Monday, March 30, 2009

Race Week

The week has finally come, N.O. 70.3 is upon us. I feel so ill prepared. My running has not come along with the heel issue and it has gotten only slightly better. Still hurts pretty bad after a long run or any kind of reasonably fast speed work. We'll see if it can hold up for 13.1 miles.

Last Wednesday we took a trip to New Orleans to swim the course. Forecast had thunderstorms and 25 mph winds, but we went anyway. The only saving grace was that the wind was out of the south. Got down there and it was perfect. The wind was blowing about 20, but since it was from the south the water just had a slight ripple. We ended up swimming 0.5 mile to the start and then swimming the 1.2 mile course. The water was actually too warm and my full sleeved wetsuit had me extremely warm. Every 5 minutes I would pull the neck down to let water in to cool me off. I could feel it coming out by my feet very warm. Ended up swimming around 38 minutes, which would be great come race day. Will be a little more crowded though, so I will be happy with 40 although not excited. Bad news is that some peeps from BR Tri went down Saturday and the wind was out of the north at about 20 mph and the waves were crashing to the top of the sea wall (3'-4'). A north wind or east wind will not be fun. The forecast for now has SW wind, which will be perfect for the swim.

Friday, I did my last longer brick before the race. Rode 40 miles in north Baton Rouge and then ran 5 miles. Went 19.2 on the bike and managed 8:50 pace on the run. That is not going to cut it for my goal. I need to hit around 19 on the bike and 9:00 pace on the run to have a chance at 5:45. The run is going to be the tough part...

Sunday, we loaded up Boggs' truck and 6 of us headed to Lake Charles for a quick "warm-up" race. It was a super short sprint of 500 meters/10 miles/2 miles. My buddy Jeremy was doing his first tri, which is the only reason I committed. The air temp was 40 at race time and the water temp was 66 due to the recent rain showers. Left my wetsuit at home so I wouldn't be tempted to swim in it. The swim was miserable and I only managed to go 9:11, which is only 1:50/100 m. Couldn't get my legs going on the bike and missed the 20 mph standard. Went 19.7. The one shining moment was my T2, 37 seconds. Second fastest T2 in the race. Executed the flying dismount perfectly, hustled in and racked my bike flawlessly, slipped on my shoes with my Yanks laces and hit the run course. Was happy with my run, especially considering my lack of speed work over the last 2 months. Managed 7:42's. Best of all, a fellow age grouper, Br Tri friend and caravan member got beat by my excellent transitions. We had the same swim time and run time, but he beat me on the bike by a full minute. However, my transitions were 2 minutes faster total. He passed me on the bike at mile 6, but I caught and passed him in T2 and never looked back. I knew he was lurking on the run, but I saved a little for the last 1/4 mile and kept him at bay. Got 5th in age group and 37 overall out of 119.

Doing low volume, speed work for this week. Swam 1,000 yds this afternoon and going to do a short 5k tomorrow at 8:00 pace. Going to swim another 1,000 yds on Wednesday with a short run and then bike about 15 miles on Thursday. Short run on Friday and then rest Saturday. Race day early on Sunday. Good luck to others doing the race and to my buddy from Houston doing the Lonestar 1/2 this weekend in Galveston. Wish they weren't the same weekend because I enjoyed Lonestar and was looking to do it again. Maybe next year.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bricks 'R Us

Finally got a freakin' run in. After not having run for another week straight, I finally got my feet on the pavement yesterday. Went for my normal Thursday morning bike ride, but decided to start a little earlier so I could do a run after. With the time change, it was dark for the entire workout.

Started out with a 15 mile ride on my normal route. It was pretty windy, so I only averaged around 19.5 for the ride. I hate freakin' cross winds. Give me a headwind and tailwind any day over a cross wind. Felt like I was fighting the wind the whole ride. At least with a headwind, there is a point where you know you'll get a tailwind. Got off the bike and transitioned right into the run. I try to keep it under 3 minutes so that it is truly race conditions (No, I don't take 3 minutes for transitions in a race, matter of fact, my T2 times are normally under a minute so shut up).

Wanted to run for 30 minutes. Went out fairly easy to make sure the heel was feeling good. Picked it up on the way back in. Negative split the run by 5 seconds, woohoo...Guess I wasn't taking it as easy on the way out as I thought. Ended up going 3.6 miles for a 8:30 pace. Pretty decent for me for an easy run after a bike. Probably could have been in the 7:45 range if it was actually a race. However, the heel is still not good. Had some light pain in it the rest of the day and it felt sore after sitting at my desk all day not moving it.

Going to try and run 8 to 9 miles today and see how it holds up. Don't want to go into the half iron only having run a 10 miler 2 months before the race. If it doesn't do well, then I am going to just have to run a bunch of short runs for the next 3 weeks leading up to the race. That will make my race goal be very tough to meet. I need to be able to go sub 9 minute pace on the half marathon to have a shot at my "A" goal.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Of course as soon as I say something about making all my workouts last week, I miss the rest of them. Ended up skipping my run Friday, never had a chance to make it up on Saturday and Sunday was shot.

Saturday afternoon, we took the kids to see the LSU women's gymnastics meet. Emilie loved it, Austin loved it for the 30 seconds he sat still. After that it was a fight with him until I finally took him outside to see Mike the Tiger. Mike was swimming in his pond and running around the cage, so that occupied Austin until we left for St. Francisville. We went to spend the night at my grandparents house on Lake Rosemound and spend the next day up there. I was volunteering for a road (term used loosely) race called Rouge Roubaix on Sunday.

It is a 100 mile road race across some of the worst roads in St. Francisville and up into Mississippi. About 25-27 miles of it is on gravel roads up huge hills (huge for this area of the world). 35 mph descents on gravel ain't no joke. I rode wingman in the lead vehicle for the "B" race which was cat 4 and masters riders. It is a race modeled after the 160 mile race from Paris to Roubaix over in France. There was a reporter and photographer from the NY Times and there story can be found at Roubaix story. A short video of the race can be found here. I'm glad I was in the truck and not on my bike. I would consider doing it one year, but not now. I'll stick to the leisurely bike club century rides on paved roads.

After the race, I headed back up to the lake to enjoy the afternoon. Played with the kids until their nap time. Got them down for a nap and went on a short bike ride with my wife. Her first time back on the bike since last year. We went 10 miles at 13 mph through some decent hills. After she went back to the house, I did an up and down twice on a large 0.75 mile hill right by the lake. It is only about a 5% grade, but it stretched the quads. Spent the remainder of the afternoon fishing with the kids and then I took a swim in my new wetsuit.

The wetsuit was great. A little restrictive feeling on the breathing, but I figured that would be the case the first time I wore it. It won't be a big deal once I swim in it a few more times. Kept it short since the lake has all these rules about staying 25 yards from your pier. So I made my mom and kids follow me in the boat for a 150 yds out and back for a total of 300 yds. It kept me warm and semi dry. Neck is a little big, so I got some water in it, but not enough to worry about. Figured out a big secret though, make sure to pee before you put it on. As soon as I was ready to get in the water, I had to pee. The wetsuit is not conducive to peeing, so I had to hold it until I got out. Made a mental note to pee 10 times before I put it on for the Half Ironman. Just what I need, a pee filled wetsuit for 1.2 miles...Swam at the Y and lifted weights on Monday. Swam a 1800 yd straight swim with 200 warm-up and cool-down. Went easy because I was sharing a lane due to the obscene number of people in the pool. Every lane was full with at lest 3 or 4 lanes with doubles. Popular day for swimming I guess.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Training Pics

Here are a few pics from training over the last month:

Looking excited on my 60 mile ride one Sunday morning. Rode from Pride to Clinton.

View of the road in Clinton.

Another road in Clinton.

My riding partner, Jeremy, on a ride in Gonzales.
Jeremy looking like he actually likes training...
Got on the bike this morning for around 45 minutes before work. Got in 15 miles before I had to get back and get ready for work. I have hit all of my workouts so far this week. It is going to be tough to make them all this weekend, but we'll see if I can finally have one week that goes as scheduled. The running is the most important right now.
My wetsuit came in today. Going to give it a try in my friend's pond at his house either tomorrow or Saturday. Hope it fits...Might be going to Lake Rosemound on Sunday, so I'll give it a try there too. Going to be volunteering for Rouge Roubaix on Sunday. Supposed to be riding in the lead vehicle with a friend from BRTri. Rouge Roubaix is the local mother of all bike races. It is nearly 105 miles long in St. Franciville. It runs up some "big" Louisiana hills, over some nasty gravel roads, nasty chip seal asphalt roads and even a few timber road sections. I've heard it is brutal and not for the faint of heart. Especially Sunday since it will be a cool 81 degrees in freakin' March. Louisiana weather, gotta love it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Daily Grind

Back again after a long layoff from the Blog Nation. Have been too busy with other things, i.e. facebook, to come over here and post. There is at least a couple of people who read this occasionally to know how much or little I have been training. One of them reminded me that I actually have this thing here and that I needed to update it. I've taken some pictures while training, but they are all at work and I am at home at the moment. Maybe I'll post them tomorrow for two posts in a row, but I wouldn't hold my breath...

My training has been going okay. My swimming has been fine. I have been averaging around 4600-5800 yds per week spaced over 2 workouts. Monday and Wednesday are swim days. Monday is shorter in total volume (1800-2200), but I do a warm-up, then a long straight swim (1400-1800) followed by a cool down. Wednesday is longer (2800-3600) consisting of some shorter distance intervals to work on some speed. Still only averaging 1:40's on 100's, but that is good enough for me. I would be happy swimming 1:45 average for the 1.2 mile swim at the Half Iron.

Biking has been good, except for being cold. Hard to get motivated to ride my bike in the mornings when it is 35 degrees out, but I haven't missed a weekend ride yet. Been going 45-55 miles on my Sunday rides and doing a Thursday morning "speed" workout for around 15-20 miles. Sunday this past week was brutal. At 9 am the temp was 38, but there was a 20 mph wind. The wind chill was 29 and it was freakin' cold on the bike. On the way out, there was a section directly into the wind. I was doing 13 mph with a heart rate of 162 (almost 90% of MHR). Then I finally got to a section with the wind at my back and I was doing 27-28 mph with a heart rate of 150 (around 80% MHR). My bike is coming along and I have ridden the half iron course twice. Thinking I may be able to go around 19-19.5 mph for the race if the wind is light. The course could be tough though with any wind since it is pretty wide open through the marshes along the lake.

My run has been my weakest link. My weekly mileages have been 15, 12, 11, 11, 20, 5.5 and then looking at around 14 for this week. My run has been sufferin'. I finally got motivated and got up to the 20 mile mark, however that was a big mistake. That big increase in mileage killed my heel. I believe I have the beginning of Plantar Fasciitis, which is a very painful condition. My heel hurt a little after my 10 mile long run on the 20 mile week, but nothing I felt concerned about. Then last week I went on Tuesday to do my 5.5 miles of speedwork and that did my heel in. That night, I got up to use the restroom and had to literally crawl to the bathroom. My heel could not have any weight on it. I iced it and stretched it for the next two days and it finally starting feeling better Thursday afternoon. Decided to stay off of it until this Tuesday. Did 3 miles yesterday and then iced it. Did 3 miles this morning, but skipped the ice. It hurts a little bit this evening, but not too bad. Going to take it easy for the rest of this week (4 miler on Friday and 5 miler on Sunday) and see how it feels. May throw my long run back in next week and maybe some speedwork the next week.

My upcoming plans are pretty much focused on the New Orleans Half Ironman. I am doing a local race in Lake Charles the weekend before since it will be one of my best friends' first triathlon. It is 400 m, 10 miles and 2 miles, so it should be around an hour. Should be a good final tune-up the Sunday before the half iron. Plus I can work out any kinks with my new wetsuit in a race prior to the big race. Want to do the Fast Boy 5k the day before the sprint tri, but I am undecided. It will probably depend on how my heel is feeling.

I finally bit the bullet and bought a wetsuit since Lake Pontchartrain will be in the upper 60's for the race. That is a bit chilly even for me. Lonestar last year was around 70 and Ironstar was around 72 and I did them without one. This will be around 65-68, which could be a little problematic. I ended up getting an Xterra Vector Pro X2.

Also bought new tires, a chain, flybag for under the seat, new riding shirt, tail light and tubes for my bike. Bought a helmet for the wife so she can look "cute" while riding her bike.