Monday, March 31, 2014

Great times with the family

While I have been working on my cardio at home, I had a blast Sunday taking my seven-year-old son out on his first mountain bike trail ride. He was so excited when I told him both of us were going to go on a ride near the mountains.  So excited that he started bringing my shoes to me to help us get out the door.  First, a pair of loafers, to which I told him not those, then my running shoes, to which I also told him not those.  He got my flip flops and we were out to the garage to load the bikes on the car.  I knew where we were going, Usery Park, there is a playground.  I made this our destination.  Parked the car and we were off.  I told him on the way there to stay on the trails and keep control of your bike.  I knew of a route that would be a good starter ride for him, some small hills, some rocky parts and some corners.  All this he was able to handle no problem.  I lead the way there, a roughly 2 mile route.  Made it to the playground and spent a little time there and took time to hydrate.  He was excited to get back riding and this time I let him lead.  Took the same route back to the car.  We came upon a bunch of others either hiking, riding horseback and mountain biking, and he followed the rules of the trail perfect.  Such a positive experience for him that I bet it won't be long and we will be out again, maybe choosing another challenging route and going even a longer distance. 

On another note, Saturday, the training wheels came off my four-year-old daughters bike.  I am not sure if it was the balance type of bike or riding a scooter that helped her achieve getting the hang of riding.  She took off on her first try.  We had to work with her on starting out by herself, but she picked that up too really fast. She rode around the grass for nearly 30 minutes, stopping and starting and loving every minute. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Update Week Four Marathon Training

This week was pretty much stuck doing cardio.  Not running while the knee is still not feeling great.  In about a week I will get the results of an MRI.  Then the new doctor I am seeing will let me know my options as to what the pain is being caused from and how to approach treating it.  I have a few mountain bike rides this weekend, and I am looking forward to hitting a new trail I have never been on before.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

X-1 by H2O Audio to fuel your workouts

The smallest amount of sweat or water can turn your headphones into a quick piece of junk. You have invested enough in your audio, so why let sweat ruin it.  I enjoy using numerous audio set ups from X-1 by H2O Audio.  Not only are the headphones sweat proof but underwater proof too.  The devices I own have fueled many a sweaty and or pool workout.  I am either seen at the pool with my X-1 case for my 3rd generation iPod Nano that I wear in a Velcro belt or the Interval 4G waterproof headphone system attached to my goggle strap.  I guess you could say the one I use the most, is the one that is charged ready to go.  Both securely hold my iPod and keep it dry yet allow me to use my playlist to push my workouts to the edge.  I have a few different choices when it comes to headphones I use.  The Surge Sportwrap and Surge mini waterproof headphones are both high quality made and transfer music to your ears without having to worry about being ruined by any amount of moisture. Each set of headphones comes with different tip sizes that can be easily swapped out to fit comfortably. 

 The Surge Contact waterproof headset is great for those that want to stay connected with an in-line waterproof microphone.  The clip stays positioned where you put it and has a convenient one-touch answer/end button.  All the sets of headphones I have came with five sets of elastomer earplugs to comfortably fit any ear opening.   

As an ambassador and member of  Team X-1, contact me through my e-mail or DM on Twitter to find out about getting a discount. 

I advise only using your headphones while running, swimming, at the gym or other activity other than cycling on the road.  Using a headset while cycling is dangerous, as the rider must be listening for traffic and others around them. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Elevation Training Mask

While both running and using the bike on the rollers, I have been using the Training Mask. So what is it you ask. There are numerous studies out there on how athletes train at higher elevations to increase their performance. The area I primarily live and train in, is about 1000 feet above sea level. The mask covers both your nose and mouth and creates an effect as if I were in a higher altitude.  The mask is said to reduce training time by 1/3 by improving the efficiency of my workouts.  It conditions the lungs creating pulmonary resistance and strengthens my diaphragm.  Wearing it forces you to focus on your breathing. The best way this mask will help my body is by teaching it to use oxygen more efficient forcing me to take deeper more full breathes.  I can tell just after using it for over a month how my breathing is being helped by wearing it. 
Once again the mask fits over your nose and mouth attaching at the back of the head with a Velcro strip. There is Velcro strap it comes with also that can be used to cross over your head, joining the two ear holes on either side.  I have to admit the first time I put the mask on, I was very relaxed, yet then was forced to start focusing on my breathing right away. As without the mask, breathing is very easy and not really something the human body needs to think about doing  There are a few sets of valves that come with the mask and instructions on how to set the mask up to mimic different levels of elevation.  Of course very interested in knowing how the maximum degree of elevation with the mask of 18,000 feet would feel I set the mask up and jumped on my bike trainer.  It seriously was not long before I was having to really focus on getting my next breath.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Update Week Three Marathon Training

After a week difficult running, and getting frost bite from icing my knee too much, I visited a new doctor this morning, actually this time an orthopedic surgeon to have him look over and see what is going on with my left knee.  After a bunch of new x-rays, a bunch of twisting my leg, turning my knee and poking and prodding, an MRI has been ordered.  I've been told to stay off my knee until they can figure out from the MRI just what is causing the pain and how to treat it.  I will still be working on my cardio on the bike and maybe purchase my summer swim pass, to swim laps, earlier than I had planned.  While the doctor what moving my knee around he did not think it was my MCL yet was thinking along the lines of it being my medial meniscus.  This will be found out during the MRI.  With the destination marathon being in late June, I am leaning towards making it a marathon I do on my own, locally here on the same day.   The weather here in Arizona will be quite different than northern Minnesota at the time, but save a lot of money.   I have already started putting together a route that would be 26.2 miles with plenty of gas stations for support.    The marathon in still on,  just a different location.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

Update Week Two Marathon Training

My running has become difficult.  I just get warmed up and into my run and that is fine.  The cool down and recovery is becoming more painful.  Just an easy just over 3 mile easy destination run Saturday was great, however two days later my knee is in pain.  I am starting to think I need to see another doctor or get another opinion about my MCL issue.  The doctor I am seeing now is pretty much just treating it for a time being kind of approach. He has me  running on it, doing my training as I have planned out, but in the next two weeks I bump up my mileage a lot.  I am thinking I will end up in the same spot I was before I started seeing him.  I have talked to others (friends, fellow athletes) about my issue and they are shocked that he still has me running on it.  The injury has me a little down on my performance and myself.  I am going to back down from running early this week, keeping it to some roller rides on the bike and keeping it low impact.  Still the ice and RumbleRoller and RR Beastie are keeping me going.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Update Week One Marathon Training

I moved my long run from Sunday this past weekend to Saturday.  The day was suppose to be rainy all day so I was up for getting drenched.  I dropped my car off for an oil change and used the time to head out on an eight mile journey.  A little misty rain came down the first mile or so, but I quickly got into a groove and was loving the cool fresh air.  I did not really plan out a route, I just knew I was out for the eight miles.  I was trying to calculate in my head while watching my GPS so I would end up pretty close to my start point.  About four miles into my run, I was noticing ahead of me a few road closures. I knew the Phoenix Marathon was taking place that morning but had no idea what the course was.  I came across the race course twice, slowing down to watch and support those in the event.  Hit the eight miles very close to my start point and felt very strong.  My knee was great the whole run. The problem I had was the next day during the recovery.  It was a very bad day.  Knee was locking up and very sore making it difficult to walk around.  I had to keep icing it and still am three days later. The visit to the doctor Monday night kind of helped but the pain is still there.   I feel like I am a scientist trying to test the limits of my knee and see just how far it will go before it fails.   My schedule is tight this week and I hope I get my week day runs in.