BIG Training Week!

>> Thursday, February 29, 2024

Last week was a big week:

Nothing INDIVIDUALLY stands out, but it all adds up to something nice.

My SWIM was nothing special, but it was slightly on the longer side (a week after my longest swim in maybe a decade). My main set was a pyramid of 100, 200, 300, 400, 300, 200, and 100, and times were decent.

My BIKE workouts were nice. I got in 26 miles outside on my mountain bike (to and from class on Mon and Wed) which doesn't happen in February. And I got in 2 decent trainer rides: Thurs was a simple 4x10 min efforts...

... and Saturday was something I first tried about 2 months ago that was efforts of 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 minute (and then repeated):

My RUNNING workouts were also just nice. Monday was a solid long run of 12+ miles, Wednesday was a pretty normal easy run, and then Friday was 800s and 400s at the track.

And finally, my STRENGTH time was huge! I had a weak/short day of core on Sunday before this week started, and then I had time on Monday for my normal legs AND core, so I did 3 hours of strength work. And then I did that again on Wednesday. And without really trying, I did that again on Friday! Three hours of core/legs on each of those 3 days (with decent upper body on Tues, Thurs, and Sat). 13 hrs and 35 mins is a weekly PR for strength time!

What stood out at the end of the week was my "intensity minutes." Because I to got in 2 decent trainer rides, biked to work twice (adding on extra miles on the way home both days), had a good long run, and had decent strength time (my legs and core don't add much to this because it's not intense, but my good upper body workouts do!), my intensity minutes were a weekly PR.

That highest graph was last week's intensity minutes - 428 min alone on Monday!

Biggest week ever!!

I ALMOST broke 1600 minutes (1598) once before in November of last year where I biked to work twice, did 2 other rides of 30+ miles (including my hilliest ride ever), and squeezed in an extra short swim workout.

This week won't top that (that's not something I'll be trying any time soon), but it's shaping up to be a decent week as well!


Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Henry's FIRST Fencing Win!

>> Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The state fencing tournament was this past weekend, and Henry got his FIRST win! He beat his first opponent 5-1. Here he is trying to hold off his grin after winning:

Henry on the attack. (Notice the score here is 4-1.)

Later in the tournament.

After pool play and the direct elimination, he was happy to not be last!
He was 33rd out of 43rd at state as a 7th grader fencing mainly high schoolers.

Henry and his team after the "team" event the next day.
His team won the team title for men's and women's épeé!


Two Perfectly Descending Interval Workouts

>> Monday, February 26, 2024

I don't know if I've ever been on the track in February before. I noted that I checked out the track 2 weeks ago hoping to to run intervals that Friday, but then it snowed that very evening to put a stop to that. So for my speed workout 10 days ago, I hit the treadmill in the basement for a 3x1 mile workout.

I warmed-up for 1.2 miles, walked for 0.2 miles, and then started running hard. (Since my treadmill only goes to tenths instead of hundredths AND speeds up slowly, I actually cranked it up shortly after 0.1 mile of walking so that I'd be at speed when the next tenth ticked over.) And I walked 0.2 between the intervals for about 2:15 of walking rest.

Here's what I ran (and what I can remember from my treadmill speed):

2:52 + 2:48 = 5:40.8
(10.5 mph for 0.4 miles, 10.7 mph for the last 0.3 miles or so)

2:49 + 2:46 = 5:36.5
(10.6 mph to 10.9 mph)

2:48 + 2:42 = 5:30.9
(10.7 mph to 11.1 mph)

Here's what my screen looked like shortly after ending my efforts while walking for a few mins:

Note the 3 "peaks" of speed for the intervals, with the final peak going
up an extra bar for 2 columns at the end when I was over 11 mph.

That wasn't some of my best speed, but it was a good, simple, harder effort on the treadmill.

We had some nice weather earlier this past week, so I thought the track might be ready for me this past Friday. So I checked it out at the end of my Wednesday run:

And notice I picked it up on the home stretch to make sure it wasn't slick under fast feet.

There was a little ice around the first corner from melting snow like I slipped on in early December, but it wasn't bad - it forced me to watch my footing for a few strides each lap, and it pushed me out to lane 2 for just a bit. But it was good enough for intervals, so this past Friday, I hit the track for 4x (800 then 400) with 2 minutes rest between everything. That's a nice simple workout I've done a few times over the last 9 months.

I hit this workout PERFECTLY. My times weren't amazing, but I didn't sandbag at the start and held on for a good workout. Here were my splits for this 800s and 400s:

1:19.8 + 1:19.2 = 2:39.0
1:19.0 + 1:18.5 = 2:37.5
1:18.8 + 1:17.2 = 2:36.0
1:18.3 + 1:15.8 = 2:34.1

LOOK AT THAT DESCEND!! The 400s kept dropping each time, and my 800s dropped by about 1.5 sec each time too! I really didn't know what the final 400 of the last 800 was going to be - I was hurting, and it could have been slow because of that or fast because I wanted to get it over with (turns out it was fast).

Lappy lappy.
(The green laps on the outside were warm-up and cool-down.)

Looks about right.

Since I like to compare numbers, here's all 4 times I did this workout - first column from May 2023, second from Sept 2023, third from Nov 2023, and the final from last week:

May / Sept / Nov / Feb

2:42 / 2:41 / 2:41 / 2:39
1:13 / 1:14 / 1:14 / 1:14
2:40 / 2:37 / 2:38 / 2:37
1:14 / 1:13 / 1:15 / 1:14
2:37 / 2:34 / 2:37 / 2:36
1:13 / 1:14 / 1:13 / 1:13
2:35 / 2:32 / 2:36 / 2:34
1:13 / 1:12 / 1:13 / 1:13

I was fastest overall in Sept (not shocking news). Last week was my fastest start, and therefore tied as my "tightest spread" from start to finish of my 800s (November also had a 5 sec spread from slowest to fastest, but every 800 was faster last week). Again, my numbers weren't AMAZING (as looking at all 8 intervals, I was fastest [or tied for fastest] in just 3 of them), but it's also February and I felt like I gave my all and hit this workout really well.


Final Tri-U-Mah Indoor Triathlon Thoughts

>> Saturday, February 24, 2024

Earlier this month, I swam and ran on 2 different relay teams at the U of M's indoor triathlon called Tri-U-Mah (and here's a post with results).

I didn't have big swim goals as it had probably been over a decade since I'd done a 30 minute "time trial"-like swim. So I was just more curious of my swim distance, not as focused on a specific goal.

One thing that was interesting was that my 30 minute swim was at 1:34.68/100 yard pace (1900 yards in 30 mins). And remember how recently I re-tested my CSS pace (and then did a CSS-based swim workout just after that)? Well my CSS pace test told me it was 1:34-1:35/100. And without trying (without even having that number ANYWHERE in my mind), THAT'S the pace I held for 30 minutes at the race. I think there's something to this CSS stuff.

I stupidly wasn't ready for how much a 30 minutes hard swim would take out of me before running hard for 30 minutes (just 45 minutes after getting out of the pool). I thought I'd be testing my running fitness by seeing how far BEYOND 5 miles I could get after 30 minutes of running, but I was gassed half-way through and just tried to hold on for the entire 30 minutes (4.96 miles in 30 minutes). That was my mistake. You'd think being in my 19th year of mutlisport that I'd have learned that one discipline can take some energy out of you before doing another discipline. Oops.

Finally, here's an email from my boss who set up these work-related relay teams:

And here's the link to the MN Daily article where some of my co-workers were interviewed.

Here's my race report if you missed it!


Friday Funny 2362: Fitness Funnies

>> Friday, February 23, 2024

More funny things posted all week long on HAPPY WEEKEND!!


Friday Funny 2361: Relationship Funnies

More funnies on



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