Weeks 1-3 Recap

Well, I am three weeks into training and feeling strong. I’m still motivated this early on, even in the dreary weather!

Because I am training for long distance running plus short triathlons, it’s a bit of a puzzle to fit it all in. I described the basic alternating week format in my last post, but this is how it actually shook out:

January 23 – January 29

  • Swim: 40 min / 1,575 yards
  • Bike: 1 h 29 min / Les Mills RPM + stationary
  • Run: 1 h 34 min / 8.8 miles
  • Strength: 2 h / Les Mills BodyPump + upper body

Continue reading “Weeks 1-3 Recap”

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Let the training begin

Well, here we are. Week 1 of 37. THIRTY-SEVEN.

Bruno and I are going to be training for 8 events this year (he’s doing 9, actually), and the training starts now and won’t end until October. My list is below:

The way we handling this is by focusing on a couple events at once. Bruno created a training plan for me, and right now I’m focused on the Richmond Tri and the Buffalo Half.

Triathlon goals

I don’t have any grandiose goals for my first triathlon, other than to finish gracefully. Time-wise, this is what I am conservatively estimating:

Continue reading “Let the training begin”

Bunion Surgery – The Aftermath

Hello – it’s been a while!

I got tired of updating you about how I was not doing anything interesting, so I stopped until I was recovered enough to be active.

I am 9 months post-op on my left foot, and 14 months post-op on my right foot. The pictures below show the before and after.

Continue reading “Bunion Surgery – The Aftermath”

PGH Marathon Training – Peak weeks – Weeks 13 and 14 of 16

This is it folks. Only two taper weeks remaining before the Pittsburgh Marathon. Other than a week I got the flu, and a week I had a lot of business related travel, I was very faithful to my planned schedule. I hope it was enough. Two things I know for sure: (1) it has been fun, but (2) I am so ready to take a little marathon-training break and switch to not having to do a super long run every weekend, at least for a little while.

I feel proud of my effort, but I don’t think it will be enough to qualify to Boston. I would have to run at a 7:00 pace, and I think 7:10 is a much more realistic expectation. We’ll see. I will wait until next week when my legs aren’t this sore to make a pace plan for race day.

Week 13

Originally, it was supposed to be peak week. But, as usual, I had to make some adjustments along the way. With longer runs and bike rides, I haven’t had time to do as much strength work and swimming as before, which I guess it is ok at this point. Instead, I totalled close to 40 running miles, which is a lot for me. Also, I’m riding my bike everywhere now that the weather allows it.

Week 14

I planned a half marathon for Tuesday and a 20+ miler for Sunday. In the end, I cut the half marathon short, and I dropped the + of my twenty miler stopping exactly when my Garmin read 20.00.  As a result, I was half a mile short from doing my first ever 40 mile week. Still, I had some seriously good runs, and I am satisfied with my performance and proud of my effort.

19 miles before dawn

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Safety before fashion

Week 13 was as busy as it can be.  But, at this point, cancelling my long run would have amounted to giving up a lot of my expectations and ruining a lot of my effort. So, I scheduled the run for the only time I could fit in in my schedule. I set up my alarm for 3:00, put on a reflective vest my wife got in Ikea, and I managed to finish my 19 miles before dawn. To be honest, I really enjoyed the last part of the run. As the sun was coming out and I was pushing the last two miles I felt like a breathing walking (running?) inspirational quote 🙂

1 year of progress

This is it, the longest run and the last really tough workout of the cycle. I’m happy I started early, because Spring suddenly arrived and the temperature was already in the high 70s by the end of my run. I felt strong for most of the run and I almost met my target time of 2 hours 30 minutes (I was short by less than 2 minutes).

The last two miles were extremely hard. So hard that I almost want to wonder whether I am ready to do 26 miles in two weeks. But I know I am, because this is not my first time around. Last year, two weeks before Pittsburgh, I did a 20 miler, almost like this one but with a couple of differences. Last year, my pace was 8:52 min/mile and not 7:32, and it was the last 4 miles that I struggled and not just the last 2.  So, I know I’m ready ad excited to run Pittsburgh once again!!

#GameonPGH

What a wonderful run!! — It was my last long run in preparation for the @pghmarathon 20miles @ 7:34 pace #GameOnPGH — I did three 6-8 mile loops around my place. The last one was really hot and my legs were really tired, but it was also the best because my wonderful wife @kibilds escorted me with her bike 🏃🏻🚴🏼❤️❤️ — Now I'm ready for a 2-week taper and then my second marathon!! — Also good luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon today!!! #runbold If I do well in Pittsburgh maybe I'll get to run it next year #bostoninmymind — #longrunsunday #hellobetter #beatyesterday #fitcouple #newtonrunning #marathonrunner #marathontraining #runloud #riseandrun #roadtoironman #trilife #runnershigh #runnerspace #runnerscommunity #runnersofinstagram #runchat #outsideisfree #runnershoutouts #runnerofsteel #furtherfasterstronger #happyrun #runeatsleeprepeat #swimbikerun #runitfast #20miles #longrun

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Triathlon training – for real now

A lot has happened since I last posted! Since I started physical therapy for my foot, I have been progressing quickly. My goal was to get to bike and run as quickly and sensibly as possible.

I was nervous about standing on the bike, since there is a segment of each revolution during which one foot is bearing all the weight. First, I tried an upright stationary bike with programmable workouts (not a spinning bike) during PT. That didn’t go so well… I could not get the resistance to go up high enough to support a real standing climb. So, I took it upon myself to try it on a spinning bike at a local YMCA. I did 8 minutes, then 10, then 15, and tried standing for bits in between. I started with regular training shoes, then my cycling shoes with SPD cleats. This progression built my confidence enough to try riding outside for the first time!

The ride was 7.3 miles at 12.3 miles an hour. It was the windiest ride I’ve ever been on, so I was uncomfortable, cold, and nervous. I broke off from the route Bruno had planned and cut it short a bit. Close to the end, my body had relaxed a bit and I remembered that I really love cycling. I’m excited to try again tomorrow! I’m not quite (mentally) ready to get on my road bike and clip in, and I have a feeling my foot will be ready faster than my head will be 🙂

On the running front, I told my physical therapist early this week I was ready to start running. I have been doing some stuff on the elliptical and some fast walking, and I felt it’s time. She had me try the treadmill and run at a comfortable pace, and I discovered it was actually less painful than walking! So, we’ve been upping the speed and distance since, and today I completed my first outdoor run of 1.83 miles!! I’m feeling very accomplished.

Today's spinning and run combo was many post-surgery firsts: First brick workout, first outdoor run, first run in the snow, first #lesmillsrpm class, first run above 1 mile! 🏆 Thanks @beccarun for running with me, I would have stopped without you there. Nothing crazy, 45 minutes on a stationary bike and 1.83 miles at 11:17 pace… But my foot feels great and my heart is full. 💗 And of course, we celebrated with breakfast 🍳☕️ Day 6 of triathlon training complete! — #️⃣#tritraining #trilife #brickworkout #swimbikerun #triathlontraining #triathleteintraining #triathleteinthemaking #saturdaymorning #outsideisfree #wymtm #mileschangeyou #madebymiles #mizunorunning #mizunowave #workoutdone #runoutside #runner #runnerspace #snowyday #trigirl #runnergirl #weekendworkout #roadtoironman #irunthisbody

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These milestones got my triathlon training off to great start. My workouts this week were:

  • Monday: Strength training – leg day | Swim 550yd
  • Tuesday: Run 2 x 0.5 miles at 11:30 pace
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Strength training – upper body | Swim lesson 1 hr
  • Friday: Run 0.7 miles at 11:00 pace
  • Saturday: Brick Les Mills RPM™ + 1.83 miles at 11:17 pace
  • Sunday: 10 mile ride (planned)

I’m icing and elevating my foot for the rest of the afternoon, because I’ve found that I get better results with my recovering foot if I mind the rest as much as I mind the progress.

My next big milestone is getting on my road bike. Stay tuned for that!

 

PGH Marathon Training – Week 11 of 16

It is that stage of the training cycle with the really long, really hard runs. I am trying to allow enough rest for my legs to keep up, but this week I was too ambitious and had to cut my long run short. Still, I feel it was a productive week overall and I there is enough time left to get my legs ready for Pittsburgh.

This was a very tough week for 3 reasons:

Continue reading “PGH Marathon Training – Week 11 of 16”

Bunion Surgery Recovery: Week 13

Exactly 1 day after my last post, I received very good news in my 12 week post-op appointment. The doctor and nurses were very pleased and impressed with my healing progress, and said I did not have to go back for THREE MONTHS!

Three months? Wait. What am I supposed to do until then? Can I walk barefoot? Can I drive? Can I ride? Can I run?

The first great news: Yes, I can drive again! Regarding physical activity, the doctor said I should not increase by more than 10% each week, and that I should not start training for a marathon. Not knowing quite what that meant, I asked for a physical therapy (PT) referral and started sessions last week.

In week 1 of PT, I have been given the following exercises:

  • Toe curls (trying to scrunch up a towel), 2×10 twice a day
  • Seated heel raises, 2×10 twice a day
  • Ankle rotation front and back, 2×10 twice a day
  • Ankle rotation side to side, 2×10 twice a day

The first couple of days of trying to move my toes caused some discomfort that I was not used to. My foot has not hurt since the second week after surgery and now the exercises make my toes hurt a bit. However, I can already feel how these exercises are helping me walk normally by letting my foot roll onto the toes, and the ankle rotation feels wonderful.

The other great thing about PT is that my I can begin trying out new exercises. I have been pretty consistent with my upper body weight training, but since last week I have incorporated squats (body weight), and brief elliptical and recumbent bike cardio sessions.

Passed my 3 month post-op check-in with flying colors! Doctor does not need to see me for THREE MONTHS. She said I can begin increasing physical activity, but not by more than 10% each week… That means: elliptical! Felt super clumsy at first, but I did 10 minutes and my foot felt normal. I'll slowly start adding time and distance and hope to progress to walking/treadmill/running with the help of a physical therapist. Soon! 🚶🏽➡️🏃🏽 — #️⃣ #recovery #physicaltherapy #footsurgery #bunionsurgery #elliptical #cardioworkout #saturdaymorning #mizuno #mileschangeyou #workout #training #trainingday #getlean #tritraining #triathleteintraining #triathleteinthemaking #swimbikerun #learntorun #calfs #trainhard #trainsmart #nevernottraining #nevergivingup

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I’m incredibly pleased with my post-surgery state. I thought I would lose a lot more strength than I did. I think eating 40%+ protein has really helped maintain my muscle mass, despite the atrophy in my legs. I also started swim lessons and I love being able to work on my goal of becoming a triathlete even though my legs and feet are not ready yet.

In my next update, I hope to share stories about going back to group fitness and maybe/hopefully getting to try an upright stationary bike!