Saturday, March 29, 2008

Race Tomorrow

Been too occupied with race week to post. Currently sitting on the porch of a camp on a bay near Galveston getting ready to boil some shrimp and crabs. Too bad I can't eat them because of the race in the morning. It is still nice and enjoyable just hanging out watching the kids play.

Wednesday was a rest day and I got to enjoy it a little. We had to pack Wednesday night since we were leaving as soon as I got home from work on Thursday night. Thursday morning was speedwork workout consisting of 5 miles total with 4x800 repeats @ 3:25 pace making up the workout with one mile warmup and recovery.

Got home Thursday afternoon and loaded the car with our junk and the kids. Left home around 6 for Galveston. Stopped in Lafayette at Waffle House for our traditional traveling meal of waffles and chocolate milk. Made it to the camp in Galveston around 11 Thursday night and hit the hay.

Got up Friday morning and ate some of my Dad's famous butter-laced pancakes. He cooks them in a skillet with about a stick of butter for every half-dozen pancakes. The butter mixes with the batter on the edges and makes a nice butter crust around the pancake. They are awesome. Spent the day at the Kemah Boardwalk with the kids. Went to the race site around 3:30 to meet a friend from Houston to do a practice swim. I was one of about 4 people out of 60-70 doing the practice swim at the time who did not have a websuit. The water was a nice and warm 70 degrees. Only took my breath away for a second. Actually wasn't that bad. Swam 700-800m. Wind was with us on the way out, but in our face on the way back in. Not too bad, but a slight chop was making breathing a salt water drinking proposition. Only drank a few swallows, when I was sighting. Went to the expo and picked up our tickets for the attractions at Moody Gardens. Barbequed ribeyes was the meal for Friday night and they were great. Got to bed early to make sure I got my 8 hours two nights before the race. The wife let me sleep late.

Saturday morning's breakfast was sausage and egg burritos. We spent the day today at Moody Gardens. Went to the race meeting around lunch and picked up my packet. Saw a few BRTri folks, DebE, Rocketboy, Luke and Cullen at packet pick-up. Got backto the camp around 3 and the ladies went shopping. Laid in the bed while the kids napped. The water is boiling now and getting ready to put the crabs in. Going to get to bed early after getting my stuff together for the morning. Have to get there early even though my start isn't until 8:30 am. Transition closes at 7:00 due to the half racers starting at 7:30. My age group is first with the Pro/Elites in the quarter. Sucks being in the 30-34 age group now. I'm now with the fastest guys out there and get put with the elites. Nothing like bringing up the rear. Hopefully the wind will be as forecast and only in the 8-10mph range. Of course, it will be in our face on the way back in. Woohoo!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Race Report

The weekend went great. Started off Friday afternoon with departure time of 4PM. Of course I was riding with 2 women, my wife and one of my training partners, The Hornet. Always going to be late when ladies getting dressed for the town is involved. So we left around 4:15, not too bad. Traffic was light since it was Good Friday, so we made good time. Got to the race expo in downtown N.O. around 5:30ish and met Big Poppa, Reba and Word. Parked and went up to pick up our packet.

Picked up our packet and found out that we were not getting a free timing chip. Ticked me off. We had run the Crescent City qualifier in November in order to get a runners spot and a chip. They failed to mention in the race description that only classes A to C get a free chip and a seeded runner's position. Class D gets jack squat. We had the same color bib as the people who did nothing but register and put in a time of less than 1 hour whether or not they could actually run that fast. Needless to say, Iwas not happy. Had to pay $5 for a chip and hope and pray that we could sneak to the front of the race so we would not be behind all the walkers who come up to the middle of the pack pre-race. Dangerous trying to run through a wall of walkers 4 and 5 abreast in the street. We left the expo and went to eat at Adolfo's. Great pre-race meal, the food is always excellent and very reasonably priced. No matter what the reviews say, the service is never any worse than at any other New Orleans restaurant. Stopped by Cafe Du Monde after dinner and picked up Bengiets to go. The wife had to pick up her brother from a friend's place and head back to BR since she had to work. Got to sleep about 11ish after some laughing. No matter how old you are, when someone cuts a juicy fart in bed, it is funny, regardless of whether they made the sound with their mouth or not.

For some ungodly reason, Big Poppa had set the alarm for 6:00 am and the race was at 8:30. We were within 0.5 mile from the race start. Got up and cleared the stomach issues. Laid around until about 7:30, got up and got dressed. We jogged over to the starting area and tried to get at the front with our buddy Word who had a seeded position. Marine guys were having none of it, so we got in line where we were supposed to and then snuck up to the front. Ended up about 75-100' behind the start line. The gun went off and we ended up getting to the start line around 20 seconds behind the gun. Turned out to be right were we needed to be.

The Hornet and I got caught up in the initial wave and ran a 7:25 first mile. A little quick, but it didn't feel that quick. In such tight quarters for the first mile, it feels like you are going slower than you are. Slowed the pace a little during mile 2. The Hornet told me to go on around mile 2 since she wasn't feeling the pace during the race. I slowly pulled away and stayed around a minute under my goal of 50 minutes up to mile 5. Passed 2 bands, the beer handouts, donut handouts and the hot dog handouts. Tried to get the lady with the hose to spray me about mile 3.5, but she missed me. Had a near collision at mile 4 when a guy decided to come to a dead stop in front of me at the water station. Not cool, dodged him and came out unscathed.

At mile 5, I was about a minute below the goal, so I pushed it on mile 6 to see if I could make up enough time to hit the 48 minute goal. Wasn't feeling it until another runner from Baton Rouge, who rane a 47 minute, came past me. I knew she was faster than me, so I stayed with her for the last kick. She ended up slowing for the last 0.2, as did I. Ended up at 48:45, which was great. Didn't meet the fast goal, but I'll take the 13 minute improvement from last year. Post race party was fun. Got back to BR around 4ish.

Biked 25 miles at 19.2 mph on Sunday. Swam 1800 yds on Monday. Ran 2 miles, did spin class and then ran 1.5 miles at 8:00 pace this morning. Tomorrow is a rest day, speedwork on Thursday and leaving for Galveston Thursday night for the Lonestar Quarter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Hit the main goal of 50 minutes, but missed the fast goal of 48. Ran a 48:45 10k, which is 13:14 faster than I ran the same race last year. Not too shabby I guess.

Mile 1 - 7:25
Mile 2 - 7:58 (15:23)
Mile 3 - 7:47 (23:10)
Mile 4 - 8:01 (31:11)
Mile 5 - 7:59 (39:10)
Mile 6 - 7:55 (47:05)
Mile 6.2 - 1:40 (48:45)
Average: 7:52 pace

Race report tomorrow or Monday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


The training is officially over as of this morning. Time to go do some running.

Tuesday was the typical run and spin morning. Got to the Y, hammered out 2 miles at 9:00 pace and went to spin. Spin instructor was late which always puts her in a funky mood. So we did lots of out of the seat riding and the last 10 minutes was brutal. 30 seconds of out of your seat climbing followed by 30 seconds of light resistance seated push at a cadence of about 110. Then we swapped it around for a few minutes and did low resistance standing climbs and then high resistance seated climbs. It sucked. Couldn't keep my heart rate below 85% on the pushes. Did one mile after spin at 7:30 pace.

We moved our speedwork from Thursday to Wednesday so we could get in a slow day after the speedwork and still have one rest day before the race. Wednesday is my morning to sleep in, but I had plans to get up at home and run. Didn't happen since it stormed about 2am and the power went out, which disrupted my sleep since it got so hot. So I was going to run after I put the kids to bed last night. Well, one of our friend's children fell out of a shopping basket at a store while my wife just happened to be there. They had to call 911 and make a hospital visit. The child was okay, but my wife wanted to make them a treat after their ordeal. So she made them a desert and brought it over as soon as I got home. I fed the kids and got them to bed. She then called and said she was heading over to another friends house to help make some cookies and hang out. She gets home around 9:40 so I get to start my run at 9:45 pm. Normally doesn't bother me unless I am scheduled to get up early to train the next morning, which I was. Ended up cutting the warm-up and cool-down to 1/2 mile instead of one mile. The speedwork was supposed to be 3 miles @ 8:00 pace.

Nature was out to get me. First, there was a 15-20 mph wind that was blowing directly down my route. It gave me a headwind for about 1/2 the run. Second, a dog chased me. One of those that acts friendly until you pass them and then tries to bite you on the heals. Freakin' sissy dogs is what I call them. If you're man enough, attack from the front. Don't sneak up behind me like a sissy. So I had to turn and face him down to stop him from making chopped liver of my calf. Last thing was that my freakin' Nike comes untied with 0.5 mile to go. Ain't no way I'm stopping now, I'll trip and faceplant before I stop and tie my shoe. Made it in 23:13 for a 7:50 pace. Not spectacular, but with all that happened felt I could have went faster. The second mile is where I lost it. Ran 7:20 pace for the first 1.2 and then 8:40 pace on the next 0.8 which is where most of the headwind was at.

This morning I got in the pool for my shorter swim day. The air temp was 44 with the pool around 81 on the heater end and around 77-78 on the opposite end. Warmed-up and then realized I forgot to put on my watch. Got out of the pool, freezing cold, and got my watch from the locker room. The water might as well have been the tropics when I got back in. Made 78 degree water feel awesome. Did some 100's on 2:00 intervals which gave me about 20 second rests between each since I was swimming 1:40's. Then hit some 50's on 1:05. Went 1800 total and then inside for the last run of the training. The Hornet was just finishing up her 3 miles. Chatted for a minute and then I ended up just going 1 mile at 9:20. Felt like crap after having just done speedwork like 9 hours before. Shut her down and did some core work.

Going down to New Orleans to go to the Crescent City Classic Expo tomorrow afternoon and then going out to eat at Adolfo's. A little italian-creole place down past the French Market. Staying at a hotel downtown within walking distance of the race. 48 minute 10k here I come. Last year was a 1:01:59, so anything will be an improvement. The real goal is 50 minutes, but the feeling good, made it through the crowd on the first mile goal is 48. We'll see...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Race Week

Finally, it has arrived. After 15 weeks, we are down to a few days. It couldn't come soon enough. Especially after running 13.1 weekend before this last one. I never thought it would hit me like it did. A few days before I ran the 13.1, I read an article online about recovering mentally from a marathon and to a smaller degree a half-marathon. About how it could take a newer runner weeks to recover mentally from running those longer distances. Quietly thought to myself, how could one event so damage your psyche that you would not want to run for weeks. Experienced it after the half and riding 44 miles the next day. Monday thru Wednesday of last week, I wanted nothing to do with running. Didn't feel right until Thursday of last week.

The schedule for the weekend was 4 slow miles on Friday, rest Saturday and 12 on Sunday. We had decided last week that we were going to cut the Sunday run in half to have a good taper for the 10k this weekend. Friday night I did an all out 5k just to see what I could do since I have some 5k races coming up. Ran a 23:13 and was sorely disappointed. That is only 7:29 pace. Thought I was faster than that. Like any good runner, not that I am one, there is a list of disclaimers:

1. I had done speedwork Thursday morning so my mindset was on a slow run and I was sore from the speedwork.
2. There is a 20-25' valley on my 3.1 mile loop around mile 1.4 and again on 1.8. Lost at least 15-20 seconds on that.
3. It was about 80 degrees with 95% humidity so I couldn't breathe.
4. I was wearing a cotton shirt, and everyone knows you can no longer run fast in a cotton shirt with all that dry-fit stuff out there.

Those things being what they are, I am shooting for 22:30 in my upcoming 5k's. That is 7:15 pace, which is blazin' fast for a 5'9" 200 lb slowpoke.

Saturday I had the kids, so it was definitely a rest day. Dropped them off at my parents for the night though and my better half and I enjoyed the first boiled crawfish of the year. They were a little bit on the small side, but they were great. Thanks Big Poppa! Sunday we had an Easter egg hunt at some friends where we met back up with the kids. Then the kids, the wife and my mother went to the Elmo musical, while I went training.

I wanted to go mountain bike riding instead of road riding just to mix it up a little bit. Was a little wary about screwing something up this close to the races, but figured I was good. Ended up going around 15 miles with only one mishap. I was going up the largest and hardest hill out there, maybe 20' tall, when I hit a root the wrong way. The hill is not as easy as one would think being only 20' tall. You are going down the trail and you actually make about a 120 degree turn while going up this hill that has no less than a dozen roots that you have to pick your way through. I would say 75% of the people do not make it up most of the time. This was one of the first times in a while that I didn't make it and I was not happy about it. Luckily I was close enough to the top and somehow came unclipped with my uphill foot and planted it right on top of the hill so that I at least didn't go tumbling back down. In that move I somehow smashed my right inner thigh against my handle bars. Ended up with a nice 4-6" bruise on my inner thigh. Left the trails and went to the LSU lakes to get my run in. Went 6.4 in 58:55 for a 9:12 average. Was saltier than normal after the run due to the crawfish from the day before. Once again thank goodness for construction sites. Felt the stomach getting ready to blow around mile 2.5. Made it to the port-a-potty at about mile 3. Got to the door and it was locked with a master lock. Oh no, this could be trouble. Went around the corner and found another one that was fortunately not locked.

This morning I got up and the thigh wasn't that bad since I had iced it Sunday night. Finally talked myself into going to the Y for my Monday swim. The pool was just right, upper 70's. Warmed up and then did 1500 yards straight. That is 60 pool lengths for you that are mathematically challenged. Felt like I could have gone 40 more if I would have had the time. Put in 2800 yds total. Still slow, barely breaking 2:00 100's on the long set, but at least I feel like I'll be fresh when I come out of the water at Lonestar.

Tomorrow is 3 mile slow and spin. It will tell me all I need to know about my thigh. If I can make it through tomorrow, then I have nothing to worry about come Saturday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tough Week

Haven't really felt like posting or training this week. 16 weeks of training is taking its toll.

The long run for the weekend was supposed to be 12 miles. Well, weeks ago I had decided that if I was going to go 12, I might as well do an extra 1.1 and go 13.1 for my first half marathon. Mapped out a run on Map My Run, which is a great tool by the way. The route was around the house.

It takes a lot of street to make up 13.1, let me tell you. Decided to look at my watch as little as possible and just run by feel. Was supposed to be running 9:30 pace. Only looked at the watch 3 times during the whole run. Ended up running a 1:56:48, which for you math buffs is a 8:53 pace. My heart rate stayed in the 80-82%range the entire time, except maybe the last 1/2 mile where I was pushing to go under 1:57. Felt great and I am happy to be able to say that I have run a half-marathon.

Sunday was cold to start the day, especially since time had changed. Met Word at his place to pick him up to head to St. Franny to put in 50 miles in the hills. This was my last long ride on my schedule before Lonestar later this month. Ended up going 44 miles somewhere around a 17.5 mph pace. We were around 18 mph for the first 30 and then slowed on the last 14 since Word hasn't ridden but maybe 3 times since he broke his leg. Not too shabby for your 3rd ride back from a broken leg. There were a couple of hills that were no joke.

Monday, I begrudginly got out of the bed to swim. Got there at 5:20 and cut it short at 2100 yds. Training partners were no shows at first and then the Hornet showed up for weights around 6:15.

Tuesday was run and spin. Schedule had 5 miles, I only went 2 since I felt like crap. Probably should have skipped spin but went anyway with Big Poppa and the Hornet.

Wednesday was 4 miles and swim, but after 10 days straight of training I decided to skip. Left work early to take the wife and kids to the members only party at the Aquarium in New Orleans. Spent the afternoon and evening in N.O.

Got up this morning, headed to the Y. The schedule had a tempo run, 6 miles at 8:14. Ended up cutting it to 4 miles @ 8:01 since the race is only 9 days away. Wanted a little bit more of a taper than the schedule called for. Running 8 this weekend and doing a 25 mile mountain bike ride instead of road riding this weekend. Need to get some mountain bike miles in before our camping/riding trip in April and the Xterra in May.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Ran 13.1 on Saturday morning in 1:56:48. Not too shabby for a fat slow runner. Biked 45 this morning. No time, I'll post up tomorrow with the details.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Short Shorts

Who wears short shorts? Apparently me, at least in my wife's opinion. Got my new TYR tri shorts in on Wednesday from Sports Basement.

She calls me at work. "Honey, your tri shorts came in." Me: "Good, are they nice?" Her: "Yeah, they are nice. They are really short though. You do realize that half your extended family is coming to this race right??" Me: "Yes, I remeber. Well, I guess they'll all just get to see me up close and personal." Then she busts out in the Nair theme song "Who Wears Short Shorts".

When I got home and tried them on, they weren't really that bad. The 6" shorts I had were a little more modest, but who cares right?? Glad I didn't get the 4"!! I've lost 30 lbs. in the last year so at least they look better than last year. My tri pictures from last year are pretty bad. Especially since I am not a modest person at all and refuse to wear a shirt during a race. So my kids, my parents, my grandparents, my brother, my brother's wife, my cousin and his fiance are all going to get to see me in 5" spandex with nothing else but shoes on. I'm sure they'll love it.

Wednesday was swim day at lunch. Swimming at lunch twice in a week is not at all fun. Put in a short 1700 yds and got out of there. Only had two old men sitting on the benches in nothing but their birthday suits...Needless to say I made sure I stayed away from those spots. Is it too much to ask to put some underwear on before you get your man parts all over the bench, I mean really?? This morning was speedwork. 1/2 mile repeats with 1/4 mile recoveries. Averaged 3:30 on the 1/2 mile legs, 6 of them. Ran the first and last in the 3:20 range. Put in 7 miles total. Getting excited about the race finally getting here. Only 2 weeks until the 10K. It can't get here soon enough.

That will be the start of a long string of busy weekends. Doing the 10k on the 22nd, Lonestar on the 30th, a camping trip to Lake Kincaid for mountain biking on April 5th, Corporate Cup 5k on the 12th, then our company picnic on the 19th and then just a couple weeks off until the Xterra on May 3. My wife is racing Rocketchix the day after Xterra, so that weekend will be extra busy. Will definitely be ready for vacation after that schedule...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Training Sucks

Only on my second training "schedule" ever and it sucks. 16 weeks is way to long to train for a 10k and a quarter iron. Even if they are back to back. I'm ready to get to the freakin' races already. By "schedule" I mean the fact that I just took our Runner's World online schedule for 10k training and threw in two bike and swim sessions a week. A friend from Houston asked me about it today. Definitely has been run heavy. We are running 5 days a week now. With my 3 morning a week agreement with my wife, the kids hate when I'm not here in the a.m., it is tough to get it all in.

Therefore, my run and swim have been suffering. At least my run will be strong, for me at least.
My run has gone from about a 9:20/m 5k pace to somewhere around a 7:15-7:30/m 5k pace. Which is good since I have a 10k, quarter tri which is just over a 10k run and then a 5k that I have challenged my company on. After those, definitely going to cut down on the running and replace it with some more swimming and biking.

Got home Sunday night from the most recent 4 year olds birthday party and went to finish off my long run for the day. Made it about 2.5 miles before the icing hit rock bottom in my gut. Luckily, I was only about 0.7 from the house. Ran/walked to get back to take care of business. Decided I was not going back after that. Couldn't take it after the 45 mile ride and 2.5 mile run earlier in the day. Definitely a little mini overtraining moment. Decided to skip the Y the next morning also.

Went to the Y for a swim at lunch on Monday. Struggled through 2000 yds with my long set at 1200 yds. It was the swimsuit I know. My swimming/biking shorts have seen better days.

That is the front of my shorts, which you can clearly see through. Have worn them at the Y a couple of times in that shape. Have always made sure to hold my water bottle in front of me to and from the pool at 5:15 in the morning. Most people are too groggy to even pay attention that early, at least I hope. So Monday, I decided I could no longer wear them. Especially at lunch at the indoor pool. The entire Y would have seen the package at that point. Figured it wasn't the best idea. However, regular swim trunks feel like you are wearing a weight belt. My new Tri shorts will be in tomorrow though, so should be good to go for a couple of months.

Just buy some new shorts you say...Anyone who knows me, knows that I am so tight that I squeak when I walk. One pair of tri shorts is plenty and I am going to get all the life out of them. My last pair did the same thing except in the rear where I couldn't see it. One night I had them on at home and my wife says "You do know that I can see the hair on your butt cheeks through those shorts, don't you??" Well honey, actually I don't, but thanks for telling me now that I just finished a 5 mile run outside for the whole world to see. Hope nobody went blind...

Tuesday was 3 mile run at 9:15 pace, one hour interval/hill climb spin class, and then 1 mile at 8:00 pace. Training partners sold out, Big Poppa had sick kid issues in the middle of the night and The Hornet had final exams so she was a no show. Could workout in the morning since I missed Monday morning, but I believe I'll just swim at lunch. Won't be wearing my "see through" shorts, putting on the swim trunks one last time before the Tri shorts arrive.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Only been bloggin' for a few weeks and I am already slacking. Wednesday was supposed to be 4 mile easy run and swim. Went at lunch and ran my 4 and skipped the swim. Got home that afternoon and the wife wanted to run. So we loaded up the kids in the stroller and put in 2 miles with me pushing.

Thursday was scheduled speedwork, but we moved it to Friday since it was going to be in the low 30's Thursday morning. Ended up using Thursday as a rest day since I had other things to do and I had to go out of town for the afternoon with some work stuff. Got to bed late and still have a sleep debt from this past weekend and early week.

Got up Friday to the perfect run weather. 54 degrees and breezy, couldn't ask for any better. Met the Hornet for our speedwork, which was a 1 mile warm-up, 6 mile tempo at 8:14 and a one mile cool down. We ended up going 1.2 on the warm-up and then on to the speedwork. Started out fast and then had a slower mile 3 because of a "big" hill (big hills in LA do not exist). We were on pace though since we got out quick. Got to mile 4 right on pace and the Hornet started trying to push me to leave her behind. I use to be the slow back-of-packer of the group, and they never left me, so I make sure to never leave my training partners behind even if I'm feeling like I can push it. Finally convinced me with about 1.5 miles to go, so I picked it up. Ended up running 7:25 pace over the last 1.5 miles which was smokin' for me. Finished at 7:59 pace for the 6 mile tempo, and the Hornet at 8:14 pace right on target for the run. I think I'm getting a little overconfident. Thinking I can maybe push for a 48 minute 10k later this month, if I'm feeling good that day. We'll see. Worried about pushing it too much and hurting myself. Met some co-workers, BP and Ali, at the Lakes on Friday afternoon, along with my wife and kids. Me and the kids played soccer while the wife pounded out some miles with the group.

Yesterday I had the kids and no babysitter, so riding was not an option. Ended up taking the kids to the park for some playground time and soccer ball time. They love seeing how high I can kick the ball and then seeing if they can catch it on the 2nd or 3rd bounce. Only hit them on the head once or twice with 20' high kicks!! Spent the afternoon napping with the kids and then on to church for the evening.

Got up early this morning at 6:15 to get in 50 miles. Loaded up my nutrition, which today consisted of 2 gatorade bottles, a powerbar, nutri-grain bar and some M&M brownies that my wife made last night. Nothing like comfort food on a semi-long ride. The two 25 oz. gatorade bottles are not enough. Only went 45 miles at 17.8 and was out of liquid with about 8 miles to go and it wasn't even that hot at around 60 degrees. Guess I need to get me a behind the seat bottle holder. It was tough riding today. I was definitely feeling the soreness from the tempo run on Friday. Normally we do it on Thursday and my recovery run on Friday takes out the soreness for the weekend. Had a tough time getting above 18 mph for about the first 20 miles. Got home and with some arm-pulling and threatening I convinced my wife to put in some running miles with me. Loaded up the kids and put in 2.5 miles with me pushing the stroller.

The run schedule for the day has 11 miles @9:30 pace on it, so I have 8.5 more to put in tonight. Getting ready to go to a birthday party and then over to my parents house for the evening. Guess it will be another 9 pm run tonight, WooHoo, my favorite time to run!! Seems like all our friends had kids at the same time since we have had three parties in the last 2 weeks with more to come in the next month. At least they are young and the presents don't cost so much. Hate to see when all these girls are teenagers and they all want some high-dollar purse or clothes. We'll be going to less parties...