Sunday, December 16, 2007

Good Long Week

You know your workouts are going well when you have an entire load of laundry to do of just exercise attire. Between the two of us, it was a big load.

A nice side benefit of his working out so much is that I'm more consistent with my workouts, too. I've gone from skipping most of my running workouts, practically all of my bike workouts, and definitely all of my swim workouts to running 3 times per week consistently, spinning once, biking on Saturday, and swimming once every other week or so. I'm pleased about this, too.

Basta is one tired, sore, whiny boy today. He worked out hard all week. He nearly got his minutes done, too. He did 800 of the planned 900 minutes. After not doing much at all last week, this was a big jump. It's not a wonder he's sore.

The only thing he skipped was his 15 minutes/day of yoga. He needs to do that every day, and he's not. I started making the minutes part of his total plan, hoping that would inspire him to do it, but so far it hasn't happened. Ah well. When he gets stiff and sore enough, maybe he'll listen to me and do the yoga.

We have two days here, then it's off to Florida. Rest and recovery week. Easy workouts, short duration. Amongst all of the holiday with family stuff.

Basta can ride

Holy moly.

We went out for our 3 hour ride this morning. I told Basta to warm up at an easy pace for a good 20 minutes by riding with me, then take off. 2 minute balls-out sprints followed by 20 perky-paced recovery minutes. Repeat until total time = 240 minutes.

Well, his warmup pace is now 17-18 mph. I did my best to keep up with him. I kept asking him if that was an easy, no-effort, warmup pace and he kept saying yes. I believe him, too. His whole appearance on a bike has changed. He looks like he knows what he's doing now. His line is true -- he doesn't roam here and there down the path. His upper body is still. His legs are pumping and look like he has pretty efficient 360⁰ pressure going on. He's fast. Amazingly fast, compared to where he was two weeks ago. One long ride with the big boys and he understands how to be fast now? Amazing.

I kept up with him by drafting when I could. Also, fortunately, there were plenty of lights in the first 30 minutes of our bike ride on the way to the river path. He got caught at pretty much every one of them and thus I was able to catch him. I rode his wheel for as long as possible. Then he was gone. Until the next light. He's riding 20mph pretty consistently now. I am most pleased.

Shockingly enough, I'm riding faster, too. I've gone from 14-15 mph to comfortably 16-17mph, thanks to the improved pedal stroke. A few weeks of practice with that and it's almost second-nature now. With work, I can do 16-17 for 10+ miles. Not the whole ride, but for long stretches. Go me.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Basta has been bitching loud and long this week about being tired.

It makes sense that he would be tired. This is his heaviest week to date. He's sticking to the schedule, too, so he's really putting in the hours. Since he didn't do the hours last week, this is an especially hard week.

He's also in the muscle-build phase of his weight training, so his muscles are sore. His shoulders, in particular.

Poor Basta.

He's not injured, so I'm pushing him to do the time and do the intensity, too. He can rest next week.

But that means he has to actually rest next week. So an easy week, as previously scheduled, it will be. Short hours, only 8.5. Easy intensity. Let him recover. Let the bygones of the poorly done week last week be bygones.

We'll be in Florida next week, too. That will make getting the training hours done more difficult, of course, but since it's an easy week that should work out better than it did in Napa. No biking will occur, but he can run and swim. He can swim in the Atlantic, even, and get some sighting and nonstop-swimming practice done. It should be a good week.

He continues to amaze me with how well he can follow direction. He's the kind of athlete every coach wants. You tell him to run 40 minutes with 1/3 intervals, he runs for 40 minutes doing 1/3 intervals. He may grouse about it beforehand, but that's to be expected. Afterwards he's happy with his performance. Today he nailed 5:15, consistently, in his 1-minute sprints. I'm really happy with that.

I went to the pool with him this morning. He's rolling his body through the water quite well now. He's breathing bilaterally nicely. No more neck pain. His shoulders are sore so he's not pulling as hard, so he was pretty slow. But he looked good. Except for his stroke. He was pulling his arm out of the water too soon and missing the entire glide/follow-through part of the stroke. I took video. We'll work on that.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Ok, the schedule has been rejiggered.

He was supposed to do 16 hours this week. I backed that down to 15 because it would be too much of an increase in training volume otherwise. Also, I backed off on the time spent running and put it more on the swim and the bike. This is to keep the injuries at bay. Running is so far worse for that than the other two sports, after all.

Next week is supposed to be his easy week. He took his easy week last week thanks to the trip. But if I schedule him long then he'll be doing 5 long weeks in a row, and that's too much. Burnout and injury could ensue. This is bad. So I think he ought to keep the minutes short as previously scheduled -- a mere 7.5 hr week, but make the intensity high across the board.

Next week is stats time, too. I don't expect a huge improvement, again thanks to the travelling, but there should be a little bit. I hope he gets a proper bike time trial done, too.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wimped Out?

Things went awry after the good bike ride, at least from a training perspective.

Things went very, very well for the palate, though. Four days of intense wine education, four nights of dinners at awesome restaurants.

Four days of no exercise. This was supposed to be Basta's heaviest week to date, too. 14.5 hours. I knew it would be difficult, being on this trip and all, but I had hope in Basta's impressively high discipline level and his nearly-obsessive fixation with triathlon. So I schedule him for workouts every day. I thought he could run before class and ride the bike before dinner. No swimming would take place but that's not a big deal, so long as he is still improving his cardio capability.

But no. For starters, it rained. A lot. With wind. Whipping, howling wind.

Then there was class. Wine class. It was fascinating. We learned so much about wine, and we thought we knew a fair amount before. Actually, we found out that we are practically on the initial rungs of the ol' wine knowledge ladder. Basta's focus shifted quite quickly from triathlon to wine. Becoming a Sommelier. Heck, becoming a Master Sommelier (of which there are only 158 in the world). Have I mentioned that he obsesses about things? Yes, he's a 7.

Then we come to the food. OMG, the food. Napa has some wonderful restaurants. We indulged. Every night. Truly fantastic food, really good wine to test our newfound wine knowledge with regard to food pairing, and late evenings plus rain and class obligations do not make one want to train. At all. The schedule went out the window.

Then we came home. Basta may be a 7 and he may have a fair touch of OCD, but he's not so bad that he can't accomplish things. He dreams big and gets excited, but he decides he really wants to do something, he does it.

He's decided he wants to do triathlon in a big way. I thought it might take him a few days to get back into it once we got home, but no. He swam, ran, and he lifted weights. Today he rode the bike 3 hours. In the cold wind. He really is serious about this.

But his total minutes this week are shot to hell. This has become his easy week, one week too early. I have to rework his schedule. That happens a lot, I'd think. People get sick. They get injured. They go to Napa. Schedules must be adjusted. Next week will be his heaviest week to date.

And on the plus side, he hardly mentioned triathlon for those four days. Now that he's back, he's training, but he' seems to be taking his training more as a matter of course rather than the sole focus of his life. I think this is a very good thing.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Booties would have been good on the long ride. Numb toes. Otherwise, we did quite well with the attire. It was chilly and I never exactly felt warm, but I was never really cold, either.

Basta headed out with the boys. They were a nice group of guys, all local professionals, friends of Friend Randy. One had done the full Vineman a few years back and the half Vineman many times. The others were very good riders, used to this terrain of constant rolling hills. Off they went at a very fast clip. Poor Basta.

I finished getting myself together and then headed out on my own ride. Pretty county, Sonoma. Pity the motorists are so anti-bike. Really, you'd think the inhabitants of a place that was so obviously made to ride a bike in would actually encourage the endeavor, but no.

I rode here and there, having no idea where to go. Fortunately, it's all pretty. Randy had shown me a map and suggested routes for me, but I couldn't actually find the right road on the bike. Ah well. I didn't try very hard. Mostly I rode around at my own happy pace, thinking push -scrape - lift, push-scrape-lift -- oh, pretty vineyard! Push-scrape-lift, push-scrape-lift -- fall colors, wow! push -scrape - lift, push -scrape - lift -- yeah fuck you too, asshole. That stupid oversized pickup of yours doesn't make your dick one bit bigger, does it? Push -scrape - lift. Push -scrape - lift. Oh yay, coffee shop. Cappuccino time . . . I had a nice ride. 25 miles. Took about 2 hours of riding time, plus a half hour or so for the coffee stop.

The boys had planned to be back at the car at 1, and I made it there at 5 'til. No boys. I changed out of my bike gear, put the bike in the rack on the roof of the car (no easy task when you're 5'2"), and headed over to the park next door for a walk. 20 minutes later, I completed the loop around the park and could see the cars. Still no boys.

But shortly thereafter, a boy appeared. Then another. A few minutes later the third arrived. But no Basta. Everyone was all smiles, saying they'd had a great ride, good day, happy, happy. They said that Basta was maybe 10 minutes back. Randy had stayed behind to ride with him.

"So how did he do?" I asked. They smiled. They were very nice. No trash-talking from them. Or maybe they were just being nice because I'm a girl. One said he did fine. "He just needs more time in the saddle." Another said, 'Well, he's not a hill climber." The last said, "he did well to keep up." See how nice they were? The picture was clear, though. And exactly as I expected. He did it, because he's tough that way. I knew he wasn't ready for this ride, but I wanted him to be challenged. To realize that he's neglecting his bike workouts and this is going to bite him in the butt if he doesn't ride more.

Basta and Randy finally showed up, about 20 minutes after the others. Basta was tired but excited. He said he'd learned a lot. One that he needs more time in the saddle (Yes! No more skipped bike workouts!) Two that he can push his pace a lot more than he thought he could. Three that hills aren't so bad. He is slowly losing his dread of hills. Four that he really needs to build his leg muscle endurance. That relentless cadence thing is hard.

53 miles done, including the dreaded Chalk Hill. He did well, considering where he is in his fledgling bike career.

I feel like mission was accomplished. I really wanted him to ride with these guys to learn these very things. He's spent far too much time riding with me at my pace, and that's a bad, bad thing. He needs manly speed.