I’ve been off my game and out of my rhythm lately. Job stress, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, general poor lifestyle choices, bad household management, you name it I’ve been succumbing to it. I’m still getting out and exercising, just not as much as I need to to shock me back into the right frame of mind.
Tonight for example I was planning to run after Sunday’s short bike ride but I got so little sleep last night and was so out of sorts today during some important work functions that I canned it in favor of an early bed time and a long sleep. That being said, I’m going to log off this particular lifestyle trap (that’s the Internet) and head to bed.
Went for another bike ride on Saturday. I did the exact same loop as last weekend except that at the north end of the back straightaway I extended out to the north to see what was there and then stopped at a different convenience store at the turnaround.
Unfortunately what I found was that my quiet, rolling rural highway turns into a major commercial and industrial artery about a mile above my programmed left turn. I’ll have to do some more map and car recons to find a nicer extension to this route or possibly a new, longer loop course.
This time I did remember to charge and bring my camera. The photos don’t do justice to the scenery but I’ll include them at the end to give a feeling for the route.
Self portrait (also known as the “last known photo” in extreme cases . . .). The jersey was a birthday present from Twin Six. It’s called The Brew Pub. The back has a really cool chain ring insignia on it.
Nutrition. I ran out of peanut butter so I was using a weired PB-combined-with-chocolate-spread-thing. It was . . . okay. Not as good as PB & Nutella.
Route starts out following the shore of Mabprachan Reservoir. . .
Ugh. I have realized that if I’m going to run in the mornings – and especially if I’m going to run intervals in the morning – then I need to do a longer warm-up. Usually I jog for 4-6 minutes to warm up before my first interval. Today I did about 8 minutes and a few more probably wouldn’t have hurt.
My interval speeds were a little erratic but not bad. Not happy about that 7:39 though. I also need to mix up my hard effort day programs. I love the 8 x 400m but I need to do some longer intervals. I don’t because I hate them. Which is a very clear indicator that I’m not good at them. Which is a very clear indicator that I need to be doing them. Noted.
Also, 77 degrees is awesome. There is at least one good thing about working out in the morning before the sun is up.
I didn’t post yesterday because I’m a lazy procrastinator who lacks structure and discipline, but I should have because yesterday’s workout was great.
Last Wednesday I finished my second run through of weeks 4-6 of my push-up workout app. I planned for a max effort test after I finished but kept putting it off and suddenly it was a week since my last workout. Yikes! I’m not sure where the crossover line between ‘resting up’ and ‘losing fitness’ is but I didn’t want to get any closer to it. So I did this:
If my count is correct, that’s 102 reps. Ugly reps, with lots of rest breaks, but 102 reps nonetheless. I was – and still am – incredibly stoked. That’s the most push-ups I’ve ever done at one time. And it’s a big step toward The Goal. Super stoked.
Afterwards I knocked out a good EBEH swim workout. My chest and arms were a little twitchy from the pushups but the swim still felt good and it was a nice change from the endless lap churning that most of my swim workouts are.
You can see my breaks between EBEH intervals totalled about seven minutes. I got this by using the highly accurate and scientific system of resting for twenty heaving breaths between each interval. I thought that my Garmin Swim showed a rest timer while paused during swim intervals but for some reason mine isn’t doing it (hence the breath counting system). I’ll have to research the settings a little bit and see if it’s something I can set up.
I also like this next chart because of how crazy regular my interval pacing is. And how much faster it is than my normal “steady” swim pace, which I believe is around 2:10.
And I’m even going to throw in the technical charts that I usually skip because this time they actually show the differentiation between pace/effort/time on each length – easy, build, easy, hard. Pretty cool.
I thought I would reinforce the obvious there because apparently I myself have forgotten it. On Sunday I tried to go for a bike ride, and I made the colossal mistake of trying to drive to my start point in the early afternoon. What’s the problem you ask?
Songkran. Songkran is a Thai festival celebrating the traditional Thai new years. Which in Pattaya means a week plus of insane tourists and Thai facilitators clogging the streets and shooting or throwing water on everything and everybody in sight.
Needless to say I made it about 500m before I lost my willingness to crawl through gridlock to get out of town to ride. So I bailed and tried again on Monday. I left a little earlier (ten-ish) and got out of town before the psycho’s were awake. And the ride was amazing. I was trying out a new route (really an extension of a route I’d done before) that I had only done a map reconnaissance of (which is even more ill advised in Thailand than in the States, more on that later) but it worked out well.
Here’s the map overview of the route:
The route was fantastic – good roads, little traffic, great elevation changes, and nice scenery. Unfortunately for you I forgot to charge my camera battery so I couldn’t take any pictures. I really wish I had taken some pictures though. The Eastern Seaboard area of Thailand – outside of the cities – is a place of rolling hilly vistas covered in green jungle and dotted with clusters of coconut palms. Sprinkled along the roads and in the hollows of the hills are tapioca fields and small pulp wood and rubber plantations. Add in the roadside shrines, housedold water buffaloes tethered along the roads and small roadside stands and businesses and it’s a fascinating place to explore by bike.
The weather was amazing too. Very warm and humid but with the wind from moving it was really pleasant and the solid overcast kept the unforgiving hot season sun from baking me alive. However, I did forget to use any sunscreen so I got a pretty solid “cyclist’s tan” sunburn. Not that I could download them since I still haven’t found my download cable.
Let’s get to the data.
Three points to finish up:
Map reconnaissance. It is a truism that you should never go anywhere for the first time. On this ride I was actually trying to follow a course that I created on the computer and downloaded to my Garmin. I’d ridden about half the route before as part of another ride but I had never been on the other half. Overall it worked out great. The “Do Course” function on the Garmin worked pretty well and I had two missed turns and one non existent road. The latter was a little concerning but only cost me about half to three quarters of a mile to find out the road didn’t exist and ended up with about two extra miles total. I was able to continue riding and figure out a way to close the loop without too much trouble. Although I was a little worried for a bit. Let’s take a look at the planned course: And let’s look at that actual route map again for comparison:
Pauses and enjoying the moment. If you look at my data up there, you’ll see that there’s about 8-minutes of elapsed time that I wasn’t moving. That was a stop at about the halfway mark to buy a water and a Snickers bar. I have a bad habit of putting a lot of pressure on myself to always be moving when I go for rides, even long rides (not that this was a particularly long ride) and I have this mental schema that you’re not supposed to stop or unclip or you’re somehow cheapening the event. Which is ridiculous and unfounded. It’s a completely internal mental hang-up that is in direct contradiction to my own experience. Most of my favorite cycling experiences were long rides with friends where we stopped occasionally or organized rides that had support stations. You feel better, you can ride longer, and the “hangover” the next day is less intense, meaning that you can get moving again sooner. So it was really nice to stop, refill my Camelbak and relax for a few minutes while I ate a candy bar. Overall, I did a really good job with hydration and nutrition on this ride (timer on my Garmin and some PB&J and PB& Nutella sandwiches).
Regret. This is the longest ride I’ve taken in 2-years (since my training the the Memorial Herman). Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s a shot of my last longer ride: It’s also one of less than 10 rides I’ve done outside on the roads in the 18-months I’ve been in Thailand. I have a ton of great excuses for that but the real reason is just that I’m lazy. Not too lazy to workout, just too lazy to get up, pack my stuff, get out of the house and go find a place to ride. But I had such a great time on this ride that I’m kicking myself for all the time and opportunities I’ve wasted since I’ve been here that I could have been out on the road. Inexcusable. No more! (No more avoiding, NOT no more riding. Definitely more riding.)
I have completely lost the download cable for my spiffy semi-new Panasonic Lumix camera. I have a bunch of pictures of my Bangkok park runs on there that I want to pull off and share with you folks but I CAN’T. I’ve searched my apartment twice and today I even went to the electronics store in the Central Festival mall. They had my exact model of camera . . . but not the download cable. So now its looking like those pictures are trapped on my camera until The Girlfriend’s next scheduled visit when she can bring me one from the Land of the Big PX. (That’s America, in case you’re not familiar with Army lingo.)
Anyway, let’s take a look at today’s run data:
Okay, time out. What the hell is this?
I just went to get my run data for today’s run and apparently Garmin has completely redesigned their Garmin Connect Calendar page, which is the main page that I use at Garmin Connect. This is off the cuff since I just saw this ten seconds ago and started taking screenshots, but here’s my initial reaction: I really like the weekly total column and the monthly totals at the bottom.
I DON’T like that they went to pale colored text and tiny icons instead of the multi-colored block system. I really liked having my calendar full of bright, multi-colored workout blocks. It gave me great, quick visual reinforcement of my string of workouts (or lack thereof).
Anyway, back to today’s workouts.
This wasn’t as bad as I though it would be. I got all the way to the last set without using any extra rest. I gave myself an extra 60-seconds before the final set (which was too much). I was surprised how easy the last set (which was only supposed to be 60 reps) was. In fact I probably could have knocked out another couple reps but I was just not super motivated to tell you the truth.
Which extends to this run data:
Okay, so this is a cool new feature too. I went to get my run details and this little HUD popped up. Very convenient summary data in one snapshot. Moving on to the long promised run data (look! a squirrel!):
So my lack of motivation clearly carried over into today’s run. If you can’t figure out what I mean based on the data above . . . let me know and I’ll extrapolate.
1) I did NOT swim an odd number of lengths. So I have no idea how my Garmin Swim ended up on 25m instead of 50m. It does worry me a little bit, because up until now I’ve been putting complete faith in the distances and numbers that it has been reporting. But now that it has lost (or gained) 25m somewhere I will have to test it against some manual data collection.
2) I have no idea how this workout even happened. I had zero motivation when I got home from work. Zero. I really didn’t want to workout at all. And I was especially unmotivated to do the pushups. I was so unmotivated that I didn’t even try to motivate or trick myself to go workout. I actually agreed to skip it and just have dinner and drink some beer. And yet, somehow instead I got changed and went and swam (I didn’t do the pushups). Still not sure how that happened. The only thing that I can think of is that Evil Me who usually tries to convince me not to workout was somehow aware of how terrible/guilty I would feel if I didn’t do it and so just went ahead and jumped on the bandwagon and sent me to swim.
I got up early (0430) again and knocked out my (5-mile) run before work (and before the sun was up). It felt terrible. The first two miles were the worst, after that I warmed up and loosened up. But I was still a good 25-seconds off my pace from my last 5-miler. Not a big deal, the easy runs are just about doing them but a little annoying.
I also think that performance-wise I’m really an afternoon/evening athlete, in that I do better workouts in the latter half of the day than I do in the morning. I’m pretty sure that there is some scientific research to back this up too. I’m not actually going to go and find it and post anything about it HERE (maybe someday I will) but trust me on that. I know a lot of things. And I’m pretty sure that’s one of them.
Regardless, based on my current life situation (long commute, work hours, avaialbe run routes, etc.) it is way more optimal for me to do my workouts in the morning. So I’m going to keep doing that. I hope.
Up at 0430. Knocked out pushups on the balcony and a 40-minute trainer ride on the bike. I snapped a screenshot of a different page of the pushup app because this one actually shows the rest intervals.
On this workout I used NO EXTRA REST TIME and I knocked out the final set of 60 without coming out of the front leaning rest. Felt really good. Breaking the lead in sets in half makes the fatigue much more manageable compared to the workout on Monday.
I also finally pulled my mountain bike out of the closet (covered in cobwebs and with two completely flat tires). It’s all polished up, lubricated, pumped and ready to go. Next week I’m going to start sneaking out after work and hitting the mountain bike track near my office on Thursdays. If I don’t post next Friday, send help.