Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Ski Report

We stayed in JK's condo in the Timber Ridge building (upper left on this map). The nearest lift (the Moose Creek lift - see next map) is a couple of minutes walk away when loaded with gear, and the village centre is an eighteen minute walk (unloaded). There's also a pretty convenient shuttle service.

On the previous map, heading west (i.e. up) takes you to this map; the Moose Creek lift is in the centre. If the road is snowy one can ski-in/ski-out. Here's the generic run-down on Timber Ridge.

The mountain has a good mix of runs and plenty of them; here's the trail map.

We did quite well with weather: a good amount of fresh snow (overnight or during the day), some fog, some wind, generally warm (upper-20s to mid-30s Fahrenheit). In spite of my acclimatization to Cayman, with good clothing I stayed warm enough - a few years back we were skiing in the minus 60s Fahrenheit considering windchill (at Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada).

The elevation and my prior aerobic training load combined with lack of anaerobic conditioning really hit me. Also, I'm now in the ranks of once-a-year skiers. OK, maybe alcohol (lots) and sleep (somewhat less than lots) had something to do with it too.

Dinners out were at The Gun Barrel, The Cadillac Grille, The Snake River Grill, and Calico Italian Restaurant. I skipped Calico (sleep was more pressing), and ate game (elk, buffalo, and venison) at the others. My top pick was the mixed game grill at The Gun Barrel (mmm... elk chop...).

Additional plug: thanks to Paradise Taxi for getting us around in a safe and timely fashion - after all, wine's a big part of dinner! (ObDisclosure: Owner/operator Mike Allen is Susan's brother and so JK's brother-in-law)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"I Don't Think We're In Cayman Anymore"

This year our annual ski trip gang stayed at the Jackson Hole condo of our friend JK (and his wife Susan, natch). This is the view from the balcony; snow and mountains were pretty good hints that I was not in Cayman anymore.

Thanks very much to JK (and Susan) - everyone had a wonderful time.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Week That Was

recovery week + travel + elevation + big dinners + alcohol consumption + late nights + 4 days of (some) skiing = no formal training

Safely back on GC; minor ski report to follow.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blog-gone ('til Monday)

Going to Jackson Hole for skiing.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Down-Low

With a front blowing through (per no sea swim on the weekend), we are in the midst of what counts for deep winter cold here. The current temperature is 69F (today's forecast low), and there's a breeze.

Many people are wearing sweaters. Soon enough I'm sure that will seem to me to be just plain common sense.

On the plus side, I have my ski gear out, so I'm ready for The Day After Tomorrow.

The Week That Was

Swim: 1 Masters session Monday pm (high-ish seas over the weekend forestalled any thought of an informal sea swim)
Bike (i.e. trainer): 2 hrs. zone 2 Wednesday pm; 5hrs. zone 2 Saturday mid-day
Run: 2 hrs. zone 2 Thursday pm; 2 hrs. zone 2 Sunday am + 1 hr. zone 2 Sunday pm

I did part of Sunday's running on the treadmill. It was faster and peppier than in the previous two weeks - or should that be less slow and less un-peppy? Anyhow, I'll take it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Not Letting Go

OK, I know that I have to do IMAZ on base alone. I know that there are reasonable schedules for which my fitness is not behind the curve in the ninth week before an Ironman. So, I could just execute one of those plans, right?

Apparently, if I were someone else I could. Being me instead, this week I dropped two weeknight drill sessions and substituted two 2hr. zone 2 efforts. I figure that my form is ahead of my endurance fitness, so the priority is to recruit type IIa muscle fibres and cajole them toward slow-twitchiness.

Next week is a recovery week. After that I'll consider how to juggle my weekly schedule to make the best use of the remaining 7 weeks. The first decision is to select from:
(a) 3 weeks of base, 1 week of recovery, 3 weeks of taper;
(b) 2 weeks of base, 1 week of recovery, 2 weeks of base, 2 weeks of taper;
(c) 4 weeks of base, 1 week of recovery, 2 weeks of taper.
I'm thinking (b).

Simpler issues than my sister's event order conundrums, yes? Feel free to drop by her site and offer advice. I'm open for comment too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

All Your Base Are Belong To Us*

I understood that 12 weeks of low heartrate training might not leave me in a position to pick up intensity to lactate threshold sessions in the time remaining to IMAZ. My breathing opens up below Friel zone 2, so my low heartrate training was all done in zone 1. Last week was my second in zone 2, and now I know that I can't ramp up intensity to do lactate threshold sessions.

I'm not shocked - I'm built for middle-distance, and I suspect that is a signal that the likelihood of being an excellent responder to a low heartrate protocol is low. Still, I was surprised by just how much those two weeks wiped me out.

OK, IMAZ on nothing but base training. It's not as though that's uncharted territory; for example, here's Gale Bernhardt's chart.

And yes, today I was forcibly punted into New (!) Blogger. :-P

* click for allusion

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Week That Was

Long run: 2.5hrs zone 2
Long trainer ride: 3hrs zone 2
Trainer drill session: 1 hr.
1 Masters session
1 informal sea swim

I did the long run on Saturday; on Sunday I had to work to convince myself to do anything on the trainer at all. Sunday night I slept 10.5hrs. Oof.

My current guess is that the low heartrate work didn't recruit my fast twitch muscles much, and that moving up to Friel zone 2 represented a threshold change. Combining that with the duration that I'd built earlier in base just wasn't (yet) workable for me.

Friday, February 09, 2007

HRH and the Blues

HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, visited the Cayman Islands last week.

Although our swimming Masters club (Hammerheads) participated in the sports demonstration, I gave the event a miss (due to training and visitors).

However, I couldn't let his blue iguana encounter pass without publicly flagging it for my sister.

Monday, February 05, 2007


In the manner of annoying little brothers everywhere throughout human history, today I will mirror my big sister.

Today she posted about (amongst other things) her friend France's (and her own) swim workout.

So I'll point out that my lanemates held to the posted rep times in tonight's sets, with any slippage only on the last rep of a set. As the slower of the two intermediate lanes, that showed some determination!

I was pleased to have ground out the hypoxic set as stipulated. It was one of the easiest of the hypoxic sets that we get (25m no air, 25m easy, 25m fast, 25m easy on 2:20), but I'll count it as a win. It's the first time I've managed it in the month since returning to swimming those sets as stipulated.

Trying for a pick-me-up after last week, I threw in some swim golf, but sacrificed stroke count to go less slowly. In our 25m pool, last week I was scoring 86 (avg. stroke count of 36, average time of 50 seconds) over 2 lengths. This week I was scoring 87 (avg. stroke count of 42, average time of 45 seconds).

It didn't so much make me feel better as strike home how much effort would be involved in shaving time on the swim leg of IMAZ - effort that I can't afford.
Note to self: stay humble or be humbled!

The Week That Was

Long trainer ride, zone 2: 5 hours
Long treadmill run, zone 2: 2.5 hours
One Masters swim session

Bad week. During the workweek my lymph nodes were swollen, I had a canker, and at the end of the work day I was toast. By Friday I had started allergy meds, and the weekend was OK.