Friday, April 27, 2012

An Opportunity I Might Regret Not Taking...

Thanks to Matty-O on Twitter this morning and Jason @ CookEatTrainRace, I learned about the transformation of Ironman St. George to Ironman St. George 70.3 taking place for 2013.

Slowtwitch wrote up a great report on the matter HERE.

Basically the popularity and finisher rate of IMSG was diminishing since its inception, and the powers that be @ WTC thought best to shorten the race to a 70.3 to make it more appealing (and most likely more profitable).

I am sure some folks think this is disgusting, or wimpy (and I totally agree with you if you are in that boat!) but as for someone who lives in the Northeast and just doesn't see early May as a viable time to race a full Ironman, I am welcoming the change of this race with open arms.

While it is possible to train for an early May Ironman while living in the Northeast, it won't be fun, and that is one of the reasons why I do triathlon and Ironman, because its fun. This is also why my A+++ race is usually in August.

In fact, I was looking for a Western 70.3 race to do for this early season, but there is a huge dearth of them currently, other than California 70.3 or Superfrog (are there others?), but San Diego isn't a venue I want to travel to.

St. George, Utah? Lemme explain visually:


Screw racing, I just want to VISIT this area. Bryce Canyon? Zion National Park? Grand Canyon? Just to name a few...

I was chatting with a coworker born and raised in Utah and I said, "I could spend months out there in that area." His response? "Try a lifetime."

So already the screws are turning for 2013, even though I said, "NO MORE RACE PLANS TILL AFTER MONT TREMBLANT!"

Well, I already broke that when I said I wanted to kill the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon again this Fall.

Why not an early season 70.3 out west and turn it into a race-cation?

Friday, April 20, 2012

It all Synced up

Barring a sneeze or a sudden breath too deep, I feel about 10,000,000,000,000% better right now than this time yesterday. Amazing what rest can do for you! I can breath pain free now!

Timing wise, this "injury" could not have come at a better time. For the first time in 3 years I am working over time to get through a mini production crunch to deliver some vegetative assets to attract marketing partners. I am kicking some serious ass at work right now AND! working on some pretty cool shit all at the same time.

(sorry if I haven't commented on your blogs recently. I have been reading! Just not commenting. So to all of you: Great job! Well deserved! Nice PR! Sorry about the injury. Feel better soon! You rock! You are awesome!")

I will be logging about 24 hours of OT this week, and with those kinds of hours, training is nearly impossible. Unfortunately the J.O.B. comes first, since without it, triathlon would also be nearly impossible.

So this will be 5 days in a row of no training.

What I am also noticing is that my body has been on training overdrive since January. Recently, my running speed has slowed, my pool speed has plateaued, and the bike, while my endurance is increasing, my speed has not. Mentally, I was dealing with some burnout. This rest was needed regardless.

The timing of "falling" in the shower couldn't have been better.

Thank you.

I am looking forward to getting back out there soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Stupid, Stupider, Stupidest

#1: Stupid
Falling in the shower. Nuff said. Yes, I am 29 going on 89.

#2: Stupider
After I wrote my last blog post, I felt like my ribs were healing at a pretty dramatic rate. Then I must have breathed in too deeply and my entire rib cage spasmed, sending my recovery backwards to about the point when my lungs first refilled with air after falling. The drive home that night was excruciating. To turn my car around a corner, I had to hold my breath. Yes. Really.

#3: Stupidest
Last night, things were improving again. Then I sneezed. BAM! Back to square one we go again!

#4 (bonus!) Stupidest-est
This is the most ridiculous "injury" ever!!! My legs and joints are ready to knock the shit out of ANY workout. But! I can't breath fully! Rendering me utterly useless in the S/B/R arena. Breathing is over rated, right?


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seriously? I EAT RIBS!!!

I had a pretty successful weekend of training. 5 Hours of 7700+ feet of climbing out on Skyline drive with my favorite DC Blogger followed by a decent (but hot!) 90 min run the next day, running AT midday. Yes, running in the heat still sucks...

But anyways!

Sunday night I had an accident. My face looks like I was abused, but really, I just simply slipped while getting into the shower and landed on my right side, right on my rib cage. At first I just got the wind knocked out of me and my pride was pretty torn up, but otherwise, I figure I would just be sore for a few hours.


Sunday night I slept some, and Monday it hurt to breath sometimes, and with work heating up so much and working OT, I just took Monday off, figuring I could pick it back up on Tuesday.


90 seconds into my run Tues AM, it just hurt too bad. No big deal. I will just have a nice and easy ride in the evening.


15 mins later, I am wincing in pain everytime I have to push lots of pressure down on the pedals. And my ribs hurt worse than before the ride.


This is one of those injuries that I call "Stupid Injuries" because its like stubbing your toe on the door or hitting your head on something, or FALLING IN THE SHOWER. It hurts, yet it lingers, but lingers in such a way it prevents you from training even though your joints and muscles are 100% fine.

It also prevents you from laughing.



Even gchatting seems to make them hurt, especially when someone cracks a joke.......on gchat. REALLY?!?!

Coach's orders: Buy a rubber bath mat and a hand rail. He also asked me, "Are you 80?"

Yes, he had to bust my chops. Thanks coach! That hurt from laughing as well...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Foto Friday: Just a Ton of Bike Porn

I'm bored, waiting on long compute times. So my friend google and I went searching for the top of the line tri bikes made by the biggest companies out there.

Q: If you had the funds (and swagger, afterall, its ALL about the swagger), which one would you ride?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bloody Toes and Garmins

Had quite the surprise after my interval run this morning:

Gross, right?
No idea where the blood even came from? Looks like just underneath the nail, I think? Strange. Happened once before on another toe, but again, never felt it.

Notice my big toe nail? Let me remind you what it USED to look like:

The nail never fell off!!! It just grew out, even though it took 6+ months.

This is probably the goriest post I have ever written....

In other words....or, ANYWAYS.....

My bike form is starting to come together, finally. Not sure why it took so darn long, but when I notice that my sit bones don't hurt as bad, it just shows that I have finally been putting in ample time in the saddle.

Take for example last night, an interval ride through the mean streets of Greenwich where the probability of getting mugged by a billionaire is pretty high, considering you HAVE to be a billionaire to live in that town.

I did a 15 min WU, then 6 x (6 mins @ 250 watts, 2 mins easy), 15 min CD.

My time trial bike (with the power meter) is in the shop this week, so I used my road bike and went by feel for the 6 min hard intervals. Despite not having power to guide my effort, it was actually liberating! It was the first interval ride this season where I could just hammer it on some curvy and hilly roads alternating between standing and sitting and just having fun.

Sometimes just going by feel is what is needed. I am pretty sure, based upon how my legs were burning and how they felt afterwards, that I was in the range of 250 watts.

I got the Garmin Edge 800 the other week, since my little yellow computer went flying off my bike mid ride back in early March. (I found it, just, I had no way to reattach it and I could no longer change the battery because the battery cover was stripped) The 800 is a piece of magic! It is SO amazing how you can customize 5 training pages to show off every nitty gritty detail of data you could ever need. Right now I have a page for general time and watts, but then I have a page for intervals that shows interval time, interval power avg, interval HR average, etc etc etc.

 After all, more data is more speed. Its science!

So if you are looking for a new cycling computer that can read power, I HIGHLY recommend the Garmin Edge 800. I have yet to get into its GPS map capabilities (mostly because I always know where I am riding) but I can imagine it is quite good.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bring Unto Thee Long (And Hilly!) Rides

On Easter Sunday I prayed, and I prayed hard for 4.5 hours, that is, on my bike climbing some notorious hills up in northern Connecticut.

See, riding for three hours is whatever. Riding for 4 hours is, "Ok, this is getting longer." Riding for 4.5 hours is, "Wait, this is pretty long." But 4.5 hours of unrelenting hills is, "Ok, this is serious shit!"

Matty-O, Kevin, Jeff, you know what to say....

What a ride that was! AND!!! My deraileur broke, AGAIN! The bike is back in the shop as we speak getting a full tune up anyways, including new chain, rear cassette and new tires. Poor bike has been getting quite the abuse lately.

Fortunately, it broke again at the right spot, with 30 mins left, where I could just big ring it back.

Here was the loop's elevation, that I did twice, finishing with just over 76 miles for the day.

After the ride it was food time with the family. We had the traditional Campbell meal of Harrington Spiral Ham, Baked Mac & Cheese, Sweet Potato Casserole, Chardonnay (btw, don't ever drink "Good Chardonay" from Italy. It is quite bad), Salad and Rolls (no green beans or asparagus. Someone forgot it....).

My mom made crepes for dessert. SO GOOD!

This ride is just a warm up for what is to come. This weekend is gonna be another doozy, but harder and longer. (anyone? anyone?)

I'll let you guess where this is:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Scotland Run 10K Race Report

On Saturday I ran the Scotland Run 10K down in Central Park. The race didn't go as expected, but was still another success AND! PR. Finished in 41:34, for a 1:47 PR for the distance.

Like I always do for 10K's or shorter, I go out hard and hang on for dear life. Unfortunately my life ended at mile 3.5 when I finally popped and my speed evaporated.

Oh well. Not the end of the world! I hit mile 3 at 19 flat again, so it was another sub 20 min 5K performance (which is ALWAYS nice!).. But those Harlem hills just did me in. Here are the splits:

Mile 1: 6:01
Mile 2: 6:22
Mile 3: 6:34
Mile 4: 7:10
Mile 5: 6:55
Mile 6: 6:55
Last 0.2: 1:35

After my body gave out at mile 3.5 I realized that sub 40 was out of the question for the day, but at least I could still PR the distance, and PR it well. So I just tempo-ed it in for miles 5 and 6 and actually felt GREAT holding sub 7's. It almost felt effortless even though there was no more sprint left in me. Strange.

Not gonna dwell on the why's of "Why didn't I go sub 40?!? MY LIFE IS OVER!!!" It just wasn't my day.

But! I still PR-ed it!!! That's still a good day!

Ok, I feel better.

Till next time 10K!

Which now I have 3 goals for the Fall, all running related. I want to A) Officially break 20 mins in the 5K (like have an actual official time stamp for the distance). B) Break 1:30 in the half marathon and C) Go sub 40 for the 10K.

I think all three distances will compliment each other in training.

But until then, its time to focus on triathlon only for the next 4.5 months. I have a 70.3 to do in a month!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Commence Race Mode!

Ok folks, Saturday is my last stand alone running race of the season until who knows when. Maybe next fall?

I am doing the NYRR Scotland Run 10K down in Central Park. I don't really ever run 10K's, but this will be my 2nd one of the season. I ran the Joe Kleinerman 10K on Jan 7th, so this will be a great 12 week 10K checkup.

How will it go down? My goal: Get as close to 40 mins or under as possible.

Back in January, I ran a 43:21 for a 7:00 flat pace. Then at the 4 miler in February I ran a 25:06 for a 6:17 pace. Finally, at the National Half almost 3 weeks ago, I ran a 1:32:35 for a 7:04 pace, and in the process hit the 10K mark at roughly 43:41, only 20 seconds off of that January 10K PR time.

I am fairly confident that this will be another PR. Now, just like the National Half, by how much?

That 4 miler 8 weeks ago proved that I have some speed in my legs. A 6:17 pace is more than enough to break the 40 min benchmark. All is needed is a 6:26 or faster pace.

Easy right?

Its gonna hurt. I already know that. But you know what? If I feel like I want to quit half way through the race, that means one thing: I AM DOING IT RIGHT!

Now a couple of factors to consider:

1) Weather. Supposed to be low to mid 40's at race time. PERFECT!!!! Over heating has been taken out of the equation.

2) The course: Central Park is a rolling course, with a few decent hills at the top of the park. The course is going in a clockwise direction, which means you hit two large hills instead of just one if the course were going in a counter clockwise direction. Its strange, I know. I think because of this the course is harder. Regardless, its the same elevation no matter which direction you run it in. I think I am more fearful of the clockwise direction simply because I have not run that way as often as counter clockwise. (I know I know, call me a creature of habit!)

Ok, I think I have over analyzed this race to death. Hey! Its only customary, right?

Now I will let my legs do the rest of the talking!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Accomplishing goals is a bad thing?

I had a revelation the other day. I must have been running or biking at the time and must have been near the end of this run or ride, because something hit me, and it hit me hard.

I, without meaning to, sandbagged the last bit of Ironman Lake Placid.


Now, A) I was sick and could barely run, B) My legs were shot and could barely run, but C) I mentally didn't want it to end.

Let me repeat this:

I mentally did not want it to end.

While! I wanted it to end so badly because A) I was sick and could barely run, and B) My legs were shot and I could barely run.

Am I confusing you yet? I will simplify it a bit further for you:

I built that race, more specifically the Ironman distance, as this holy of all holy things, that once completed, a HUGE life goal was done for. I could never accomplish it for the first time ever again.

(disclaimer - while completing it was a big deal for me personally, it is NOT the end all of things for me. That race does not define me nor does the distance)

Basically I was finding more joy in having the goal of competing in an Ironman and training for an Ironman than actually completing the race. I am more interested in the process rather than the result. Just getting to the start line was my satisfaction. Finishing it was merely a formality. I thank my coach for prepping me properly for that!

But why didn't this ever happen with other races leading up to Lake Placid? Because those races were merely stepping stones to completing my first Ironman.

Call me a headcase if you want, but holy shit I am glad I am recognizing this now. I am looking at other parts of my life and it totally makes sense. Take for example my apartment. There is always something in my apartment that is cluttered and needs to be cleaned. I could totally spend one single day and actually finish it off. Instead I have slowly been plugging away at it for 5.5 years. Why am I stringing it along for so long? Because what the fuck am I going to do once it is finally cleaned, decluttered, and organized? It's become this sick sick game of dangling a carrot in front of me.

Am I afraid of running out of goals?

I am a VERY goal oriented person. Without one in front of me I go flat, get bored, and start to get VERY antsy. This is true with life, triathlon, and work. For some reason my brain is hard wired in such a way that once one major major thing in my life is done and over with, it either can't be repeated or bested without this HUGE sense of dread.

I recall one summer in Provence where I did this AMAZING 4 hour ride through the countryside where I was seeing mountains, abbeys, lavender fields, and these crazy looking fountains and streams all in ONE ride! I went into this funk later that day because to top that would require something...dare I say...epic? (I did climb Mt Ventoux that summer, so I DID in fact top it. Literally! 6K feet anyone?)

I think I decided I took in too much at once and just overwhelmed myself. Its kind of like devouring an amazing steak in 3-4 bites rather than savoring its flavor.

I guess this is why I am happy that I waited until my 4th season to finally tackle the Ironman distance. My curve of exposure to the sport didn't spike so quickly that the falloff of interest was just as fast.

Now that I have "been there done that" with all distances of this sport (again, any tri longer than an Ironman is OUT of the question!) I guess its refocusing on my goals. GET FASTER!... and this is probably why I am happy I made that bet with myself to PR every distance I enter this season. Its another goal built upon other goals.

Moving forward - I don't see Mont Tremblant as this big huge deal in comparison to Placid. Yes, its my triathlon season ender and A+++ race of the year, but all I want do is better my Placid time. I think doing that will give me a greater satisfaction (and motivation) than finishing Placid.

Am I crazy? Weeeelllllll, depends on how you view me ;)

I also can't get Lake Placid out of my head. Maybe I am just looking forward to my coach's training camp in June. 2013 anyone?

Monday, April 2, 2012

It Was A "Character Building" Ride

Here is a new euphemism for you: "Character Building Ride"

Just like a garbage man can be now described as a "waste and refuse removal technician," so can a "way too cold and wet why the fuck did I just ride for 4 hours in the pouring rain until it was pitch black and almost 40 degrees that I was questioning life and why I do this to myself and am I really alive and is this what hell is like? ride" now be described as a "Character Building Ride."

Well, the first 90 mins was dry, but then it just got grosser and grosser and grosser. I had to get in 4 hours and I did! Wound up with 73 miles. But man oh man was that miserable! I thought it was like 52 degrees, turns out it was a LOT colder out:

So, uh, the temp was 50 at the start, but then PLUMMETED!

When I finally finished the ride, my hands and fingers were so numb that I had to use my teeth to A) unzip the gloves and B) to bit down on the glove to remove it. I am not sure I have ever been that cold in my life!

The good news is that my legs felt awesome by the end. I could have done another 2 hours and easily done 112 if I had to. I had a gigantic waffle breakfast with my friends before the ride, then went back afterwards and they served me up some hot and hearty veggie stew. Thank you B & V!!! Hit the spot perfectly.

The last few times I rode in conditions similar to this most recently was the first loop of Lake Placid at my coach's training camp, but then before that in pouring rain and 47 degrees for 3.5 hours when I got bit by that dog.

Hey, at least I didn't get bit by a dog! Oh wait, I did get bit by a dog, well, more like had a soft mouthing on my forearm saying, "Hey! I didn't say you could stop petting me!!!"

Furry explosion!

His name is Bjorn, and unfortunately I couldn't steal him. But he is a gigantic 105 pound softy. I thought he was a bear the first time I saw him! Funny that Bjorn means bear in Norwegian.