Sunday, April 29, 2007

Alexandra...and Otis

Otis...outside...Otis...go poopie...

I might be getting older, but how 'bout a little respect.

Week 17

First 18 miler this year. I had targeted a 2:10 because the longest I had run this year was the hilly 13 miler in CT. I was pleasantly surprised by making the turn at Bretton Point (close to 1/2 way) at 1:01:50. The final time was 2:05:47. I also timed myself over the first and last 4 1/2 mile sections of the course (the same section only in reverse), and I was only 30 seconds slower. It was a good indication that my strength was still good. The main difference over last year's long runs was the fact that I ran more from my quads than my hamstrings. This means my stride was maybe a little long and I was bouncing a little. All-in-all it was not bad and the time was great for a first effort, but I do have some sore toes (jamming my foot into the front of the shoe because of my stride). Also the fact that I'm running so much from my quads right now is consistent with a subpar second run last week. The bike leg takes a bit out of your quads, so if you are relying too much on them for power, you're not going to get all the speed you would before the bike.

Because my run is pretty good right now, I feel comfortable focusing on riding and swimming for a bit here to try and get them up to speed before the 1/2 Ironman on June 3.

Runs: 46
Mileage: 6.5/18
YTD Mileage: 320.60

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Week 16: 1 race, 1 podium

Okay , it was my slowest time in 3 races on this course, on arguably the best day ever from a weather standpoint. Surprisingly most of the time I lost was running. Yes, I do not have the 5k type speed I once had, even with the extra speed sessions. Thank goodness I did those! Compared to 2004, I dropped 40 seconds on the first 3 mile run and another 40 seconds or so on the second run of 2 miles. The big surprise was only dropping 30 seconds on the bike. This was only my third day on the road THIS YEAR! The 2nd day on the road was yesterday. That new trainer that I was uncertain about getting, it is paying off.

**Note about today: I went into the race with the goal of trying to hit the following splits (18 minute, 30 minute, 12 minutes). I also wanted to get a podium place so I could bring home a medal to Alexandra. Ahh, my little muffin. Earlier in the week my friend Tim sent me an e-mail encouraging me to relax about my race results. He said, they may well look like the results of a father, not the results I used to see. But first and foremost you are a Dad. Well boy, never were more true words uttered. Last night, the night before my first race of the year, Alexandra woke up at 2:20AM and came into our room looking for Daddy. She wanted me to sit with her while she went back to sleep. I am a Dad first, so I did not hesitate to go. I never really got back to a sound sleep. So do I think it affected my performance? Absolutely. It probably accounted for much of the time lost (vs. 2004) on the run. I've logged time an again the high correlation between how rested I am, and how fast I run. The various "break through" times recorded in this blog, all came after being thoroughly rested. I am not upset about it, because let's face it, 12th overall and 3rd in my age group is nothing to piss and moan about. On a perfect day, maybe I'm 9th overall and 2nd. However, I'll take the 3rd and a happy little girl please.

I did do some training this last week (week 16 if you are keeping track). 30 minutes on the trainer, 6.5 miles running, and another 30 minutes on the road riding yesterday. Today was 3 miles running, 11 miles biking (in 30 minutes), and another 2 miles running.

Runs: 44
Mileage: 6.5/5.0
YTD Mileage: 297.10

Monday, April 16, 2007

To those fools...

...who think hanging out through a hurricane would be fun, you're wrong. We're in the middle of "just" a Nor' Easter right now, and it's more than enough. Wind gusts up to 55mph and lots of rain. Trust me, it is just not that fun. If a hurricane ever comes our way, I'm getting my family and my skinny butt out of dodge.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Week 15

The weather is starting to cause some issues. Only two runs this week, and no road rides, though I did manage a about 4 hours on the trainer. I ran Wednesday on the track at Hope High School: 3x800m (2:44, 2:44, 2:43). I went out again Friday for 6.25 miles easy.

My weight is hanging around 167.5 - 168 lbs (76kg). It's only an issue in how it plays into the metric watts/kg. While my power is improving, I'm not going to be climbing anything too big with a ratio of 3.56:1. Pros routinely run 5:1, and even fit age groupers are 4:1 or better, so I've still got some work. I think I'll set a goal for summer sometime (July?) of trying to hit 4:1.

Sunday is a sort of "referendum" on whether or not it is feasible to race at a fairly high level without spending too much time on the road riding. I have quite a few hours in my legs, but only one of those on the road. If I can ride the course (weather permitting) under 30 minutes, it is a very good thing for Daddy/triathletes everywhere.

Runs: 42
Mileage: 6.25/6.25
YTD Mileage: 285.60

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Week 14

3 rides and 4 runs: All of the rides occurred on the same day as the runs with the final, today, being the "mock-race" that I used to test myself starting June of last year (19.75 mile ride w/4.1 mile run. This was also the first day this year that I've actually ridden outdoors, so my expectations were fairly low. I would learn how well my trainer workouts on the new trainer translate to road riding.

My total time for the mock-race was 1:25:57, or 2:16 slower than last June. All of that deficit was from the bike. My run speed coming off the bike now, is as good as it was in June of last year, and that's quite a positive.

All things considered I'll take that bike time. I was riding my heavy training wheels, it was 30 degrees at start time, and it was windy as hell. My legs felt quite resilient, if not overly powerful. The biggest thing I need to add to my bike training is some slow cadence/big gear work; precisely the type of work which prepares you for riding in the wind. I'd like to get three more road rides in before my first race, but it might only be two. Despite that, I think I'll be okay. If it's less windy next Sunday, I'm going to try the mock-race again to see how big a factor that proved to be.

As for the rest of the week, the runs were good, though I tweaked my ankle on Thursday. The Tuesday ride was tough. My ability to handle the "double sessions" is improving noticeably. The weight is beginning to tick back down as well.

Runs: 40
Mileage: 6/6.25/5/4.1
YTD Mileage: 273.10

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mama said there would be days like these...

...she just never said when. Well 'when' is now. And 'now' is our transitioning Alexandra to her 'Big Girl' bed. A hearty welcome back to the days of sleep deprivation. I guess you could call it pre-season training for Dylan's arrival. You think they'd mind if I put a cot in my office at work?

Monday, April 02, 2007

What Brown doesn't ask on it's application

I was at the Post Office on the Brown campus today. There was a student in line in front of me struggling to ... assemble a cardboard box. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, I stared. It was unbelievable that someone, presumably smart, could make it this far in life without the ability to assemble a "ReadyPost" box. "Hey numb nuts, not that a normal person would even need them, but the instructions are printed on the side!" Something about "step one fold down the short sides, step 2 fold down the long sides, step 3 apply tape liberally to the seams" was too complicated. He folded the sides in the wrong order, he was tearing off these little 2 or 3 inches pieces of tape. Amazing.

The guy at the post office did not offer any advice. I think the entertainment value was just too great.

Week 13

Biggest week so far this year. 3 hard mornings on the trainer and 4 runs totally 30 miles. I had dead legs more than once during the week, but they recovered with just a single day off, so I'm pleased with my recovery. Now my weight on the otherhand, it's not what I'd usually like to see this close to racing. 169 pounds, up 4 pounds from Feb. I'm not concerned about the weight per se, just that it means I need to produce greater power to achieve my desired speed. Who knows, maybe I'm gaining weight because I'm gaining muscle. I have been doing a lot more power work on the bike, so perhaps my thighs are getting bigger. I'm not motivated enough to measure them, seems a little over the top!

Speaking of speed, one of the highlights of the week was my track work following my third morning rode of the week. 3 x 400m, with 400m easy between sets. 1:16, 1:13, and 1:10...the first 1:10 I've turned in many years. The other highlight was a good, not great 13+ mile run in Connecticut . What made it notable was not the fact that I ran a 1:33, bettering the January time by 4 minutes, but rather the fact that I ran a 6 minute or faster last mile. That's where this track work seems to be paying off; I have a strong finishing kick now. Let's just hope I get a little faster on the rest of the race to get into the position where a kick matters.

Runs: 36
Mileage: 5/6/6/13
YTD Mileage: 251.75