Saturday, December 30, 2006

Closing out the year

Two runs in CT. this last week; 4.5 miles and 4.4 miles. 7 mile run today back in Middletown. I'm at 800 miles for the year, which is roughly 2 runs and 15 miles per week running. That of course includes all rest time, sickness, etc... so all in all not too bad. I may get out for 2 miles tomorrow to warm-up for a race on Monday (5 miles).

It's nice having the week off from work. It presents a good chance to recharge the batteries, reflect on the past year and plan the next year. I met most of my top goals. I didn't meet my mileage goal (1200 originally). The number was arbitrary so I don't really care. I'd like to see my bike mileage almost double next year and my run mileage stay the same or go up a little. The big goals, breaking the 3 hr marathon and qualifying for (and competing in) the 70.3 World Championships were gratifying. The marathon was the most gratifying because I had been chasing it for so long.

Next year's plans aren't very clear yet. I have a few races in the plans, but no real "goals". Well one: I'd like to win something again. My dream goal would be to have one more overall win in something. It's such a incredible feeling coming into any finish line in any type of event, ahead of everyone else. To experience it one more time would be great.

Santa Claus brought me a new pair of running shoes for Christmas. You don't realize how dead the cushioning is in your shoes until you put on a new pair. Wow, what a difference. It makes sense that the others were dead. I had about 400 miles on each pair. Being lightweight trainers conventional wisdom says that they are good for about 300 miles, so yes they were overdue for replacing.

Finally, I was thinking about a lacrosse coach in high school, "Scary" Larry Piatelli. For the most part I don't have many fond memories of him. Doing some research I learned he passed away of a heart attack in 2003, about 6 months after becoming Head Master of Berkshire School. He was playing hockey, his passion, in a rec league in Albany, N.Y. Oddly, once I learned of his untimely death I realized that for all the negative sentiment I had towards him, I didn't want to see him pass away. And, seeing his age and doing the math, I realized he was only late 20s early 30s when we were at Kent. I was far from perfect in my 20s and early 30s as well, so I've decided to give him a posthumous mulligan on some things. I've also decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was, in his way, just trying to get me to strive for excellence. After all, this is the guy who one day during practice declared that "pound for pound" I was the toughest guy on the team. A bit of a backhanded compliment given that he frequently made fun of my thin runner's build, but a compliment nonetheless.

So farewell to 2006. I learned much this year and will remember you fondly as I strive to relegate you to "yet another year" instead of allow you to exist as "the best year yet."


The numbers

Terrain: Asphalt

# of Runs: 104
YTD Mileage: 800.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 199.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 7.69

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1082.50
# of Rides: 47
M/RD: 23.03

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Training Log Entry #101

Okay there haven't been 101 entries, but there have been 101 runs. Friday I logged another 5 miles. Nothing too hard. It was a quiet day at work so I went down to the 1st floor and tracked down a fellow triathlon team member and Brown employee. He had his running gear and was also doing a whole lotta nuthin' so we just went out and did my loop through the east side of Providence. It begins with a climb up College St. which has a 13% grade for the first third and which eases to about 8% by the top.

It felt good, though I still have a few lingering cold symptoms (runny/stuffy nose).

The numbers

Terrain: Asphalt

# of Runs: 101
YTD Mileage: 784.17
MTG (Miles to Goal): 215.83
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 7.76

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1082.50
# of Rides: 47
M/RD: 23.03

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sick Days and the Century Mark

I'm lounging around right now. In fact until today I hadn't done anything since Tuesday (a week ago). I've got a really minor cold, but I don't want it to blossom. Sunday I watched football, played with this blog, and listened to Alexandra singing in her crib. Monday I missed work with a fever. Tuesday I was back into the grind and today back on the road.

It's possible the cold wouldn't have settled in this past weekend except that Leanna and I went out two nights in a row (Grandma and Grandpa Hopkins were visiting), and let's just say it was a shock to the system. We haven't been out without Alexandra much at all these past two plus years. It was nice, even if it did mean getting a little snotty nosed.

Today I went for a very easy 3.5 miles around the east side of Providence. While that doesn't help the per run average too much, nonetheless it was nice to be back outside. No point risking getting sick again. After all I'm still working through the final traces of the cold. Anyway, this run was my 100th run this year. A nice little benchmark. Honestly I don't know how that stacks up to previous years, but I think it's pretty good. Tell you what, we'll compare numbers this time next year. For now HAPPY 100!

# of Runs: 100
YTD Mileage: 779.17
MTG (Miles to Goal): 220.83
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 7.79
(Yikes, time for some long runs to up that avg!)

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1082.50
# of Rides: 47
M/RD: 23.03

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I feel the earth move under my feet...

Ever run across a bridge that was in the process of being demolished? I did today. Well technically only one span of the old Washington Bridge is being torn down, but tell that to the other span. I was running back to work at lunchtime and the heavy machinery was just going to town. Two big boys side by side. One had a mega-jackhammer attached to the front. The other had the world's largest vice grips. As I got about 1/2 way across the span it began to shake (forced resonance). I actually lost my balance and almost fell down. Wow. Let's just say I sped up a bit and got over the bridge, then kept an ear open for the wrong span collapsing.

One other "Odd"servation. Because of the demolition, the pedestrian foot path under the bridge had been rerouted to an area where they weren't working. Well by the time I had returned the workers had moved down to the area to which they had relocated the foot path. However, they forgot to reroute foot traffic back to the original path. Apparently the woman in the orange vest responsible for directing people had not been kept in the loop as to the movements of the demo. So as she is starting to tell me how to get around the destruction she notices the heavy equipment has been moved onto the site of the relocated foot path. Thus her directions come out as follows:
"You have to go up and around...oh wait, what the f--- are we supposed to do now?!"


The numbers:

6.5 miles (also 4 runs totaling 17.1 listed on previous post)

Terrain: Asphalt

# of Runs: 99
YTD Mileage: 775.67
MTG (Miles to Goal): 224.33
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 7.83
(Yikes, time for some long runs to up that avg!)

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1082.50
# of Rides: 47
M/RD: 23.03

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Racing Day, It's Racing Day...

I'm running a 10k today. I've been searching the internet trying verify the last time I raced just a 10k. It looks like December 1995 was the last one. It was the same race as I'm running today (albeit on a different course). Other than that all my 10k efforts have been in conjunction with olypmic distance triathlons. There have been a few 5 milers (Thanksgiving day races) and a few 4.8 milers and 5ks, but no 10ks. The bar is pretty low on my 10k time. 39:21. I think I can manage that.

Here are my goals:
1) Break 39
2) Break 39:21

Hard to pick a 3rd goal for a 10k race. Finishing I guess is the 3rd goal, but that's just to keep my "always finish what you start" streak alive. I'll be bummed if I don't at least knock off #2, and #1 is so close to #2, that's really my goal for the day. Leanna and Alexandra will be watching so I'll have a little extra motivation.

**Update**
Final time: 38:26, which is faster than I thought I could go (6:12 per mile). It's been so long since I've raced this distance in a pure running event, that I found finding a pace was hard. Mile 1 was a 6:04, followed by a 6:24 second mile. I had a moment of concern that I couldn't get the pace back, but then I got in with a group of runners and by mile 3 was on a pace of 6:12 per mile, which we held to the end. The group was initially pretty big and a little "unruly" (people moving sideways without looking, a little pushing, etc...), so at about mile 2.5 I surged and only the tough people hung in. By mile three there were only 5 of us. One guy surged ahead and stayed there until mile 5.5, when we other 4 moved past him for good. I wasn't motivated to "kick" so I came in 3rd of the 4 of us, and 26th overall. I was the 8th in the 40-49 category.
It was a good race. I don't think I could have been much faster today, but I do feel like I can go faster in the future. I've done so much long distance racing that it was nice doing a short race and just going hard. Oh yes, and the best part of the day (by far) was coming into the finish line and hearing Alexandra scream "IT'S DADDAAAA!!!!" Priceless. (We then went and played in a pile of leaves!)

Mileage update from this week:
4 mile run (easy, coaching runners at Hope HS Track)
5 mile run (warm-up, one mile run test, easy run back to work; 5:34)
2 mile run (pre-race run. 2x400m at 5k pace)
6.1 mile run (race day; 38:26...6:12 per mile)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Just Thinking

I get a lot of time alone, probably more than many people. Yes this has its downside, but it has its benefits as well. I get to think and think clearly. I get to dream. I get to remember...places, events, defining moments in my life, and special people. It actually surprises me the clarity of some of the memories. Maybe because there are no interruptions, or maybe because the chemicals released during exertion force you to focus and think clearly. I don't remember going to a movie when I was younger. I remember going to see "Brazil" at the Pittsburgh Playhouse during my winter break from Cornell in 1987. I remember sitting in the balcony. Things are more vivid when my heart is beating 140 or more times per minute, at least more vivid than when it is beating 38-40 times per minute. I don't have the really cool dreams anymore, the ones that make me want to stay in bed, just to keep dreaming. No my time awake and alone fills that role. I often thought that maybe I'd be better off with a training partner, and I have had them at times, but they never last. I think I need "the time with (me) to keep me awake and alive."

Part 3 (abridged)

(Yes I realize I haven't published Part 2 yet.)
Race day was quite a mix of emotions. I felt humbled, proud, panicked, and pissed all in less than 5 hours.

The start was humbling. I was in a field with some of the fastest people in the WORLD. They would be literally miles ahead by the time we were running, but at least I was there. Of that I was proud. In mid-August I had almost declined the spot which I had earned at a qualifying race. This perfect dawn reinforced the fact that that would have been a mistake.

Panic set in during the swim. Because everyone was a good athlete, the pack never broke up. It was full contact for the first .6 miles. I also realized I had my wedding band on. It has been known to slip off when swimming, so usually I take it off before the race. I was so worried I'd lose it I did the swim with my left hand mostly closed.

Panic reared its ugly head again during the bike. I was cruising along at a pretty good clip and then the first, of what would be many illegal packs caught and passed me. That did cause the panic. The panic was the result of seeing another unfortunate competitor get squeezed wide by the overtaking pack, hit a large traffic cone, flip up into the air, and hit the pavement...lying motionless. Then there were the blind old people pulling into our "closed" lane. The final straw was seeing an old teammate lying motionless on the pavement. This was not a triathlon, it was Thunder Dome.

And because of the panic I was now in the latter half of the field, and I really don't like the view from the back if you know what I mean. So, I got pissed. I had great legs, and though the hot weather didn't allow for this New Englander to go 100%, I ran hard and moved my butt up from 678th place to a finishing place of 419.

Not the perfect race but I'll take it, especially because of the field. I ran through 260 people who had also qualified in the top 5% of their age groups. That's 260 fit and fast people. So I feel good about me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stepford Daughter

She was SO good at dinner. Maybe a little too good... She lulled daddy into a false sense of security, and then she struck!!

Her mind began to churn. "The herb rack in the lazy susan. The perfect way to execute my plan!! Daddy will never suspect a thing!."

"Hmm, did Leanna buy some new potpourri?" thought Joel. "Alexandra, NOOOOOOOO!!!"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

30 Pounds of Nakedness...

...fresh out of the tubby, wrapped around my leg like a boa exclaiming, "No Diapie! No Diapie!"

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Training Log Entry #94

I just had to get that average over 8 miles per run again, so I went out for a 9.5 mile run today. It is a cool and sunny day. It was an 8.5 mile loop which passed my local track at mile 7. I detoured onto the track and ran two steady 400s (1:26 and 1:20), before proceeding back to my house. I didn't try to run terribly fast. I ran steady and felt pretty good.

The numbers

Terrain: Asphalt

# of Runs: 94
YTD Mileage: 752.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 247.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.00

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1082.50
# of Rides: 47
M/RD: 23.03

Friday, December 01, 2006

Training Log Entry #93

5 miles on Weds. Totally bonked. It was ugly. Must have eaten 5 Kit Kats and sucked down a Coke to keep from passing out. I'm not sure why it happened, but it happened.

In other news, only one month left in my effort to keep a log of all runs this year. I think I can pull it off. I plan to get back to other topics soon. I will keep my workouts, but maybe in a separate location. Oh yeah, I am conducting an experiment "teaching" a few triathletes to run they way I run (in terms of technique). I'm curious to see how much of my reinvented stride technique works because it's me, as opposed to working for anyone.

Terrain: Mostly Asphalt

# of Runs: 93
YTD Mileage: 742.57
MTG (Miles to Goal): 257.43
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 7.98

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1082.50
# of Rides: 47
M/RD: 23.03

Monday, November 27, 2006

Training Log Entry #87 - #92: Grading the season

Just catching up. I thought I'd take a second to grade my season as well. I'm thinking A- which could be generous. While I'm going to fall short on my mileage goals, I will likely end up with 2000 combined run/bike miles. Most importantly I feel better physically than I have in YEARS! My work reinventing my running has paid dividends. My ankle works. My Hammy works. My massage therapist said my muscles felt really good and supple. That is far better than last year's assessment when my ankle felt "funky" and the muscles under my IT bands were tight as bow strings.

I also hit my two "A" goals; A PR and sub 3 hour marathon at Boston, and breaking the 1 1/2 hour mark for the 1/2 iron run (in June at Mooseman). As a bonus I earned a trip to the Ironman World Championships 70.3, and set a PR at the 1/2 iron distance.

Here are my missing workouts:
19 mile bike/4.3 mile run (11/5)
2 mile run (11/10)
13.1 mile run (11/11)
56 mile bike (11/11)
6.5 mile run (11/21)
5 mile run (11/23)
6 mile run (11/27)

Terrain: Mostly Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 92
YTD Mileage: 737.57
MTG (Miles to Goal): 262.43
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.02

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1082.50
# of Rides: 47
M/RD: 23.03

Sit down. Sit Down. Pablo NO!!

I'm sure you have no idea what the title means. Well, it's one of those parenting moments. Alexandra the 2 1/2 year old queen of the realm, is a piece of work. Though it seems like she doesn't understand what we are saying, you realize she does and is "choosing" to ignore us when, in the still of the morning, you hear her in her room correcting her stuffed animal, Pablo.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Quick Update

I'm traveling for Thanksgiving right now so I haven't had a chance to finish Part 2 of my trip to Florida. I did want to get a quick update out which contains missed workout mileage. I have not added these into the running totals yet, and probably won't until next week. I also might be missing a 5 mile run somewhere. I know(think) I ran it, I just have top check the calendar to recall when.

19 mile bike/4.3 mile run (11/5)
2 mile run (11/10)
13.1 mile run (11/11)
56 mile bike (11/11)

Oh yeah. I'm really struggling with this concept of "downtime". I need to get moving again or I'll go nuts. I'm going out for a 6 - 8 miler today (easy pace) just to stay sane.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Running at Ironman World Championship 70.3 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ironman World Championships 70.3: Part 1

I worked through lunch today, so I thought I'd get chapter 1 of 'Joel goes to Florida' out of the way. Before the reality of race day hit, I was able to exist in that utopian dream of a World Championship. If there were any doubts about whether or not this would be an event worthy of such a title, they were put to rest almost immediately. The venue (devoid of people), was the perfect setting. Warm Gulf of Mexico waters, clear skies, mid-70s to 80 degree temperatures were the norm. Despite being only 3 weeks removed from Hawaii, the top pros managed to make it out. As a wanna-be athlete all my life, I finally felt like I had made it. The town’s people (for the most part), kept the fantasy intact as well. I was a member of this swarm of really thin, really fit people who had descended on Clearwater Beach. Helped by the fact that most people couldn't pick a professional triathlete out of a lineup, and by the words "World Championship", and by the fact that the ability to race for 4 1/2 hours straight is well beyond the comprehension of the wait staff at IHOP, I gladly imparted my "wisdom" about life and the event to the delight of awestruck locals. If only they knew the truth!

After getting situated in my 70s era sea side motel, The Sea Stone Resort, (~3/4 of a mile from the race course), complete with a dead cucaracha on the 3rd floor stairwell landing, I made my way to the athlete event registration. It was now mid-afternoon on Thursday, and yet I was still one of the first people to arrive, so I got first dibs on all the free stuff. Let me tell you, because of the cost of these events, you go after all the free stuff you can get. I think whole eBay stores exist for the reselling of promotional giveaway items from races (Gatorade water bottle anyone?). One of the more interesting demonstrations (to me anyway), was the physiological work up. Egos are hungry beasts, and mine needs to be fed early and often. Tanita, the digital scale company, was demo'ing their latest product which not only did the usual body fat percentage, but percent of water, weight of lean muscle, "Basal Metabolic Rate" (how many calories you burn in a day just breathing), and metabolic age. I used to obsess on the fact that as a rower in college I was ~9% body fat, and that I was now no longer quite as lean.

Well here's my report card:

Body weight (clothed): 165.8
Body Fat: 7.9%
% of Water: 60% (which is fully hydrated)
Weight of Lean Muscle: 145.2 (that would be hydrated lean muscle, not desiccated)
Basal Metabolic Rate (my personal favorite): 1976 calories a day just breathing (Bring on the Chocolate Cake!!!)
Metabolic age: 12

Okay, now Leanna insists that I heard the last one incorrectly, and that they meant my emotional age was 12. Well, she might have a point. I was after all playing professional athlete in Clearwater Florida. No matter, as meaningless as that "free profile" really was, I left feeling a lot better about myself. I now really felt like I belonged.

That night I went trolling around looking for a place to eat. Clearwater Beach is divided into the older, 70s era section, and the newer more upscale areas. Despite money concerns, I went over to the nice section. I was playing professional athlete after all. I now even had my powder blue competitor's bracelet to prove it. So I made it over to the newer section across from the Marriot. After trying hard to find something worth my new found sense of self(!), I came across an Italian place, Forlini's. The prices were a little steep, but actually about what I pay at home (Newport is not cheap). A Steve Martin movie came to mind when the host asked how many would be dining tonight, "Uh, I'm alone." It was a slow night in the restaurant and he must have noticed all my Ironman gear, so I was placed at a booth in the window like some human billboard saying, hey everybody, triathletes eat here and you should too! The food was really good, and two glasses of Chianti always make a meal more pleasant, even when you are alone. An yes I entertained more questions about what the training for this event was like, how long had I been doing this, and did I think he (my waiter) could ever finish one. Good food, wine, and ego stroking beyond compare. Yes this was the dream. Then another group of athlete's entered and low and behold, not only were they in town for the championships, they were people I knew from New England! Buoyed by the wine I went over and said hello, and they invited me to join them. Despite being done eating I did so and spent the rest of the evening with them. After dinner we hit the local CVS for all those items we had forgotten and then made plans to do our pre-race workouts together the next morning, but that's a story for another time.

Coming soon: Part 2, Pre-race

I'm always looking to improve, but...

I really want to be a better athlete. I'm okay now, but I know I have plenty more upside. I'm pretty sure I need coaching help to move up, but the problem is finding a coach who can make it happen for me. The most fundamental element I don't have, which a coach would presume, is time. During peak times I can probably find 10 to 12 hours a week. Here's a sample plan (actually a former teammate of mine) which highlights the problem. True this sample is for an Ironman build-up, but still you get the idea:



The easy week before the race equals about what I can fit in for my peak week. The swim distances of 25000m per week equal about what I swim in two months! Is this really what I need to do? Well I can't do this and stay married, that's for sure. Frankly I think I can do it my way, but I need a guide who understands that and I just don't think any exist.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Reality check...

It's going to take a number of posts to recap this past weekend. Let me start at the end.

I flew from Tampa to Providence this morning at 10:40 am. While I was waiting to board Southwest flight 880, I saw a fellow triathlete enter the waiting area with his parents. He looked familiar. I thought I remembered seeing him on a telecast of the Hawaiian Ironman in 2005. Now here he was about to board the same flight as I. Out of lycra and bereft of bicycle it is possible to mistake someone, but not this time. His Ironman hat was the giveaway. So was his wheel chair. So was his Dad feeding him his Coca-Cola with Lime. His name is Johnny Blais. He has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He is going to die.

I was pulled from a moment of self pity, yanked back to reality. Knowing I would never again have this opportunity, I went over and introduced myself and tried to say something that didn't sound too stupid. I'm not sure I succeeded. I did say that just seeing him reminded me that it's not all about splits and ranks and overall place. He looked at me and sort of smiled, "Yes it is." If I might be so bold as to interpret his response, other than his being a wise ass (which is probably how he intended it!), I think the point is that placing and ranking, measuring yourself against others is part of the experience. It was okay for me to be pissed off about the drafting debacle at the World Championships.

I don't want to overstate things here. I didn't meet Ghandi or the Dalai Lama. However I met a man who does have a perspective of life and competition that I don't have.

Incidentally, I also met a man who is trying to make a difference with the days he has left. Maybe I (we) can try the same. (You can learn more here.)


Blazeman Oct. 2005 Posted by Picasa


Me and Blazeman Nov. 2006 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A good weekend

While Alexandra was upset on Friday when she woke up from her nap to find Mommy gone "on vacation", her mood soon improved (a trip to the park helped) and we had a really good time. She has clearly missed Mommy the whole time (we've watched the home movie of our vacation in Maine about 10 times!), but she has not been difficult. Quite the opposite, she's been much easier than I thought. Not to say I think this would be easy to do full time, I have the utmost respect for full time Mommies, but I was worried she'd be impossibly upset for much of the weekend. That's not the case. We've been able to do things, like go for a nature walk at the Norman bird sanctuary, see small animals (also at the bird sanctuary), go out to dinner a couple of times, go to the store twice and to Starbuck's (she loves Madeleines).

Mommy comes back today during nap time. I'm sure Alexandra will be thrilled to see her, as will I, but I'll miss the quality Daddy time I've had the last couple of days. I think we'll have to do this again sometime.

PS: Austin, at one point while we were driving to Portsmouth she said, "Go Austin's house? Go Austin's house?"

Friday, November 03, 2006

Training Log Entry #86

I'm ready for the end. Be that as it may, I'm still sticking to the plan and thankfully the plan this week called for a very easy week. Just one run, no riding (I might spin on my trainer tomorrow during Alexandra's nap), and 2 swims to keep my shoulders loose. I've been working on coming up with my race plan. I have found out what works in the pool. No rocket science, just start really slow and then pick it up a little after the first 500 yds. It's long enough to warm-up, stretch out, and get rid of the nerves, but not so far that I'm hopelessly far behind. Besides, even if I'm only 29 minutes or so in the water, if I come out more relaxed I could have two good legs coming up, and after all that is really "my race."

The numbers

6 miles running

Terrain: asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 86
YTD Mileage: 700.67
MTG (Miles to Goal): 299.33
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.15

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1007.50
# of Rides: 45
M/RD: 22.38

The training wheels are off!

For the first time, it's just me and Alexandra until Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Training Log Entry #85: Windy enough for you?

Call me cowardly, but I didn't ride my bike on the road today. Instead I put in 1:05 on the trainer before hitting the road for a 10k run. While I can easily rationalize my decision as the "sensible thing to do" for my race prep (the plan did call for race pace tempo riding), in truth I was scared off my the thought of downed branches, standing water, and gusts 40 - 60 mph. I'm not 20 any more, and I'd like to think I've learned a few smarts since then. A crash now would really put a damper on the whole race experience, if you know what I mean. So I put in a good solid effort on the trainer, which is no mean feat. Staring at the cellar walls is mentally quite taxing. It also puts a hurting on the major muscles because you don't get to move and shift position on the bike the way you do on the road. So all in all the ride was a proper effort for the plan, and the run was quite encouraging. 39:13.

The numbers

6.1 miles running/20 miles riding

Terrain: asphalt/trainer

Run:
# of Runs: 85
YTD Mileage: 694.67
MTG (Miles to Goal): 305.33
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.17

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 1007.50
# of Rides: 45
M/RD: 22.38

If you think the "extra hour" today is so great...

...you don't have a 2 year old.

That extra hour of sleep thing? Yeah, she traded it in for an extra hour of playtime. That gets her an extra hour tired and thus an extra hour of crankiness. No, I'll be glad next year when this whole silliness with the clocks is done.

Friday, October 27, 2006

What are we teaching people these days?

I'm stunned. A fellow at work had been waiting for some mailing labels to come in. The person who ordered them dropped by to say that they had finally arrived (after ~ 3 weeks). It's be almost comical how hard it's been to get "standard" address labels sent to us. So when they arrived I sent this fellow an e-mail with the subject line "The new phone books are here!" Then I told him the labels had arrived. Well he responded by saying that was great news about the labels, but the subject line didn't make sense to him. What? Are you kidding me?!! What's next, you've never heard that crossing the streams would be bad?!! Talk to me Goose! Maverick's buggin' out! Hey bud, what's your problem?

And I don't buy that Generation Gap crap. I wasn't alive in the 50s and early 60s and yet I still know that Ward was frequently hard on the Beaver. I know the professor didn't want to get off the damn island because he'd never be that close to two babes again in his life. And of course thought of having my own Jeannie made me want to be an astronaut too! I might have nothin', but sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

We're talking about a piece of Americana, the essence of what it is to be an American. It's what lifts us above the French, dammit! You're a slacker McFly!

On the other hand, maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe it was a dream, you know, a very weird, bizzare, vivid, erotic, wet, detailed dream. Maybe (I) have malaria.

Well, got go. Princeton could use a man like Joel.

Training Log Entry #84: The week that was...

Okay I'm coping better with the pre-race anxiety and stress. I've dialed back on the training somewhat. Only a 5 mile run and an easy 30 min. on the trainer this week, along with 2 swims (~4000 yds total). So all in all a somewhat less intense week. I'm going to put in one what I hope will be competition level effort on Sunday (20 mile bike/4.3 mile run). It's shorter so I can keep the intensity high. It's also the same workout I did before Middleboro this summer (12th place overall), so I have good numbers for comparison. I'm interested to see how well I've preserved my speed. I feel pretty good, in fact the reduced workload has allowed me to get a couple of pounds back on, which is a good thing for these longer races. My energy levels and stamina are much better.

The highlight of the weekend will be passing the 1000 mile mark riding on Sunday.

The numbers

5 miles running/9 miles riding

Terrain: asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 84
YTD Mileage: 688.57
MTG (Miles to Goal): 311.43
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.20

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 987.50
# of Rides: 44
M/RD: 22.44

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Training Log Entry #83

Probably my last longish stuff before raceday. I had nothing in the tank, or so it seemed, when I went out for the run, but withing a couple of miles I relaxed, my energy levels picked up, and I started moving. Saturday was also the day of the Nifty 50 ultra in Middletown, the one I would have been running if not for the 70.3 Championships. There had been a marathon run earlier in the day as well, but the ultramarathon is something special. I was out first doing errands, and then running and I saw these few people out just doing it. The crowds were gone. The volunteers were mostly gone, the race officials were taking down parts of the course, and still these 27 people kept going. It's a lonely existence. I mean they weren't running with each other. Most of them were not even aware there were others like them still on the course. It moved me. I know that feeling. Despite being a fairly introverted person, I slowed (first in my truck and then on foot) and made eye contact with each one of them and told them with all sincerity that they were doing great. That they were inspirational, because they were.

The second 1/2 of my run overlapped the ultramarathon course and I came upon a few runners. One in particular I ran alongside for a couple of miles. She was clearly a fellow Ironman triathlete (the hat and fuelbelt were the giveaways), and when I asked seem in need of a little human contact, even if for a short way.

The bike ride today was fairly quick but hard. 48 miles in 2:12. The wind was stronger than I had expected and it was cold. As I sit here typing I'm pretty tapped out. I'm hitting the caffeine in an effort to get going and do some yard work and a couple of other lingering chores. I'm getting used to my new position and it does keep my upper body lower and steadier, so I'm hopeful for a good ride in Florida. Maybe not a PR for the distance, but better than I've done recently.

The numbers

11.8 miles running/48 miles riding

Terrain: asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 83
YTD Mileage: 683.57
MTG (Miles to Goal): 316.43
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.24

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 978.50
# of Rides: 43
M/RD: 22.76

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Training Log Entry #82

Ran thursday. Trainer and swim Friday. 6 mile run which went pretty well. I am tired but my legs were strong. I managed to catch up to some guys from work who had left a bit earlier. Good tempo work catching them and then I ran with them which got me to slow down and relax a bit. This is something that's hard to do running by myself, but is important considering my sore knee. Speaking of the knee it is not getting worse and is most likely a hamstring "pull", which might actually have happened getting out of the kayak in Vermont (it wasn't my most graceful disembarking ever!). I'm running again today, so we'll see how it holds up.

I'm getting pretty comfortable in my new position on my bike. The general cramping and soreness related to my lower upper body (and thus more weight on my elbows/shoulders) has gone away. This is key because this position is only faster if I can stay in it for 56 miles. If you end up sitting up too much, you quickly lose any gains you might have made.

Still struggling through the "lonely training" thing, but given that Nov. 11 now seems pretty close, it's getting easier to suck it up and do the work. Training during the week is easy and relaxing for the most part, with a little more effort on the weekends. I'm fit and fast, I just need to maintain things, race my ass off, and then enjoy the off-season!

The numbers

6 miles running/9 miles riding

Terrain: asphalt/trainer

Run:
# of Runs: 82
YTD Mileage: 672.77
MTG (Miles to Goal): 327.23
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.20

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 930.50
# of Rides: 42
M/RD: 22.15

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And if you are able to read...

Bowerman and the Men of Oregon.

It's a book about a legendary track coach and the birth of a company we all know: Nike. Even more, for me it has helped me remember a more innocent time in my life where amateur athletics and the Olympics were everything. It is a tour of 20th century history in the manner of Forrest Gump, but without the goofie bastard!

Sitting here I'm nostalgic for the days when the mile was king!

(That's right folks, the mile not the 100m steroid induced piss in a cup with laundry detergent to avoid detection dash.)

Downtime is Niiiiice....

I took a long weekend away in Vermont. My in-laws watched Alexandra while Leanna and I borrowed a cousin's condo. Our cell phones did not get a signal. I had no bike, no wetsuit, no lycra of any sort, only one pair of running shoes (old trainers just for walking around in), and most importantly NO PLAN. I was at the point where I was so tired and so sleep deprived that I didn't realize how tired and sleep deprived I was until the weekend was over and I was upgraded to merely exhausted. I've resumed some light training this week (2 x 30 min. on my trainer and 1500yds swimming) and feel pretty good. However I'm not really motivated. I know my base is good, but I'm worried about speed eroding (which it will do) if I don't show a little activity. I'll most likely run tomorrow, but I've got to be honest, it's been nice not running. Ever since that trip to the indoor track I've been nursing a sore left knee. It has been improving and regular running doesn't seem to bother it, but just the same it takes the wind out of my sails a bit. I don't see anyway I'll even hit 1000 miles. I think 750 might be more realistic because I don't see a ton of miles coming in after November 11th which is a mere 10 hard training days away. The finish line is near, but it is nice to relax. I'm going to get some real work in this weekend so I'll have a good idea where I stand after that.

The numbers

27 miles riding

Terrain: trainer

Run:
# of Runs: 81
YTD Mileage: 666.77
MTG (Miles to Goal): 333.23
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.23

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 921.50
# of Rides: 41
M/RD: 22.48

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's 5:30AM, have you hugged your bike yet?

Okay I'm feeling better than I was earlier in the week. Thanks for your concern. I got a new batch of my "secret" supplement yesterday, and I think that's helping. I'd been out all week. No it's nothing illegal. Basically I just jumped up my iron intake (heme-iron). It makes a difference during periods of high stress.

I'm taking the next 4 days off, except for sleeping and hiking. I'm looking forward to it. Until then, though, I've got one more swim to fit in at lunch today (I've already ridden my trainer for 30 minutes).

Good Day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Choice and Sacrifice

Okay, so this not so original thought came to me after an extended "disagreement" with Leanna. My life is what I've made it through my choices, and for the most part it's all good. "So why you lookin' so down, Joel." No my monkey didn't die (name that reference), I've been reflecting on one of the statements that came out of the disagreement and it's totally true and I have nobody to blame but myself. I have no social life. None. I have a few friends, and those that I have I rate as close, but that doesn't mean we go out much or do things on the weekends. I've gone down a path which others can't really follow. It's my choice. I can sit here and be rational about it, but the truth and thus the emotional response is the same. I mean seriously, who is going to join me for 4 1/2 hours of suffering in the wind and rain?! It gets pretty damn lonely.

Why the reflection now? Well in an extended moment of self-pity I was considering withdrawing from the world championships. I mean really, I'm very likely pack filler. The real race is going to be 15 or 20 minutes up the road from me if I have a really good day. It seemed like I was just wasting our money on the trip.

Let's just say Leanna didn't see it the same way. In short, what were all the long hours for if I was going to drop out of the single biggest event of my life (so far). Okay I was thinking the lesson was family resources were more important than personal goals, but I was quickly reminded that I was just the person executing this race. Sacrifices for preparation were made by all, not just me. So my dropping out was discarding what all family members had sacrificed.

Yes I'm rambling but perhaps I can tie it all together again. In short, I'm racing because I'm not the only one who has made sacrifices. I'm racing because it gives some purpose to everything I've given up personally (like a social life). I'm racing because I want to.

Now if I can just convince myself of this I'll be all set.

Training Log Entry #81

11.5 miles of pure work. However it was reasonably fast. My time for the usual 10.8 mile time trial would have been in the 1:07 - 1:08 range which is near my fastest. That was yesterday. Today I'm tapped out...spent. My form and speed are good but, to borrow a cycling phrase, I'm on the razor. I think I'm dangerously close to peaking too early, so it's time to take a step back this week. One or two easy 30 minute ride(s) on the trainer and a swim or two. No runs. Leanna and I are heading up to Vermont for a few days. I'm guessing we'll hike a bit and that will cover the "running" part. I need to get these batteries recharged because the indicator that my fitness is on the edge is more than just physical. I've been tired and out of shape plenty. It's the emotional changes, the mood swings and depression that oddly accompany my best form. They are early indicators that I'm at a place I can't stay for too long. I'm counting on wisdom garnered by years of doing this, that I am properly diagnosing the situation. I do know I'm also perilously close to doing injuring myself. Time to be careful and recover.

The numbers

11.5 miles running

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 81
YTD Mileage: 666.77
MTG (Miles to Goal): 333.23
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.23

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 894.50
# of Rides: 38
M/RD: 23.54

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Timeout from Pumpkin Shopping...

Always time for a little splishy-splash!

Dadda...Where ARE You?! Posted by Picasa

Oooh, too many choices! Posted by Picasa

This looks nice. Posted by Picasa

Big Pumpkin! Posted by Picasa

Training Log Entry #80

This was one of my shortest runs of the year. However, it was on the indoor track at Brown, so distance wassn't really the objective. 3.5 miles (on an 1/8th of a mile track) with 5 x 400m at faster than 5k pace with a 200m jog between repeats. You'd think a rubberized track would be easy on the joints. I find it just the opposite. Sure you aren't pounding as hard, but the increased grip of the surface combined with running tight corners at full speed always leave my knees and ankles in a funk. My left knee is a little tender now, but not so bad a few Advil won't take care of it.

The set itself went well, and overall I'm pretty pleased with the way my form is returning. My swimming is very efficient if not overly fast (I got in such a zone that I totally lost track of how many laps I had done, and went ~250 - 300 yds further than I had planned), my running form feels good with my turnover getting quicker again, and my legs feeling lively. And my cycling, as evidenced today, is as good if not better than it has been all year. I went hard for 51 miles today (same three loops as last week, but no breaks between), and completed the course in 2:21, much faster than last week. Yes a lack of wind helped (I was riding in a gale last week...literally), but it was more than that. I'm getting comfortable with my new lower/narrower position and the position is fast. I know my aerodynamics have improved because there is no longer any air getting onto my chest. With a starting temperature of 45 degrees this morning, it was very obvious by the cold chill when the air was getting through and when it wasn't.

I also put in 30 minutes (9 miles) of trainer time on Tuesday.

With one month until race day, I'm cautiously optimistic for a good race.

The numbers

3.5 miles running/60 miles riding

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 80
YTD Mileage: 655.27
MTG (Miles to Goal): 344.73
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.19

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 894.50
# of Rides: 38
M/RD: 23.54

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Happy Gotcha Day!!!


October 7, 2004Posted by Picasa

October 7, 2006 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Training Log Entry #79

Today it was all work. It was raining and windy as hell, and I had scheduled a big (4+ hour) workout. Add to that the fact that being only 6 weeks away from race day, there are no more mulligans on the workouts. It's get out there and do it as planned. The plan called for 3 x 17 miles (on one hour) on my Triathlon bike. That means the gap between when I finish and when I start riding the loop again is equal to the amount of time I finish before 1 hour is up. For the most part I was finishing in about 50 minutes, meaning I got a 10 minute bathroom/refill the water bottle break every lap. Let me tell you, the breaks don't make the workout easier. On the second lap it felt like there was hail coming down, stinging my face and really just sucking. The wind was off the charts as well.

As if those 51 miles weren't enough, I threw in the 10.8 mile run as well. It felt all right, but I was really exhausted. I think I ran 1:12 - 1:15, though, which is pretty good considering the effort of the ride.

So why? Even from a pure training standpoint this workout was probably too big. I think it's because mentally I needed some sort of affirmation that I was still good; still tough. Because of all the slack I've cut myself in the last couple of weeks, doubt had begun to creep in. I wasn't sure if I would be able to muster the drive to race hard in Clearwater, and frankly given the cost, it's not worth making the trip if I was just going to go through the motions. I needed to know I could still suffer, still push even when it hurt like hell. Today hurt like hell and I just kept going. Almost every part of me wanted to stop, wanted to at least walk a bit. Given the weather there was almost nobody else out there either so it was also lonely as hell. But I just kept hammering. At the end there was no elation, just simple relief.

The numbers

10.8 miles running/51 miles riding

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 79
YTD Mileage: 651.77
MTG (Miles to Goal): 348.23
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.25

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 834.50
# of Rides: 36
M/RD: 23.18

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Training Log Entry #78

The run felt pretty good. 5 miles through the East side of Providence. It's hilly. I rode 1/2 hour this morning on my trainer (5:45 AM). I'm tired, but I feel like I'm improving.

The numbers

5 miles running/9 miles riding

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 78
YTD Mileage: 640.97
MTG (Miles to Goal): 359.03
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.22

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 783.50
# of Rides: 35
M/RD: 22.39

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Training Log Entry #77

2500 yd swim and 35 minute ride on the trainer Sunday. 6 mile run at lunch Monday with 2 x .5 mile at 5k pace. Today was an additional 1500 yd swim. It's going okay. Better than Saturday. I know the base is still there, it's just getting the body going again. Motivation has been really hard to come by lately. I have 30 more minutes on the trainer and another 6 or 6.5 miles running tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

The numbers

6 miles running/9 miles riding

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 77
YTD Mileage: 635.97
MTG (Miles to Goal): 364.03
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.26

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 774.50
# of Rides: 34
M/RD: 22.78

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Training Log Entry #76: A whole lotta nuthin'

It was probably too unrealistic to think I could just throw on the shoes and crank out the Ocean Drive run at 6:00 AM this morning. So as a shuffled along, forcing myself to keep moving, I let discretion become the better part of valor, and turned for home early. I added in some walk breaks so I would be able to do something tomorrow.

I think the major factors were:
#1 lack of sleep for the last couple of weeks
#2 lack of motivation (it's been a long year)
#3 insufficient fueling (this is hard to do first thing in the morning)
#4 lack of running

I am optimistic things will come around.

The numbers:

11 miles

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 76
YTD Mileage: 629.97
MTG (Miles to Goal): 370.03
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.29

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 765.50
# of Rides: 33
M/RD: 23.12

Following in Daddy's Footsteps?


Posted by Picasa
(For the record, she put the helmet on herself.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Training Log Entries #74 & #75

I'm getting a little slack. I missed recording two runs. A 5 miler and Monday's 6.5 miler. The 5 was last Friday (I think). After a decent week of training I took Friday, Saturday and Sunday off completely (to the best of my knowledge!) and started again Monday with the run. Tuesday saw a little bike trainer action (40 min.), and today was 1500 yard swim (3x500 yds) and in a minute another 1/2 hour on the trainer. I'm racing a 12 mile TT (bike) tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. My bike has a new look to it, and my position is more aggressive. Hopefully that means faster, but who knows. I'll update the stats soon, but right now I've got to get riding.

Cheers.

(Oh yeah, and there was a 40 mile bike ride in there somewhere, maybe last Sunday?)
(And, there were three swims last week.)

*Update*
Last nights trainer ride ended up being just a 20 minute easy spin, instead of the 1/2 hour list above. Today I competed in a cycling Time Trial. Lots of fast people out there. Overall I was not great, but personally I did pretty well. Despite rushing from work and not getting an adequate warm-up prior to my start, I managed a 25.22 mph average, which is comfortably beyond the 25 mph threshold which I use to tell me if I'm "okay" or "need work" in the speed department. My bike was sporting the redesigned front-end I put on it; straight aero extensions, closer elbow placement, and lower body. I had never ridden this setup on the road and a race is typically not the place to start, but after a tentative first 1/2 of a lap, I became pretty comfortable with the position. As I haven't been riding that much I'm going to say my position helped me top my average speed from the last TT effort I did (back on June 22). I might be generally faster as well, so maybe I should say my new position probably didn't hurt me. I'll be tweaking it a little before Clearwater, but I think it is a go. Add in my new aero fork and reroute those cables inside my handlebars, and I might have a 2:30 ride in me. That would be 12 minutes faster than Timberman, and that would be a big deal. 12 minutes was my gap to the winner of my age group.

The numbers:

11.5 miles run total/30 miles bike (guess but good enough) total

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 75
YTD Mileage: 618.97
MTG (Miles to Goal): 381.03
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.25

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 765.50
# of Rides: 33
M/RD: 23.12

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Training Log Entries #72 & #73 + Some racing news

I went for a 4.3 mile early morning run Thurs. Not too fast, not too slow. A typical morning run. They are always a bit slower than later in the day. Friday was another swim. Third of the week (a new record!). Saturday I rana again, only 6 miles (8.5 cut short). I was a bit tapped out from the week. Not from training, just from everything else. I had that "I need sleep feeling" the whole way. And because I was doing the swim leg of a 1/2 Iron relay on Sunday (today), I didn't force myself to finish the whole run.

Today was my return to racing in the Ocean. Boy I love the ocean more than lakes. Clearwater is in the Gulf, so more saltwater...Yeah. The swim was not great but okay. I did swim really hard, though, and that will prove to be a good thing. My navigation kind of sucked. It probably cost me a 100 meters or more, and even though the swim was 2000, that 100 extra makes a difference. That's 1:30 to 1:45 more swimming than I had planned on in waves and current. That's enough to drop me quite a bit in the swim rankings. That's why you do training events, though, because I know that I have to work on my navigation. There was only one race this year, Old Colony (International Distance w/1 mile swim), where I had a pretty decent swim split, and I know I hugged the inside of the course on that one. So yes, navigation is huge and is a big area that I need to address.

Finally it's time to retire my wetsuit. Purchased in 2002, it is probably a liability now. There have been some nice advances in wetsuits since then, including more flexible panels in the back to reduce the pressure on the chest. It makes breathing easier thus saving you energy. My wetsuit is really tight up top. Also, it has developed some holes in the seams which are allowing too much water in. It was really obvious today in the colder water of the Atlantic. I felt like I was wearing a parachute. Every stroke I felt a cold pulse of water coming into the suit. In the words of Alexandra, bye-bye wetsuit. I'll probably wait until next year, unless I can get a nice end of year closeout, because I'm flat broke right now, and I'm pretty sure Clearwater will not be premitting wetsuits (the cutoff is a water temp of 78 degrees).

So that's my update. I've got work to do, but frankly feel pretty relaxed.

The numbers:

4.3 miles and 6.0 run

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 73
YTD Mileage: 607.47
MTG (Miles to Goal): 392.53
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.32

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 735.50
# of Rides: 29
M/RD: 25.36

Monday, September 04, 2006

Training Log Entry #71

Break's over. Back at it as of this weekend. Nothing over the top yet, but more than just casual workouts. I'm trying to keep the intensity dialed back. Nice run around Sachuest Saturday morning. Not too fast, not too slow. After the run I took Alexandra out for a hike at the Norman Bird Sanctuary. She insisted on walking and did her first 1.5 miles non-stop (with me at any rate). Ernesto was on the way so I wanted to get her tired before we got stuck indoors by the rain.

Sunday I rested and today I swam for a bit in leftover swells thanks to T.S. Ernesto, and then road my bike for 36 miles with a number of big ring/power sections. The most notable part of all the efforts had to be that though my legs got pretty tired, my pulse never took off. That means my aerobic base is pretty good.

The numbers:

8.5 miles run/36 miles bike

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 71
YTD Mileage: 597.17
MTG (Miles to Goal): 402.83
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.41

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 735.50
# of Rides: 29
M/RD: 25.36

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Training Log Entry #70: Some "Odd"servations

I'm in the middle of my break, which actually does not mean no activity. It means the emphasis is on enjoyment. No 3 or 4 workouts in 2 days. No speed work. You get the picture. So I ran at lunch today with a goal of observing the denizens of Providence. Does anyone else find middle-aged women in mini-skirts and Go-go boots disturbing? I also encountered a group of guys chatting about their work at lunchtime. Yeah I'm no fan of my job or field of endeavor, but I realized it could be worse. Thank god I'm not sitting on a bench swapping paint chipping stories at lunch! Then there was the woman who was making noises at me. I guess it was some form of verbal communication, likely intended to denegrate me in some fashion, but given that she was 5'4" 280 lbs, had to stop every block or two to catch her breath, and looked like a beauty school drop out, I didn't take it to heart. Hey, at least she was out there walking, so good for her. Now if she could just work on that diction...

On a different note, I've begun preparing for my return to serious training. To this end caffeine is largely out of the diet except for two cups of 1/2 caff. coffee in the morning. Also going bye-bye is "whitey", processed sugar. And for the most part products made with either high fructose corn syrup or white flour are also out. The net effect desired is a leveling out of my energy levels. Frankly it is astounding how quickly the benefit is realized. It's so nice to smooth out those peaks and valleys that I doubt I'll miss them too much (though a Coke would be tasty right about now!).

Next week begins the real prep. 4 weeks of base and strength building, and 6 weeks (2 x 3 week cycles) of speed and race prep. I'm hopeful it'll be enough, but not too much. Stay tuned to find out.

The numbers:

5 miles

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 70
YTD Mileage: 588.67
MTG (Miles to Goal): 411.33
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.41

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 699.50
# of Rides: 28
M/RD: 25

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

Training Log Entry #69: A little activity in an otherwise quiet week

Jogged/Walked 4.3 miles. First bit of motion since the race. Sluggish and stiff. I'm in a mini off-season right now. Next week will also be limited activity, and then it's into a 10 week plan with an eye on peaking for the 70.3 Championships (November 11 in Clearwater, FL). I'm looking at a mini-season composed of a 4 week base period, 3 weeks of power/speed, and 3 weeks of tuning and race prep. We'll see how it goes. While I'm excited about competing, I'd also like to place well. I know I can be much faster than I showed Sunday. I'm looking forward to swimming in salt water for a change, because it freaks lots of people out, and I'm right at home in it, in fact more so than in fresh water.

The numbers:

4.3 miles

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 69
YTD Mileage: 583.67
MTG (Miles to Goal): 416.33
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.46

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 699.50
# of Rides: 28
M/RD: 25

Monday, August 21, 2006

Training Log Entry #68: There's a lesson in here somewhere

If you've read my posting "Bad Karma", you'll know how my race went, so I thought I'd just add in a few details pertaining to things few people would find interesting.

I opted to ride the race at a low cadence and in big gears (instead of my usual higher cadence) to see if I could eliminate the hamstring cramps I usually suffer on the run. Between that and making an effort to get out of the saddle for a minute or two every ten miles or so, the legs were really good for the run. While I understand there is no such thing as an "easy 1/2 Ironman," this race was about as easy as it could get for me. Specifically my legs got better as the run wore on, not worse. While overall my times were slowing, they were not slowing as significantly as others. I repassed most of the people who passed me during the first loop, and did so with authority. I began suffering legs cramps on one particularly nasty climb on the first loop, so I upped my fluid and electrolyte intake significantly and altered my running stride a bit to run more from my hips. The result was the elimination of any cramping by the second loop.

This detail is significant because it showed me that one of the changes that has occured physiologically in me, is the ability to rapidly absorb nutrition while exerting myself. Most newbies suffer the "sloshing belly" during long events. What happens is that during periods of high stress and exertion, the body stops absorbing nutrition altogether until you slow down. Overcoming this situation bodes well for any future Ironman attempts.

I knew I was on a special day when I saw my "replacement" on FastSplits, a person who had passed me at mile 10 on the bike, appear in my sites with two miles to go in the race. I stalked him with a purpose and passed him in a manner that left no question about his even attempting to hang with me. I even fought out a sprint with a young pup who had smoked passed me on the first loop, and then run out of gas. He had a number of fans cheering for him, but like a good competitor, I got right on his heels and lined him up for the sprint. He tried to go and over that last quarter I crushed the poor lad. Great days don't come around that often, so I was showing no mercy today.

So I'm headed to the 1/2 Ironman World Championships in November and damn excited...and only one person at work even knows! (see "Quietly off to the races")

The numbers:

1.2 miles(swim)/56 miles(bike)/13.1 miles(run) --> Also, 10 miles bike ridden in warm-up on Sat.

Terrain: Water/Asphalt/Mud/Grass/more Water....

Run:
# of Runs: 68
YTD Mileage: 579.37
MTG (Miles to Goal): 420.63
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.52

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 699.50
# of Rides: 28
M/RD: 25

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bad Karma

It started on Friday. The day Leanna, Alexandra and I were scheduled to travel to NH for my race, Alexandra got sick. So we stayed in town Friday night and I planned to depart solo Saturday morning. Saturday morning I went to load my bike and found my front tire, on my race wheel, flat. So I changed it and came to find my spare tube also had a puncture in it. The next tube held, but now I had been delayed. So by the time I got on the road, there was traffic...and more traffic...and more traffic. I think people must go on vacation in NH.

The next few hours were uneventful. I made it to the race, registered, went for a warm-up bike ride to scout portions of the course, especially the run course. Then I changed and checked in my bike. It seemed things were starting to go okay, and then it hit...literally. A maroon Subaru from NJ rearended my new-to-me station wagon...twice. Apparently she was so stunned when her car hit my car she pushed wildly for the brake and hit the gas again. F--K!!!!!! So can you blame me for having no motivation left for racing?!

After wasting an hour on the phone getting the insurance claim worked out, I headed off to my motel. It was a dump. You know, that part didn't surprise me one bit. Nonetheless I checked in, paid the outrageous price for the room which smelled like an old ash tray, and the went and found the local pizza joint where young Heather (that's what her necklace said anyway), served me my large mushroom pizza. The rest of the night was uneventful, except for the arrival of the rain...

It poured overnight. It poured this morning. I had no rain clothes. I was freezing. Thank god for the wetsuit. By now I had taken the hint. Somewhere I had earned myself a dose of bad Karma. So, accepting my fate I took the race wheels off my bike and put on the training wheels. I was content with the concept of a training race. It seemed foolish to tempt fate any longer.

The race started a 1/2 hour late because of fog, and by the time it started (7:53 for my wave), the lake had gotten really rough. 35 minutes later I finished my 1.2 mile swim. Even for me that's really slow.

The bike leg was not as bad as I had expected, except for the rain. Hell at one point I was laughing to myself as I thought about Carl in Caddyshack, "I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come down for quite a while." However, I do have pride and while I wasn't going that slowly, I don't like being passed a whole lot. Even worse than that, I don't like weasels drafting off me for the better part of 56 miles. And then there was the old guy who started bitching about my slowing down in a dangerous corner. I guess I should have just ridden over that woman in front of me. All this led to the decision to make the run, my best event, more than just a training run. I wanted to fly and put a hurting on these clowns. And thus my Karmic debt must have been repaid, because I believe what ensued qualifies as possibly my finest triathlon run ever. Out of 1368 finishers, including a sizable and distinguished pro field, I had the 58th fastest run. I out ran most of my old teammates. I put miles on the guy who drafted off me. I ran myself from a ho-hum mediocre training race, to the 10th qualifying spot for men 40-44 in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in November!

So was is Bad Karma after all? If the events had not unfolded as they had, Leanna and Alexandra might well have been with me, possibly been involved in the accident, been stuck in the rain or in the dump of a motel, and I would have felt terribly guilty for subjecting them to all that. Were the events possibly providence?

PS: Oh yeah, and thanks to my friend Randy, aka Lord Chubalot, I had that damn Spinners song ("I keep workin' my way back to you, babe...") stuck in my head the whole race.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Quietly off to the races

I'm off to the Timberman 70.3 (1/2 Ironman) Triathlon in a matter of minutes. It's a qualifier for the 70.3 World Championships in November and I think I have a shot at qualifying. I wasn't so sure because of distractions at work, lots of missed training sessions, etc... but then I took a look at last year's results. They told me that the competition is very tough, but so is the course, especially the run. I saw times of friends which were about 5 - 7 minutes slower than the times they normally run. I'm only confident in one discipline right now, but thankfully that's my running, especially on a tough course. I haven't done speedwork in a long time, so I'd get crushed in a flat "track meet". However, throw in the hills and I think I'm good. I could be wrong, though, and we'll find out tomorrow.

I've been reading Dean Karnazes "Ultramarathon Man," and I can relate to much of what he writes. It's as if we live dual lives. The vast majority of our co-workers have no idea what we do or how serious we are about it (that's surely changed for him now). When asked the question, "What are you doing this weekend?" I replied," Going to a race in NH." "Oh that's nice." I'm not into tooting my own horn, so I don't say "Going to the regional qualifier for the 1/2 Iron World Championships. Oh and I might actually make it." Frankly they would probably be more interested if I was taking on Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest!

So now I'm quietly off to the races. Hopefully my 'A' and 'B' samples will be clean of synthetic hormones. I used large quantities of red wine as a masking agent for the testosterone and HGH found in my non-organic burrito. 8:30 AM Monday it will be back to turning out those TPS reports using the new cover sheet (I got the memo), and only I will know or care if I have travel plans to race against some of the world's best 40-44 year olds in November.

Cheers gang,

Joel

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Training Log Entry #67

Nothing special, just 4.3 miles at 5:30 this morning. ~26:30 for a run time. No need for coffee now either?!

The numbers:

4.3 miles

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 67
YTD Mileage: 566.27
MTG (Miles to Goal): 433.73
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.45

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 633.50
# of Rides: 26
M/RD: 24.37

Monday, August 14, 2006

Training Log Entry #66

I'm trying (or is it scrambling) to get ready for the Timberman Ironman 70.3 (1/2 Ironman) in NH this coming Sunday. So in the midst of installing a hardwood floor in my bedroom, I squeezed in a ride. None of the mileage I've been putting in lately comes close to what I'll be facing in NH, but I'm hoping the pain and fatigue part help. My back was killing me from hauling around sheets of underlayment and bundles of oak. It made me very uncomfortable in my TT position. Nonetheless I covered my 20 mile test course in a time equal to my best, ~55 minutes. I was riding my race wheels (including my disc) this time, but I figure that was at best a wash with the fatigue and muscle pain.
Sunday I was just plain tired as I went for my run. I went out easy and just stayed steady. The finishing time of 1:17 was as good as I could have hoped.
While I'd like to believe I'm doing all the right things I can to be peaked for Timberman, in reality I'm pretty aware of the fact that I'm trying to do just enough to keep from backsliding on my fitness, and hopefully my present level + some sleep will bring me in top 10 in my age group which means a trip to the 70.3 World Championships in November. Stay tuned.

The numbers:

20 mile ride (Sat)/11.5 mile run(Sun)

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 66
YTD Mileage: 561.97
MTG (Miles to Goal): 438.03
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.51

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 633.50
# of Rides: 26
M/RD: 24.37

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Training Log Entry #65: Two Moons Setting

Dawn patrol on consecutive mornings. Yesterday on the bike. Today on foot. 20 miles riding. 8.4 miles running. The first day I was a bit groggy and it was hard to get going, but today was much easier. That's not to say I want to go out again tomorrow! I do need to get some sleep. It's been a bad work week and I'm drained. So much for getting back in the groove before Timberman. I'll get out a couple of times this weekend because I have a three day weekend coming up, but we're also putting in hardwood floors, so I can't say as I'll be getting real quality workouts in.

Two things jump out at me with regards to these early morning workouts. The first is that I'm much slower. The body isn't awake let alone loose, so the first bit is slo-o-o-w. Even during the run, though my head was fairly clear, the body was not going. The second thing (a bit more philosophical) is the realization that there still is a whole big world out there. Take away cars and people, and add in animals and there is quite a bit going on out there. It gave me an entirely different perspective on the commute into work. All these people hurrying, cutting each other off, thinking they are moving towards something, when in reality they are moving away from what's important.

The numbers:

20 mile ride (Wed)/8.4 mile run(Thu)

Terrain: Asphalt/Trail

Run:
# of Runs: 65
YTD Mileage: 550.47
MTG (Miles to Goal): 449.53
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.47

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 613.50
# of Rides: 25
M/RD: 24.54

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bye-Bye Vacation...

As stated in the previous post, I've just returned from vacation in Ogunquit, ME. There are stories, mostly of the adventures of Alexandra variety. I will spare you those (for now), and just brain dump some "odd"-servations.

There are lots of French Canadians who vacation in Maine.

Breast implants must be more affordable in Canada (Sacré Bleu!). My guess is the money not used on healthcare is used for boobs. Either that or they've figured out how to beat the system and the government is paying for lots of D cups under the guise of health related treatment. Hey why should the U.S. be the only place where people thrive off of government programs?!

Steamed hotdogs (as opposed to boiled, broiled, or grilled) are seen as a delicacy.

Apparently some people go on vacation for the sole purpose of sitting by the pool and getting stinking drunk everyday while their 4 year old swims on her own. Molly's mommy was last seen falling backward off her chaise into a shrubbery!

Here are some guidelines for selecting a restaurant when in an unfamiliar place:

You should avoid restaurants whose name is someone's idea of a clever play on words (e.g. Mainiax), even if they do toast s'mores at your table. Speaking of s'mores at the table, it's really not as cool as you'd think. In the great outdoors there's plenty of air available to clear the smog when junior ignites his marshmellow. Stuck indoors with no moving air because of the extreme heat outside, you might as well have set a pile of car tires ablaze.

You should avoid restaurants (and we did) who go above and beyond advertising their "Early Bird". It appears (according to the face made by the girl at the hotel when we asked her about the restaurant) to be the food service version of the "Manager's Special" at the grocery store.

You should avoid "outliers." Most crowded, longest wait, cheapest prices, shortest wait, no crowd, etc... They're either overrated or empty for a reason. Come on, in a huge tourist spot, what are the odds of being the only people to find "that hidden gem!"

Italian restaurants who overuse the colors red, white and green, restaurants with the word "Blue" in the name (Blue Elephant, Blue Star Grille) , or Southern BBQ in arguably the world's headquarters for Lobster and seafood are also places to skip if you have options.

I've got lots more, but I've also got work tomorrow, so Bonsoir!

Training Log Entry #64

Just back from vacation in Ogunquit, ME. It was a "no swimming, no biking, no running" vacation. Lots of walking with Alexandra in the backpack, just like last year. However, she weighs a little more now! While I felt "flat", clearly I'm no worse for the time off. I ran the same course as last week (8.5 miles with a big hill in Shelton, CT), and was quite a bit faster despite feeling like I was not going that quickly.

Vacation good.

The numbers:

8.5 mile run(Sat)

Terrain: Asphalt/Concrete

Run:
# of Runs: 64
YTD Mileage: 542.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 457.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.47

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 593.50
# of Rides: 24
M/RD: 24.73

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Training Log Entry #63

Nothing flashy. Today was hill repeats. 8 times up a .9 mile hill. Elevation gain 320 ft. each trip up, so 2560' of climbing.

The numbers:

30 mile bike (Wed)/8.5 mile run(Sat)/20 mile bike (Sun)

Terrain: Asphalt/Concrete

Run:
# of Runs: 63
YTD Mileage: 533.57
MTG (Miles to Goal): 466.43
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.47

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 593.50
# of Rides: 24
M/RD: 24.73

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Training meets Fiscal Conservation meets Tree Hugging!

The athlete in me is happy! The miser in me is happy! The liberal in me is happy!

- Joel...ah...you're not THAT liberal.

- Yeah I know, but the socially progressive, moderate conservative doesn't sound as good. Besides, my Dad is an academic, so I'm sure I have a recessive Libby gene in there somewhere.

Excuse me, but I digress.

Today I satisfied my various needs by riding my bike into work! No not from my house, that would be silly, but from Colt State Park in Bristol, RI (approx. 15 mile ride each way). It worked out well and actually didn't alter my timetable in the morning. It just changed when I did certain things. I just need to be careful about leaving work at an appropriate time, because my total commuting time is 30-40 minutes longer than driving alone, and I don't want to lose my Daddy time with Alexandra at the back end of the day. I'm sure Leanna doesn't want me to lose it either!

One note about my return commute: On the advise of a co-worker I took my bike from Point St. through India Point Park (via a construction zone, and chainlink fences). While I was in less jeopardy of a traffic related incident than if I had ridden on Wickenden (a busy street at rush hour because many of the ramps to the interstate 195 come off of it), I felt that I was actually in greater jeopardy due to the seclusion and abundance of pot/crack heads. My bike would likely keep someone hooked up for a few days. In the future I think I'll take my chances with the road ragers.

Plumber's Crack

Actually Painter's crack would be more accurate. This guy I passed at lunch wasn't even making an effort. I think he did it on purpose. I guess he could use it to hold a spare brush or two.

Did I mention I had to call 911 for a homeless (and drunk...I'm not stereotyping...he was) guy out cold on the Point St. bridge? It was 95 degrees out and he didn't look so good.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Training Log Entry #62

Ouch. I'm really hoping yesterday's ride is what did me in. This was bad. 2:14 and it hurt a lot. The wheels were never on for this one. Tomorrow's a rest day for sure.

The numbers:

18 mile run

Terrain: Asphalt/Concrete

Run:
# of Runs: 62
YTD Mileage: 525.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 474.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.47

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 543.50
# of Rides: 22
M/RD: 24.7

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Quick Training Update

Run #60: 6.5 miles at lunch on Weds. Severe Thunderstorms had knocked down lots of trees on the bike path, completely blocking some stretches. I stepped on some debris and turned over my bad ankle. Needless to say, I didn't run again this week.

Today I rode for the first time since the race. An hour and 45 minutes of "up and down." There are no big hills around here so I found the steepest one, the 150 ft/.33 mile wall on Sandy Point Rd., and went up and down a dozen times. Every third climb I jumped up to the big ring and did an interval for an additional 1/2 mile (and 75 verticle feet). I was surprised I was climbing pretty well. Note to self, the big ring TT training I've been doing w/the mock races, does carry over to my climbing.

I also swam twice, Tuesday and Thursday, and took Monday and Friday off. Tomorrow I've slated a return to the Ocean Drive (18 miles).


The numbers:

20 mile bike/6.5 mile run

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
# of Runs: 61
YTD Mileage: 507.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 492.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.31

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 543.50
# of Rides: 22
M/RD: 24.7

Bitter Beer Face!

American Floyd Landis, the now probable winner of the Tour de France.

His win was unlikely after losing 10 minutes on the second stage in the Alps. I was surprised that I was actually really bummed when that happened. Floyd is in many ways the Anti-Lance. Well liked, respectful of the other riders, basically a nice guy. He represented a utopian dream that nice guys can finish first. The death of that dream disturbed me. However I should not have feared. Floyd has big balls, even if only one working hip, and the next day took 8 of those minutes back, attacking at the beginning of a nasty stage through the Alps, and soloing away to victory. It was awe inspiring and ranks with Greg Lemond's "the Ride" as the most unlikely and impressive athletic feat I've witnessed.

FYI, his performance enhancing drug of choice: Amstel.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I'm not the same triathlete I used to be...

When I used to race, I would try to get myself ready for suffering by conjuring up memories from highschool/college. Music always played a big part. I'd get a song in my head that brought the emotions to the forefront. Tunes like "Self Esteem" by Offspring would get me ready for the pain. Today, while I was running, I had the theme to the Fisher-Price Little People in my head! "We're Little People, making lots of friends..." Uh boy!

Even so, those little people drove Gaga (that's Alexandra's name for me) to his best triathlon finish in 2 years; 12th overall and second in my age group (40-44). Given my struggles in New Hampshire 6 or 7 weeks ago, I'll take this result any day. My splits were also comparable to the past, and if you take into account my starting in the last wave of people instead of the first, I'm probably just about as fast as 2004, with more upside. This very race two years ago was my high water mark. The ankle, etc..., began to break down. This time I feel like I'm on the upswing. Now if only work can have the same kind of turn around!

The numbers:

1 mile swim/24 mile bike/6.5 mile run

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
YTD Mileage: 500.57
MTG (Miles to Goal): 499.43
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.34

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 523.50
# of Rides: 21
M/RD: 24.92

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Training Log Entry #59: It's not the heat it's the humidity...

...and did I mention the heat?

Okay, I'm clearly not being as diligent about this log. It seems to coincide with the lower trainin volume I'm currently doing. The lower volume was not on the plan, but it's just that I don't seem to be recovering as well or sleeping as well. I think it has to do with the weather and work. No matter. I am getting a few workouts in each week and I have the confidence gained by the mock races that I am improving. My base fitness probably needs to be addressed soon, however.

I ran 5 miles on Thursday to workout the cobwebs from this week, a taper week. I'm racing an international distance triathlon tomorrow (1 mile/24 miles/6 miles). The run was pretty good, much better than the last Thursday run. I did get soaked by a torrential downpour on the second 1/2 of the run, but it wasn't that bad. If it wasn't for the guy at work monopolizing our only shower (I had to stand soaking wet in the air conditioning for 15 minutes while this guy "dressed for the prom"), it would have bee a great day. I was a little flat, but not bad.

I also got into the pool 3 times this week. No long swims because I was trying to recover. I just wanted to get my shoulders loose and a good comfort level back in the pool. I'm not fast, but I think I'll be okay. My swim rank tomorrow will tell me more. Regardless, it's a nice way to cross-train when it's hot out (according to my car thermometer it was over 90 degrees in Providence yesterday).

I didn't ride at all this week, but I think I'll be okay. Tomorrow's course is dead flat, and I think the rest did me as much good as additional training. Logistically it is still hard for me to figure out a good taper when I'm training in 3 disciplines. You don't want to get too stale. Typically your told to drop the running the soonest, because it has the most impact on your body, but I find that I'm less apt to get "flat" on the bike after a short layoff, than running, and my running rhythm is critical to my race. Even in my mock races, while I was looking for improvement in my bike time, it was important that I didn't see my run speed going away.

The numbers:

5 miles

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
YTD Mileage: 494.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 505.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.37

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 499.50
# of Rides: 20
M/RD: 24.98

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Training Log Entries #57 & #58

Okay I'm getting a little slack with my log updates, and even this one is going to be sketchy. Last week was a tough one emotionally, so I'm taking a mulligan on these log entries. Here's the summary of my running and cycling:

- I road ~30 miles Tuesday, big ring, a few trips up the short steep hills we have around here, with lots of work out of the saddle. My leg strength felt noticably better than at any point this year, so they are coming around.
- I ran 5 miles Thursday. This was the "bad" day and I just wasn't into the run. I walk jogged most of it.
- Friday I took off from training.
- Saturday was another "mock race" as I looked to get back on the horse, so to speak. I stretched the run out to 10k instead of the usual 4 miles. My bike leg was good, confirming the form I felt earlier in the week. I covered the distance in 55:20, and that was with a number of traffic slowdowns and stops (beach traffic). It's reassuring to know that I'm coming good. It took the pressure off my run which was still 40 minutes flat, without strain.

I feel good today and am going to hopefully enjoy some family time at Colt State Park. I say "hopefully" because we are introducing Alexandra to her bicycle trailer today. It could get ugly!

The numbers:

11.2 miles run(5 and 6.2)

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
YTD Mileage: 489.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 510.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.43

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 499.50
# of Rides: 20
M/RD: 24.98

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bye Bye Ki-ki

I knew yesterday would come, but I was still quite unprepared for it. Our Bentley, our kitty for almost 17 years had to be put to sleep.

He saw the Berlin Wall fall.
He saw Operation Desert Shield become Operation Desert Storm.
He saw three US Presidents.
He saw the fall of the Soviet Union.
He saw 7 Tour de France victories by a cancer survivor.
He saw me complete 2 Ironman triathlons.
He saw Leanna and I get married.
He saw the arrival of our daughter Alexandra.
He was best friends with Otis.
After me he was the eldest in the Kehm family, older than all of my nephews.
He lived in Pittsburgh, PA, Monroeville, PA, Shelton, CT, Newport, RI, and Middletown, RI.

His last moments were calm and dignified, and if you knew Bentley, you knew that is how they would be. I am very sad.


Bentley and Otis. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Training Log Entries #55 & #56

Yesterday was the "mock race" and today an 11.5 mile steady run. Both went well. I finished yesterday's effort in 1:21:35, over two minutes faster than 2 weeks ago. Frankly I'm not sure if that is good or bad. I need more comparisons to know for sure. Also, I was on my TT bike and the air was cooler, but it was also a lot windier. I felt good anyway. My run was clearly just as strong, and maybe a little stronger, and that's good thing.

Today I wanted to run long and find my nice rhythm again. Despite an increase in foot speed, I have not been feeling as smooth as I did earlier in the year. Today helped turn that around. It's nice to get out and just cruise. Good speed on tired legs without exceptional effort; that's the scenario I want.

Next weekend I hit the race circuit again. The race is a sprint (my first in 4 years), and I don't expect the field to be too deep; just what I want. I need to find my racing confidence again. A little beating on some weekend warriors, despite being meaningless in the big picture, will actually help me feel more confident in myself (is that wrong?). The following weekend I race an Olympic distance race, and it should be against some better competition. It's a race where in the past I've placed 7th overall. I don't see that happening again, but the course does suit me so I should have a good showing.

The numbers:

15.5 miles run(4 and 11.5)

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
YTD Mileage: 477.87
MTG (Miles to Goal): 522.13
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.53

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 449.50
# of Rides: 18
M/RD: 24.97

Friday, June 30, 2006

Training Log Entry #54

It's been a pretty mellow 7 days. This post is late, I ran on Monday, but nothing substantial has been missed in the delay. I had one run of 6.5 miles, two swims (3500m total), and about 27 miles of cycling this week. Despite resting both Saturday and Sunday last weekend, I was out of gas this week. All the power work I've been doing, as well as racing a cycling time trial for the first time in two years, has been taking it's toll. Monday's run went okay, a few accelerations to keep me honest, and then cruising along. I'm not as smooth as I was in late April, but I'm still running okay. The time trail was acceptable. I'm a minute slower than my best over 10 miles, but that is better than I expected. Tomorrow I'm doing the second "Mock Race" to see how I've progressed.
The biggest indicator that I needed an easy week was my weight. When I'm stressed and overtired my weight goes into free fall. I tipped the scales at 159 on Monday. It's now Friday and thanks to a combination of rest, stuffing my face, and a beer or two, I've moved back up to 161.5 . I feel much better. I'm hopeful I'll crush my previous mock race time. This would be a much needed confidence boost in advance of my first sprint triathlon in 4 years next weekend. I need speed and I need confidence if I'm to pull off the improbable qualification for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships at the Timberman 1/2 Ironman in August.

The numbers:

6.5 miles run

Terrain: Asphalt

Run:
YTD Mileage: 462.37
MTG (Miles to Goal): 537.63
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.56

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 429.75
# of Rides: 17
M/RD: 25.28

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Training Log Entry #53

I did something I don't usually do; I got up at 5:00 am and went for a run. I have a lunch meeting today, so it was the only time. I'm not a big fan of the early morning run because I'm in a fog the whole time I'm out there, but after the fact it is gratifying to have it done.

The loop was an old standard, which ironically, I had not run yet this year. It's a lollipop out and back from my house, past Third Beach, around Sachuest Point, and back.

Also, I'm officially recasting my goal distance for the year at 1000 miles instead of 1200. Even then I might fall a little short. It depends if I train for a fall marathon. All entries will now be calculated using this goal distance.

Finally, I did ride again on Sunday, and in fact road a pretty hard effort, despite being tired from Saturday. The distance was still only 20 miles. I'll be riding longer on Saturday (42 - 45 miles). A far cry from what many peolpe I know are riding, but it should be good enough to get me going a little better.

The numbers:

8.4 miles run

Terrain: Asphalt/Trail

Run:
YTD Mileage: 455.87
MTG (Miles to Goal): 544.13
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.60

Bike:
YTD Mileage: 402.75
# of Rides: 16
M/RD: 25.17