Friday, May 30, 2008

Sign Me Up!

Just signed up for my first Half IM. The New Orleans 70.3 is now on the schedule for next year. It is in April which means an early start to the training year, woohoo!! Wish I could race it tomorrow.

Week in review:
Tuesday: Run 2 and 1 hour spin class
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday:Run 2.5 @ 7:30 pace and 1 hour spin class
Friday: Swim 2200 yds and skip a 4 mile run

Lots going on this weekend. My daughter is having her ballet recital and we are having a party after. The wife has a bridal shower for her good friend before the recital and then Sunday is her 30th birthday. At least I get to relish in her turning 30 before I get there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First Place in A Race!

Man it feels good to win something. Even if it was the smallest organized 3 mile race ever to have been run. Took the family up to my grandparents house on Lake Rosemound in St. Francisville for a holiday weekend of some R and R. Went up Saturday night and spent Sunday and Monday hangin' out. My brother and his wife were there on Saturday night and Sunday. The brother and I spent some time fishing. Took the kids to the beach at the lake on Sunday morning and had a blast. I forgot my swimming trunks, so I had to wear my Tri shorts to the beach. The wife was lovin' that let me tell you. She can't believe I wear them with no shirt on at a triathlon where the 150 other people have on the same attire. Wearing them at a lake just hanging out, is just not cool. The wife and I took turns doing some open water swimming while the other watched the kids. I put in about 1000 yds over the course of a couple of hours. Nothing like working training into family time. We brought the bikes, but never found time to ride them. Ran into a couple people I knew including Rocketboy who is one fast swimmer, a fast triathlete and one great race director.

On to the race. On the way in Saturday night, the banner for the memorial day celebration said "Fun Run" on it in addition to the other announcements. The wife said "We ought to do that on Monday morning". Sure why not? Got up Monday and the wife sent me down to the beach/pavilion area to see if they were going to have the run. Sure enough, they were setting up and passing out numbers (sheets of white lined paper with permanent marker, very low cost I must say). Got back and everyone got changed real quick and we headed down for the race. The wife signed up for the one miler and me for the 3 miler. 9 am rolls around and it is time for the one-miler to start. I give her an atta girl and off she goes. My 2.5 year old son and I run a mini one-miler, about 0.2 miles over the bridge and back. He loves to say he races. The large crowd of 10 cheered him down the chute on the way back in, he loved every second of it. When he finished, he put his hands on his hips and in a serious voice said "Where's the water?" It was hilarious. Got him some water while me, his sister and my mom waited for Melissa to finish. She ended up getting 4th out of about 25 people in a time of 8:25. As soon as she was finishing, they lined us up for the 3 miler.

We were all at the front, since it was only about 15 of us. There were two other triathletes in the race. We had all struck up a conversation due to me wearing my Lonestar race shirt. Anyway, didn't know how fierce the competition would be. They sounded the horn (screamed Go!) and off we went. I was in the lead with 2 teenage girls about 13 years old. I ran an easy pace to start and we all ran side by side. One of them stopped at about the 0.5 mile marker, I tried to convince her to keep going, but she said she couldn't go any further. The other girl made it to about the 1.1 mile point and had to stop. I felt bad because I was going to let them win if they could have run the whole thing, but they just didn't have the endurance. Tried to slow down for them, but they couldn't run at all after they stopped. Ran a 8:00 first mile, about a 9:00 second mile (trying to wait on the girls) and about a 8:20 on the third mile for a 25:18. Not impressive I know, but good enough to win by 6 minutes. 2nd and 3rd place were within 5 seconds of each other and would have made an awesome finish if they had been running for first place. Bummer...Third place was a woman who has only done two triathlons, but is going to do the New Orleans half next year. Talked to her and her husband a bunch later in the day at the memorial day celebration. Got my first place ribbon and went to the house to get changed for another morning at the beach. Took these pics back at the house.
3/4 of the family with the first place ribbon.

Austin with "his" ribbon. Since he was the first down the chute, he won the race!!

Spent the rest of the day having fun. Back to reality today. Got up at 5 am and headed to the Y. Most people were still draggin' from the weekend, so the parking lot was expectantly light. Put in 2 miles and spin class. Ready to finish out the next two weeks before vacation and then hit the training hard after our trip to Mexico. Only the wife and I, no kids!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Race Report

Everything went off without a hitch. Got to BP's at 4:10, loaded up the bikes and headed out. Got to the race site at around 7 ish, got signed in, set-up and ready to go. Did a short 200 yd swim warm-up and then it was time to start. Now that I am in the 30-34 age group (turning 30 at the end of the year), I am always in the first wave. That's because all the fast guys are in the 30-40 year old range so they stick them (I am not fast by any means) first.

The start was on a boat ramp, so it should be pretty uneventful, right? Of course not. I am about midpack at the start and some fruitcake decides he is going to dive instead of just starting to swim like the rest of us. Well, he dives right on top of my head and knocks the suction off my right goggle lens. It fills halfway up with water. Being the stubborn person that I am, ain't no way I am stopping, so I swam the loop with water in my right eye the entire time. It sucked. After that, got to the first turn and some guy had gotten of course. He was swimming at a 90 degree angle to the rest of us, and t-boned me in the side. Do you people know what you are freakin' doing??? Sheesh! Finished the swim in 9:48, under 2 min/100 m. That is the first time I have swam open water in under 2 min/100 so I felt pretty good about that. T1 was slow for some reason. Felt like I was in there forever. Don't know my exact time since transitions were just included with your bike time, but I think it was around 2:45, ridiculous.

Got on the bike and started rolling. About 0.5 mile in was a bridge over the Red River which wasn't very nice. Then on the downhill you start to pick up some good speed and then immediately have to make a turn killing all the speed you gained. Then you get to an overpass at mile 1.5 and the same thing. Turn right at the bottom of the hill, how terrible is that. The bike course was well marked, they had shut down one lane of traffic down on each side of the four lane highway and had cops about every 0.5 mile. Couldn't have been better manned. The road was concrete and on the way back in, it was kind of uneven, but besides that it was pretty smooth for the majority of the ride. Bike computer said 54:30 for a 19.8 average over the 18 miles. Not what I was expecting. Wanted to be in the 20.5-21 range, but I was trying to keep the heart rate around 85%. In Galveston, I think I went out too hard on the bike which hurt me on the run. With transitions, the bike time was 58:30 for a 18.6 average. So I had 4 minutes in transitions. Normally, I am around 2:45 or 3, so I don't know what I was doing in transition, but I obviously wasn't hurrying.

It was getting warm by the time we got on the run. Got passed by about 3 people, but had a good run. Ran a 25:12 5k (8:11 pace), which is the fastest 5k I have run in a triathlon to date. Felt good on the run and I think it was because I kept the HR lower on the bike.

Ended up at 1:33 just short of my goal of 1:30. What was I rewarded with for a 1:33? Nothing. Missed my goal of being top 50% in all my races this year. Was 48th out of 89. My 8:11 run was 55 of 89. Normally that kind of race would have easily got me top 50%. There were a ton of fast guys out today for some reason. Wish they would have all stayed home. Where were the fat slow guys to even out the field? Oh wait, that was me. Should have entered Clydesdale, there was only one entry. I could have at least taken home some hardware.

These are all of the Baton Rouge people who made the trek. As you can see, they are all thin and fast. They are the reason I missed the top 50%. Fast suckers. Maybe I'll be there one day...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Race Day

Tomorrow is race day. Mini-sprint distance, 500 m, 18 miles, 5 k, but at least it is a race and not training. Waking up before the butt-crack of dawn at the unthinkable time of 3:45 am. Getting to Big Poppa's house for a 4:15 departure. Race is 2.5 hours away and transition closes at 7:15, hope no one has to go to the bathroom on the way because they will be out of luck. Six of us going up, three of us racing individually and the other three doing a relay (slackers). Temps in the upper 60's and sunny skies. Should be a great race. Race report will follow when I get back.

Week recap:
Tuesday - 1.5 miles at 9:03 pace, 1 hour spin class, 1.5 miles @ 7:35 pace
Wednesday - 1400 yds, 200 warm, 5 - (2x50's + 1x100), 200 cool
Thursday - 0.4 miles at 9:15 pace. 2.5 miles @ 8:30 pace, straight to the bathroom before I crap in my run shorts, skipped the cooldown after the deposit
Today - pack stuff, clean bike, replace rim on my son's bike that my wife backed over and crushed

Monday, May 12, 2008

Injuries Suck

Especially when you don't know why!!

My mother in law was in town for mothers day this weekend, so I was able to do my ride on Saturday morning. Hit the road early at around 6:40. Since I am racing this Saturday, I decided to go short and hard and then do a short faster run. Went 25 miles at 19.8 mph (fastest training loop ever, not very impressive I know) which is encouraging since I normally race about 0.5-1 mph faster than my training. Some mental block I have where I can't train as fast as I race. At Galveston, I rode 28 miles almost 1 mph faster than I had ever done a 25 mile training ride. Anyway, got back to the house and put on the running shoes immediately for a real brick. Headed out feeling good at about 8:30 pace. Got about 1 mile in and the rumblin' started. Pace got considerably slower from there. Got to the turn around at 1.25 and had to stop or I would have had an accident. Walked it off and then started again. Did the start/stop thing about 3 times before I finally made it to a port-o-potty at the corner about a 0.5 mile from the house where they are doing some construction. Felt much better after making a deposit, but the pace was already shot. Finished up the 2.5 miles with a 9:03 pace. Not what I am looking for next weekend. Hoping to run in the 8:15 range, we'll see.

Took a nap with the kids Saturday afternoon and woke up with a sharp pain in my right leg. This has happened the last three weekends after my "long" ride. My buddies tell me it is my IT band or hip flexor, but neither of them really fit the symptoms. Hurts the worst when I try to roll out of bed. For whatever reason, that motion puts the most torque on it and causes the most pain. It actually hurts on the right side of my right leg from the hip all the way down to my knee. I thought the hip flexor was more on top of your quad and that IT band injuries were normally isolated to just around the knee. I could be wrong on one of these since there was this one other time where I got something wrong, but I doubt it...Skipped my long run Sunday in hopes of it getting better, but it has been slow.

Swam today at lunch since I didn't feel like getting out the bed with the sore leg. Mornings are worse for me since my arthritis already has me sore in the mornings. Although, it has gotten way better since I have dropped 30 pounds. Lunch swim went great. I love swimming in the sun. Stayed short, 1400 yds, since I only had 30 minutes. Tomorrow is run and spin class. Hopefully the leg will feel better.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fast Short Run

In trying to make sure I keep my speed up in order to win the Shave Your 5K Challenge, Thursdays are speedwork days. Normally the work is done in a neighborhood across from the YMCA at 5 am. Didn't feel like getting up to my alarm this morning, so I turned it off and went back to sleep. Best decision that I've made this week. I was due for a 9 hour night of sleep and it felt good. Since I missed my run and swim, I decided to do the swimming at lunch and the running tonight after the kids went to bed.

The swimming went great. Knocked out my 1500 yds in a nice sunny lunch time dip. The water was awesome, and I had new goggles.They worked great, except for the fact that I didn't take the time to properly tighten them and anytime I would push of the wall too hard, they would lose suction for a second and let some water in. Will make sure to tighten them before next time.

Got home tonight and played with the kids, bathed them and got them to bed. Set out for 5 miles total with 4 - 800 meter repeats in the middle. Realized about 1/2 mile into my warm-up that I forgot my visor. That sucks. Luckily I was in my hood and doing my speedwork right by the house, so I just got it after my first interval. Numbers are as follows:

1 - 8:44, 0.5 - 3:16, 0.25 - 2:20, 0.5 - 3:35, 0.25 - 2:25, 0.5 - 3:28, 0.25 - 2:26, 0.5 - 3:34, 0.25 - 2:30, 1.05 - 8:50

Total: 5.05 in 43:03 (8:31 pace), Intervals: 6:56 pace average

If I could only run a 5k with that type of pace, then I would have something!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Finally, A "Long" Run

After what seemed like a gazillion weeks of skipping my long run, I finally got it in on Sunday night. Never mind that it was only 4.1 miles, hardly long by running standards, but I think anything longer than a 5k can count as a long run. Especially after biking 42.5 miles in the mid afternoon sun. It all started Sunday morning when I got the kids up to take them to see their mother race in the Rocketchix Triathlon. We stopped for doughnuts at Mary Lee donuts, and got 1/2 dozen chocolate covered and almost 2 dozen doughnut holes. Each of the kids had a chocolate covered and I had 3. They each had about a half dozen doughnut holes. Payed for it later in the day when they became uncontrollable on their sugar crash. Anyway, back to the race. It was a ladies only race, like the name doesn't give that away, held at LSU. It was a 350m swim, 12 mile bike and 2 mile run. She did great. Came in 10th in her age group out of like 25 ladies and knocked over 3 minutes off her time from last year. She really improved her bike going around 1.5 mph faster than last year. She really had a great time.

Can't beat that kind of smile post race.

That afternoon, I got the kids down for a nap and took off on my ride about 1:45 pm. Knocked out 42.5 at about a 18.3 pace. Not that great, since I felt like crap and it was windy. It is getting to the point in the year where you either finish your ride before 11 am or you start after 5 pm. It was only in the mid 80's, but the humidity was ridiculous. Got home and was going to do a brick run, but the fam wanted to go to Sonic and get ice cream. So we did that instead. Ended up running after they went to bed. Did 4.1 miles @ 9:15 pace.

Monday, I swam 2400 yds with a long set of 1500 yds. Tuesday was running 3.6 miles before spin, one hour spin class and then 1 mile after spin. Today was a rest day and tomorrow is speedwork and swimming. Next week is a slight taper week since I am racing next Saturday. Not that I am training for anything particular, but I at least want to be a little fresh when I race. Then I have to pick a plan for the rest of the year to keep things interesting. Racing in south Louisiana in June - August is no fun at all. May do one race in August before the two big races in September.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Just the Basics

Yet another training week of going through the motions. Sunday was supposed to be a 45-50 mile ride, but I just didn't feel it. Ended up cutting it off at 31 miles. Spent the rest of the day hanging out with the family, I think. For the life of me, I can't remember what I did Sunday afternoon. Got home early from riding and did some kid toy purging. After that, I cannot remember! Now I am going to have to look like an idiot and ask my wife to remind me what we did Sunday, hope it wasn't important...Oh yeah, almost forgot, skipped my long run yet again. This is like 6 weeks strong without a long run.

Monday was swimming and I made it for the second week straight. Hammered out around 2650 yds with a long set of 1250 in the middle. Lifted some weights with Big Poppa and the Hornet afterwards. It was apparently too cold out (58 degrees) for them to get in the water (80 degrees). They are looking for any excuse not to swim. Man, I am going to feel bad for them when I beat them by like 10 minutes in a sprint...

Tuesday was brick day with a 4 mile run preceding spin class. We actually got to use the seat in spin class, for at least a couple of minutes. Was going to run 1 more mile afterwards, but just didn't feel like it. Wednesday was a rest day again. Seems like I have permanently moved Wednesday lunch swim to Thursday morning. This morning was run speedwork and swimming. Nobody showed and I was having stomach issues so I ran on the dreadmill inside just in case. Good thing to because after my typical 5:15 am "deposit at the bank", I had to hit it after my first one mile repeat. Ended up going 4.5 total, 1 mile warm, 2 - 7:08 pace mile intervals with 0.5 mile recoveries and then 0.5 mile cool down. The Hornet said she was going to swim, but I knew that was just wishful thinking. Got in the pool around 6:15 next to another triathlete acquaintance, Don. He is about 10 seconds per hundred faster than me, so it was good to swim next to him. Kept me motivated. Most times, I'm next to some guy swimming like 1:10 100's and it is pretty demoralizing. Don is in the 1:35-1:40 range, so I could kind of keep up. Swam 1500 yds.

Going to run 4 sometime tomorrow, hopefully. Got a lot going on and the wife is riding in the afternoon one last time before her first tri of the season on Sunday. She is trying to shave about 6-7 minutes off her time from last year at this same distance. Mostly on the swim and bike. She rode Tuesday with Big Poppa's wife and average 17.6 mph over a 25.2 mile ride. She is hoping to go about that fast on Sunday on a 12 mile course. Should be doable even after a 350m swim. Sunday will be hard to fit in a ride, but going to try to get in 40-50 and a 5k run. Need to get that bike run brick in a couple of times before twin cities tri in a few weeks.