Sunday, June 22, 2008


Has it really been 3 weeks since I've posted? Wow.

It's not that we've been so terribly busy. Just nothing going on, I guess. Nothing bad, nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing bloggable.

A status report will have to suffice until something exciting or interesting does happen.

Basta did the Playa Del Run and did alright. He placed 5th out of 10, which is fairly meaningless. It was a 1K swim, 5K run. It was chip-timed but the 'winners' in many age groups posted physically impossible times. Speculation is that they only ran the first loop of the run. Buggers.

But it's not like we win money or prizes for these things. Basta felt very good in the swim and got another open-water experience under his belt. He finished shortly after our friend Michele, who is a very good swimmer. In the past she's beaten him quite handily at events like this.

The next weekend he did the Huntington Beach Pier swim. The surf was much bigger this day, wetsuits aren't allowed, and it's a longer swim. Again Basta said he felt good and had a comfortable swim, but this time Michele beat him out of the water by many minutes. He said that he felt like he was caught in a current as he tried to swim around the end of the pier. It took him forever to finally get around and start swimming back down the other side.

So is his swimming getting faster? I really don't know. His form looks good in the water. He says he's comfortable, swimming easily, and feels good at any distance. When I time him in the pool, though, he's doing around 2:00/100m. That's on the slow side of average, as I understand these things. How does one swim faster? The search continues.

I scheduled some laps of closed-fist swimming this week. First time for that. Those are supposed to make you feel how the shape of your arm on the pull makes a huge difference. We can hope.

He's going to swim a 1-mile (1.6k) harbor swim up in Long Beach next Sunday. That'll be that for his open water training pre-Vineman.

All is well on the bike, too. These swimming events have made it hard for him to do his Saturday 60-mile club ride, but he has been riding. Drills, sprints, hills, all. Doing some spinning at the gym, too. He's still not super-fast but he's a lot better cyclist than he was four short months ago when he did Oceanside. He'll do two more 60-ish mile rides before he starts his taper.

Vineman is near. 3 weeks away.

The thing I am most happy about is that he's injury-free. He's corrected his swimming stroke and the swimmer's shoulder is a thing of the past. He's doing the yoga almost daily and that's keeping his back and legs out of pain. I truly believe that proper form, combined with the right balance of work and recovery, prevents overuse injuries.

Another thing of note is that he likes his workouts and looks forward to them, for the most part. The bitching and whining is gone. He plans his work, his food, and his social schedule around his training. That means he'll still go out with his buddies and watch Netherlands perform miserably and get knocked out of the Euro Cup in a game they should have won, but he'll drink less, skip the bar food, and come home earlier because he has a ride scheduled the next day.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

We Like Spring

We spent the Memorial Day weekend visiting my parents in Nevada, which was nice. It didn't do the training much good, but it was a pleasant weekend. It rained much of the time and was far colder than usual, so we didn't do a lot of the hiking in the Sierras that we had planned.

Basta did run for an hour in the rain, and that at high altitude (4500 feet / 1370 meters).

Now that we're back, the training program is going really well. Basta is not longer bitching like he used to about these workouts. Sometimes he grouses a little bit before he gets out and does it, but most of the time he just goes out and does it. He says he really looks forward to his swim workouts, for instance, because they feel so good.

That's a big change from how he was pre-Oceanside. If you remember from back then, he was not enjoying this. He was thinking about quitting the long distance stuff, in fact, and sticking to Olympic distance events or less. I know a lot of that was because it was winter. Short days, rain, wind, and chill are pretty miserable for workouts, and no doubt worse so for the novice triathlete.

But now? Now he's loving being a triathlete. He looks forward to a lot of his workouts.

Our focus in this training for the upcoming Vineman is to make big improvement on the bike. I am happy to report that is coming along nicely. He likes the bike now, which is the start of making all the difference. He looks forward to his Saturday group rides. He rode two loops last weekend for a total of 64 miles, so that makes two weekends in a row that he's ridden 60+ miles.
He's met up with two guys who do the second loop, too. Both are very good cyclists, better than Basta. But they have encouraged him to join them for the second loop every weekend, so he can't be that much slower. They start riding at 5:45am, ride the 2 hour loop, then join up with the club group that rides at 8, repeating the same loop.

The two who ride with him in the early morning leave him in the dust on the second loop. They both say that they feel stronger in the second half than they do in the first. Basta's goal is to get fit enough on the bike so that he feels the same. He wants to keep up with them the whole ride. That's a fine goal.

There is the option for some variation in these loops, and occasionally they turn up and ride a major grade that offers itself to cyclists who really want a tough ride. Basta says that hill is much harder than the dreaded 'Chalk Hill,' the big hill that comes near the end of the bike at Oceanside. He thinks that right now he'd have no problem with the Vineman ride.

He has another 6 weeks of training left, too. He could do very well at Vineman. His sub-6 goal is certainly possible.

He's really starting to look like a triathlete, too. I've mentioned before that he'd lost all hint of bodyfat and became very lean. Now, he's getting muscular. His body is growing, becoming more dense and even harder than I thought possible. It's amazing. It's nice. He's still an ectomorph, but he's a more muscular ecotomorph. All of the women in his office who told him a few months ago that he looked sickly because he'd lost weight so fast are now saying, 'ooh la la!'

Speaking of nice, as the one who sleeps next to him, let me tell you that he is like sleeping with a furnace. Always before his body temp has been rather cool. Or equal to mine, at least. Now, I get close to him and I feel heat. Lean muscle really does burn calories at rest and he's obviously burning a lot.

And speaking of that, he's not eating enough. Or rather, he's having trouble finding enough to eat during the day. He won't eat anything but quality nutrition and that rules out most of the junk that is available quickly in the country. He refuses to eat in a restaurant for lunch unless he is with clients, so he brings along food to eat during his day most of the time. He's realized he needs to almost double what he brings for food to get enough. Such a problem to have.