Archive for September, 2008

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DZ Nuts Review: Pt. 1 – Unboxing

September 27, 2008

Unboxing my DZ Nuts that I just got in the mail – cycling chamois cream from pro rider Dave Zabriskie.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1301746&dest=-1]

What, wouldn’t YOU trust a man with a porn mustache like this with your goodies?

According to the site, they also use as free trade and organic ingredients whenever possible, which is pretty respectable. So it isn’t just good for your taint, it is socially responsible too. You have to respect that.

More video reviews to come. Hold tight.

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What do you value?

September 26, 2008

Religion has never been a constant in my life. I’ve always been varying degrees of spiritual, but always in slightly different ways. Like waves, each time comes and goes, but each one brings something just slightly different from the last. I’m just now realizing the trend, but I kinda like it. Each time it comes and goes,¬† learn a little bit more about myself.

Maybe I’m just listening to too much ZenTri.

I heard this story the other day, and It really got me thinking about priorities, life and training.

A young man once asked God, “What is a million years to you?”

“A million years to me is just like a second in your time.”

Then the man asked god, “What is a million dollars to you?”

“A million dollars to me is just like a single penny to you”

Then the young man stood up and asked, “God, can I have one of your pennies?”

“Certainly, just a second.”

As simple as the story is, for whatever reason it got me thinking. Thinking about what really is important to me. Thinking about what we often value the most is what we have the least control over.

I could probably make a lot more money if I took another job that was boring and lame, but it wouldn’t make me any happier and ultimately that is a lot more important to me. I’d rather focus on making sure that the time I’ve got is spent well.

Time ultimately is a much more valuable currency to me. It isn’t guaranteed, and I will never know how much I have left, but I am the only one in control of how I actually spend it. Every day is a brand new 24 hours that I can use to take me anywhere I want to go.

Which brings me back to training. With as much time as I spend in triathlon, training, planning, racing, judging, calculating, sweating, I realized that I have never seen one second of it as a waste. Even after the most miserable bike workout trying to out pace oncoming rain clouds, I have trouble finding many things that I would have rather been doing.

Maybe it is because of how much time triathlon sucks up, and how little left it leaves me, that I’ve started to value time so much more. Making every minute with my family and friends really count. Doing my best to not take any of them for granted. Appreciating the aches and pains, PRs and bonks.

How has training changed what you value?

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Fall Spinning Workout: Race Simulation

September 24, 2008

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

 

Now that I’ve been an a real bona-fide spinning instructor for a year not, and have leeched a few killer workout mixes from Bree Wee, I feel like I’ve finally gotten a whole lot more comfortable making my own workouts. I have even been having a lot of fun making new ones.

With a little help with from my twitter friends for some new songs, here is my latest workout that I designed. It is a “race simulation” workout, so it has an extra long and easy warmup, but then a kick-ass 40 minute pain fest, staying above about 80% of your max for the the majority of the workout.

I tested it out on my class tonight and it seemed to go over pretty well. I saw a lot of pain in some faces. ūüôā

At the end of the warmup I even had the class stop pedaling, the only time ever durring a spin class, to burst¬† out of the “gate” to give it more of a race feel, which was pretty fun.

Enjoy!

Warmup
Smashing Pumpkins – Cupid De Lock¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Easy Spin ‚Äď Warmup – 60%
After the Fire РDer Mommissar                        4x :30 sprint @ 75% with :30 rest  1:00 soft pedal
Race Start
Muse РMap of the Problematique                     2x :60 @ 85% w/ :60 rest
Red Hot Chili Peppers РHard to concentrate     4 x (:30 seated climb Р:30 standing climb)
Foo FIghters РBreakout                                    3x (:15 rest :45 sprint) @ 80%
Speed Up                                                          3x (:30 rest :30 sprint) @ 90%
Jimmy Eat World РBleed American                    :60 standing climb :60 rest :60 standing climb
Britney Spears РBreak the Ice                            3 x (:30 easy, :30 medium :30 hard)
Third Eye Blind – Tattoo of the Sun¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1:30 flat – :60 running ‚Äď 1:30 flat
Imogen Heap – Whatever¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1:30 sprint – :45 rest ‚Äď 1:30 sprint
Finger Eleven – Paralyzer¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† climb – :30 sit ‚Äď 1:00 stand – :30 sit ‚Äď 1:30 stand
Black Eyed Peas РAnxiety                                :60 sprint Р:30 rest 1:30 sprint
Arcade Fire РKeep the car running                   5 x :20 sprints all out Р:20 rest
Race End
Cool Down
John Mayer РGravity                                        3x (:30 sprint @ 75% Р:60 rest)
The one that you love                                     Cool Down
Incubus – Aqueous Transmission¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Stretch ‚Äď Clean Up

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A Lesson In Barefoot Beach Running

September 21, 2008

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

 

When you are really excited to do some beach running during the weekend while visiting your friend’s beach house, only to realize that youre membered everything except for your running shoes, it sucks. Bad.

After getting mentally psyched up for a nice change of scenery, I finally decided to suck it up and realized that I probably didn’t need shoes anyway. Sand is nice and soft, right?

Early Saturday morning I walked down to the beach at low tide, stretched out a little and headed down across the shore. I quickly realized that running without shoes was completely different. If I slowed down too much and started striking with my heel first, my whole body rattled. With every stride it felt like a hammer being taken to my skull as the shock traveled all the way up my leg directly into my head.

Weird. I guess I was getting an impromptu lesson in fore-foot running.

Once I focused on running on the front of my feet and down closer to where the waves were crashing, I felt a lot better. Wet sand is a lot friendlier on the legs than the dried up stretch of sand higher up on the beach.

While it was only about 2 miles, it was probably my favorite run of the year so far. No heart rate monitor. No shoes. Blue skies. Cool breeze. Watching the surfers paddle out and ride back in on the surf. I even had that “chariots of fire song” going through my head as the waves came in and crashed around my feet. It was perfect.

My calves were definitely taking an extra beating from going shoeless and having to absorb all of the shock normally taken by my shoes (I wish I had my compression socks…). I decided to just stop at one lap down the beach (about 2 miles). The balls of my feet were even starting to feel pretty raw from the sand. It wasn’t until the walk back up to the house that I realized I was starting to get blisters all across my toes. Who gets blisters when they aren’t even wearing shoes? Seriously?

Once I got home, I popped ’em all and wrapped them up in athletic tape to hopefully dry them out.

The “taper” for my last sprint next weekend may be a little longer than I would have hoped unless these clear up quickly and I can get back on the road. Even knowing what I know now, I still would have ran on the beach on Saturday. The relaxation was well worth a few days of limping around. But now I’m back at my apartment and getting back for another work week of the daily grind. At least I’ve got a sprint on Sunday to keep me going through the week.

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Flexibility Project, Pt 2: A Massage Story

September 19, 2008

Next step in project loosey goosey. Get a massage!

I live in kind of a hippie neighborhood. While I have a ton of yoga studios and massage places within walking distance, they are all the incense burning spa-type, not the serious medical treatment kind of place that I really wanted. All that hippie stuff is cool, but not when I’ve got some serious knots that need attending to. I want my quads and gluts to be pounded away on and grinded down into mush, not exfoliated.

I took the subway to this place downtown after work that got pretty good reviews tonight and was totally psyched to get beaten up and mashed around a little. My masseur (is that the right word?) was really cool and is a runner so she knew all about the kind of pain she was about to inflict on me, the good kind.

I have only had one massage before, and it was at least 10 years ago so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

There definitely was that somewhat awkward “undress as much as you feel comfortable and I’ll be back when you are ready” line before she first left the room, and I had to give some quick thought to it. I sort of thought that was a trick question. Wait, not EVERYONE is most comfortable naked? If it wasn’t for social norms and er… cold weather… I would probably just go naked all the time, but that is a different story all together. TMI? And if I’m trying new things, I might as well jump in the deep end and embrace it all, right?

After 45 minutes of having my hamstrings, quads, neck and back mushed away into tiny little pieces, I totally felt amazing. She found all these extra knots and hidden tight spots that I never knew about and probably wouldn’t have been able to clear out with any stretches on my own.

Strangely enough she found out that my right leg (not the one that had the IT band issues) was a lot tighter than the left. Apparently I’ve been neglecting it a little too much while I’ve been focusing on recovering. It did help me realize the toll that triathlon training put on my body and while I was faster and more efficient than I ever have been, my body clearly isn’t at 100% and needs some TLC to bounce back after all the physical beatings that I put myself through.

My gluts and calves are definitely a bit tender, but I do feel really good. Maybe even a few inches taller. I may have to make this a regular occurance…

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Flexability Project, Pt 1

September 18, 2008

While the tri season isn’t quite over (although I’ve almost been training like it is) I’ve started to set a few off season goals for myself, the main one being working on my flexability. I’m also trying desperately not to regain all of the 15 pounds I lost training for the Rhode Island 70.3, but that is for another post.

One of my hopes this year was to be able to race all year injury free. Didn’t happen. I didn’t even make it to my A race without an injury. It sucks because while I didn’t ever think that I knew that much about triathlon training, it is just a kick in the pants like a recurring IT band injury that makes you realize how much more you have to learn.

So this off season I’ve decided to really work on being way more flexible. I have been a lot better about it this year compared to last year, but after finding the big knot in my left ass cheek that was likely caused my IT band issues, I still have some things to work on.

I especially started thinking about during the Olympics when Usain Bolt destroyed the 100 and 200 and everyone was talking about how few strides he had to take to do it. Some commentator basically broke running fast into stride length and turnover. Increase either and you will be a faster runner. Here are my initial plans on having a little longer stride, and hopefully staying injury free.

Step 1: Start going to yoga regularly. I got myself a sweet yoga mat and have already taken two classes at the studio up the street and have never sweated more standing in one place. I even rocked my compression sleeves like a total dork at my class tonight. I had been getting sharp cramps in my calves at work during the last two days while sitting at my desk at work, so I figured they might help. So far I’m a huge fan, but have a full review on them coming later. Hold tight.

Step 2: Massage. My own stretching routine clearly had some gaps, but I’m hoping that going to a massage therapist that knows a thing or two about keeping athletes’ muscles in check can help out there. I know, it just dounds like I’m making some excuses to pamper myself, but if it works and I get to have some masuse rub me down for an hour so who am I to complain?

I probably won’t know how this whole project will tun out until the middle of next season, but hopefully if it is something that I keep up with regularly, then next yearI’ll be able to go a whole lot faster a whole lost more comfortably.

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Dz Nuts

September 9, 2008

Chamois cream from pro cyclist Dave Zabriskie. I may have the sense of humor of a 10 year old, but I love it. So deal.

This made me LOL so hard that I may have peeed myself a little. I may have to talk to my LBS about making sure that they get this in stock.