Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Resting/Testing and Power

So last week was resting and testing. I now have all the equipment I will be using for this season...and possibly the next several seasons.

Due to the fact that I was on the edge of burnout, I really took the resting seriously. I almost treated this week as a week off. i got in about 8 hours of work, much of it was easy except for the testing. Being 5 weeks out from my first race I figured now was as good a time as any for this. I needed the rest and relaxation to get my mind back into the training. I had been too focused on calories and need to refocus on trainging to get fast.

Sunday I had plans, so I did a very light early morning workout. Saturday had been a very hard running/swimming day. Sunday I did a 30-45 ride with a 30 minute jog.

Monday I swam lightly in the morning and took the afternoon completely off.
Tuesday I did my FTP Bike test...
It was an interesting test for me.
Over the weekend I decided to replace my rear tube. I had broken the valve inflating it a week prior. It held air, but I didn't want to get a flat outside.

As I started setting up for the test I noticed the new tube was flat. Ugh. So I inflated it and really just hoped it would stay inflated for the test. After about 10 minutes it blew out and put a big bubble in the tire itself. Now I have to replace both. Great.

So, for the purpose of the test I put on my race wheel, tubular vs. clincher. I'm not sure why, but the new wheel felt much easier. I started back into my warmup. I made sure to do the roll down test multiple times throughout the ride to make sure everything was calibrated and started my test with both the CT and Quarq.

I had two purposes for this test. First, it is time to test. I wasn't sure how I'd do since I had not been doing nearly as many hard rides as in the past. But I also wanted to run this test with both the computrainer and the quarq to determine the accuracy of both. Specifically I wanted to know how big of a difference there is between the two computers so I could adjust for riding outside.

My goal on the CT was 337 watts for the 20 minute test. This would give me a 320 FTP, a bump of about 5. I would then compare the quarqs readings and get my baseline for outdoor riding. Although many people have said they can push higher watts outside on the road.

As the test started, I felt strong. My warmup riding was at a pretty hard pace. I was up at 350-360 watts for most of it. So I can't say I slacked off there. The warmup was a bit longer because the flat tire too. I started the test and the first 5 minutes I was at a 345w. I felt pretty good at that point, but kinda knew I started a bit strong. It was my plan to start strong as I have this fear of blowing up. I wanted to confront that a little bit.

For the next 10 minutes my wattage steadily declined to 336. Proof that I started a bit too hard. At the 15 minute mark I really started pushing and managed to average 341 for the 20 minute test. Much higher than I thought I would.

I was using the HRM from my garmin. My max HR was 161. My RPE was very close to a 10. When I was done, I was pretty spent. If I take 5% off of my 341 I am left with 324 as my FTP. I was a bit suspicous of that wattage as it was a significant increase and I didn't feel I worked that hard on the bike. However the Quarq/Garmin combination gave me a reading of 337. So it was only 4 watts under. The two meters measure strain in two different ways, for both to match so closely tells me I actually did hit that wattage.

I am a little concerned about my position on the bike. Most of my trainer riding has been stitting up pretty straight. My aero position on the trainer was uncomfortable until I realized I had my front wheel too high off the ground. Now it's better, but I need to push myself while aero so I don't drop too many watts. Hopefully I don't lose a lot of watts as a result.

My W/Kg is now sitting at a 3.57 as I am sitting at 200lbs. That puts me in the middle of the Cat 3 group. If I drop to 190lbs I will sit at a 3.76 which puts me on the cusp of Cat 2. Again, that's on a trainer and I need to make sure that translates to outdoor riding.

I did my Swim test Wednesday morning. No rest for the weary.
10x100s 10s rest.
Finished in 13:30.
Subtract 90 seconds for a solid 12:00.
So my 1,000 yard swim was a 12:00 flat.
Which is a 1:12 average.
Pretty solid overall. Last time I did a 13:55. So I dropped 25 seconds off my total. Not too bad for not concentrating on swimming too much. The last two weeks I've really increased my swimming. So we'll see what I can do come race-day.

I decided to take some rest before my run test. So I did that Saturday morning. I followed it up with a 90 minute masters swim. So in all it was a tough day.

My goal was to try and break 20 minutes. Originally I was going to run on a track to make sure I had static conditions. But I wasn't sure hart park would be open. So with the help of the garmin I ran by my house. This time I simply chose a course with fewer hills than normal.

In order to break 20 minutes I would have to run 6:26/mile or faster.
The first mile was pretty flat and even had a slight downhill section. It finishes with a light uphill to the mile marker - 6:26 pace.

The second mile has a long steady climb, then a slight decline until the 2nd climb which is short and steep. It also had a steeper downhill section to finish the mile. In total there is very little of the 2nd mile that is flat. I can't remember my exact split as I haven't had the chance to upload my garmin yet. If memory serves it was in the 6:50 range.

The third mile was flat. possibly a light down hill. again i can't remember my split.

I finished with a 20:50...or a 6:43 pace.

At first I was a little upset. But then I came to my senses. Up until mid November of 2009, (5 months ago) i had been unable to run consistently for any period of time due to injuries. I had never done any race or training run in under 7min/mile ever. In fact, I don't know that I had ever done a single mile in under 7min/mile. It isn't that I couldn't have run a single mile that fast...but I never tried. And in reality I have done zero threshold, interval, or speed work in the last 5 months. Everything has been simply building endurance. Threshold training is going to start up this week.

So for me to get upset by not breaking 20 was a bit crazy. This was a training run with some hills. While I don't think I would have broken 20 min on a flat course, I think I would have had a good chance. Here's why.
On a track I would never have hit those hills. Trying to hold my pace for a solid quarter mile uphill really took its toll on my core. Had that not occurred I think I could have been pretty close to a 6:30 pace for the 2nd mile.
And as i approached the 3 mile mark and 5k mark I would have really picked up my pace to break 20. is a big question mark in my head. Either way, it was a great week of testing.

I followed it up with my first ride outside with power on Sunday. I had planned to do a 3 hour ride but finished with 2 hours on the bike and 30 min run. I was shocked at how easy an aerobic ride in my power zones is. At the end of the day I finished the 2 hours with an average power of 257 which is well into zone 3 or tempo.
My hip flexors were the most tired from being aero most of that ride. I really forced myself to be in position as much as the course allowed for.
It was a great ride and the power meter really taught me about pacing. I look forward to training with it and knowing what effort I am putting in as opposed to guessing.

I now have 5 weeks until Lake Mills and 6 weeks until Elkhart Lake. Elkhart is the more important race as it is a qualifier for nationals. So right now my plan is to hit it hard for 2 weeks, dial things back a little bit for one week, and then push through for 2 weeks and taper a bit for Elkhart. Pleasant Praire is 2 weeks after Elkhart Lake, I'll use my race results as a guage.
I suspect I'll have better results at PP because it is a flat course. But Elkhart is early in the season.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

All set

I have the quarq. I have the Garmin. I have them installed on my bikes. I'm ready to ride outside with power.

And yet I find myself in the middle of a rest week. A much needed rest week i might add.

As I mentioned last week, I have been really tired for key workouts. I should qualify that and legs specifically have been really tired. Mind and most of my body are fine. But my legs were shot. Some adjustments were required.

I don't have a final plan in place, but I have some ideas.

First off I would like to maintain running 6 days per week. However I am going to eliminate one of my medium runs and turn it into a short recovery run. Every week moving forward I will have 2 key run workouts. A long run and a medium run. Both should feel peppy with recover runs in the middle.
The key here is to run within myself. This specifically means running with in prescribed paces as to not push beyond my limits. I've had the opportunity to use the garmin a few times now, it appears to be an ideal tool for this.

I will have 2 key bike workouts also. I will have a long ride which will be at prescribed wattages based on my FTP. And I will maintain at least one interval ride per week. My biggest concern here is ensuring my rides outside are quality. I may need to start my rides away from my house. Unfortunately there are a lot of stop signs and higher traffic areas before I get to a good place to ride. This makes it challenging to hold any pace for more than 5 minutes or so. This is typically an issue during the week. Once I get my powermeter outside I'll have to look at the power results and what I can maintain.
My interval ride will almost always be indoors. This will be during the week. So that only leaves a couple rides to worry about. If one of those rides is won't matter. that leaves one ride during the week I need to find an alternative for. perhaps a group ride will be in order.

So here is what I am thinking:

-Long Ride - Time varies 2:00-4:00
-Recovery Run - :30

-Swim - :45
-Medium Run - 1:00

-Recovery Run - :30
-Interval Ride - 1:30
(Some days the run will be in the morning, others it will follow the ride)

-Swim - :45
-Recovery Run - :30

-Long Run - 1:30

-Swim - :45
-Moderate ride - 1:30-2:00

-Swim - 1:30 Masters class
-Recovery Run - :30

To some this will still look like 14 workouts. But I will remove some workouts during different weeks. The recovery ride on Wednesday is somewhat optional. The saturday Swim is also somewhat optional as it is the masters swim class. I may replace it with a ride occassionally. It will depend on my focus for that week.

For some reason I really feel attached to running 6 days per week. Even if the runs are short runs, I feel like that frequency has really helped me. Perhaps I will remove a run completely in the future, but I'd like to try this first as running is still my weakest even. Although...if I can run a 40-42min 10k in a race, it may not be that weak any more.

So anyway, that is my current plan. The main thing I have to focus on now is to focus on the purpose of my workouts instead of burning calories. I am at 200lbs and the remaining 5-10 will fall off naturally if I simply watch my diet. But if I want to improve AND recover properly I need to listen to my body and rest where appropriate.
That means focusing on my 2 key runs and my 2 key bike rides.
Frankly I am not worried about my swim. I've bumped my yardage over the last two weeks and am already as fast, if not faster than I was at the end of last season. The shoulder feels good so long as I stretch it out and ice it properly.

Being that this is a rest week, it is also time to do some baseline testing.
Saturday was a pretty tough day with a 60min run and a 90min swim. Sunday we had plans so I rode inside for 45 minutes and ran for 30 minutes.
Yesterday I swam a little bit and took the afternoon off.
My plan for today is to do my FTP test with both the computrainer and quarq. But we'll see how I feel. I really beat myself up the last several weeks and my legs still feel a bit worn down. I'm not sure if that's my imagination or if I need a little more rest. We'll see how I am doing once I hop on the bike.
If I feel good and complete the test today I plan to do my swim threshold testing tomorrow morning and then do the run test on Thursday or Saturday.
I have really dialed it back this week and plan to train 8 hours or possibly even less. I want to make sure I am ready for the push to the season.
If the bike isn't showing me the love I plan to take my road bike outside. I have the garmin and would like to see how the course looks on the maps.
if that happens my first test will be the swim test tomorrow. I'll probably to my bike test tomrrow or Thursday and then the run test on saturday.

I really want to do the run test on a track. We'll see if I can get into Hart park on a Saturday at 6:45-7am or so. If not, I'll find a reasonably flat area around here. I am going to try to keep it flat in order to get my pacing steadier for the entire duration.

I am really hoping to hit about 1:10 for the swim test. 10x100's with 10s rest.
I'd like to bump my FTP to a solid 320. I'm not sure this will happen as I have not put in as much hard riding as I did over the winter. And Ideally for a flat run I'd like to be well under 7min/mile. possibly 6:45's or under. If my legs are rested and am on a track, I think I can do that. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So over the last two weeks I have managed to drop from about 208 to 201-202. I don't really know how that happened as I wasn't paying that close of attention. The news is good, but it is also a bit of a concern for me.

I've noticed a bit of a problem with my training the last 3 weeks or so...and I need to be a bit careful. So here is my typical scheudle...

Run 25 am - recovery pace
Swim 30min am
Ride 1:30 pm - zone 4 intervals.

Run: 50min am - medium run
Ride: 1:00 pm - moderate/recovery ride

Swim :45 am
Ride 1:30 zone3/4 intervals
Run: :25 immediately following run. - recovery pace.

Run 1:20-1:30pm

Swim :45

Ride 2:00-2:30
Run - :50 medium run

ride 2:00-2:30
Run: 25

With this current plan I'm running 6 days per week. Riding 5 days per week and swimming 3.
For the last few weeks I've been exhausted for my long run. Last week I was ready to die. Everything hurt, I was sore from the start and wanted to stop after 15 minutes.
Yesterday it was 85 I have no doubt that played a roll, but I was exhausted from the beginning. and there aren't too many things worse than suffering through a long run after 10-15 minutes. It sucks BIG TIME.

I believe there are a couple reasons for this.
First, for months and months I've been really focusing on biking and running. And I had been able to schedule my hard workouts around my long run allowing for enough recovery. With the addition of 3 swims, that has become more challenging as my schedule allows for me to swim in the mornings. I had been running in the mornings.
In the off season those three hard rides are what really helped me see gains on the bike. My FTP went from around 260-275 up to whats now maybe 325. Hopefully that translates to riding outside. I also want to start adding one threshold run. So part of my problem is scheduling. 3 interval rides along with an interval run and a long run is too much for me as the season approaches. They need to be on seperate days...but that's 5 key workouts. I can't put a day between them all. I think it is probably better that I go down to one or two interval rides and keep my legs fresher for running as it is a bigger weakness and I still want to get up to 30:60:90. And the gains I've seen are astonishing. Last year my fastest Tri 10k was around a 48 or so. I honestly think I can drop that to a 42, maybe even lower than that on a flat course.

The second/third reasons for this fatigue are as follows. I am always ready to go on my diet on Monday Tuesday...and the last several weeks I've notice very large calorie defecits. On the order of 2,000. While that's a fast way to lose weight, it's a fast way to get tired too. Monday and tuesday workouts are pretty high in terms of calorie burn. I'll typically hit 4000-4500. If I only eat 2500 or so, its simply not enough. So I need to prepare more good food for those days. I can really feel those calories later in the week. so while part of me says to suffer through and drop that last 7 pounds really fast and then drop down to 190 much slower. the other part of me knows I need those calories to sustain the harder workouts. Starting Monday I am going to make sure my calorie defecit does not exceed 1,000. That is a starting point.

Lastly, I have no concept of pacing on the bike or run right now. On the trainer with my power readings I know exactly what I am doing. But I have my road bike fixed up and have been riding that. It has no bike computer at all. I don't have the quarq set up because I don't have my Garmin yet. So when I ride on the road bike I use my stop watch over certain sections, but don't know speed or power. And on the run I am finding it very difficult to run slow.
As an example I went on my long run yesterday. For the first mile I told myself repeatedly I was going to go slow. And I really felt like I was. I got to the mile mark at my watch said 7:55. There was a time when I couldn't sprint a 7:55. So on the one hand I'm always shocked when I see times like that for me. A year ago that would have been 9:30. Now I am consistently faster...much faster. But for a long run I shouldn't be going that fast. I should have been at an 8:20 or so. I must learn control!

So I need to really take a look at my training schedule over the weekend and make sure I am getting enough recovery to handle my workouts. I am doing a lot of work during the week, and should really push some of that to the weekend so I can take a nap after a tough workout.

I really like the road bike. It's a different feel than the tri bike. It's fun to ride again. But I can really tell the difference in my running afterward. When I run after riding my tri bike I often times feel faster running. My cadence is quicker and it feels good. Wednesday I got off the road bike, and while I rode hard, it wasn't that hard. The 25 minute run afterward was really tough.

Essentially I am coaching myself and am learning a lot by trial and error. So far my progress has been great. I have managed to not create any new injuries...that's always good. And despite some really tough weeks, I've been slowly eliminating nagging injuries. My shoulder is getting a lot better. It is still sore during the day after I swim. But that's getting worked out. My toe is mostly better. I still tape it a bit, but not always. My foot was better last week. I get some tightness in my legs and hips, but thats what the foam roller is for.

I had a bit of an epiphany the other day. In the literature for my running program I have been trying to run about 30 miles per week as elites run at least that many miles. Right now I run 6 days - 3x25, 2x50, 1x75 = 250 minutes. When I created this I always used 10 min/mile to calculate distance. Well I don't run that speed any more. In fact on average I'd say I run at an 8:15-8:30 pace. Last week I started adding minutes again and am up to about 265 minutes...which means I am running a little over 30 miles per week already. That's actually a pretty big milestone considering how many injuries I've had in the past.

I believe I will redo all my tests during the final week of April. So it will be a rest week for the most part. I will have the quarq and Garmin at that point. So the biking test will be indoors so I can get numbers on both that and the CT...and take that with me outside. then I can do a comparison to my indoor FTP and outdoor ftp. Although I will need to drive somewhere to do an outdoor ftp.
For swimming I'll be doing the 10x100's. My endurance is getting better. should be pretty solid by then. I am going to make sure I am rested and really push hard to hit 1:10.

For the running I am going to go to a track and get real numbers. I'll have the garmin as a comparison. But I can then take those numbers and plug them into McMillions calculator. that will give me all my running paces moving forward and they'll be more accurate. With the Garmin I'll be able to really use and compare that data to make sure I'm doing it right. I may invest in some coaching software then too. that should help me manage my workouts a lot better.

Should be fun!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In my previous blog (towards the bottom) I mention another "resting" week. I meant to say TESTING some hard workouts.


Monday, April 5, 2010

When it rains it pours

It's been another busy week and I wanted to share. This blog, along with future blogs are hopefully going to be a bit more introspective. I will certainly discuss my training and what seems to be working vs not working. But I wanted to share some overall thoughts as well...perhaps that is more interesting to people. Who knows. Maybe it's less interesting.

So the other day I read two different blogs. I'm not as good about checking up on others as I should be. Simple forgetfullness really. Anyway, I started with Matts. (He reads this, so hi Matt). Anyway, I really enjoyed it, allow me to copy/paste a little blurb from it.

"The work of a triathlete is no different than the work of a sole-practitioner. I should know, I do both. Often times, it's done in solitude. Sometimes I stumble across others, individuals like myself who are on the same journey. Maybe our paths cross for a brief moment at a stop sign when on a bike ride, or it's at the pool when you got into the lane next to me, or maybe it's at the track when you showed up to do intervals. While our interaction may be brief it's not because we're rude or mean, it's because we're wolves. Legs fed the wolf so our time together is short by our character. It's time to move on, to keep ourselves strong, to find another meal, to live another day. In this game we got lots of work of do."

For some reason that little bit really rang true with me. I think most people understand the difference between introverts and extroverts. While I suspect most people believe extroverts are more outgoing and talkative, that isn't necessarily the case. In reality, the true difference between being an intro and an extro has more to do with your personal energy levels. Using myself as an example, in all of the little tests I've ever taken, I come out almost equal in both right v left brain tests as well as introverted v extroverted tests. But my true introversion comes through in how I recharge my battery, and that is often with quiet alone time.

One might think that I am equally adept at being a loner vs. being a very outgoing excitable person. But if I am being honest with myself, that is not necessarily true. Sure at the age of 34 I consider myself adept and fairly comfortable in large social settings. I don't get social anxeity or issues like that. I don't have a fear of public speaking like others do. In fact I am quite good at giving presentations. But that came from years of practice.
However in my day to day life, I am much more of a loner than many people realize. In fact, if you went to highschool or college with me, the change is pretty significant. In Highschool I was never the cool guy or the top athlete. I started swimming as a freshman and simply did the work. Swimming appealed to me because it was all on me. I was good at team sports, baseball, football, etc. But when I started swimming I was hooked. While there were lots of people in the pool, I was a distance swimmer. It was very easy to simply shut my brain off and swim.

I went to college and it was the same. However from a social perspective things were very different. We were much more of a team, but I was pretty shy and quiet. Especially my first two years. Coupled with my dry sarcasm I doubt people realized I was kidding around very often. To say I was socially awkward would be a bit of an understatement. I'd go party, but often times I'd just read in my room and be just as happy. I don't think people really got that. I won't even discuss my awkwardness with girls. Although I suspect some of you might find that rather amusing.
Anyway, junior year I met a couple people and a lot of my social awkwardness went away. Anyway, the point of all this is the lone-wolf mentality and Matt's blog. I found it so interesting because I've always thought of myself as a lone wolf and to hear someone else articulate the same thought was fascinating. As human nature and psychology have always fascinated me it makes me question what type of person is drawn to different endeavors.

I know people like me who are drawn to the solitude of triathlon. Much of our work is alone. I put in countless hours on the bike in my basement this winter. But I also know many people who specifically try to train with groups and can't get motivated withough a group event of some kind. I don't have any answers, just some basic thoughts. I suspect that the upper level of the triathlon community consists more of people like me. Lone wolves, rather competitive, perhaps quiet or introverted in some ways. But there are always outliers.

In any case, that is what I really love about triathlon. In fact I find myself going to great lenghts to perpetuate the lone-wolf mentality. I prefer riding on my trainer than going on group rides. Partially because I have not gone on real group rides before, I'm intimidated. But my excuse is that I get a better workout on the trainer doing intervals. I don't do group runs. Never have. I may in the future, but Im so paranoid about an injury that I don't want to be pushed out of my running zones unless I am racing. I'll swim in masters classes, but that comes natural from all the years of team swimming. I'm still new to running and biking, so the awkwardness is still there a bit.

So I am making a pact with myself. This weeked I don't have any real plans. So my goals are to first get the quarq installed on my tri-bike so I can do some riding outside with power readings. Second, I am going to set up my road bike. I am not good at fitting, so I may need help here. I want it to match my tri bike as much as possible. With that, I will do the occassional group ride. Even if it is out of my way...a typical excuse.
In life you never stay the same. You are either progressing or regressing. That is the way of things. So it's time for me to force a little change and see how it works for me. Perhaps I will see some big gains, perhaps I will crash and burn in a pile of bikes on the side of the road.

On to the details of the week.
Had a crohns attack on Sat night. Will discuss later.

Went clothes shopping on Friday. I actually fit into size 34 pants. I think I was in a 36 at birth. So that was exciting. I am currently sitting at 205. I have plans to drop to 190 by June. Now that I don't have to study for the PMP, I should be able to handle this.

I did my first outdoor ride on Thursday. It was an interesting experience. First I was very tired from Wednesdays workout. (Will discuss that in a moment.) Plus it was very very windy. In a couple cases I tried to drop the hammer to see what the winter of workouts gave me in terms of speed. But since the course is littered with stop signs and other obstacles where I can't push, it was very tough to tell. I have one section of road that I use as a time trial area. When I am hammering hard its a 5:30 section or so. If memory serves last year in my full race (dork) gear I did that section in 5:24. Thursday with no aero gear, heavy winds, and sitting up a couple times because I am not used to being aero on the road yet (plus crappy roads) I did a 5:20. So I have certainly made improvement. My problem is a lack of input. I am used to having a power reading to focus on...outside I won't have that until I get the Garmin. Which I will have to wait longer for because Garmin shipped the wrong model. Wonderful. All in all, a successful ride.

I believe that when I started this ride, I started at 500 watts or so because my legs quickly felt the effort and I was moving. I was then disappointed by how quickly I had to slow down. Part of that was certainly being tired from the previous day, but I do think if I had paced evenly I would have done and felt better.

Last week Wednesday night:
I read another team mates blog. Scott Bowe. In there he describes one of his workouts. It is a Spinnervals video that I also have. TimeTrialPalooza. It is one of my all time favorite workouts. Here is how it lays out.
1x20min - 5 min recover - 1x15 min - 5 min recover - 1x10 min - 5 min recover - 1x5 min max effort.
The 20 minute effort is supposed to be at your Functional Power (315) and then the additional sets add 5-10 watts. Historically I've started this set at 280 watts and never tried heavier. But I up my wattage fast going from 280 to 300 to 310-315 and then maxing out at 345-365 depending on the day.

I read Scott's blog and he planned to start at FTP which sounded incredibly difficult to me. In fact I doubted I would be able to complete the workout. Looking back I don't know why that was...perhaps it is because when I am told to add 5-10 watts I immediately add 10 or even 15. In this workout that would be really tough...but 5 is doable. Going from 315-320-325-max isn't that bad when I think about it. I had some kind of mental block going on.

So Wednesday I was determined to do that set as prescribed by coach Troy. 315-320-325-max(335)...and I succeeded. Great confidence booster.
Here's one thing I noticed. In the past I have really relied on the computrainers Erg mode. The trainer essentially forces the wattage on the trainer. You either do it or stop. I discovered that using this is very challenging at higher wattages as it seems to force me to a lower cadence than I prefer. I figured this out about 1/3 of the way through the 15 minute set. So I suffered through that and then switched over to normal spin mode which I use for all training. It was MUCH easier. I hit the wattage with ease and a lower HR and RPE.
My conclusion: Manual Erg mode has its place. Specifically sets that are at 90% of FTP or LOWER. It is great for lower wattage enduracne or recover trainer rides too. But with the season approaching fast, I am going to do almost all normal spin mode intervals from now until the end of the season.

Had a great Saturday training day. I'm still nursing the foot. It doesn't really hurt any more. But I am being very careful to not cause a problem. I ran 45 minutes in the AM and then stretched and iced. In the afternoon I did a hard 1:30 ride of intervals again. I was really happy with the day and felt great...until that evening.
I don't know what caused the problem, but I have some suspicions. I had a VERY big bowl of fruit after my ride. We made pizza for dinner...I ate a lot. The stress of the PMP and work catching up. All were contributors. In any case around 7pm my stomach was making some noise and causing discomfort. I went to bed early and had the heating pad. By 10pm I knew the crohns disease was flaring. I can often tell by doing an "intestinal massage". It is exaclty how it sounds...I rub the gut area to find spots of tenderness or areas that feel hard. there were several. In many cases, despite the pain, simply massaging these areas helps to let food through. I did that, took a lot of digestive enzymes to help break things up more. At about 9:30 I decided to take some prednisone. I don't care for taking drugs, and I think that is why my doctor allows me to self medicate without screaming at me. I don't take any OTC stuff unless it is absolutely necessary. I don't deviate from my scripts either. But when my guts get inflamed this way, the fastest way to get better is 20-30mg of the pred on a 5 day cycle. So I am in the middle of that right now.
Typically an attack like this would cause a 1-week training hiatus. However I think I caught this one early enought. I took off on Easter Sunday. But on Monday I ran and swam in the morning and hit the bike hard in the afternoon. 2x20 at 320 watts. The running wasn't the most comfortable as my guts were pretty tender...but all in all it wasn't horrible. The prospect of jumping into the cold swimming pool was the worst. In fact I stood on the edge of the pool for at least 10 minutes before jumping in.

Often times I wonder about the timing of these attacks. With my foot and shoulder problems the attack forced an extra day of "recovery". I had plans to run and bike that day...neither happened. Today my foot felt almost perfect. So perhaps the timing of that attack was perfect as well. Sometimes the mind and body are connected more than we know. And even if you don't know it consciously, the body knows when it is time for a break.

As for my shoulder. My PT and I discovered a tightness in my pec muscle that may have been causing much of the shoulder problem. I've been stretching that area and it seems to be helping quite a bit. I need to work on the rotator cuff strength a bit more...but all in all it seems to be progressing well. I have clearence from the Chiro and Ortho to swim hard again as I won't make it any worse. And seeing that I've noticed some pretty good improvement I'm ready to go. I've swam three times since then and have had little to no pain. In fact the tighness in my neck has gone down quite a bit. All from learning a new stretch. So that is good news. Today I did a solid 2200 yards and while the shoulder is tired and a little tight, it feels like normal muscle fatigue as opposed to a problem. Very good news.

In any case, break time is over. There are about 9 weeks until my first race. (Probably Lake Mills) and I am going to use them. My swim speed is still there, just need to build a little endurance. I can hold 1:20/100 yds for any distance without even thinking. I need to get myself down to the 1:10 range. My running and biking legs are ready to go. Time to put in some hard work and see what I can do this season.

I would like to do another resting week in 2-3 weeks. I'm not sure it's worth it yet. I don't have my garmin, so running data won't really be there. My bike training was inconsistent due to the PMP and I really want the quarq to quantify the difference between the CT and Quarq before going outdoors for testing. I won't worry about testing my swimming for another month.

Going back to the lone wolf/being quiet thoughts from earlier. Do I talk as much as I write? If so, someone needs to tell me to shut the hell up.