Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Carry water, chop wood.

S - 17,000 yards
B - 271.1 miles
R - 45.4 miles

Time - 23.58 hours

Here's a sampling of what got me through this week of awesome:

I have a thing for female vocalists.  Especially attractive blonde ones like Ellie Goulding.

Add in a little not-too-over-the-top (ie Skrillex) dub step remix and voila, you have a great mixture.  This song is best listened to with a decent subwoofer (or subwoofers).  I would say that this song is best listened to in my man-van but unfortunately I have yet to re-install my subwoofer and supporting amp.  That being said, it still sounds awesome in the van because, let's face it, everything sounds better in a van.

Here's another song that mixes a little bit of the right stuff (Calvin Harris vocals) with a little bit of the oh-so-wrong stuff (dub step).  I almost hesitate to call this dub-step but with the mix of noise and strange synthetic, designed sound I'm sure most would call it such.  Nero does some pretty good stuff but can, at times, drift a little too far towards over-the-top.

Let's change tangents completely for this one.  Young the Giant has a couple of cool songs, this being my most recent favorite (check out "Apartment").  This song isn't quite the workout pump up do awesome stuff right now kind of song that the other two are, but it still satisfies the (sometimes) more important urge of actually listening to good music.

This next song got me through a 5600 LCM workout on Thursday (note: unfortunately not actually playing during the workout as the Aquatic Center has yet to install an underwater sound system; lame!).

Unfortunately, I really only know the refrain to this song so my laps would go something like:

Push off
"sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree?"
"travelled the world and the seven seas, everybody's looking for somethin"

Push off
"sweet dreams are made of these..."

You get the picture...

Needless to say, the workout was a little boring at times.  That being said, I swam well.  But not THIS well

In my head I was certainly spitting out a wake behind me that washed all the way into the warm pool in the next room but as we all know, there CAN BE a discrepancy between what's going on in your head and what's actually going on...

I'm just happy that I don't have as much armpit hair as this guy

Because despite having a great, smooth stroke that is very enviable, that's just gross.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

When people do dumb stuff...stuff happens

5/7 to 5/13

S - 12000 yards
B - 255.8 miles
R - 27.5 miles

Time - 20.23 hours

5/14 to 5/20

S - 8000 yards
B - 262.3 miles
R - 42.8 miles

Time - 20.82 hours

Unfortunately for myself and all thirteen thousand of my blog readers I completely forgot to write anything at all last week!  Oh the horror.  Forgive me, for I am ashamed.  My words render most readers senseless and are enthralling glimpses into the workings of a genius.  My writing is a gift to you.

Anywayyyy, let me get a bit more realistic.  Last week (first week up at the top) was pretty solid and included a full day off after the weekend's festivities at White Lake.  I had some good workouts in there but my week ended on a pretty sore note (pun intended; very intended) when I was involved in a collision while near the end of my bike ride on Sunday morning.  Long story short, I was 90% ok but discovered upon arriving at home and showering that the injury to my chin needed some stitches.  So, I went and got some.

This picture doesn't really quite do the wound justice, but upon discovering the gaping (exaggeration) wound in my chin I quickly realized I couldn't just let this one lie.  What it meant was that I didn't run later that day (run totals a bit low that week) and that I didn't swim until Thursday of this most recent week.

I'm pleased to be getting in some good, consistent training and hopefully this next week will put together three solid sports' worth of training.

I've hammered out my upcoming schedule pretty well and I'm pretty excited about it:

June 2 - NC Open Water swim Champs (possibly the 3k but most likely the 5k)

June 9 - Tri Latta (IOS NCTS) sprint (even though I think this course sucks; the convenience is too good to pass)

June 17th - SC TT state champs

July 8th - NC TT state champs

July 14th - Triangle Triathlon (IOS NCTS) sprint (maybe, maybe not)

July 29th - Giant Eagle (5150 series) olympic (first BIG race.  Meaning "pro" race.  Meaning I'm gonna get my ass kicked race).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

White Lake Weekend

Swam ~18000 yards
Biked ~ 130 miles
Ran ~ 31 miles

Time ~15 hrs

This week was really all about the weekend.  There were some good run and bike workouts from Monday to Friday but the anticipation was really set for the ICE Racing relay beatdown scheduled for Saturday and the White Lake Sprint for Sunday.  I actually managed to get in some great swims as well, which is awesome and surprising.  It's almost as though something just "clicked" last week.  It's hard to describe the feeling as I've been somewhat sucking for months with regard to swimming. I had a few good weeks here and there (most notably in Arizona, but I had to impress Moose) but for the most part I lacked motivation, consistency and consequently really lacked volume.  It's sad because I really loved swimming.  It's so much fun, it's a great workout, I like getting better, and girls in swim suits is never a bad thing.  So finally here I am; excited again about swimming and making big leaps in the pool.  Boom goes the dynamite.

On Friday afternoon Jenny, Ashley and I loaded up the man-van and headed to the bustling metropolis known as White Lake.  Jenny and I had no desire to do a complete half early in the year and Ashley had just completed Charleston two weeks earlier so we figured a relay was the best way to go.  Ashley agreed to run (thusly getting the short end of the proverbial stick ha!), Jenny would swim and I'd do my best on the bike.  We picked up our packet and arrived at the house generously offered to our group by Heath Dotson, Adam and Jamie.  The ICE team went for a little evening swim before heading into town for some mexican food and calling it an evening.

The relay was great fun and I biked a lot faster than I expected beforehand.  I'll leave the full recap of that day's performances to the ICE Racing blog when we can assemble our three separate experiences but suffice it to say that the relay was a lot more fun than doing the full thang on that very warm day...

Sunday dawned bright and relatively early with the prospect of another race.  I was a bit tight (mainly in my butt area) from the ride on Saturday but other than that felt pretty normal.  I had seen Matt Wistoff's name on the participant last earlier in the week and was hopeful of being able to give him a good race.  I set up my transition area then went for a warmup run before making a neoprene burrito out of myself with my wetsuit and heading to the water for a bit of a frolic in the lake, which was extremely choppy this morning (and warm, despite being "wetsuit legal").

Swim 750m in 10:25 (6th)

I lined up on the front row along with Matt Wistoff and Dan Young waiting for the start and upon the signal began swimming into the chop at a pretty quick rate.  So quick, in fact, that I found myself on Matt's feet.  Unfortunately, Matt kicks a heck of a lot so that plus the chop was like riding out a hurricane in the water.  Sighting was made difficult, as well as breathing.  Luckily Matt quickly decided to drop me (despite not wearing a wetsuit) less than halfway to the first turn buoy.  Dan pulled up alongside me and gradually moved in front.  Once we turned right it got a little easier and it was somehow more predictable in between the chop.  I plowed on and felt like I made up some ground on Dan but once we turned right again it was hard to see where he was.  The waves were pushing us left so I aimed fairly far right of the dock, which ended up being a good decision.  About 50 yards from the ladder another swimmer sprinted past me to get there first, which really pissed me off.  It was the first girl and she was sitting on my feet the whole time, letting me do the sighting and pacing work then sprinted around me in the last 10s of the race.  I was annoyed. I exited the water and ran down the dock behind her while taking off my wetsuit.

T1 in 1:18 (20th)

It's a long run in a wetsuit and I had a bit of trouble getting mine all the way off then headed out onto the bike.

Bike 14(ish) miles in 33:06 (2nd)

I headed out just behind Dan and gradually made my way up to him before passing him somewhere in the back half of the first loop.  Once past I couldn't see any indication of Matt ahead of us so I continued onward.  At the end of the first loop I felt pretty good and decided to keep feeling good on the second loop.  So that was my mission the rest of the bike.  There were a lot more racers on the course but I just kept on feeling good right around the lake.  It was a good decision on my part.  I wasn't putting out a ton of power, I wasn't going crazy fast but man, I sure did feel good.  I came to the end of the bike knowing Matt was probably beyond catching but still resolved to give it a fair college try.

T2 in :51 (4th)

I ran into my spot, took off my helmet and put on one shoe but as I put on the second shoe I pushed the insole up to the front of the shoe which forced me to take a bit more time and adjust before heading out of T2.  Thus, my time suffered.

Run 5k in 18:17 (4th)

I ran out of transition pretty expeditiously in an attempt to look good for the fans.  Once they were gone, however, and I was in the neighborhood my pace became much more pedestrian.  There's really not a whole lot to say about the run; it was pretty flat and boring.  About 1/4mi from the turnaround (maybe a bit more) I saw Matt heading the other way and knew he was too far ahead to even think about catching and I think my pace slowed further with the realization.  Coming back I just kept turning the legs over knowing I had second place well in hand.  Crossed the finish line and that was that.

Fast out of T2

Slow into finish! Perfect
1:03:54 2nd OA

Overall I was pretty happy with this race.  I was definitely a little fatigued from my hard effort on the bike the day before but a second place today was a good result.  If Matt had not signed up late in the game I would have won by a decent amount, which is small (but not too small) consolation.  I think I'm getting close to being able to give it the full gas in these short races on the bike, but only time will tell.  I hadn't been planning on it, but I'm tempted to sign up and do Latta.  I don't like that race and think the course is crappy but I know that doing more of these sprint distance races will help me in the long run.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Huntersville Tri

S - 1 great workout, some others not so much, one race
B - 2 great workouts, one race
R - 1 great workout, 1 race

Time - roughly 18 hours

On a (relatively) last minute whim (and keeping the desire to cherry-pick a race in mind) I signed up for the Huntersville Sprint Triathlon early in the week.  After doing Cool Breeze each of the past two years (one month earlier, swim is half as long) and hating every single minute of it I had sworn off that race altogether.  That being said, Huntersville is usually much more pleasant.  The weather did not dissapoint, as the day dawned bright and early (but not all that early, I got up just before 6am - I love local races!!) and mostly warm-ish.  I arrived at the race site, picked up my packet and did a little warming up on the run and in the pool to get ready.

My start time was 8:00:30am and I was the third to go off behind a masters guy and Derek Kidwell.  Donny started two spots behind me I think and I figured (if he showed up) Donny and Derek would be the main competition.  I knew Derek was a very fast swimmer so I figured he'd be very competitive at this distance...

Swim 500 yards (plus run to mat) in 6:07 - 2nd

I pushed off the wall wearing my brand new ICE Racing top and B70 PZ3TX and tried to keep it nice and easy.  Unfortunately (as usual) while it *felt* easy I was actually crushing the first 100.  I didn't look at splits but I'm fairly confident I went out a bit quick.  Anyway, I used Derek and the other guy as a gauge by seeing where they were each lap and trying to make up ground (or at least not give too much away).  The swim went by pretty quickly and I can for once say that I didn't go off track at all and I'm sure that the distance was correct (another first for Setup Events and triathlons in general!).  I slowed down a bit the second half as I went out a bit hard but wasn't worried about it as I could tell I was holding position with the two guys in front of me and putting significant distance on those behind.  Plus, I wanted to exit the swim and be able to breathe; not like a 500yd TT where I get to the wall and throw up into the side thingies.  No thanks.  I finished the swim off strong, climbed onto the deck cleanly and ran out of the pool and across the mat.

T1 in 00:59 - 41st

I might as well have put "T1 in 'effing forever' - 41st" because that's about how long my T1 took.  I lost good chunks of time to almost everyone.  I had a bit of trouble flipping open my swim skin's zipper but had managed to get it to my waist by the time I got to my bike.  I put on my helmet, stripped off the rest of the skin and put on my shoes before heading out under the arch.  Somewhere in there I sucked big time but I can't put it on any one thing.  Oh well.

Bike 12.5 miles in 30:40 - 1st

I headed out onto the bike feeling ok; the fastest seeded guy was close in front so up that first hill I passed him.  Well, actually, I sign-posted him. That doesn't often happen so I feel the need to point it out.  I also don't understand why people seed themselves so fast that finish 10 minutes back.  Whatever.  I could see Derek in the distance although he was much further ahead than I expected him to be.  My :15s later start and slightly slower swim plus my dreadful T1 meant that he had roughly a minute lead on me out on the roads.  I settled in to attempt to close the gap.  I've discovered that I'm much better at reeling people in on flats and downhills than I am on uphills.  In fact, I usually lose ground going uphill.  It took me a while, but I eventually caught Derek although I wasn't going that much faster.  I *should* have floored it for a bit to lose him completely (or try to anyway) but I didn't think about it.  I figured I was a faster runner and really just didn't think about putting the pedal to the metal (I have yet to figure out how to do that in short races).  We cruised back onto Verhoeff road and I actually split my fastest time on this particular bike course.

Only one person (I believe) has ever gone under 30 minutes on this course and that was Donny back several years ago (course has remained the same, although if I remember that day was fairly windy and the run course was extremely short).  I took my feet out of my shoes and headed into T2.

T2 in 00:35 - 1st

Luckily I was quick here and had the fastest overall time.  I love my new racing flats and laces.  They are the bee's knees.  Plus they match my kit.  Boo-yah.  You decide which I think is more important...

Run 5k in 16:40 - 3rd

I came out of transition like there was a crashed mountain dew truck 100 yards down the road.  I was pretty much sprinting.  I didn't want Derek to get a sniff of my heels and have something to pace off so I absolutely smashed it the first 8-10 minutes (hence my time to the turnaround of 7:50...).  Once I had opened up an appreciable gap and reached the back half of the run (net downhill on the way in as opposed to slight incline all the way out) I parked it in cruise control for the rest of the run.  I tried to look fast though, as I wanted to make sure everyone was like wow, that guy looks fast.  Because that's what matters.  I had the fastest run time out of the "contenders" group by a long shot so I'm happy with that.

OA - 54:59 - 1st


That's two good races in a row for me.  Nothing crazy, nothing spectacular (the 5k time from Sunday was fast but people said the course was short) but two good, solid performances.  I was EXTREMELY surprised with my swim time.  My turns were pretty good and I had my slick speed suit but wow, that was fast.  I haven't had a good full week of swim workouts this entire year.  It makes me excited now that I *think* I've finally found a groove and am going to be putting in some consistent, hard work in the pool.  LOOK OUT WORLD!!!!

note: I don't feel too bad about posting these images b/c tricycle puts almost no effort into taking good pictures and charges way, WAY too much for the ones they take.  still, if you don't like it, don't look at it.  Edit to add: TriCycle made me take the pictures down because I did not want to pay for them.  Given that they didn't read THIS ARTICLE I'm not sure why I'd want to pay for them anyway.