Friday, March 26, 2010

Man vs Mooseman -- Back on the saddle finally!

Actually awake at 05:00(AM)! Must be getting edgy in my old age...

It has taken a while to get some safe conditions for a hard bike ride, but there is plenty of spinning going on, and I'll admit I prefer a good hard hour of spinning to an out-door slosh and wash. Particularly if I have to do the wash at work. (My road bike prefers it too, just ask her!) So, I'm glad I got to Wellesley today for a Spynergy class. Never did one with such high (>120) cadence before. Usually the coaches want to stay around 60-80 rpm, and load on the resistance. I got plenty hot and sweaty in there, and only had water and part of an apple beforehand. No cramps or roll-ups on the bike, so I'll take that as a healthy workout. I'll be swimming later on today hopefully at Zesiger, which I hear is frequently underused in the afternoon.

Checking back in now at the end of the day, and I did get to the pool for only about an hour of work at MIT. It is a very nice facility, and I'd love to get the family over there for some long-term lap swimming. Makes me wonder if the lads could do an effective swim anymore if their lives depended on it. And it would be great to see Carol in a Speedo sometime. (She just needs confidence.) Should have done photographs.

I ended the workout with a right-leg cramp in my calf, the toe-pointer muscle (gastrocnemius). I could have gone on for a while, but didn't want to tempt fate. Wasn't completely uncontrollable, but I had trouble working it loose. Drinking water didn't help, but walking did finally work it free. By that time I was cooled down and had to pack it in. A one-month pass to Zesiger for April will do nicely though! Run class tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Fundraising

I need to be clear about fund-raising in this political environment. I have posted a link button to my fund-raising web page on my FB profile, and it is included above and below on this blog page. I appreciate anyone who would help me achieve my minimum of $2700.00 as is required for me to participate in the Mooseman Tri with the Team In Training. I will donate any and all of the remaining difference between what I have and what I need by 28 March (Sunday).

Our present Congress and President have not put me in a good position to ask for charitable support for cancer research and cancer patients. No one now is, or should be, in a particularly generous mood. However, the issues of medical insurance and cancer research are still logically (and therefore practically) separable. For the time being at least, your support can be very efficacious for current cancer victims and their families. And it can definitely help see to it that blood cancers are eliminated within our lifetimes.

The only good reason to give to my cause is that you see blood-related cancers as an on-going threat to you and those you love. I certainly consider them a threat to me, though I'm not a cancer patient at this point. Additionally, you might support me out of respect for those you know who have battled these diseases, win, lose, or draw. I have decided this year not to solicit from anyone whom I know to be an immediate cancer survivor; they have already done enough to fight cancer. I'll take their part in making my goals.

However, if you are looking for a way to lend your support to leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma researchers, patients, and patients' families, here is a way to do it. Visit my FB profile and hit the "donate" button, or go to my donors web page now. Thank you.

- Dale

Monday, March 15, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Waterlogged in MA

Nope this isn't Newfound Lake, NH. It's my back yard. And right now it's not quite deep enough for me to practice the freestyle stroke in, but it is too deep for cycling or running. So to make a long story short, the weather is miserable for outdoor training. No excuse, though, as I've got a time limit: I need to be ready for anthing by June 5, so I've got to keep up the aerobics, the cals, the cycling, the swimming, and the run training. I'll be running in my trail boots for some time now, until the slop clears away.
It is Monday now, and the stuff keeps coming, as I hear it pounding away on my roof. And the wind is blowing too, so maybe that'll eventually clear it away and dry everthing out. So much for XC ski training to replace running. I'll have to be doing mud-daubing and puddle-slumming instead. But none of us on the Tri Team are going to let that stop us. We knew Boston area weather could be dicey and unpredicatble when we started this.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Training Log 5

Back on the bike (actually a stationary bike) at the Waltham YMCA, to get more spinning work with the Team. And it shows I've been off the wheels for too long. I've been away from training for a few days now, oddly enough they were all four beautiful days for being outside, and here I was stuck inside with other responsibilities. I should have just ditched them, since I didn't finish my paperwork anyway, and gone out for more aerobic base building. So, I'm behind the eight-ball again getting my training in order, can you believe it?
Seriously, the days of taking myself and my body for granted should have ended more than 20 years ago. But now that I'm pushing 50, the old news clips about guys like Mike Ditka and Dave McClain going into tough workouts and then returning home to have heart-attacks, are becoming too relevant and scary. The toughest discipline is not to go in too hard when you've been skipping for a while, and trying to make up for all the missed workouts at once.
I stayed on that bike for an hour or so with the group, and kept the old heart-rate down below 185 at least, which is about 95% of my maximum these days. I'm not your typical 49YO in that regard, as my heart has a small valve irregularity, and tends to speed up beyond the usual level for my age. I didn't feel faint, though I did get that old congestion that those of us who need more aerobic conditioning notice when we get back in the saddle, in the pool, or on the street, after too long a break. Still, I can see myself catching up again, once I get these silly paperwork tasks behind me. (Maybe what I need is aerobic letter-writing and tax preparation training?)
Well, enough fear-and-loathing in the workout room for now. I'll be back lifting weights, running, and swimming this weekend, and maybe get some wet running in today, just as a penance for my procrastination. I blew the good weather days, now for my comeuppance.
More later,
- Dale

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Man versus Mooseman: Training Log 4

Swim class again this morning, and this time some progress to report: I can do the drills now, back-kick, side-balance, hide-your-head, and I even added an arm-stretch stroke which I can use to practice free-style strokes. My right-side breathing is also much improved (I'm a natural left-side breather with the crawl, but you need to use both side for free-style.) And, I didn't have to drink half the pool, or rinse my sinuses, either. While I'm quite sure I'll have my bad days of training in the water in the future, as I'm not out of the reeds yet with my technique, I can see the headlamp of that oncoming train, and my head is now hard enough not to give way, even to that apparition. I've also got some photos taken of me, as mentor Anna was willing and able with my digital camera. See my photos below:

 Photo 1: Still a bit deep in the water, but my stroke is improving.

So I'll be back in swim class when next we meet with the team, and hopefully not missing any of them in the future. I know I'll need the work.

Photo 2: My mentor, Christine complains about being photo'ghed so early in the morning, but Mentor Anna (far left) doesn't seem perturbed. Anna took the photos of me here.

I'm proud of being happy with my work in swimming, despite my tendency to be sardonic about my skill levels. I know I've counted on my body in the past to make "me" look good to my favorite people, with mixed success--usually because I think it should work better with less effort. I know I'm no Olympian, and certainly will never be in the water. But being coach-able is one of the prouder things an athlete can achieve, and it has certainly been no mean feat for me. And probably even harder on my coaches.

I'll be back next time with more stuff on training, probably getting in some running and cycling. Can't drop those two balls while I hold this one up, no matter how highly for the moment. Thanks for reading, and please help me out with my fund-raising! - Dale

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Man versus Mooseman: Training Log 3

Added another day of individual swim training at Bally's Cambridge pool. (Need to remember photographs next time.) I got in about an hour, though I was not in motion continuously for all of that. The balance drills went much better than they have so far. Also, it was evident after the piddling motion from my still-pretty-lame flutter kick that adding the arms with more stretch and focus did increase my distance per stroke. I've pushed the hands quite a bit deeper now instead of dragging them across my middle, and with a catch-up drill in the works, I was making it across the 20 yard pool in about seven or eight strokes. That's not very good yet, but it is a lot better than it had been. I'll have to go back and slap that guy who taught me those short-arm strokes; he put me in a bad habit all those 38 years ago. Funny I never recognized the problem.

I did indeed practice the back and side-balance drills, with a few of my own variations in the side drill. I'm not realizing much in gains from the balance yet, but at least my kick is getting stronger now. If I can keep those gains despite the humiliation drills from training practices, there will at least be some hope of improving my stroke, at least as long as I survive the frustration. And while I'm still getting water in my sinuses during that silly side roll, I may be able to cut that down with more practice. What a pain, though! And not very sanitary for the pool, either.

Anyway, I may indeed go back to the Saturday practice at the College, just to learn the other drills. I have to anticipate that it will be very disappointing experience again, and just resolve to get out of there when its over and go practice, which I may enjoy more now. I do need to use a longer, deeper pool from now on, because four feet is too shallow, and 20 yards is too easy to cover now.

For tonight, I need to either run in the dark, or cycle indoors.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Man versus Mooseman: Training Log 2

We've met once for some running on Feb 20, and once more for sports medicine and injury prevention at Marathon Sports Medicine clinic in Newton Corner. But I've had no end of trouble getting consistent workouts for this Tri! So, today, I've taken some leave time and gotten in some elliptical and some swim drills. I managed to hang in there for 40 minutes on the machine, at a relatively high level of exertion, but nothing like a good hard outdoor run. But the swim, though it was only for 1/2 hour was much better than I had expected. The float balances were not too bad this time, though I was probably more relaxed. I still need some serious practice with the flutter kick, but I can get some advice on that at our next swim training. Ironically, today's evening team-swim was canceled due to illness at the local college whose pool we use. So, I'm one up on them, if anyone saved their training for tonight.

I've got a chance for a ride-and-run on Saturday if the weather holds; but the team is meeting for swimming at the same time. I'll have to make some kind of choice on that one, since I need the outdoor work, but also need to practice and learn more drills. I'll be getting some work in the pool over the next couple of days (fingers crossed!)