Friday, April 25, 2008

Bloggin' Ain't Easy

Blogging is tough work. I never can find the time, never have cool enough material like all the other blogs I read, and just have a generally tough time putting 2 sentences together at 10 pm. However, I am not a quitter so I guess we'll keep plugging along. So what has been up since Sunday?? A bunch of whining.

My kids seemed to have reverted back to babies. All that me and my wife have been hearing from the kids is whine, whine, whine. It is enough to make a sane person do irrational things like bribery with candy or chocolate. All I am asking for is 15 minutes of peace, but that would be impossible. God knows I love 'em to death, but a man can only handle so much whining. They look like little angels, but don't turn your back for longer than 30 seconds or it's over...

On to the training. Finally made it to the pool on a Monday morning since my race in Galveston. Some of the regulars actually noticed that I had been missing. It feels good to know that people take notice when you are not around. Got in around 2200 yards. Big Poppa finally showed up at the pool for the first time I think since last September. He and his wife are doing the Twin Cities Tri in mid May also. He figured he better get in the water at least a few times before the race. After swimming, we lifted weights. Basically the "beach" muscles (chest, bi's and tri's) and some core.

Tuesday was brick day. The Hornet actually showed up early, 5 am, to do some running. Got in 4.65 at a 9 min pace for some good easy running. We met Big Poppa at spin and did intervals for an hour. It was actually more like an hour of standing hill training...

Wednesday was a rest day. Thursday was another brick day since I skipped the Wednesday lunch swim. Got to the Y at 5 am and waited a few minutes to see if any of my training "partners" would show. Nobody came, so I was off for speedwork on my own. Goal was 1 mile warm, 3 mile tempo at 7:34 and 1 mile cool. Did the tempo at 7:31 pace and made it the full 5 miles. Speedwork by yourself sucks. Can't complain though, just sorry that my training "partners" haven't been putting in the same effort. It was more fun when we all trained together. At least they are still there most days to keep me motivated even if we aren't training together anymore.

Was supposed to run 4 today, but decided just to eat all afternoon instead. So far since noon, I have had 2 hamburgers, barbequed sausage and pork, rice with stewed tomatoes, two bowls of chocolate chex mix, a cup of ice cream with milk and I think I am about to get another cup of ice cream to top it off.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Long Run

This is me skipping my "long" run. Just can't seem to get motivated to go run 8 miles. Not a good thing. 10 miles a week is not cutting it. Can't get faster if you don't put in the time. At least I got in the 4 miler that was scheduled for Friday. Did it on Saturday morning instead, but at least I did it. Saturday afternoon was spent eating come Crawfish with the kids at my company picnic.

Man, that looks tasty. Went by my parents after that for some more crawfish, but they weren't ready in time. We had to leave to get to church on time.

Got up this morning to put in 50. Started out around 6:45. The Parish just paved the remainder of the road that we ride on, so now I can simply leave straight from the house instead of driving to miss the 0.5 mile gravel section. Made it really easy since I didn't have to pack everything in the truck. Also saved some gas...Ended up putting in 46 at 18.7mph. Not blazing, but I felt sore from the 4 miler on Saturday. I try to use Saturday as a rest so I'm not sore for my Sunday am ride, but it didn't work out that way. Of course if I was running 20 miles a week, 4 milers wouldn't make me sore. The ride was pretty uneventful as I was by myself. Big Poppa and his wife sold out since they partied too hard last night at a co-workers wedding.

Had to get home on time since the in-laws were watching my kids. The wife was taking part in a riding clinic at 9 am. She had a great time learning to ride in a paceline and was part of the "A" group which also made her excited. They rode 11 miles at around a 19 mph pace. She is racing in the Rocketchix Triathlon in a couple of weeks and is getting ready.

Swimming on tap for the morning is if I can get my butt out of bed. Haven't made a Monday workout in the past three weeks. I think I need a big race to get me motivated again. These 5k's and sprints just aren't doing the trick...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Racing Lull

After racing for 4 weekends straight, this weekend is time off. Matter of fact, no more races until May 17. That is good for the wallet, but not so good for the training. Seems like my motivation has started to fall a little. Only been hitting the Y twice a week and have only been swimming once a week. Skipped my long runs the last two weekends after racing on Saturday. Time to get my butt in gear on the long runs. I think they helped tremendously for the CCC 10k and a little bit on the Quarter Iron. Helped me to hold the pace at the end of the race (didn't mean for that to be a corny rhyme). Need to get back to doing them, although it is hard to push when I am only doing one sprint tri, Twin Cities, over the next 3 months.

Training recap for the week, pretty unimpressive if I must say so myself. Monday - rested (slacked would be a better description), Tuesday - swam 1400 yds and then did spin class for an hour, Wednesday - slacker again, Thursday - 4 miles total consisting of one mile warmup, 3 1/2 mile repeats at 6:44 pace with 1/4 mile recoveries and then 0.75 mile cooldown. I am supposed to run 4 @ 8:55 pace tonight, but we'll see. I'm sure I'll find some excuse. Have a company picnic on Saturday and then a long bike planned for Sunday. Have a good weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

5k Again

Another weekend, another race. Had another 5k this weekend, The Baton Rouge Corporate Cup. Ran it with 19 other people from the office. Around 1300 runners total, which for Baton Rouge, is a big event. Ended up running a 22:50, which was slower than last week by 3 seconds. Was not very happy about it. Ran a 6:30 first mile, stupid. That took it out of me and I never recovered. Splits went 6:30, 7:50, 7:43, 0:47 for a 7:22 average. Definitely need to get back into doing my long runs. I had been making great strides until racing started getting in the way. Missing my long runs on the weekends has been detrimental to increasing the speed. Didn't lose my bet though. I had bet the whole company that for each person who beat me, I would give them $5 each. Paul was the closest at around 23:40. The only other guy who had even talked any smack ended up going around 27. He was a runner in college and could put in some sub 20 5k's. Hasn't run seriously in a while and thought he could just come blow it out and beat me. Doesn't quite work that way...

Rode around 44 miles this morning. Rode the first 12.5 solo at about a 20mph pace. Of course, I only know that because I used my watch and knew the distance. My bike computer battery has gone out, but I didn't realize it until I took it off the rack last night. Not enough time to get a new battery. Was supposed to meet the Hornet, Heater, and possibly DebE at the the 12.5 mile mark. Only the Hornet showed up. Rode about 22 miles at around 18mph with the Hornet and then about 9.5 solo again somewhere around 20 mph. Averaged around 19 for the whole ride, but that is an approximation since I had no bike computer.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bad Week

Things at home have not been the greatest this week. My son has been sick and has been up at all hours of the night, literally. I think I got up at least half a dozen times last night, and put him in the bed with us for about a 2 hour stretch somewhere in there. We never do that. In his 2.5 years on this planet, he may have slept in our bed at most 3 times. It is something we did from day one with both our kids, no sleeping in Mommy and Daddy's bed. That is why they have rooms and beds of their own. To this day, neither of them get out of their bed until we come and get them. It is one of the few great triumphs I can claim as a parent. They may destroy the house, scream at the top of their lungs, and beat each other up, but they do not sleep in my bed...

In addition, the wife has been sick also, although she has done one bang up job on the house this week. It is awesome to come home to a clean pad and dinner on the table. She has dinner most nights, but when two kids attack the house, it is hard to keep it picked up. With one kid down due to sickness, she has seized her opportunity.

Training on 4 hours sleep is not much fun. I took Monday off after mountain biking 30 miles this weekend. Skipped swimming again which has been the norm since my race two weeks ago. Tuesday I got up late after battling the sick kid all night, so I barely made it to spin on time at 5:45. Tried to put in my scheduled 3 miles after spin, but after one mile I had to hit the bank for a deposit, if you know what I mean. Wednesday ended up being another rest day as I was too busy at work to hit my scheduled lunch swim.

This morning's schedule was for speedwork. After the 4 long hours of sleep I got last night, none of it continuous, the last thing I wanted to do was go workout. I pulled my butt out of bed anyway and got to the Y for 5:15. Hit the treadmill for my "speed" workout. 1.5 mile warm-up at 8:57 pace followed by 3 -1/2 mile repeats at 6:39 pace with 1/4 mile recoveries. Made it through all 3 without having to lower the pace, so I felt good. Finished it off with 1.25 miles at 9 min pace for 5 miles total. Then I got in the pool. It sucked. Now I know why they do the swimming first. If I had to swim after running, I wouldn't do a triathlon. Somehow managed to get in 1400 yds. Tried 100yd repeats, but could barely get any rest trying to do them on 2:05. That normally gives me 20-25 seconds rest, but not this morning. I think the second to last one, I only got like 7 seconds rest. Definitely not my best effort.

Taking it easy tomorrow in preparation for the 5k on Saturday. Only really have to worry about one other fellow employee who has a slim chance to beat me. Years ago, he could run sub 20 5k's, but that was before he quit running for 5 years and has gotten into his mid 40's. I think he is just bluffing me with the smack talk, but we will see come Saturday. The goal is to run sub 22:30 which would be a PR. The 22:47 that I ran last week at Fat Boy is my current PR, but I hope that is short lived. The course there was hilly and the course Saturday will be flat as can be. Hopefully that will push me under the 7:15 pace I have been training for.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Ran the fat boy 5k on Saturday morning. Ran a PR of 22:47 in the "hills". For Baton Rouge, that is one hilly course. The Fleet Feet Fatties (myself, Will and Big Poppa) entered the team competition. You had to have three runners with a combined weight of 650 or more. We made it barely. Our combined time was around 71 minutes which was good for 3rd place in the team division. We got a huge Chocolate Bunny for our 3rd place finish, this is the Fat Boy 5k, so what else would you expect for a prize but chocolate.

Went to Lake Kincaid after the race for some R&R, camping and mountain biking. Rode 11.2 miles Saturday afternoon with Big Poppa and then put in 11.2 more with the whole crew this morning. My wife, Big Poppa, Alison and Seth.

After lunch, I left the wife at the camp to nap and I went and put it another 7 miles. With about 2 miles left, my rear derailleur broke off. Had to push the bike up the hills and ride down the backside of the hills. Not a very good ending to an otherwise good trip. It was short, but it was fun none the less. Right around 30 miles for the trip. Skipping the long run this weekend and skipping swimming tomorrow.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Report Continued

Got onto the bike course and got passed the two speed bumps and the no passing zone with no problems. The course was along the Galveston seawall for a couple of miles and then turns and is shielded from the coast by homes, condos and the like. The wind actually was pretty much straight out of the south, so 90% of the wind was a cross-wind. The bike leg was about what I expected. There were a lot of people flatting though. Don't really know why either. Road wasn't rough, wasn't wet and there wasn't any debris or anything in the road. Saw no less than half a dozen flats including my buddy Kevin at about mile 16. He ended up sitting there for 32 minutes since he had no tube or pump. He had to wait for the support crew. Nothing special to report. Just put my head down and hammered (for me anyway). Got back to T2 in 1:25 for a 19.8 mph average for the 28 miles. Fastest average in a race by me so far by a full 1 mph. Jumped off the bike and made my way to my spot. Got my run gear stuff on and out of transition in just over a minute. Then came the run...

Felt good coming out of T2 and looked down at my watch to see around 1:51. My goal coming in was 2:55ish, but after seeing the 1:51, I thought somewhere around 2:45 was attainable. Wrong!!! I have been doing a ton of run training since we did the 10k last week and to get my run faster in Tri's. Thought to myself that I could run 8:30's. The 10k last week was at 7:52's so I didn't think 8:30 would be too hard. Never could get going. Started out at 9's to get my HR down a little since I believe I had gone too hard on the bike. Couldn't get it below 92%. Kept trying, but I just couldn't recover. Started to see the 2:45 slipping away, quick. After about 3 miles of running 9 minute pace, I was quickly realizing that was all I had in the tank for the day. So, instead of getting down and ticked off, I started high-fiving everyone.

First saw my kids around the 3.5 mile mark and gave each of them a big wave and two huge high-fives. That is my son in front and my daughters hand in the back.

High fived countless people after that. High-fived one race volunteer and she said "Finally, my first high five of the day!". There was a row of about 6 ladies sitting on the curb at one point and I high-fived all of them in a row. Gave shout outs to kids along the course and to the pirates at the turnarounds. My only complaint about the race was the run course. It is too cut up, has too many turns and turnarounds. You never had just long straightaways where you could get in a good rhythm. Aid stations were well stocked with Gatorade, water, defizzed cola, gels, cliff shots, cliff bars and other stuff that I always passed up. Had one shot of Gatorade and a cup of water on the head at every aid station. Between aid station after about mike 4, they had sponge handouts. They were glorious. It was getting warm around that time and the sponges felt great. Never got below 9 minute miles and ended up running 9:09 pace for the 6.5 mile run. Wasn't happy with it, but at least I didn't walk at all and I finished at 2:50:50, which was 4 minutes ahead of my goal. Ended up 307 out of 730, which met my goal that I made at the start of the year to be in the top 50% at every race. I believe in making attainable goals.

Definitely a race I would recommend and will do again. Maybe next time it will be the half. Most likely will have to skip it next year since I plan on doing the New Orleans half IM which will be right around the same time as Lonestar next year.

Did speedwork this morning, 1 mile @ 9:00, 2.65 @ 7:24, 0.35 @ 7:41, and 0.5 mile at 10:00. Lifted weights after that since Big Poppa was in spin class, the Hornet was a sellout after a late night on the town, and my new training partner Dr. Roy couldn't make it. Taking tomorrow off before the Fatboy 5k on Saturday and then off to Alexandria for camping/mountain biking for Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Race Report

Got to bed around 11:00 on Saturday night. Slept pretty good until around 4:15 am. Woke up to go to the bathroom and could not go to sleep after that. Tossed and turned until my alarm went off at 5:30. Got up and got dressed. Sneaked out the back door since my son was sleeping in the room with us. The wife would have been super ticked if I would have woken him up at 5:40 in the morning. Jammed on the way to the race. Even caught some "Crank Dat"(Soulja Boy) in honor of my boy Kevin. Of course, I didn't get to rock it in the parking lot of the race like him and his sister...

Got to the race around 6:15 and unloaded my stuff. Got the tires pumped up and headed over to transition. On the way, I spot Kevin at the Mavic bike trailer. He had a flat rear tire, luckily before the race. He ended up having another flat during the race also. That sucked. Found my spot in transition and set up my gear. Talked to a couple guys around me. The guy directly next to me was doing his first race. Three other buddies of his were supposed to be doing it, but they bailed. He was the only one to stick it out. He asked for a few pointers. I told him all I knew and not to put too much faith in any of it since this was only my 4th race and my longest one so far. Was one row over from Chris Boggs (Slim 210), who is a member of BRTri. We had never formally met since I am not actually a member of BRTri, just hang out on the forum. Chris is a super nice guy and is making great strides in his weight loss goals. He is doing an awesome job and has an awesome attitude. One of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. Dude rode a 21.5 mph average in the Quarter, that kicks butt! Talked with Chris for a minute or two and then put my stuff away in my truck. Made my way down to the half IM start to catch some BRTri peeps before they hit the water. Wished Sean, Luke and Cullen good luck before it was time for them to get ready. Stood around an watched the half starts with Kevin and family. Realized I was only one of a handful of people without a wetsuit.

The Quarter start was around 8:30 and since I was in the first wave, I made my way down to the water to get a little practice swim in and get over the shock of the 70 degree water. Wasn't really that bad. I also had to try out some new goggles since my goggles did some serious fogging during the practice swim on Friday. The goggles worked out perfectly, so all was well. Coming out of the water from the practice swim, I spotted my Dad. They had made it in time, but ended up it was just him. My wife, kids and mom were at the swim finish and couldn't make it over in time before I had to head to the dock for the start. They sang the national anthem and it was time to go.

Got in the water and floated out to the start line. Treaded water for about a minute, not too bad, and they counted us down. The swim was pretty uneventful. Didn't get kicked, swam over, punched or swam under and I stayed pretty much on course. Ended up swimming the 1000 meters in 22:30 which was a little better than I was hoping (25 min). One advantage of no wetsuit was not having to take it off, although they had wetsuit strippers which made the process way quicker. Dropped my goggles up the ramp and had to stop and pick them up. The family was waiting right at the end of the ramp, so I high-fived my wife and the kids. Got in and out of T1 okay. A little slower than normal since I decided to wear socks this time. I normally don't but since I hadn't been training sockless, I didn't want to risk the blisters. That added about 45 seconds to a minute since I had to semi-dry my feet and legs. Got out of transition in just over 2 minutes and jumped on my bike.

I'll post the rest tomorrow. Need to knock out 5 miles at 8:55 pace. No rest for the weary. Doing two 5k races the next two weekends and then an off road Tri on May 3.