Monday, June 27, 2011

Off we gooo, into the wild blue yonder!

S - 14,800 yards
B - 211.9 miles
R - 42 miles

Time - 20.25 hours

So, not really much interesting to say this week.  I'm truly becoming a broken record.  I feel as though I've told the same stories over and over again and I use the same tired cliches and phrasings over and over but you know what? I don't care.  This is my blog!  I'll do whatever I want in my blogosphere.

That being said, thanks for reading and don't leave! Please continue to read my boring training and racing stories!!

This week I did a little bit of swimming, a little bit of biking and some good running.  I'm really pleased with how my running is going, at least in terms of my consistency and progression.  I actually had three run "workouts" this week: a long run with threshold intervals on the treadmill, and a sweet long run with threshold and tempo intervals in Santa Barbara.  I definitely felt the best on Sunday in spite of no sleep and little food as the 65 degree weather helps a ton!

So these next two weeks I'll be in sunny Santa Barbara with Moose (she hasn't started blogging yet, but beware it's going to happen soon!) putting on my game face and logging some solid training.  I'm sure these next two weeks will hopefully include a lot of good pictures, good recapping, etc etc.  Just good stuff.  That is all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Go fast!

S - 17,200 yards
B - 258 miles
R - 39 miles

Time - 22.62 hours

I'm going to mix it up a bit this week and go in chronological order as I think it will best capture my weekly schedule; at least this time around.  Plenty of time to experiment.

Monday - swim + aerobic run; nothing too special here, I'm starting to feel a bit better in the pool and need to whip myself into shape before heading out to CA.  I may be an ok swimmer on my best days amongst the crowd here in CLT but out in a land of unknown quality-of-swimmer I need to make sure I represent well...

Tuesday - 2.5 hrs aerobic bike ride + run w/ 5k time trial; the ride this morning went well as it was with a fun group (starting to become a weekly thing it seems) in the morning although my legs felt a little tired.  That's nothing unusual at this point as it seems as though every single workout involves some level of fatigue.  Later in the afternoon I headed over to Myers Park to participate in my second track meet of the summer.  Last week I ran the mile/2 mile and this week I had the 5k on my schedule.  I wasn't super excited simply because I had ridden 50+ miles that morning and had doubts of my ability to perform.  I ran a 16:32 a little over a month ago on the roads at the Biathlon (flat, accurate course) so I was hoping to run sub 16:30 on the track today, although I didn't come to fruition due mainly to a pedestrian first mile.  I ended up with a 16:35, which is still very good but not quite what I was hoping for.  I'd like to do a 5k later in the fall and see just how much I've improved my road 5k speed with little to no actual track work.

Wednesday - aerobic run + swim; not a whole lot to mention today, I was feeling pretty tight (but not sore) from the 5k last evening but a nice, easy run loosened my legs up nicely.  The swim that night was tough as I felt quite slow but Kenneth and I slogged through the whole workout without too many problems (Kenneth destroyed everyone but a former ITU Pro at Bandits this weekend, pretty impressive...but not surprising for a guy that has a 5k PR of sub 14 minutes!)

Thursday - swim + aerobic bike; pretty much in line with the daily grind.  Extra long swim LC with Ashley (5k LC meters, ugh) that went well and a tough bike workout with Jason.  My threshold intervals are getting longer, but they're also getting more powerful.  2-3 months ago I was on the "low" end of my threshold range and now I'm on the higher end for longer periods of time.  Progression.

Friday - run w/ quality + aerobic bike; I got to head over to Mcalpine today to do some 1km repeats that were pretty tough.  My legs were feeling tired and had little pop but the 1k repeats went alright.  Plugging my 5k time into Mcmillan's pace calculator gives me a target of 3:17-3:22 for these repeats but I knew that right now, those times are beyond my reach.  Mcalpine is slow, my legs were tired, and I've done little to no structured distance intervals with specific time goals this year so I was just hoping to be 3:25-3:30.  Mission accomplished.  Bike ride was just normal around the booty loop.

Saturday - aerobic bike + aerobic run + swim; Quantity, not quality was the name of the game today.  ~4.5-5 hrs is a fairly normal Saturday as it's been a triple workout day almost this entire year.

Sunday - bike w/ work + aerobic run; I'd been stressing about this bike ride all week as on paper it looked remarkably difficult.  Lots of threshold work (60 minutes worth) plus some VO2 level power work sprinkled in at the end of each threshold interval.  Needless to say, it was tough, but not quite as bad as I had built up in my head.

So that's the week in a blogshell.  A relatively big week, but not huge (run volume is down a bit lately, but I'm back to being consistent atleast).  Next week is more of the same, but by Sunday I'll be in sunny Santa Barbara.  Not too shabby...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tri Latta

S - 10,100 yards
B - 189.7 miles
R - 30.4 miles

Time - 15.84 hours

The only interesting things to happen this week were that I attended a track meet for the first time in a year (racing the mile and the two mile rather poorly), raced at Latta, and booked tickets to fly out to Santa Barbara, CA for 2.5 weeks to get my butt handed to me repeatedly (at least it's in a glorious, glorious location though so I'm ok with that)...  Run volume was a bit low this week as well as overall time volume but racing usually disrupts good training.  Lots of fast stuff this week.

Tri Latta (750/17/3.1)

Rode to the race sit with the Behmes and had an adequate amount of time to set up and get in a brief warm-up before the 6:30 am race start. It should be noted (as many people asked about it post-race) that I developed an infection in my hand sometime before the race (Thursday pm or Friday am, not really sure) and the infection area (4th knuckle) was pretty swollen and sore to the touch.  While I wish I could say it slowed me down, unfortunately (or fortunately?) it did not!

Swim - 12:01 (7th)

The gun went off and away we went! I knew the first 100 yards or so were basically going to be a mad dash, but I hadn't positioned myself particularly well so I was running up on people's feet for a bit.  In hindsight, should have moved out a bit towards the left and been on the front; I think that would have positioned me better from the start.  After a while, the furor settled down a bit and the group stretched out; I figured Brad and Jenny would be off the front, leaving everyone in their wake, then Scott, Selle, and Frank would be the next group and hopefully I could be on the tail end of that or in the front of the 3rd "group" (note, calling these groups is a bit of a misnomer, as when you're actually swimming it feels like there are either people all over the place or no one at all...).

About 2 or 300 meters into the swim I felt my timing chip band suddenly loosen and fall to the bottom of my ankle and make its way towards my toes.  I immediately had to stop and reach for it and take it off and stuff it in my suit.  I initially tried to re attach it on my ankle then realized how dumb that was and put it under my leg. This was frustrating because I lost my spot "leading" some chasers and lost some not insignificant time.  I'm sure it wasn't a lot of actually sitting still, but losing your rhythm and placing on the swim is very frustrating.  Someone ran into me while I was fixing it and I'm sure they were probably annoyed but oh well, sorry dude.  I started swimming again and managed to find a rhythm to the turnaround and then felt like I was by myself.  With about 100m to go I saw someone off to the left swimming about the same speed that I had been catching the whole way back. I swing over that way to get on their feet and after a bit realized that it was Fletch.  We exited the water together (Fletch, Me, Nicole and Ashley apparently) and I ran up the long hill to transition.

T1 - 2:00

Coach Desert Dude emailed me Sunday after looking up results and asked if I had stopped to eat breakfast in transition 1.  Losing 20 seconds for no good reason to the rest of the top 10 is pretty frustrating, especially considering I didn't think I wasted any time in T1.  20 seconds in a race like this is not an insignificant amount of time... Although in hindsight putting my chip back on certainly did not help.

Bike - 40:01 (2nd)

Headed out on the bike behind what felt like everyone and started hammering down Sample Rd.  The speed bumps were extremely annoying and felt mildly unsafe at 27-28 mph!  At least they were table tops and not actual speed bumps. I managed to pass a few people on Sample Rd and eventually made it out onto the real course where I found myself in front with only Brad up the road.  Soon thereafter Donny passed me and Ryan Barnett also passed and we ended up riding back and forth for the first half of the race before turning into the business park where Ryan unfortunately kept going straight despite my efforts to yell at him; unfortunately it's tough to hear anything in an aero helmet at 30+ mph.  From that point on it was pretty much Donny and I going back and forth every once in a while to the end.  I started feeling warmed up with about 7-10 minutes to go and at that point felt much more comfortable.  Donny rolled into dismount just ahead of me and we ran under the blow up thingy together.

T2 - 1:17

Unfortunately we both also got our handlebars stuck in the flag line that was marking the run into transition. After getting free of that I made my way to my rack and put on my running shoes, took off the helmet and grabbed my number.  Unfortunately the clasp on the Scott flats didn't attach properly so I came out of my shoe and had to stop and adjust that before departing transition.

Run - 18:34 (4th)

Headed out on the run a little bit behind Donny due to my mishap and ran behind him for a while.  This run course is fairly difficult as it is both on trails (included loose gravel) and hilly.  I stuck on Donny's back for a while before going around him relatively soon into the run.  I heard him behind me the rest of the way though so I never really opened up a gap.  Before the first turnaround (Y shaped course) I saw Brad coming the other way and he didn't look like he was going too fast but he had a fairly significant lead so I knew it was basically a race for second place.  I continued on feeling pretty smooth and strong but I could tell I wasn't going to produce a blazing run split.  At the second turnaround I saw Donny and Scott right behind him and tripped a little bit going around the 180.  I knew Scott was running fast if he'd made up that much time so I tried to pick up the pace a little bit to make the catch a little later.  Once he passed me I stuck on his tails for a bit but didn't really feel like trying to sprint it out with him into the finish chute.  So he gapped me a bit into the finish line and I crossed in 3rd, 8s behind Scott and roughly 1.5min behind Brad.

All in all I was a little disappointed with my performance today.  I had a very solid swim/bike/run but little mistakes and/or mishaps slowed me down a bit.  I shouldn't be upset, however, especially considering that 3 weeks ago I didn't think I was going to be racing for a long time.  Plus, it was a really fun day out there seeing tons of people I knew and a lot of people had good races, which is always fun to see.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Give me a better title

S - 9,000 yards (blah)
B - 302.9 miles (yay!)
R - 42.1 miles (no appropriate exclamation found)

Time - 22.09 hours

I'm gonna start this one out by talking about one of my favorite things: riding alone.  As far as I know, I'm not crazy so I think it's important to examine some of the pros and cons of solo riding to properly assess my feelings on the subjected.

1) Lonely (yea, I said it) - out there all by yourself, just enjoying the day (hopefully) and cruising along...
2) Only have to worry about yourself (I - at times - hate worrying about other people on a ride; how they feel, where they want to go, what they want to do, how thirsty they are, whether or not they need to pee, if they'll blow their nose on you, what workout they have to do, whether you blow a snot rocket on them, I could go on and on and on...
3) Stop for as long as you want at the store stop! (no wham bam thank you ma'ams at the stop, I like to really enjoy my mountain dew!)
4) Your own schedule (If I wanna ride at 7:06 am by golly I can ride at 7:06am!)

1) Risky (can counteract said riskiness by carrying ID, but it's still riskier than riding with people)
2) Lonely (nobody to talk to except for gas station employees who think you're crazy, nobody on whom to drop the proverbial hammer, boring at times)
3) Even some triathletes think you're crazy (of the 300ish miles I rode this week, 200 of those were by myself)

On the one hand I'm definitely kind of  a loner.  I like the solitude of long rides by myself.  I like being able to have to talk myself into hitting all of my intervals even though nobody but me will know that I gave up on them.  I like that I can listen to music and nobody will judge me because they can't hear it (hello Katy Perry and mayyyybe some Ke$ha plus assorted techno-ish stuff that nobody will admit they like).  On the other hand I like riding with people every now and then so it's important to find that appropriate mix.  Group rides are great from a fitness standpoint, it's just that there's no specific workout involved.  Sure, you'll hit a wide range of zones but none of it is focused and none of it is as good as specific intervals for long course racing.  While I'd love to make people hurt (not even sure I can) on group rides I prefer the mental fortitude it takes to get through that 5th and 6th 10+ minute threshold interval by myself and not having to rely on anyone else to get the work done for me.

In some ways, riding solo is a lot like swimming.  While I was out of the pool for ~2 weeks I thought a lot about why I enjoy it and why some people (most people) do not.  I think what I like about swimming is how rhythmic it can be; once you start an interval/set, you're on your own under water.  There aren't any noises, just bubbles.  Sure there are other people around and that's also part of what makes swimming fun: people watching.  For example, several weeks ago I swam at the MAC the day before Ultraswim and Olympic Gold medalist Rebecca Soni was swimming right next to me (or mayyybe I got in the lane next to her...).  Not only was I admiring her swim stroke... Eh you get the point.

Now, onto the more exciting and always interesting weekly recap!

While I was back in the pool this week, I certainly felt "off."  I think that's the longest I haven't been in the pool in the 3 years I've been swimming.  Kind of strange.  I had some workouts but none of them were very long and/or hard (well they were hard in the sense that I feel out of shape, but they were not difficult).  I spent a little time at the outdoor pool at the Harris Y on Saturday and that was fun, but not for the swimming part....

Big miles on the bike this week (I think it may actually be the most I've ridden, or at least "documented") and that was pretty awesome.  As mentioned last week, I rode Monday up in Chapel Hill, Tuesday solo intervals, Thursday solo intervals, Friday solo aerobic, Saturday small group with some progressive work, Sunday solo with intervals.  By the time Sunday rolled around my legs were quite tired so that plus not quite as much sleep as I'd normally enjoy had me feeling pretty smoked.  I had to do some intervals and thought I was going to have to quit mid-way through the first (of 6!) but luckily my legs didn't get any worse and I just plodded on; it was unremarkable but, as coach said, "good for you."  That particular ride was probably the hardest non race-related workout I've ever had.  Pretty awesome.

I did a good amount of indoor running on the treadmill this week; that's something that will become more and more common for me I think.  As it gets warmer outside, the ability to get in a truly quality run session without risk of dehydration diminishes rapidly.  If I wanted to do a tempo workout at 6:00/mi pace outdoors on a 90 degree day I'd HAVE to factor the temperature into my pace goals or I'd kill myself.  Not so on the treadmill.  If I want to run 6:00/mi pace, I can run that pace and not worry about overheating.  While I do feel as though (for me) pace is "tougher" on the treadmill than outdoors, maybe that's not such a bad thing?  Anyway, your mileage may vary.

Next week brings my first "real" sprint of the year at Tri Latta (no I'm not counting Cool Breeze because it is a stupid, pointless race) where I'd certainly like to do well, but I feel as though my swimming may hold me back a bit.