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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Training Log Entry #52: Mock Race Day

Well not exactly a mock race. I swam in the morning, probably about a mile. It's hard to tell because the current was pretty strong. I was definitely swimming for a while and working hard. Then I had to do chores (and spend Daddy time with Alexandra at the beach), so I didn't get to ride and run until this afternoon. The ride was 19.75 miles with one steep climb, and the run was 4 miles. I wanted to set a benchmark time for comparison as the summer goes on. The total time (bike/run) was 1:23:41. The ride was around 56:30 and the transition and run the rest. I figure the run was in the 25 minute neighborhood (6:15 per mile).

The bike average of 21 miles per hour is not great, but I was on my road bike with no aero equipment, and in traffic. And I'm not that strong on my bike right now. I'd like to see this get to the 23 - 24 mph area.

However, I'd call it reasonably successful session. It was hot and I handled the heat pretty well. I ran pretty well despite not really doing lots of speed work, and I feel pretty good now. I'll do this again in two weeks on my TT bike and see how I stack up.

The numbers:

4 miles run

Terrain: Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 447.47
MTG (Miles to Goal): 752.53
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.61

YTD Mileage: 382.75
# of Rides: 15
M/RD: 25.52

Friday, June 16, 2006

Training Log Entry #51

Ran Tuesday (yes I know it's Friday...I had a busy week). 6.4 miles on the trails at Sachuest Point. It was great to get out on dirt and crush stones again. This asphalt/concrete stuff is for the birds. Anyway, I ran a lap easy on the outer loop (2.6 miles), pickups of 30 sec. on 30 sec. off for the shorter north loop (1.2 miles), and closed with another easy loop of the outer, though in the opposite direction. No watch, just "feel'n it". It felt good. During the pickups I focused on getting back to that very fast foot turnover which I developed last year. Training for triathlons tends to slow your turnover down, well it does for me anyway, because you are frequently running with tired legs.

Observation: As I said before it's Friday now and I have not been on my bike since Monday. I do plan on riding the next 3 days, but I wanted to comment on this anyway. I've stated in more than one post that I need to get my cycling form back, and that means miles. I should clarify that. I need to get my cycling form back without sacrificing my running. I also want to be a decent swimmer. Thus I'm sticking to my original strategy of running first, and biking second. Only time will tell if this strategy works for me.

A final note about my swimming. I think I am getting some decent speed, I'm just not too confident on race day and thus underachieve.

The numbers:

6.4 miles run

Terrain: Trails

YTD Mileage: 443.47
MTG (Miles to Goal): 756.53
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.70

YTD Mileage: 363
# of Rides: 14
M/RD: 25.93

Monday, June 12, 2006

We Need More Power!!!

If only it were as easy as patting my hands to the beat! (If you don't watch "Disney's Little Einsteins", you won't understand the reference. I'll explain when I see you.) Anyway, I'm changing up my training some. The next month will have a heavy emphasis on power and speed. My aerobic base is as good as I can remember it ever being. I'm just not strong or fast. Fortunately power and speed come on relatively quickly compared to base fitness. I'm racing twice in July, so we'll see how I'm doing then.

Last night was some bike work. Only 17 miles, but focused on power. It was all big ring work. Two intervals on the flats by second beach (about 2 miles each) and two on a climb on my road of 1.1 mile each (avg. grade 3%). Hard but not killer. While once again I fear I might be rationalizing copping out, I kept from overextending myself so I would be able to run today and more importantly, hit a Time Trial on Thursday. There's no point going to a TT if I can't produce a maximum effort, and if I really killed my self tonight I know I'd still be feeling it Thursday.

The numbers:

YTD Mileage: 363
# of Rides: 14
M/RD: 25.93

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Training Log Entry #50

First "real" workout since the race. I did swim a couple of times and ride my trainer for 45 min. as well this week, but the 10.8 miles put in on the road today represent my longest period of exertion since Sunday. I didn't run quickly, but rather just focused on running in rhythm and cruising along. The watch stayed home. It was tough running when I feel like my cycling really needs the attention, but my plan all along has been to run first and then build up my bike, so I'm sticking to the plan. I race next in July, on consecutive weekends, so we'll see how I fare then.

One element I'm adding into my training/racing is the inclusion of shorter, intense effort. The 10 mile TT and Sprint triathlons were my bread and butter in 2002. Short power full efforts got be extremely competitive in those. However, I was also able to ride a 56 mile 1/2 Ironman bike leg in under 2:30 that year. So that's the plan. Sure some long rides will be incorporated, but the power and muscle efficiency is what I believe is really missing. Wish me luck.

The numbers:

10.8 miles run

Terrain: Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 437.07
MTG (Miles to Goal): 762.93
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.74

YTD Mileage: 346
# of Rides: 13
M/RD: 26.6

Friday, June 09, 2006

Honey, I can drive the kids to soccer practice.

Daddy's got a new ride. Okay, not new: 2003 Saab 9-5 Station Wagon. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Alexandra Update

The blog has been pretty one dimensional lately, even though my life hasn't. Naturally Alexandra is the center of our universe. Everyday is even more amazing than the last as I see her become this bright, happy little girl. She can count now, and understands the spelling of her name (she'll say the letters along with you). And she knows how to push Mommy's and Daddy's (also known as Gaga) buttons! If she's not the center of attention or wants to do something that isn't currently in the plan (like going outside to play), she can pitch quite a fit. She'll throw things then look at us with this devious little look the see our reaction. Fortunately she usually throws something she actually wants to play with, giving us the ability to take it away and garner the proper disciplinary effect. I'm waiting for the day she throws things she doesn't want, and thus doesn't care if we remove it! Like my mother-in-law says, "Her personality is just like her father!" I'm still not sure if that was a compliment.

Hmm, I wonder how she'll do with a little brother or sister?

PS: Otis and Bentley are doing well also. Otis is getting lots of playtime lately and is starting to look nice and lean again. Bentley is old and medicated, but generally in good spirits now that we've given him "outdoor privileges" in his golden years.

Training Log Entry #49: A hard day at the office

Today I raced my first triathlon of the year, and personally I have mixed feelings about my performance. An objective analysis says my race went about as it probably deserved to go. The swim was a ho-hum 30 minutes for 2000m; same as last year. I really don't like swimming through loads of people and today, being in the next to last wave, I had to do just that. Had I started in an earlier wave, (and not had goggle issues), that swim becomes as 29 or 28 and change, which is acceptable. My transitions were really slow, partly on purpose. I say partly because I didn't count on having as much trouble getting out of my wetsuit or into my bike shoes as I did. I did count on having a really hard time pulling on my long sleeve top over a wet body. This is a step I wouldn't normally do, but the air was cool, it was raining on and off all day, and since I wasn't trying to win anything, I just didn't want to be cold. The jersey is not skin tight, and this could have contributed to my slow bike time. I was getting passed on the flats, not something that usually happens. However, the single biggest reason for my slow bike performance (2:44 for 56 miles), is the fact that I only started riding again at the end of April after a layoff since last September (not even trainer rides). How slow is that time for me? Well last year on this same course I had an equipment breakage, had to stop, flag down some tourists for tools, fix my bike, and then start riding again, and I was still 5 minutes faster than this year. When I'm on form this is a course I'd typically do in darn near 2:30.

Sounds like a lot of excuses right? Well no. I accept that my result on the bike is about what I deserved given my lack of prep. The good news is I've increased my bike mileage for the year by 20%! The downside of my poor bike prep, is that I really had to put a hurting on my legs just to get that time. This impacted my run. However, there is a silver lining: Even having to walk on the run to shake out leg cramps left over from the bike, and even though I had to run the uphills slowly because my legs continued to want to cramp, I still broke 1:30 for the 1/2 marathon, which makes this my fastest run leg in a 1/2 Ironman ever.

My final place was 61st overall and 9th in my age group with a total time of 4:47; 15 minutes faster than last year.

I race my next 1/2 in August, by which time I should have the bike in order. This should be a double win as well. Assuming I keep my run speed, I can improve my ride by say 10 to 15 minutes (putting me back in my normal range), and because I'll be more efficient on the bike, I could run even faster than I did today. The effort was there. I didn't give up or puss out today, despite the rain and the fact my rack space was in a pool of mud and water. I just didn't have the legs on the bike. However, I do "know how to ride" (it's usually my best event), so I'm confident it's just a matter of time before I'm cranking out the speed again. My energy levels were great today, and that says a lot about my base. If you've got a good base, things will be okay. It just takes time.

The numbers:

13.1 miles run

Terrain: Asphalt/Sand/Dirt

YTD Mileage: 426.27
MTG (Miles to Goal): 773.73
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.70

YTD Mileage: 334
# of Rides: 12
M/RD: 27.83

Friday, June 02, 2006

Training Log Entry #48

Still nothing much. In my previous post (Huey, Dewey, and Louie) you'll notice I got a few more rides in, including a few hard intervals. I wouldn't call my position on the bike "dialed in", but the hard riding started feeling familiar again. The weather is supposed to suck for race day, so it'll be a conservative ride anyway. I'll be doing the "ride so I can run" approach, which means a ride around 2 hours and 40 minutes. If it's faster that's just gravy. Wet, windy, and cool means it will be a tough race Sunday. I'm bringing a long top and gloves for the bike portion.

Today I got out on the bike path for 5 miles to stretch my legs out. I can't believe it's been a week since my last run. Missed runs, like missed confessions, stack up quickly! I threw in a couple of intervals (1/4 mile and 1/2 mile) to blow out the cobwebs. Other than lacking sleep, I feel pretty good. If I can get my head out of this fog, I'll have a respectable race.

The numbers:

5 miles run

Terrain: Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 413.17
MTG (Miles to Goal): 786.83
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.61

YTD Mileage: 278
# of Rides: 11
M/RD: 25.27