Monday, April 26, 2010


S: 11,250
B: 122
R: 24

This week was all about just taking it easy after NOLA 70.3, which accomplished with great success.  It is sort of an awkward week given that is an odd in-between sort of week (recovery week leading up to race week) and I haven't really figured out how to handle that just yet.

Next week is race week for White Lake Half.  I'd love to be able to put out similar efforts at that race but I'm not really sure how I will feel.  I'm hopeful that my bike will feel even stronger (that doesn't necessarily mean faster, fyi) than NOLA because I will have had two down weeks on the bike (in terms of weekly miles, I went 220, 225, NOLA race week, recovery week) leading up to the race week so it's essentially a 2 week bike taper with one very strong workout in there (the race itself).  I'd also like to think I'm capable of a slightly faster swim time if everything else is equal between the two races in terms of the swim (which is asking a lot).  White Lake is always very smooth so hopefully this weekend will be no different.  I'd also love to be able to run sub 1:30, since I KNOW that I am capable of that run if I can pace to my potential.  I averaged 6:45/mile through mile 9 of NOLA 70.3 (1:28:25 half marathon time...) so if I fuel properly and hydrate appropriately I should be able to offer up a repeat performance and hopefully hold it through 13.1!

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Orleans 70.3 Race Report (shorter than usual!)

Going into this race I was extremely excited for several reasons.

a) the 2009 edition of this race was my first triathlon and I had a mixed experience: very excited but also a little disappointed because I expected to be a little faster (4:49); don't ask why, it might just be my inherent sense of entitlement.
b) given how much I progressed last year, I had high hopes to set a big PR considering how much I (thought I) had improved since my last half (May 09: 4:34). This would be my 3rd Half IM
c) the weather looked favorable
d) I love to race
e) there were TONS of legit hottie-thread qualifiers at the race last year so I was hoping for more of the same this year!
f) it's a trip home to the family

Swim: 30:30
As everyone who has done the race knows, the swim was a mess. Watching the pro men as I was standing around waiting it was amusing to see them dolphin dive, swim for a bit and then realize that the water was not deep. So they got up and kept running for about 30 yards before truly beginning the swim. As the day wore on, the chop noticeably increased until there were white caps within 30-50 yards of the shore due to the wind from the NE. That meant that the first and last parts of the swim were the 'worst.' I put on my wetsuit a little earlier than I would have normally because the wind was a little chilly and considering that I had been sitting still for the last hour my body wasn't doing too much heating on its own. I suppose that's a good thing as it meant I was conserving energy. That thought didn't make me feel any warmer, however. My AG wave gradually made our way to the front of the line and then the 'go' was yelled and we ran off into the slightly chilly Lake P. As soon as the swim started I realized it was going to be an interesting one; I pretty much relegated myself to sighting every single stroke and that's what I did the whole swim. I swam over some people (sorry) (but not really), drank a lot of water, and generally made my way in the right direction towards the finish. Having seen how badly some people got off course in the last 2-300 meters I made sure to sight as much as possible to make sure I didn't err in my directions. Dolphin dived the last 15 meters and ran up the beach feeling pretty good about that swim. It's a 3+ minute PR at that race on a much tougher day (although many would argue that last year's swim was long).

T1: 1:55
Nothing to report. MUCH faster and more efficient transitions than last year. Literally 100x better. I guess that's something to report

Bike: 2:15:57
I knew I was in good bike shape leading up to this race but I remembered the course last year being especially difficult due to the wind. So I had essentially resigned myself to a pretty miserable 56 miles in which I took the first 10-15 pretty easy and then tried to save the hammerfest for the last 20 miles when everyone else would be slowing. For the most part, that's what I did. Given that I was in the second to last wave, there was a LONG, REALLY LONG, line of people in front of me. Unfortunately, for rather obvious reasons, I could not 'slipstream' very much. I had almost counted on that in my pre-race visualizations. Fortunately for me, it didn't seem to matter. For the most part, this course is pretty boring. The only "interesting" part is when you get on the road where the 2nd (of 3) turnaround is; that's typical rural Louisiana (as I understand it). Rural may not really be the right word, but the feel of that area is something I always find pretty funny. Don't ask me why. Maybe I'm just an elitist city-bred New Orleanian. Oh wait, I am.

The bike continued on rather uneventfully until I finally encountered someone in my AG right before the annoying little out and back on the frontage road. I assumed he was in my AG based on his number but like a total d*** he wasn't body marked. What annoyed me even more was that he seemed to be sitting rather close behind me each time we turned around. I got a little annoyed at that so when we got back onto the main road I put the hammer down. At one point there were cars in the left land (racers in the right lane) and I was going as fast as they were. My inner bike computer told me that I was going between 29-31 mph (I did not race with anything other than a HR monitor...) and I actually ended up holding that effort level almost the rest of the way in. Needless to say, I was very satisfied with that bike split.

On a side note, my only complaint with the bike course would have been fixing the km splits. It seemed like they were WAY off. Maybe I'm wrong.

T2: 1:12

Run: 1:32:17
The run was very warm. About 75-80% of it was unshaded. Luckily it wasn't as humid as last year but that was small consolation at the time. My run started off going well but miles 6-7 I was paying for a fast bike split. The guy in my AG that I passed on the bike re-payed the favor at about mile 8-9 of the run and that's when my elastic really did break. I tried (and failed totally) to stick to his pace. It was a valiant effort. Not really. The run down Esplanade was a struggle and the turn onto Decatur was a nice thing to look forward to and FINALLY experience. Crossed the finish line and was extremely pleased with my effort level and performance.

Total: 4:21:51

Monday, April 12, 2010

A year ago...

S: 6700
B: 226
R: 29

T: 17 hrs

A year ago I had just competed in my first triathlon.  On the first weekend in April of 2009 I successfully finished and "raced" New Orleans 70.3 and was completely and utterly exhausted.  I remember using words like "how do people do 2 of those in a ROW??" and "oh my god that's the hardest thing I've ever done!"  While they were both true and accurate representations of my feelings at the time, much has changed in the past year.  Just how much will be seen next Sunday.

Didn't get in much swimming but managed to fit in a good open water swim with Kevin down in Lake Wylie on Wednesday.  I was very happy to swim once in the lake before the race on Sunday as it helps you remember things you might have forgotten otherwise.  Like, make sure to put on body glide at key rub areas (neck!) otherwise you will get a massive wetsuit hickey on race-day.

Lots of good bike miles this week as well, with 220+ miles coming in 4 rides (one of which was only an 18 mile spin class), which meant my average ride was right around the half-ironman distance.  On Sunday we had a very good ride up in a windy Davidson area in which we rotated 10 minute pulls and averaged 22 mph over the course of the 80 mile ride.  Very solid.

Running was uneventful this week as I didn't do very much of it.  I do feel like I've actually recovered from the marathon at this point so that is nice.  Good timing.

Needless to say, I'm extremely excited to race this Sunday!  I'm not gonna post my goals, but I AM hoping to PR.

To quote Ricky Bobby: "I just wanna go fast."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hot weather, NICE!

S: 9000
B: 220
R: 39

Total: 18.8 hours

Not a lot of intensity in the pool this week; just a swim "test" on Monday that showed me I'm a lot faster than I was at this time last year - or have ever been before - but that I'm still a lot slower than "real" swimmers.  I'm going to just maintain my swimming levels until the latter part of Ironman training I think as I'm sure I'll be 1-2 minutes faster in my halfs with the current ability level I have.

Lots of good biking this week culminating in an awesome long ride/workout on Saturday.  I wanted to get in at least an hour of steady/moderate work so we went easy for an hour (when I say easy I just mean low intensity...I rarely ever go truly "easy" on the bike...) then one hour where I sat on the front at 150-155 bpm (I'll try to hold 160ish in a half-ironman) and then the rest easy/steady also on the front (I was actually on the front the whole ride, so lots of good work).  During that 1 hour we averaged a hair over 24 mph on rolling terrain, which was awesome.  I think at this point I can count on a 2:20-2:23 bike ride in a half.  That test will come in 2 weeks though.

My running this week was all workouts at all.  My running legs are still feeling a bit tired from the marathon so I'm just going to go easy/steady and not try to force my legs into anything they don't wanna do.

Next week will be very similar (goals are 50 run, 250 bike, 10k swim) with no intensity.  Then it's race week!!