Monthly Archives: March 2011

For Watt It’s Worth

Just short of the Big Drift on the Going to the Sun Road last JUNE.

Another training update from frosty Montana. Yes, frosty. Despite it being the end of March, up here near the northern border, we are still readily getting dustings of snow and are just now starting to break into the upper 40’s. Everything is really soaked wet because of all the snow melt, and with all the snow in the mountains, we are hoping to not get some serious biblical flooding. Still stuck indoors with all that badness. I figure I should be able to ride outside sometime soon, say, after the swim at Coeur d’Alene.

Happy to say the illness seems to have run its self out of the house. The Van family appears to be 100% back to baseline….just short of crazy. Since my last post, it has been a delicate balancing act with work, training, and family. Due to cantaloupe catastrophe, I moved my long run to Friday, when I stuck right on IM race pace for roughly 10 miles in 1:30. Apparently I should have waited longer, as I had complete GI destruction following that event. I’m thinking my innards were pretty sensitized with everything running through them still, and the aberrant GI blood flow from the long run didn’t help a bit.

Because of that, switched my long ride to Sunday and my short ride to Saturday. 1.5 hours on Saturday right on pace at roughly .75 IF with breaks. Sunday, went for the three hour ride, longest yet since Calgary last year. Included in that was 2X8min and 1X12min Zone 4, rest Zone 3. With breaks, averaged out at with a TSS of 164.1 and an IF 0.741.

Took a “rest” day on Monday with a 2300 yard swim full of drills. Pace was stable at roughly 4:50 for 300y, even despite being attacked by swim toys from the visiting school.

So that brings us to today. Today can be summarized in many ways. One way is to call it a periodic FTP test. Another appropriate description is the two wheeled, yellow version of Dante’s Inferno. You know the drill, ride 42 minutes all out with a 2 minute break right in the middle. So, after a 10 minute warm up, I had at it and gave it hell. After 42 minutes of cursing, loud music, and enough squinting to make even this Asian gasp, the powermeter read a whopping FTP gain of….wait for it…..one. Here’s what that torture looks like in geek form:

Despite the minimal change, I’m just really happy it was at least in the right direction. Getting 209 would have just totally shock and awed my motivation. Still 13 weeks to go until CDA….maybe I can make it to 215 watts yet…one watt at a time.

Explosive Power

There are a lot of things that can screw up Ironman training. Things like time, money, injury, mafia, and Charlie Sheen. As of today, I can now add melons to that list. No, not those type of melons! I’m talking cantaloupes specifically. Actually, I am talking Costco cantaloupes specifically.

Today, I had the wonderful pleasure of spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom…not fixing my hair. I figured it was just something weird I ate at Starbucks. Then, I got an informative phone call from Costco telling me not to eat some cantaloupes I bought from them this weekend as they are being recalled for Salmonella contamination. Guess what this tri guy had as a refreshing snack after dinner last night? You guessed it. A delicious melon with some yogurt and granola.

I knew fruit was good for you, but I didn’t know it would actually cause me to lose weight rapidly. Things have worsened through out the day. I was able to get my workout in after work, but it ended short after the intervals and was followed by immediately passing out on the bed. Now, I’m rolling around with stomach cramps, fever and chills, and paying frequent homage to the thunder bucket.

Every day is another day to learn in triathlon. And now I know another important fact. Don’t eat cantaloupes, especially anytime soon before riding, running, swimming, or breathing.

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