Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bike racing

S: 10,000
B: 192
R: 17

T: 14.5 hrs

I was actually consistent in the pool this week so that was a definite plus.  I'm hoping to stay like that but it would appear as though that's actually impossible this week.  Hopefully I will find some extra motivation soon as Louisville is 15 weeks away!!! So close!

Only one ride during the week as I was intentionally taking a very, very easy Mon-Fri to make sure I was rested up a little bit before a big weekend on the bike.  Did some bike racing on Saturday night after volunteering at Watkins' open water swim and that was an absolute blast (more on that later).  Had a nice, albeit very hard, long ride with Fletch on Sunday.

Running was very limited this week as I was trying to take it very easy and didn't really have time on the weekend.  Back at it next week.

Here is the recap from my two races on Saturday evening, a Cat 4 race at 5:30pm and Cat 4/5 35- race at 8:05 pm up in High Point.

First race was cat 4...pretty nervous about this one. No idea what to expect as I haven't raced my bike in 3 years. After one lap I accidentally got a gap and pushed for the next 3-4 laps just to see what would happen. I probably had a 2-300 yard gap but it wasn't getting any bigger so I let them come back to me and then sat in the rest of the ride. Nobody wanted to work on the front so I put in some more time up there. Pace was very up and down in this race; someone would attack and it would string out then everyone would get lazy. Last couple of laps I was second wheel the whole time. I used the heck out of the guy in front of me and sprinted around on the last turn. As far as I know, this one wasn't even close...
17.25 miles
26 mph
HR avg: 178
HR max: 193

Second race was cat 4/5 35 and under. This race was a much more difficult one as 3 other guys and I got a gap and pushed the rest of the way together. We traded off pulls and were really hammering. We never lapped the "pack" but we did put 20 seconds on one "chase group" and another 30 on the second "group." Last 2 laps got very cat and mousy and I executed absolutely perfectly. I sat 4th wheel the last 2 laps and started my sprint about 20 yards out of the last turn and closed the gap on the guy out front and passed him and put maybe a bike length on him before finish. It was perfectly timed.

I LOVE bike racing. It's definitely something I'll do some more of this year. It's such a different kind of pain.

15.1 miles
26.3 mph
HR avg: 177
HR max: 192

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Over the Mountain

S: 7000
B: 215
R: 36

T: 16.6 hrs

I have been really bad about swimming lately.  Gee darn!  In my defense... Wait, I have no defense.  Sometimes it's tough to get motivated; I've been having to swim by myself a lot lately.  Anyone want to be my new swim partner?

Two hard efforts on the bike this week (Inside-Out ride on Tuesday and the race on Saturday) in which I pounded some fools into the ground (IOS ride) and was beat by a guy more than twice my age (among other beat downs issued upon me) in the race.  A really good long, steady ride with Behme and Fletch on Sunday of 108.  If we had continued, our ironman bike split would have been roughly a 5:12.  Not too shabby.

I also got in two good run workouts with the first being on Tuesday with Kelly (2x3 miles at 6:20 avg and 6:10 avg) and the race on Saturday.  The race was only a workout because it was a brick as I was definitely not running particularly fast!  Oh well.

Over the Mountain RR
2:18:55, 5th overall

Swim - 22:50 (12th)
The swim was wetsuit legal so I got to sport my B70 Axis (the wetsuit 'designed' for cyclist/runner triathletes who have more muscle in their lower body relative to their lower body).  Despite how jacked and ripped my upper body is...most of my muscle is definitely in my lower body so it's a perfect wetsuit for me.  Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to wear the wetsuit prior to the race so OTM was it's maiden voyage. I also failed to warm up for the swim, which was definitely a big mistake as my lats/triceps were really hurting the first half of the swim.  I felt like I was going very slowly but luckily I ended up with a good swim split (although everyone was pretty fast today).  I care more about the fact that my swim was the 12th fastest as that is an important marker for some progression.

T1 - 2:08
Immediately upon swim exit you run up the most giant-est hills ever.  I was prepared for this and had been thinking about taking off my wetsuit immediately upon exiting the water but when it came to decision making time I didn't pull the trigger.  I ran (very slowly and probably could have walked at the same speed) up the hill hitting a max hr of 187 before getting into transition and to my bike.  I bent over to put on my shoes after taking off my wetsuit and pretty much passed out, wondering how the heck I was going to finish the race and why I liked racing in the first place!

Bike - 1:15:26 (10th)
The important things to note about this bike:
1) It took me 10 miles to catch Stacey Richardson and Amie Krasnozon, they are fast and Stacy absolutely CRUSHED me at Bandits last year.  Luckily for her, I was overtrained.
2) It then took me 5 miles to drop them!
3) The bike course is really hard!
4) I am not good at going up hills
5) My front tire was a little flat.  Scott and I pumped it up appropriately at the beginning but for some reason it didn't hold air very well.  I looked down at mile 20 and thought it was totally flat.

T2 - 1:06
Took my time.  Thought about how nice some pizza or a Mountain Dew would be...

Run - 37:26 (13th)
Started out running really fast and then gradually slowed down the whole time.  Just the way I like to do it!

Two things of note:
- I was mentally excited for this race but I honestly think I raced with the thought of riding the next morning in my head. I know this was only in my subconscious but at least a couple of times in the race I thought about it. One of those times was when Behme yelled at me on the run: "Save your energy dude we have to ride 100 tomorrow!!"
- Todd saved my butt on this race as like a total rookie I left my cycling shoes at home and only realized once we got to T1 to set up for the race. This was totally bad karma on my part as I made fun of Jackie, Jamie and Shenna for creating checklists before the race. Luckily for me, Todd had not left yet so he swung by our house to pick up my shoes and when I got to T1 they were there waiting for me. Thanks Todd!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


S: 8,500
B: 206
R: 45

T: 18.5 hrs

Missed one swim this week; it's a lot harder when you're biking and running 15+ hours a week to be fresh for swims.  When I was swimming a lot in January and February I was only running and not really biking much at all...different story now.

Some really solid biking again this week although I definitely felt tired until the Sunday long ride (102 mi).  I think I rode a bit too much last week following White Lake and I was feeling the effects a little bit during the middle of this week.  I'll take next week a little easier on the bike (100-150) with no efforts except for the race on Saturday (Over the Mountain).  I'd love to be able to drop a pretty sweet bike time there and I think I stand a good chance with the hills there; we shall see.

I had one great workout on Tuesday (2x2 miles) but bagged a second workout due to the ridiculous heat and humidity on Friday and the prospect of the long run on Saturday.  The long run did not go well at all; it was very, very hot and I started dying a slow death around mile 9 and popped at mile 15 (of 18).  It was a day to learn a lesson.

Lesson learned.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Back on the grind-izzle

S: 10,000
B: 187
R: 40

T: 17.7 hrs

Back in the pool with a vengeance this week after the debacle at White Lake.  Yes, it was the course's fault but does that make me happier about it? No, of course it doesn't.  So that means I jump back into the glorious, crystal clear waters of the Dowd Y to bask in the chlorine goodness again for the sake of gaining those extra seconds (or minutes) in races.  Is it worth it?  To me, yes.  To most people, probably not.  Maybe that makes me a little crazy.

Managed to get in three bike rides during the week before the first unofficial official training ride of the Louisville training calendar on Saturday.  I would like to say that it was epic because of the domination I served up to cowering training partners but in reality it was a bit of a struggle since I'm still recovering for the half-ironman binge I went for the past four weeks.  It's tough to come down from a stint like that (and by come down I mean recover in a non-metaphorical sense) but I know that I'm getting better on a daily basis because of how the run felt Sunday.

That particular long run felt fantastic!  Well, fantastic is a bit strong.  I just felt really smooth and relaxed up until the point where I started to get tired.  It probably helped that it was most likely one of the most gorgeous days ever for running.  A bit of chilly wind in the beginning but the sun warmed everything up and put my mood on the high side of 10 using a scale of 1-10 (10 being epic-ly good and 1 being emo).  As usual, John and Carrie provided excellent entertainment.

One cannot help but marvel at times like these at how much difference good training partners make.  For a long time I didn't truly "enjoy" all of my long workouts but since I started training up in Davidson with the Behmes, Fletch, Kerf, Darb and Woodbury (when he decides it's worth the drive) it has made all the difference.  Maybe I'm just being dramatic.  Wait, I definitely am.  Ohhhh well.  That's what's going to fuel the Louisville domination anyway.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

White Lake Half

S: 3900
B: 97
R: 23

So thirteen days after racing in New Orleans I got my butt in gear for another attempt at a half ironman.  It was an awkward in between time given that I had to recover from New Orleans and then get ready for White Lake.  I don't think I've quite figured that out yet but the takeaway is that the second race was MUCH harder than the first.  While my performance in terms of time was similar, White Lake felt like a much more difficult race.  Everyone says the bike course is flat but it really isn't; there are a lot of false flats.  New Orleans is totally flat.  B2B is totally flat.  White Lake is very close and up until this year I would have said people wouldn't bike much faster than 2:15, ever.

Swim: 32:08 (32nd)
The swim was definitely wetsuit legal this year at right below 70 degree water temperature.  I had been hoping that it wouldn't be but the cards didn't fall that way on race day.  The "open" wave was around 50 people so it was a fairly large group that was assembled before the RD said take off.  Once he did, it was a fairly chaotic scramble for the first 1-200 meters.  After that it mellowed out a bit.  I quickly realized that the course was slightly different than last year: this time we went "out" much farther and didn't cut "across" quite as much. It was more like a triangle than a odd rectangle.  Another thing I quickly noticed is that all of the buoys were orange; both the sight buoys and the turn buoys.  I managed to get into a good rhythm but couldn't find anybody's feet to sit on so I just swam by myself most of the time trying to find my way to the next buoy.  Once we made the final right hand turn I had to stop and breast-stroke to find where the next target was.  It was difficult because the turn was beyond 90 degrees so you had to distinguish between the first leg buoys and the buoys you were currently trying to hit.  I gradually made my way back into the dock.  I climbed up the ladder hoping to see a time of 29:50 or thereabouts but instead the clock said 31:45.  I was literally astonished.  I ran down the tack to the transition mat for a time of just over 32:00.  Needless to say, I was not pleased with the swim.

T1: 1:32

Bike: 2:16:23 (5th)
Once out of transition I shifted into a big gear and began the process of reeling in as many people as possible. It was slightly overcast for the first half of the ride and that was very welcome given the fact that the expected high today was 90 degrees.  In the first five miles I probably passed 2-3 guys but I also lost all of my salt tablets.  I tried not to worry about it but in the back of my head I remembered the severe cramps I got last year so I was definitely thinking about it.  I tried to shrug it off and get into a strong, steady rhythm like I remembered having at New Orleans.  I continued to pass people and continued to eat a lot of gels and drink a lot of water and didn't see anyone for quite some time.  My legs were feeling pretty sluggish and my HR was much lower than in New Orleans (156 bpm avg vs 161 avg) and I felt like I was working harder.  I caught Tom Clifford - last year's winner and a consistent top 3 finisher in the NCTS races with a ridiculous running ability - around mile 30 and tried to get him to work with me but he didn't seem to understand the concept or just didn't want to.  We got to the little out/back and saw Justin Park in the lead and George Worrell in third but two other guys I didn't know.  At that point I was behind Tom so I knew I was in sixth on the road.  We finished the out/back and turned right for the last stretch before getting back to White Lake.  We changed the lead a couple of times but it was never beneficial to either of us.  I was a little frustrated with the whole day so with about 5-7 miles to go I put my head down and gutted it out to the finish.  Coming into transition I put about a minute on Tom.

T2: 1:04

Run: 1:32:27 (14th)
I actually felt pretty good heading out onto the run despite the fact that my legs felt pretty bad the whole bike ride.  Tom caught me a little after mile 1 and from there I was by myself the rest of the day.  The first 3 miles or so of that route are really horrible.  Right alongside a highway (and by now the sun had come out in full force) with nobody around, just aid stations to look forward to.  I took a porto break at mile 4 (I haven't yet learned the art of peeing while running...) and kept it pretty steady until the turn around at mile 6.55.  Once past the turnaround I actually felt even better - probably due to the fact that there is a slight downhill and I was halfway done - so I maintained my pace and didn't stop at aid stations; just grabbing two cups of water at each one.  It started to get a little rough around mile 9 and then at miles 10 and 11 aid stations I had to walk and get a bunch of fluids to try and cool me down.  Then it was back onto the ridiculously hot and tough highway for the last miles.  I managed to pick it up a little bit and despite some twinges of cramps in the last mile I finished the run off pretty strong.  I definitely think this was a better run for me and something to build on for the future.

Overall: 4:23:33 in 7th.
Full results here:

Things I learned in this race:
- I can't do two half-ironmans in two weeks and hope to be in top form for both of them.  Not yet.
- I am capable of 4:18-4:19 on the right course.  I think if I went and did NOLA again I could do that.
- I want to do another half-ironman this year but I probably won't.