Sunday, April 19, 2009

...and the groundhog didn't even see his shadow!

Yes, what am I talking about? The goatee stays for another 6 weeks (approximately the next time I race) because I won my age group today and came in 6th overall out of 342 starters at the Wrentham Duathlon. Full results can be found here. If you want to see my GPS, heart monitor, etc... data from the race try this link.

It wasn't my fastest time ever on the course. That was set in 2004. That said it was probably my best effort. Hell I can't even recall for sure what my 2004 time was. I'm pretty sure my first run was slower (I ran a modest 17:50 for ~3.05 miles), but I'm sure my second run was the fastest I've done on that course. My bike was up there with my best too, despite there being a bit of wind and my having limited road time this year. I do recall that in 2004 I had raced already that spring and was really a fast runner. I was training for speed, not endurance. 8 weeks later I would tear up my right ankle on a training run. It has never been the same. The fact that I'm getting my speed back to those levels despite now being 43 is quite encouraging. And, I'm not even training for speed. I do know that my endurance is far far beyond those days. I can carry a respectable pace for a long time now. In fact I was talking with race winner and teammate Tim Tapply, and we both commented on that fact that we probably couldn't have gone much faster than we were going on the second runs, but we could have held onto that pace for quite a a distance more. This is thanks to the "QT2 training protocol." Yes it is nice to know that at the end of a race people will be coming back to you.

So I'm pleased with my effort. My transitions were clean if not awe inspiring, and my race was steady if not flashy. That's the idea. I didn't crush any one piece of the race. I just steadily and consistently moved through the field. Feels good.

Next stop on the Lake Placid train, the Mooseman 1/2 Iron.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ahh, the wait is over

Multisport season opens tomorrow. My training year started December 29, 2008. On April 19, 2009 I will line up for the first time to run/bike/run. I know I have pretty good fitness, but the goal doesn't really have to do with placing. I'm going out there focused on the following:
1) Have a clean race. Well executed pacing and solid transitions.
2) Focus on calming the nerves by ignoring the rest of the field.

If I take care of 1) and 2) the results will take care of themselves.

The race is the Wrentham Duathlon, a race I've done probably 5 times before so I have lots of comparison data. I'll be wearing my Garmin the whole time so we'll get some good numbers for verifying where my fitness lies right now. Nothing like a race to get the core systems stimulated. I haven't done a multisport race of any sort since Lake Placid next year, so I'll be a little conservative in transition and in the first few minutes of each leg while my body adjusts.

Today I have just the basic prerace things to take care of, like get the spider webs off my race wheels (hope I don't have any flats), clean the drivechain of the bike, find my aero helmet, and yes...shave the legs. 8 months of growth about to go. I still have the facial hair, pending my results tomorrow, but the leg hair will soon be gone for the balance of the season.

The other thing I'm looking for coming out of tomorrow will be a boosting of my confidence building up to Lake Placid. If I put in a solid race, sub 1-hr, after all the illness (mine and the family's), family drama, work drama, etc... I'll start to believe that I really can do it at Lake Placid; that I really can challenge 10 hrs and thus secure a Kona spot. To be honest to this point I've really wondered if I could even go under 10 1/2 again. At times I'm not sure how I did it.

This Thursday I had my first glimpse of my true form this year. I did my usual bike loop and a short run and was fast. Actually I felt really slow, but my times were comparable to last June/July. And I wasn't really trying to go hard. My climbing is still developing, and yet overall I still maintained good pace. So now I'm excited for tomorrow. I'll update you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Parenting challenges for the perfectionist

I like things to be good. Okay that's an understatement; I need things to be great. Yeah, that's more accurate. So this parenting thing is a really challenging adventure. I guess it's all a matter of perspective, but the target today was simply all 4 people in this household still functional with 10 fingers, 10 toes, no obvious bruising, and no blood comin' out. That can be a frustratingly low bar for someone like me.

Humbling

I've finally gotten my first on-road bike workout in the books, and well, I'm glad it's April 5th and not June or July 5th. It was cold (yes, it's beautiful now but not so much at 5:45am) and really windy! My lap times were scary slow, but that wasn't the important thing. I rode my target zones unless I was climbing, and I did my time. I've got a long way to go. Despite all that I think I'm about where I was in May of last year, and my endurance is better. Slow, but I could keep going. Slow, but still able to crank out a respectable 4 mile run after the ride. Slow, but I recovered quickly and took the kids to the park so they could ride their bikes.
I'm getting a little downtime right now as everyone is in their rooms. No doubt Alexandra will emerge in a couple of minutes proclaiming that she had a good (10 minute) nap. Because I'll take anything I can get, I'll stop here and grab a 'Z'.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Quote of the day

This one is up there with her other famous quote:

"But Daddy, I'm allergic to Dylan!"