A Cross-Training Fool

>> Monday, February 28, 2011

That's what I've become!! (Well, mostly weights and core, but whatever.)

I'm doing pretty well NOT running. I'm not too bummed about it. I'm mostly bummed that I'm injured - not too bummed that I can't run. (If that makes any sense at all.) It's been nearly 4 weeks since my last run!

My heel's getting a LITTLE better. I'm still wearing that dang "night splint" when I sleep. It's still achy, but not down low at the base of my heel - it's achy mid-achilles. I'm doing what Dr. Folske says for these 5-6 weeks, but I hope I'm not being dumb by not getting a second opinion (including a scan of some sort to make sure everything is OK in there....).

Here's my training from the last 2 weeks:



Those symbols on the 15th, 17th, and 20th are from some trainer workouts. I did an hour of the "Have Mercy" Spinerval DVD on the 15th, then the next 36 minutes of the same DVD on the 17th, and then 100 minutes of easier spinning while watching a movie with Pharmie on the 20th (as I posted about here). To have 3 hours and 15 minutes of trainer time in one week is GREAT for me!

And I've put in my 2 biggest weeks of strength training ever. Usually, an average week is about 1:30 - 2:10 of strength time, with my biggest week (since I've been logging workouts with BT in Sept of 2009) being 2:48 - but that week included 90 minutes of moving rock that I called "strength work." (My biggest "normal" week besides that was 2:30.) These past 2 weeks, I've done 2:56 and 2:55. (And I normally work pretty "fast" in the gym. For example, the 38 minute strength workout on the 17th contained 4x chest, 3x core [machine], 3x bi, 3x tri, 3x lats, 2x back, 2x lower back, 2x shoulders, and then about 10 minutes of core in the studio.)

I never work the same muscle group 2 days in a row. So back-to-back days might be legs and core on one day, and then everything else the next. And I've been doing a lot to "shake up" my workouts. In fact, we'll call that my "Tip of the Week"....

So here's my "Tip of the Week:" Make sure to "mix it up" now and then. With my strength work, I find it's easy to fall into that "same old routine" that each of us have, and we NEED to give our muscles a different challenge now and then. Now's the time of year to be switching things up. So when I go to the gym to lift weights, I'll always have a different routine in mind. Here are the kinds of things I usually choose from:

Lower weight than usual, but higher reps. I don't do enough of this.

Higher weight than usual, but lower reps. For the burn. ;)

All "body weight" exercises. (Push-ups, pull-ups, dips, leg-lifters, body-weight squats, etc.).

Core: all machines (or anything in the "gym," like leg-lifters, etc.).

Core: no machines (all in the studio).

The "old routine." (Yes, I try to not do this all the time, but if I have 30-40 minutes, my old routine is an easy no-brainer.)

None of these routines would be good to do all the time. (Well, maybe lower weights and higher reps.) But because I'm always mixing it up, I end up getting a great, varied workout throughout the entire week. I think so, at least...

Oh, and those 2 short swims last week was me "mixing things up" in the pool. On the 23rd, I had a swim lesson. And on the 25th, I did a LOT of kicking drills - over 1000 yards of JUST KICKING! I need to hit the pool a little more, and I need to do some water running, too. Yuck.

To wrap up this random post, here's an up-to-date photo of my lovely Pharmie's growing bump as she got back from a run yesterday afternoon:



Back with a new giveaway shortly. Stop back soon!

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New Tri Shop Opening in Minneapolis

>> Sunday, February 27, 2011

On Friday, I got to tour the work-in-progress that is Urban Tri. Todd Olson, an "online buddy", is getting ready to open the Twin Cities' newest tri store in a few weeks.

Todd and I first officially met after he did LTF Tri in 2009. And if you have a good memory, he was the one I mentioned at the end of my 2010 TC 10 Mile race report - Todd was working in the Media Tent for the TC 10 Mile and TC Marathon, and was the first to congratulate me on my sub-60 10 mile (and he told me not to barf in front of the media tent - ha!).

Here's the storefront at 50th and Bryant in Minneapolis that still says "Ahrendt Carpet Company:"



To give Urban Tri a bit of an "urban" feel, Todd hired a graffiti artist to paint the slat-walls:


Some of the main-floor retail space.


Inventory starting to arrive as the space is still coming together.


Part of the basement: the bike shop area.

This next feature is my favorite thing about the new space. Urban Tri is only a few blocks from the Chain of Lakes, so it'd be a great place to start a bike or a run. Todd recognized that fact, so he's putting in a big bathroom and a shower so people can stop by the store, do a workout, and then shower before heading to work or home! Here's a photo that I took while standing in the middle of the bathroom looking into what's soon-to-be the shower space:



I wrote an Examiner article about my meeting with Todd (which includes a few more photos). Click here to see more.

BTW, below are a few more recent Examiner articles of mine. Feel free to follow the St. Paul Triathlon Examiner on Facebook to get local tri-related updates in your FB Feed.

• Life Time Fitness is hosting another Ride of a Lifetime - a world-record breaking spin class.

• The MDRA published their results of the Best Race in Minnesota (as voted by distance runners).

• There's a brand new triathlon in St. Paul with a point-to-point Mississippi River swim!

• The unveiling of the sweet 2011 TC Marathon poster.

• The USATF MN Runners of the Year.

Back with a new giveaway in the next few days! Happy Sunday!

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Elements Bar Giveaway Winner!

>> Saturday, February 26, 2011

I just picked the winner in the Element Bars giveaway. Element Bars are hearty granola bars that are made just the way you want because you pick what goes into them! As I showed on Monday, here's what my bar would look like:


Little crunch, cranberries, blueberries, brown rice syrup, and some protein

And the thing I like about using their site is that the nutritional info is updated with every ingredient you add or subtract!

Anyway, on to the winner!!.....

I counted up all the entries. There were 95 people who entered, but a total of 121 entries because some people earned extra entries for tweeting about the giveaway.

I picked a winner by logging on to Facebook Chat:





So who corresponded with #30? It was J.P. (I first thought it was my wife's teammate JP, but it turns out it's another J.P.)

Congrats J.P.!! And big thanks to Element Bars for the giveaway!

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Friday Funny 163: Baby Basics

>> Friday, February 25, 2011

At Pharmie's first OB visit, she was given a free book called "Baby Basics."



This book is meant to apply to EVERYONE, so there are some issues discussed that Pharmie and I found pretty hilarious. These are 100% true - the following are 6 actual scans from the book.

We found out that Pharmie is NOT supposed to get high, even though this might be when she needs it the most:



And she's NOT supposed to listen to her friends:



I have no words for this one:


Wait, EVERYONE'S baby can't be the most beautiful baby in the world!
This logic makes no sense. I'm confused....

We've been joking about this one all winter:



This book even contains some "Tips for Dad." Here's a good one:


"MAYBE EVEN MORE!!!" Awesome.

Note to Pharmie: get ready for a backrub tonight. I'll be ready for a kiss, and maybe even more. (Like some tongue.)

Finally, this is one of the last ones in the book. I have no words for this:


"Most nipples are ready when you are." Noted.

Shouldn't there be some sort of test you have to take before you get to make a baby? This book makes me think so. ;)

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Friday Funny 162: Superman and Batman

File this under "Whaaaaaaa?!?"



2 quick things:

1. If you haven't entered the Element Bars giveaway, make sure to scroll down to Monday's post and leave a comment to be entered. You only have a few hours left to enter!

2. Pharmie (my lovely wife) just put up her second post about being a pregnant endurance athlete. Check it out.

Back with a REAL good "Friday Funny" in a few hours!....

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Swim Lesson

>> Thursday, February 24, 2011

I had 2 important appointments yesterday: an appt with my ART Doc and a swimming lesson.

FIRST: ART APPT.

Everything went pretty normally. He can tell my heel is getting better, but there's no running for me quite yet. I'm meeting with him again in 2 weeks, and we'll see where it's at. There's still some soreness now-and-then down near the base of my heel, but it is feeling better. I'm going to keep cross-training and foam-rolling to keep it loose so it's not pulling on itself as it heals. Oh, and I'm still sleeping in that night splint shown here - can't wait to be done with that.

SECOND: SWIM LESSON.

So I can't run right now. I can bitch about that, or I can focus on something else. So I figured I could work on my swimming form. Andrea (the swim coach at the Y) met me for a 30 minute lesson yesterday, and I wanted her to "fix" my form.

She saw my "weird" kick right away. Swimming buddy Julia always teases me about my "giddy-up kick" that I do with my right leg. I don't know why I do it. My left leg kicks normally, but my right leg kicks as if I were kick-starting a motorcycle! WTF!

But Andrea noticed something else. When I did that dumb little kick, it made me move my head too much (and in a "wobbly" fashion) when I turned to get air. Andrea figured it was throwing off what little rhythm I had. So she had me do a number of kick-drills, and then had me swim freestyle again with a "better" kick. It felt totally different... and guess what?! My head was staying in line better, and I didn't lose my form as I took a breath!! Yay!! I don't have the desire to build a super strong kick (because I'm training for OW triathlon swimming and I want to "save" my legs for the bike and run), but I WILL work on my kick if it helps make my overall form better!

So, Andrea helped me with my head placement when I breath, some slight over-rotation issues when I breath, showed me how to kick more with my whole leg (and not just "from the knees"), and gave me a number of kick drills to try. She wants me to kick with and without a kickboard along with some 1-legged drills (try that - it's awkward and harder than you'd think). And she wants me to try some variable speed kick drills: for example, 8 x 75 with 25 moderate, 25 hard, 25 easy.

Kicking is something that is TOTALLY fine for my heel, so I plan on swimming a bit tomorrow and doing a LOT of kicking!



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Less Than 2 Hour Trainer Ride and More Than 2 Hours Shoveling Snow

>> Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday night, Pharmie and I hit the trainers and put in a movie. The problem was that our craptastic basement TV was NOT loud enough to hear the dialog. Funny, it's always PLENTY loud when Coach Troy is yelling at us.... "3.. 2.. and OONNEEE... small chain-ring, easy spinning."

So I grabbed a drop-cloth, our bikes, our trainers, and the movie, and moved everything upstairs in front of our "good" TV. Here was our temporary movie-watching set-up with my cat Kermit licking herself in the corner:



Here I am all sweaty (and crazy-eyed) after about 100 minutes of spinning:



Where's my cute, pregnant wife you ask? She was already in the kitchen. No, that's not a "a woman's place is in the kitchen" joke. It was a "a pregnant woman is always hungry" joke. Only that's no joke. It's the truth.

And then yesterday, I got in some GREAT cross training. We got over a foot of snow during the day, and I spent a total of 2 and a half hours shoveling and blowing snow! These following 9 photos are for my southern friends.


Pharmie's tracks through and over a 3 foot drift in the backyard.


Dear winter: "pphhphphffft."


Covered in snow exactly 11 minutes after starting.


Snowblower and the snow (to the right) nearly as tall as it.


Done blowing snow, with hat COATED in ice.

Whenever I get out the snowblower and have some extra time, I help out all the neighbors. Once I had put the snowblower away and was shoveling, one of my neighbors stopped by with a bottle of wine as a "THANKS" for always taking care of their sidewalk! How sweet!!



She said her hubby was just thinking about going out to shovel when he stood up and said "YYEESSS! Here comes Steve and his snowblower!"

Once I got in the house, I laid my gloves, pants, and cat by the fire to dry out:



We got another 2-3 inches later in the day, so my nicely cleared path now had some powder on it:



After nearly another hour, the driveway and yard were cleared again. Look at the pile of snow in our backyard - it's 8 feet higher than our driveway, and I'm running out of places to throw snow!!!



Dear Mother Nature: stop it. Just stop it. I hate you.

p.s. If you haven't entered the Element Bars giveaway, make sure to scroll down to yesterday's post and leave a comment to be entered. Happy winter!

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Tasty Giveaway

>> Monday, February 21, 2011

I've got some "stuff" in the works to be giving away over the next couple of weeks. So make sure to check back often!

Today, I've got some hearty granola bars to giveaway. "What makes them so special" you ask? I answer with "You get to decide what goes into them!"

Element Bars has a website where you start putting ingredients together to form a bar that meets your needs. You start with the bar itself:



Then you add fruits:



And then you add nuts, sweets, and boosts. If you don't know how something tastes or what it's purpose is, you can just mouse-over it, and it will give you a little more info:



Here's what my bar would look like:


Little crunch, cranberries, blueberries, brown rice syrup, and some protein

The best part of using their site is that the nutritional info is updated with every ingredient you add or subtract! And then, when you order your bars, your individual nutritional info is printed on each wrapper. Here's a photo of some bars I got last summer:




So the people at Element Bars want to giveaway a box of 12 homemade bars to 1 of my readers. That's around a $40 value! The winner will get to design and create their own bar.


HERE’S HOW TO ENTER TO WIN:

Step 1 (optional): to earn +1 extra entry: If you twitter, send out this tweet:

I just entered the delicious @elementbars giveaway on @SteveinaSpeedo’s blog - http://iwannagetphysical.blogspot.com/

Step 2: Go to the Element Bars website and play around with their "bar builder." Decide what you'd like in your bar.

Step 3: Comment on this post to be entered in the giveaway - comment about what kind of bar you would design. What would be in it? Also let me know if you tweeted so that I know if I should throw your name in the hat an extra time.

Step 4: Check back Saturday or Sunday to see if you’ve won.

See? Couldn’t be easier. Oh, but a little amendment to Step 3: You do NOT need to be a blogger to comment, but make sure to leave some specific info so you’ll know if you won. So you could say something like this: “Hey Steve, this John Smith from Topeka, and I'd make a bar full of berries! And sent out a tweet, so throw my name in the hat 2 times! Thanks!”

The fine print:
- Contest open to US and Canadian residents.
- You may comment now (on THIS post) through Friday, Feb 25th. The winner will be contacted late on Saturday or Sunday.
- The winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator, drawing numbers out of a hat, or other random selection process.
- Check back this weekend to see if you won! (Especially if you don’t have a blogger account because I have no way of contacting you.)
- If I don’t hear back from the winner within 2 days after posting that they’ve won, I’ll draw another name and give the bars to someone else.



Oh, and if you want to save some money, Element Bars has cheaper, popular, pre-made bars too. Here's just a few from their website, with calories, protein, fiber, sugar, and saturated fat listed:



Thanks Element Bars for the delicious giveaway!! So comment below with how YOU’D design YOUR bar to be entered!!! Thanks everyone!

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Leg Hair Stuck to Athletic Tape

>> Saturday, February 19, 2011



With a post title like that, is there anything else you would expect?

So when I finally pulled the tape off my leg (as seen in Thursday's post), it looked like that above. Ye-ouch. Yes, I have since then shaved MORE of my leg, thankyouverymuch. ;)

Oh, 2 quick more things:

1. Check out my wife's blog. She recently put up her first post (of what's to be a few posts) about being an endurance athlete who's trying to fit pregnancy into "regular" life. So stop by her blog if this is of interest to you.

2. There's a giveaway going up on my blog on Monday. And there's a number of giveaways in the works: things to eat, things to train with, things to wear, things that play music, etc, etc. Stop by often to see what's up for grabs.

Happy weekend!! Here comes the snnnnnoooooooowwwwwwww!!!

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Friday Funny 161: Men in Tights

>> Friday, February 18, 2011

A group of students in one of my college classes loves to check the "missed connections" page on craigslist. We found this following post in that page, and the woman who posted it mentioned the recent Valentines Day TC 5K.



My wife agrees. ;)

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Friday Funny 160: Keith's Baseball Card

Keith: "Oh, I didn't catch that one. Let's take another photo."

Photographer: "Naw, I think got it Keith."

Keith: "Great! That was easy! Can someone get me some ice..."



The longer I look at this baseball card, the funnier it gets!

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Looking for a lady who enjoys triathlons, long walks on the beach, and shaved ankles...

>> Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yesterday, I had an appointment with Dr. Folske (my ART Doc), and I knew he was going to use Kinesio tape on me. So the night before, he told me it would be a good idea to shave the back of my ankle / heel. I propped it up on the sink and got ready:



I took the clippers to it, and the sink looked like this:



Immediately after that, Pharmie came running into the bathroom because she heard me say "AWWW CRAP!!..." "What's wrong?" she asked as she was running up the steps. Well, look at the photo above of my leg. That's my right leg that I just shaved. But my bad heel is on my left leg......

Damn it.

Well, at least my heels were going to MATCH!! ;)

So I propped my LEFT heel up on the sink, and hit it with the clippers:




More leg hair.


After shaving it with a razor. Pretty.

Yesterday, I had my ART session, and the good Doc taped me up when he was done. He had me point my foot a bit as he started on my heel, stretched the tape up to my calf, and then stuck it all down. That way, when I walk, the tape is doing some of the work, and all of the pressure isn't on my achilles.

As he was applying the tape, I found out that I hadn't shaved up high enough:


D'oh.

After doing some tutoring at school, I headed to the pool to try out the tape job. I wasn't confidant it would hold. Nearly half way into my ladder swim workout (100, 200, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1), it was hanging from the back of my calf. I ripped it off and threw it up at the end of my lane, and continued with the workout.

Back at school for a later afternoon class, I re-taped everything myself now that I knew how. Here's my tape job:



No swimming for a day or two, so we'll see if I can make this tape job last more than 5 hours....

In other news, my pregnant wife just signed up to do a half marathon in mid-March! (She'll be around 28 weeks at that point.) She knows that a lot can happen with a pregnancy over a few weeks, so she's just playing it by ear with regards to the race. She's been running long and easy, and she has NO problem NOT RACING the half marathon. The "Get Lucky Triple 7K" (21K = half marathon) will just be a long, supported, easy run for her. I plan on being there to cheer her on and to take photos! Go Pharmie!!

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Half Marathon Photos

>> Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The half marathon photos from a few weeks ago have been found online! Here are some worth note:


The polar bear and the "Securian Mascot" pre-race.


The Securian Mascot getting ready to start off the half marathon.
He only runs a block and then stops to cheer us all on.


With my camera with about 2 miles left.
Race buddy Nicole was just to the left of this image.


A little to the right, showing the pack of guys we were with
(that's my red sock).


Finishing while taking a video and stopping my watch.


Pharmie finishing the 10K with a smile and a baby bump!

If you didn't see my race report or the video I took during the race, click on those 2 links to go check them out.

Oh, and here's one last photo of the YMCA Mascot finishing the 5K or 10K:



Sweet.

That makes me think.... There are a lot of "Guinness World Record" categories for running a marathon in a mascot costume. I THINK I'd be able to break a few of those. On a good day. Maybe when I attempt my next marathon, it should be for a WR.... Something to think about.... ;)

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