lighter than rice cakes. But because I had an upset gut, I couldn't fairly evaluate them. So I planned to try them out again.

On Monday, The Boss had made arrangements for us to go parasailing! As a belated birthday present.

 Normally, I have a lot of trouble with heights, but this time, I had no trouble at all. I was completely comfortable. Strange. I get dizzy on a ladder!

I can't wait to do training with the new zones.

Until tomorrow my friends!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Day 496 - Blood Lactate Test 2.0

June 18, 2014                      

 Today I had my blood lactate test done at Phase IV in Santa Monica.

I had to not workout for two days prior to the test. Eat four to six hours before the test with no eating three hours before. Also, no caffeine, not that I take any.

I arrived on time and the technician, Aishea, quickly put my bike on a Comp-U-Trainer and prepped for the test.  Basically, I warmed up with light pedaling for ten minutes.  Then the test began with the resistance set at 100 watts and my blood was taken. Every four minutes, blood was taken from the side of my finger and the resistance was turned up by 25 watts. I made it too 250 watts and held it for much longer than the first test.

I finished the test and went to the beach to wait for The Boss to finish work.

I don't know why but for some time now, the ocean has called to me. I feel both happy and energized when I'm at the ocean.

  The Boss arrived finally and we went to Rawvelution where we enjoyed a fine tasty meal.

I should get the results back tomorrow or the following day. Until tomorrow my friends.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 495 - Happy Birthday To Me, A Big Decision and a RŌKA Wetsuit Discount Code!

June 17, 2014             236.8 lbs

Today is my birthday! I am 45 years old. Yesterday, I had the lowest weight yet at 236.2 lbs.
Here is the Instagram post I wrote about the occasion: 

"It took over a year for me to begin losing weight. Even with eating clean and Ironman training. My body just resisted. Incredibly frustrating and on several occasions I questioned why I was torturing myself for nothing. Finally, everything came together including a change in my attitude. I'm not vain or narcissistic, (Hint- All the selfies on my blog are for accountability!), but I do not want to be a fat Ironman. It's fine for others but not part of the vision I had of my journey. In February, I began eating 50/50% raw and cooked plant based food. It's interesting that the longer I eat raw, the less I want to eat cooked food. Over the months I have switched to eating 95% raw. So far, I have lost 20.4 lbs. I would very much like to race at around 185-195 lbs. It has not been easy, did I mention it's been frustrating! Many times I had the thought, "It's not fair that I have to work so hard to lose weight when other people can drop so easily." Remember when I said I had an attitude adjustment? I embraced finally that the situation is what it is so knuckle up and plow on. Each day I wake up and check my weight. If I've lost, great! If I haven't, it's okay as I know I will. Tomorrow is my birthday. It dawned on me last night as I ran along the beautiful coastline in Long Beach, that I can run farther and do more physically at a day away from 45 years old than I could as a teenager. If anyone would like to read about yesterday's training, please check out my blog. Sorry for the long post!"

The Boss got me GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition for my birthday. I'm going bonkers trying to decide if I should keep it or put the money towards the Cérvelo P2. As you can tell I like to take pictures, on the other, a faster bike would help my race significantly. Sigh. Poor me, there is some child starving to death somewhere and I'm whining about this. I'll figure it out.

I'm spending the day relaxing as I have a blood lactate test scheduled for tomorrow morning and along with my rest day yesterday, I'm not allowed to workout for two days prior to the test.

Unfortunately, I have developed some plantar's fasciitis in my right heal. This is an inflammation of the connective tissue at the heel. It causes the foot to be stiff and painful anytime it's not moving and just plain sore when it is. My coach is telling me to not run for a while. Hopefully, the inflammation will go away soon. I can actually still run, it just doesn't help it heal. I'm not bummed as I know I'll heal up fast eating the way I am.

I would like to give you guys a present from my coach Chris Hauth and RŌKA Sports. A 10% off coupon code for their excellent wetsuits.  Here is the code: AIMP10

(Image Copyright Roka Sports, Inc)

If you don't know about RŌKA wetsuits, their Maverick Pro was just named the fastest and most comfortable wetsuit by Triathlete magazines Gear Lab. Lava magazine voted it the #1 wetsuit for 2014. These suits are the best and sell out fast. Their Maverick Elite is a very affordable version of the Pro suit and has many of the features that make the Pro suit unique. I'm getting one of the Pro suits asap!

I have decided to do a marathon swim after Ironman Arizona. I'm thinking of swimming from Catalina Island off the California coast to Seal Beach, CA. A twenty seven mile journey. Why not?

I think that is it for today. I'm in a good place. Until tomorrow my friends!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 493 - Epic Swim, Epic Run and The Beach!

June 15, 2014               238.2 lbs

Woke up early by The Boss. Apparently we were going to a raw detoxification class at Rawkin' Juice in Burbank. So off we went. I started to get a funny feeling that maybe this had been pre arranged. I had a good time!

After the class, which I may attend again, we went to the Laural Canyon Farmers Market. What a nice market!

 We picked up all kinds goodies including some extremely tasty raw "cheese" made from nuts and chia.

 After the market, my new buddy Roland Valdez whom I met last weekend, agreed to meet in Long Beach and swim in Alamitos Bay. I got there about sixteen minutes after Roland and got dressed while he warmed up.

I spent a couple extra minutes making sure that my wetsuit was on correctly. Namely, the arms were pulled up properly to give me more shoulder mobility. Here was the assigned workout:            

Straight swim: 800 wup - 400 fast - 1000 long - 200 fast - 800 long - 100 all out.

As soon as I got in the water, I told Roland about some of my apprehension from the previous weeks triathlon swim and practice. He made sure I warmed up nice and easy and then had me practice drafting behind him a little. I was briefly reminded of the training I did with Romeo Victor to teach him how to swim and get him ready for his Ironman race a year ago.
After the warm up, we took off and I felt much better than the previous week. With each lap of the swim area, I felt more and more relaxed until by the end I was sprinting. But I lost Roland! He had finished much faster and got out to go run.

 About the time I finished and got to my car, Roland ran up.I took forever to get switched into my running stuff so he took off again wanting to do another couple miles and we said our goodbys.

My next workout was an eleven mile run with 4-8 strides at the end. So I headed to the beach!

 I had the best run. I felt great and got to see the sunset as I looked at the ocean.

 Long Beach was surprisingly colorful! The was colored lights everywhere and it had a carnival feel.

 I ran along the ocean trail until I hit the boardwalk where a few restaurants seemed to be in the way. So I ran right through them!

I got to the halfway point and saw the Catalina Express. A ship I sailed on to Catalina Island once a long time ago.
I managed to run all the way to the Long Beach Aquarium. I forgot to take any running fuel or hydration so I had to buy a bottle of $3.00 water.

 On the way back, my feet were starting to hurt, despite the new awesome Altra Instinct's. I just have a lot of weight slinging around. I could feel the nagging heal issue. My heart rate was showing up wacky so I kept going, making a mental note to get a new battery.

When I finished, I ran four strides but that was pushing things as I sprint very fast and slam my feet down. I decided to try to stay light on my feet.

When I got home, I found that both of my "index" toes was turning black from the new shoes.

Oh well, several months with the ole' black toe. No big deal.  .  .  Until tomorrow my friends.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Day 492 - A Nice Ride With The Sundown.

June 14, 2014              236.2 lbs

First up, look at that weight! The lowest I have gone since I started. I will probably be heavier tomorrow as is usual with me but I'm really excited with how my body is changing. The Boss, (aka the wife for you new readers), comments regularly about new things she has noticed.

Today I had a three and a half hour ride followed by a half hour run.  I got out to the trail later than I wanted but it was a nice day.

 I've been focusing on strict heart rate zones during my rides lately. Today my legs felt like lead though. I was pushing hard to maintain my zone two rate so I just cranked up the gears until my quads were burning.

 I've been thinking lately about my recovery and how if I do a really long ride Saturday, I'm wasted for the long run on Sunday. So today I asked Chris Hauth, my coach, if I could possibly do my long run on another day. No word yet.

 The trail was open and I was able to work on strict form. Every ride on the trail, I always have a climb at the end going up the Santa Fe Dam. And every time I go up that small but steep incline, I carefully analyze how I feel compared to the previous one. Sometimes it feels like progress is taking it's own sweet time.

 But today, even with the stiff heavy legs, the climb felt better.

I got back to Encanto Park and assessed my heal for the run. Still felt stiff and cricky. I chose to skip the short run and see how it felt Sunday. Until tomorrow my friends.

Day 491 - Altra Instinct 2.0's and A Special Birthday!

June 13, 2014                         239.8 lbs

Hi all. I got try my new kicks today in a one hour and fifteen minute run with the last twenty minutes in Z3.

 But first I had to celebrate a special occasion. It was one year ago today the my buddy and training partner came into our lives. Happy Birthday Orion aka The Puppy! She had a good day of multiple play opportunities in the park with a new ball and throwing device which she loved. The she got to eat her favorite fruit, mango!

 I did the run much earlier than normal and enjoyed it. My new Altra Instinct 2.0 shoes were pretty awesome as they made the hard road feel like a modern running track that has a little bounce in it. The shoes are zero drop meaning unlike most modern shoes where the heal is stacked higher than the toe, on these, the toe and the heal are the same distance from the ground. My right heal has been bugging me lately. It kind of feels like I stomped really hard on it barefoot. Of course I didn't really but it aches. I was able to run with no problem though as I don't normally heal strike. Though it was only one run, I liked the shoes a lot. They weigh more than my Merrell Bare Access 2's and I could feel the difference but I think I will adjust. Plus, they have a wide toe box like the Merrell's. The additional padding under the fore and mid foot should help with the longer distances. I hope!

Until tomorrow my friends!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 490 - Night and the Beast of Griffith Park!

June 12, 2014

Today I had an hour and a half easy spin. So I hit the road!

 I rode all the way to the Los Angeles Zoo.

 And the Autry National Center.

 Another nice ride with few people around. Ironically, one car almost hit me in my own neighborhood! Right as I neared the crest of the big hill. Turkey was looking at me instead of the road and almost drove straight into me. Ah well.  .  .

I rode by Griffith Park on the way to the L.A. Zoo. Something very large and hairy crossed the road in front of me. I could see what it was but it was big. About the size of a small horse! Definitely an eye opener. The rest of the ride was peaceful and though I felt like my legs were a bit tired today, I was still able to power up the big hill in my neighborhood which felt good.

Until tomorrow my friends.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 488 - A Boy His Bike and a Brick!

June 10, 2014               237.6  lbs

Take a look at that weight! Soon I will be at 235 and then the next big goal is to break 230 lbs.

Today I had a min brick workout. An hour and a half ride with 10x2 minute at Z3. Followed by a 20 minutes easy run to find the legs after the ride.

 It was a pleasant day out and wasn't too hot out.

 There were several riders on the trail including a couple that wanted to race. But I was having none of it as I was trying to stay strictly in my zones.

 Soon enough the ride was over and I was putting on my running shoes. Now I love my Merrell Bare Access 2 shoes but as the mileage has increased the pounding my feet are taking is significant. Recently, my heal has been bugging me post run which is weird as I don't heal strike. Hmmm. . .

 For the twenty minute run, I found a small trail around Encanto Park. I just satellited around it four times. Done and done.

Soaked with sweat and happy as a clam, I made it back to the car and headed to Sun Cafe to grab some raw food goodness for dinner. Until tomorrow my friends.

Day 485 - Tri The Beach Sprint Triathlon!

June 7, 2014                239 lbs

Sorry for the long break in post! I was working on a TV show that sucked up all my time. No workouts and almost no sleep for several days. I really can't afford to miss any workouts at this point so these missed days stab deep.

I got invited to do a Sprint triathlon at the last minute and decided, "What the heck!" I haven't raced in a long time. So I called the organizers and found out I could still register the morning of, (today.)

The event was the annual Tri The Beach in Huntington Beach.  Here is the race report:

I woke up at 5:00 am after getting to bed at 2:30 am! I have had about four hours of sleep in the last three days, but hey, you only live twice! I made some oatmeal with blueberries and drank a

I got to Huntington Beach at 7:30 am and registered.

 Transition was pretty full and I squeezed into a spot. I quickly set up and noticed the person on the other side of the bike hanger had a bucket with water. What a good idea! By the way, note the dayglo green transition mat my wife got me last Christmas. It made it very easy to spot my bike as I ran in from the swim and later returned from the bike.

The swim was tough. As we stood on the shore watching the waves break, the lifeguards warned us to duck under the waves and to swim to the left for some distance because of a strong current. This had us running in water two feet deep over a sand bar. As soon as I was deep enough to start swimming, I was already tired and could not get comfortable with my head in the water! I ended up swimming the whole thing "Tarzan style" with my head above water. By the end of the 600 meter swim I was trying to catch my breath big time. I looked around and everyone was gasping. I wasn't dizzy coming out of the water though and that was cool.

 A long slog through the soft sand into T1. In hind sight, though I was bummed about the swim at the time, I recovered pretty quickly.  Onto the bike and out. I pushed and was surprised at the level of effort I could hold. Five miles out and back on the Santa Ana river trail.  I literally picked off everyone in front of me. Keep in mind, this was the slower racers. Still felt good to steadily overtake and pass each rider I saw. There was one guy on an expensive BMC carbon bike that passed me but I didn't like that and beat him in.

 Back into T2 and off the bike. Debated going barefoot due to the soft sand between transition and the water line. We were told to run out at the water line but on the softer sand side of the lifeguard towers on the way back.  I looked up and saw Mr. BMC was ahead of me! He had made it out of transition a little bit faster.  Running out to the water sucked and drained the energy from my legs fast. However, once I got to the firmer sand, I was able to recover and gradually started running faster. At the turnaround I saw that no one was running back on the softer sand, Great! Back I went and I was even able to pass some people.  Then I saw Mr. BMC and realized I was gaining on him. So I changed gears. I caught up just as he got back on the loose sand between the water and the finish line. I had to really pour it on to pass him and sprint into the finish. A small victory to feed the competitive side of me.

I crossed the finish line and got my medal and realized my timing chip was missing. Just gone. No idea where it went. I walked over to a refreshment table and grabbed an orange slice and some water. Then I began speaking to the owner of and got caught up in a pleasent post race gab when I realized I didn't stop my watch! Dang! With losing the timing chip and now this my times will be all over the place. Oh well.

Overall it was a grind but fun regardless. I was bummed that the organizers were only offering overall timing and not splits but in the end, it wouldn't have mattered anyways. There was a certain leanness or bare bones quality to the race that had me wondering where exactly my $99.00 entry fee was going but on the positive side, the medals and t-shirts were cool. Would I do it again? Maybe.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day 478 - Hitting It On The Trials!

May 31, 2014                             239 lbs,

 Hi all! Today I had a long recovery week ride:

Steady Z2 HR ride for some miles.  Nothing sustained over Z2 but feel free to get the legs going a few times within the ride.

 Looks like something caught part of the field on fire.

 From the very beginning, I kept my heart rate strictly in the proper zones.

 As a result, I ended up reeling in a couple of riders. Something that doesn't happen very often!

Even with the heat it was a pleasant ride. I finished up early and was on the way home from Encanto Park at 3:00pm. It's funny that a three hour ride can be considered easy!

Well, that is it for the time being. Until tomorrow my friends.