Thursday, September 25, 2008

Car Shopping

Volvo died on Tuesday.  Radiator problem, which was really an engine problem.  Fixed the weak point in the radiator which caused the engine to fail.  Darn 1992 Volvo's.  You barely break 320,000 miles and they fail on you. Transmission is till good if someone is looking for a project car.

Matt drove it during the Tango, so he probably would tell you that I am right in just getting rid of it.  I love Volvo's, but based on the difficulty in getting parts and with baby #4 coming, which takes away from the weekend mechanic stuff, I am opting for a newer vehicle.  Locked in on a 1998 Toyota Avalon.  Same engine as my Sienna van, so I know how to work on it, hence learning curve is nil.  Also all leather, which I have started to really like.  I can spill a full Big Gulp on the seat and just wipe it off.  If this doesn't work out I am going to try to find a nice Camry in the early 2000 age range.

I would love to go carbon free sub compact, but 4 kids I need something that can haul people and a little gear.  I tried to talk Tamara into a motorcycle with a two person side car, but she is not too sure I can fit a baby seat in the sidecar.  I always have the Kids bike cart I can hook to the back of the motorcycle, I wonder if those wheels are rated for 55 mph?  

Family Vehicles - Van  WV Style

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Track Workout 7

48 degrees, gloves would have been nice.

5x1000 w 200 rest interval.
Run all 5 at the same pace, the last one should hurt if you did the right pace.

I probably could have pushed a bit harder. Tough to get your splits when it's so dark you can't read your watch.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gauging HR Improvement

Not sure if this was the best test in the world but here it is.
I did an easy 10K tonight and my HR monitor worked well up until the last few minutes.
My average HR was 150.
I went back to mid February and found that same run in nearly the same time.
My average HR was 157.
Obviously it's better but I guess I don't know how much improvement I should be expecting.
Any thoughts?

2008 Savage Man

Savage Man 2008 Video

The second guy to wreck in this video goes backwards first.  Man, we missed a good time!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Running is Fun!

Hero's Run 5k ---  22.04 (yeah, you read that right)   6th Place overall, 1st place 35-39, Personal Record by 1.09.  I will take the Esther approach and say I was running against the virtual SB.

Reality was, I was racing the first place girl.  She had me for about 1 mile, than I passed her, then she put on surge at the end that I was able to hold off, I could hear the foot steps.  She less than 2 seconds behind me.

This was a small race (less than 100), more walkers than runners.  It was as flat as a pancake.  It was held on a Rails to Trails along a river.  Also, they had a 15km race going on at the same time.  I recognized about 4 guys who would have beat me if they had done the 5 km race.

At my current improvement rate, if I run three more races I will go under 20 minutes :).  

This is a fun race.  The proceeds go to a scholarship fund in honor of the first two Greene County, PA residents that were killed in the Iraq war.  The mom & dad of both young men have walked both years.  They encourage everyone as you pass them after the turn around.

They give military water bottles to the top three male & female, with the placing information painted on it.  Then the age groupers get a old rail spike for a trophy.  They also gave away some nice door prices.  

The kid who won the 5k race, he ran about a 19 flat, so the competition was not super intense.  He also was drawn for the grand prize on the raffle, which was two tickets to any where South West Airlines flies.  I had been talking to his mom & dad while the rest of the award ceremony was going on.  His mom was in tears as her sons name was pulled.  Here, the boy does some cyberspace school and the state of WV locks him out of high school athletics because of this.  He is a 9th grader, so he is doing a 5k race every Saturday to have some form of training and program in case WV schools change their mind.  They report the times back to the would be high school coach, who I think is not very happy this kid has been locked out, lots of potential.  His mom was very excited, of course I hope he chooses his mom to accompany him on the trip. 

I think I talked them into doing the Waynesburg Homecoming race in three weeks.  Told them about all the goodies, but they might be spoiled after winning airplane tickets. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Track Workout 6 / Team Name

52 degrees at 5:45 this morning, we are there ready to run.

Jog to the track, then 4 lap warmup.
1200 1:43, 1:44, 1:40 @5K pace
400 rest interval
800 1:39, 1:36 @5K pace
400 rest interval
400 1:20 FAST
200 rest interval
200 :36 FAST
400 rest interval

1200 1:41, 1:46, 1:45 @5K pace
400 rest interval
800 1:37, 1:45 @5K pace
we didn't do the rest interval because of time.
400 1:20 FAST

I got concerned about the time and didn't do the 200. Everything felt good. I still feel as if I'm trying to figure out how hard I can push without blowing up. I find it interesting that both 400's were 1:20.

Our Team Name will be "Tri Hard, Play Harder!"
THPH: pronounced like the Bronx Cheer.
Celebrated with cookies that Todd brought for post workout. Wahoo!

Look who did a triathlon!

I had to post this.  I thought of you Ruth.

Mathew McConaughey Pic A little eye Candy for the Ladies

Not bad for a bunch of celebutards.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Saving Second Base

Much racing was done in NJ/PA last weekend (congrats to all of you!) and NYC was no exception. 25,000+ people joined me (cause I asked them) in the Susan G. Komen 5k walk/run in Central Park.

The best part was the pre-race peptalk by some very special guests (mainly because I was sitting down through it.) 

My favorite was Stephen Colbert who said "I hope I'm running behind someone who is very slow" and also (i paraphrase) "when you feel you're running out of breath, repeat my mantra 'I'm Kenyan, I'm Kenyan' ". Good and funny mantra. I also liked his Jazz rendition of the National Anthem. It was good!

It was a cool start. They had confetti for both the runners' wave and the walkers' wave. 
I started w the walkers since I knew I could not run the whole distance yet. I walked the first mile and saw a runner merge in with the walkers so I thought, well if one person is only jogging 1 mile, I can do that too. When I reached mile 2, I started my week 5 workout: 5min jog, 3 min walk times 3. 
I wondered how far that would take me. In the workout it says that 5 minutes should be 1/2 mile. HA.
I ran/walked a 16 minute mile! I know you're all shaking your heads. But hey, it was good for me. I jogged for 5 more minutes and walked for the rest of mile 3 (though I did jog across the finish line)

With the mile two workout, my total walk/jog time was 56.23. Lots of room for improvement :)

In mile 3, the woman who started next to me caught up with me, she had walked the whole thing. And a coworker told me today that her 74 year old mom walked the whole thing in 40 minutes. AWESOME. So yeah I'm also a slow walker.  But it's all good. I enjoyed the sights and sounds, zigzagging across a sea of pink and white and some very clever team names. This is a family blog so I won't illustrate. You'll just have to participate next year!

Keep it up y'all. You inspire me!

Gonna miss the Fun

Missing out on the SavageMan this weekend.  Look at the fog in the beginning and the people falling off the bikes from last year.  Looks Brutal.

Maybe next year.

Training Plan / Swim Plan / Crossmen / 10K

I'm currently planning my workouts on a 2 hard weeks, 1 easy week, schedule. I'm also using the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Plan as my guideline to get me to the Philadelphia Race.

Even tho' I'm saying that I'm doing hard weeks, I've decided it's time to go slow in the pool. I'm totally inconsistent and it's because of my form. So we are breaking out the Rich Strauss quote "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast".
I've been in the zone swimming from time to time. I get what he's saying. It's time to become consistent. At music school, I remember my teacher telling me to always finish my practice sessions playing something perfectly with great technique. Then when you pick up the horn again for the next session, you are more likely to pick up where you left off. I can definitely say that I haven't been doing that for the majority of my swim practices. I get tired, I fall apart, I fight my way through the workout and off I go. I'm going to try like crazy, not to practice bad form. If I'm slow, I'm slow. I'll break when necessary. Hopefully it will pay off.
Speaking of music...
After our pool swim on Saturday, Genine and Maija saw me staring across the road in what looked like deep thought to Maija. Genine looked and said, "he's just focused on the marching band rehearsal across the street". Ah yes, a side of Matt that not too many people know about, and if they do know, they don't understand.... Drum Corps! I was just thinking back to 1989 Crossmen. <--YouTube Video. Through an entire summer of bad nutrition, lack of sleep and daily 18 hour rehearsals/shows, I was probably in the best shape of my life... until now. Here is a picture of me after the Erie PA show.

Just to prove it was the 80's, here I am wearing my Crossmen Tour Jacket. I'm sure I've still got that in a closet somewhere. I should break out that jacket and walk over to that band rehearsal. I believe the director of Bridgewater/Raritan HS marched baritone with me in '89. I'm sure he'd get a laugh out of it. Maybe not as much of a laugh as this picture might bring...

Good times! Good times..... Ha ha!

OK, where was I...
Later that afternoon, the scheduled run Saturday was a 5K race. Well I had done a 5K race at the Buckman so I didn't feel that I needed to do that again. Craig commented awhile back when we were talking pace calculators that given his 5K pace he should be running under 50min for 10k's and yet he hasn't done that yet. I haven't either. Obviously not pushing ourselves hard enough on this run. So I figure once I get to the mile mark, if I'm feeling good I'll continue into a fast 10K. It went well and I finished in 47:46. woo woo!

Lastly, I want to say how fun it was to go watch/photograph Maija and Genine's Skylands race. Genine was very concerned about biking up the huge hills, she didn't mention the down hills. She was also very determined not to let Maija down. KB2 will not be defeated!
I only wish I could have been on that stretch of road to see Genine bomb that hill!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

KB2=Money Making Machine/ Genine's Skylands Race Report

Today was a first in that I was the one racing and Matt was staff photographer. It was also the first race of the season that we did not have to get up at 3:30am. (And there was much rejoicing!) A 9:30am start time allowed us to sleep until 6:00am – leaving our house at 7:00am to meet Maija at Spruce Run State Park at 7:30am for packet pick up. The morning was extremely hot and humid – high 70’s at race start & reaching the mid 90’s by race end. Ugh! I thought summer was supposed to be over. Oh well!

While Maija & I went to packet pick-up, Matt made a few last minute adjustments to my bike, adding his repair kit to my bike. We then got things set up in transition and headed to the beach. The air was so thick and sticky. I felt badly for all the people in their wetsuits waiting to start the swim. (The water was just cool enough to be wetsuit legal @76 degrees, although many swam without them.) I waited until Maija had to head to the “corral” for her wave’s swim start, wished her good luck and then walked back up to transition to wait for her. I knew it wouldn’t be long and I wanted to be ready. I learned my lesson from the Mooseman where I was franticly trying to get back to transition & get ready to meet Esther. That would not happen today. I was ready to go when Maija arrived. At this race we got to exchange the time chip at our transition spot. I pulled it off Maija’s ankle, put it on mine, grabbed my bike and ran out to begin my first race on my road bike.

As I began, I was a bit anxious about a few things. First- I have never ridden this course before. Matt & I drove it in the car last weekend so I was familiar with it, but that’s not the same as riding it. It’s only 14.5 miles, but there are 3 very big hills that make Devil’s Hill seem like a kid’s course. Would I be able to make it? And with big uphills come big downhills, which as you know also make me nervous. Yikes! Secondly- This was my first ride with my new shoes and pedals. I practiced last night for over an hour on our neighborhood streets clipping in & out at the stop signs-over & over again. I felt pretty confident, but you never know. I guess it was mostly race time nerves or performance anxiety. Whatever it was, the time had come to workout it out on the bike and prove to myself that I could do it. After all, I am a warrior! (a little IntenSati reference there!)

In the first 3-5 miles of every bike ride, I have found that my legs are screaming at me and I am sucking wind. Today was no different. The beginning of the course was a slight incline followed by some rolling hills. I was working the kinks out and passed a few people in the process. By the time I started feeling good, I made the turn and saw the big hills in front of me. Gulp! Many people were off their bikes and walking. Let’s hear it for the granny gear! Even in the smallest ring, these 3 consecutive hills were a beast. In my head I was counting each stroke of the pedal trying to keep a slow but steady cadence (about 52-54). As I have on my previous bike races this year, I found myself chanting my affirmations in my head when things got tough. I have found that it truly helps me to focus and stay positive about the seemingly daunting task before me. Believe me there was a lot of chanting happening today! Ok, first hill done then a small plateau before the second big incline. Second hill done, then a few rollers, round the curve and hit the last long hill. It was near the end of this last hill that the biker from the other female relay team passed me. Oh no…not today!! I kept her in my sight and as we reached the top of the hill, I passed her. Then on the next turn & rollers, she passed me again! Grrr! I was determined to finish before her to give Maija the advantage on the run start. It was then that the big down hills started. As you all know- big down hills scare me...a lot. Well, apparently not when my competitive juices on surging! The longest & steepest of the down hills was a straight shot on a 2-lane highway. Plenty of room to pass and that’s just what I did! I threw caution to the wind and began to channel Shawn. Wahoo!! I barreled down the hill reaching a max speed of 45mph!!! OMG!! Needless to say, she did not pass me again. I finished the rest of the course with strong legs and gave it all I had. I rode back into the park to the cheers of Esther, Armando and Matt (thanks guys!), met Maija in transition to transfer the chip and she was off on the run. My final time for the bike was 51:20. I had the 9th fastest bike time out of 17 relay teams. I finished with a respectable time and for that I am thankful.

KB2 rocked the house today! We finished first in the female relay teams and 3rd overall relay. We definitely kicked butt! ☺ Thanks to Maija for being an incredible race partner! You Rock!! I had so much fun today and would love to see more relays in our future ($$$)! ☺ Thanks to Esther and Armando for biking out to the race to cheer us on! It’s nice to see a familiar face in the crowd. And of course thanks to Matt for being my driver, tech support, photographer and most of all cheerleader! You’re the best!

Here’s the link to today’s race results:

Here is the link for the pics:
Link for Slideshow

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Shawn's 5K

As previously stated, we participated in our 5K today. Close to 100 people showed up for this event, some serious, but many of them, maybe 25 or so, were from our "beginner's" running class at the Y.

Here are the results.

I warmed up by running a few drills outside in the parking lot to get some blood in the old legs. The start was similar to the Tango, with a big clump of people lining up and someone yells "Go." I chose to take the sidewalk while the majority of the crowd went down the road. This gave me an open shot to barrel down the hill like a runaway truck. Despite this, there were some runaway Ferraris there who were going even faster. My first mile was quite fast, as expected in this race, then we all settled into our paces for the rolling (mostly rolling up) hills to come. Because of my high speed in the beginning, a few smaller people began to pass me as we ascended the first long hill. I was undaunted, and did not walk at all in this race. Strangely (or maybe not), at about the halfway point, three very large men all ended up running together. One was me. All of us were 6'4" or taller. I decided I was going to try to beat them. I think they had the same idea. Well, we battled back and forth, me taking them on the downs, and them passing me back on the ups. I was between them as we crested the last hill. Lucky for me, the last half-mile is down, so I decided I better "drop the hammer" there. It is more like dropping a kids' plastic toy hammer, but I did speed up to some extent. Well, the guy behind me didn't catch up after that, and I caught up to the guy in front of me, but he was determined to drop his plastic toy hammer as well, so he was hot on my heels for the last 400 meters. I gave it all I had, and crossed the line one second ahead of him. Woohoo! Thanks for the motivation, John.

I recorded my best ever 5K time (first one, see) at 27.53. I made it under a 9:00 mile pace! Any of you who have been reading since the beginning must remember how I used to think 12 minute miles were never gonna happen.

It went well. Banner day all around. When's the half marathon?

State College YMCA 5K

Amy here. I think Matt might need to add me to the blog to be a poster. Anyhoo, the bottom line is: all three family members ran the 5K today and all finished. A teeny, tiny accomplishment compared to all that appears on this amazing blog, but an accomplishment nonetheless.

It was incredibly humid this morning but the rain held off until the afternoon. Even though he has done two Olympic tris, this was Shawn's first actual 5K as well, so we were all in this together. Er, ahem, that is, until about 2 seconds after the word GO. At that point, I was immediately dusted by a giant herd of people and tried hard not to get in anybody's way. But, I kept running, knowing that this was the downhill part and I may as well give it some juice straightaway. Let's call that a "rookie mistake" as that nearly did me in, lead-pipe legs ensued pretty quickly after the turn to the uphill. Things started to turn pretty desolate around the 1.5 mile mark, couldn't see a soul ahead of me, tumbleweeds whipping around my ankles, etc. The good news: the first mile was 11 mins and change (forgot to look right at the mile marker) but that is where the good news ends. Had to walk a good deal but ultimately finished with a sad, pathetic personal best for the course: 43:17. The best news, I was not dead last!

The race director is running this class we took to prepare for this race again, through October and November, culminating in another 5K around Thanksgiving time. I'm in for that one, as well. Last New Year's Eve my goal was to run in the NYEve 2008 into 09 5K, so it's nice to know that goal has been bumped up by a few months. I look for that to be the third race we do, which is kinda cool.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Special day at the track

Ok- So i read about your last track workout... and of course was very inspired to go to the track.  Today was my last day on week 4 of the "couch to 5k" (moving onto week 5) so I was even more pumped than usual.  I thought about running without any socks in solidarity with Matt but then I thought, why? I don't even own a bike yet. My time will come.
When I got to the Riverbank State Park Track I saw that it was extremely crowded. On closer inspection I saw that none of the regulars were there, but a large group of people with color coordinated t-shirts. It was some sort of Special Olympics event. I was told that the track was closed for the next few hours and I could run around the park, which I did. 
It was a nice break from the monotony of the track, though the hard pavement was tough on my calves. I did some small ramps up and down and a few stairwells (my poor knees) After my trusty timex told me I was done, I decided to go back to the track to check out the action. 

I got there at the right time.  They were doing the 100m finals and were getting ready to do the 400m relays.

I walked around to try to figure out who these athletes were or what this event was. There were no signs at the awards table. Their t-shirts told me they came from different parts of the Metro area and represented several centers.  It was a low key, low tech event with lots of love and laughter to go around.  A young man told me he was going to "smoke the track." He and his teammates were pumped. Their coach told them they should jump around for some warm up and the giggles started. I found their laughter infectious. I had to see their relay race.

Ok- the 100m. Some of these guys were FAST. I was surprised at the age of the athletes, some were much older than me and yet, man, FAST.  

There were enough teams to have two relay races. The athletes received reminders on how to pass the baton (to me it looked like a drummer's stick) and that they needed to stay in their lane.  I saw the team I was cheering for, they had tied-dyed t-shirts and were from Brooklyn.

Someone yelled GO! GO! And everyone was off.  Some batons were dropped, some lanes were crossed, some athletes kept running once they gave the baton to their teammates, some started before getting the baton. Pandemonium in some lanes and yet, the cheers coming from the stands could not be any louder and the excitement spread.  
The teams that won blew me away. You could tell they had been training for a long time and really had their strategy together.  I was again reminded that with patience and perseverance anything is possible.  I congratulate all the athletes I saw at the track today and wish them success with their future training. 
As I was leaving a young girl waved to me and pointed to her t-shirt. I asked, did you run today? She shook her head and said, I'm going to try out Monday. You go, girl! Go! Go!

ps. I want to thank Ramon for offering me a medal. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Track Workout 5 / Philly Half Marathon

Our group isn't letting the lack of daylight slow us down, all 6 of us were at the track this morning. Here's the workout.

5x 400 1:45.8, 1:49.2, 1:50.3, 1:44.6, 1:40.5 = 8:50.4 footpod measured 1.271 miles
4x 400 1:39.7, 1:46.7, 1:44.4, 1:46.6 = 6:57.4 footpod measured 1.014 miles
3x 400 1:41.2, 1:41.9, 1:42.2 = 5:05.3 footpod measured .740 miles
2x 400 1:38.2, 1:39.1 = 3:17.3 footpod measured .509 miles
1x 400 1:27.1 footpod measured .246 miles
There was a 400 rest interval after each of those.
I put the footpod info there just to give people an idea of the accuracy of it.

Also, after the race Sunday we had talked about doing the Philly Half Marathon. I asked again this morning if that still sounded like a good plan. I think 4 of us are in and the other 2 are still considering it. Armando is signed up for the full Marathon.
It's 10 weeks away, what do you think Shawn? Here's the plan to get you there.

Armando mentioned he plans on dropping 10 pounds before the marathon. I'm also on a plan that I'm hoping will get me down 8-10 from where I am now. Maybe every time I stray from my diet, I'll make myself carry 5 pound hand weights for my scheduled run. Ha ha! (Shawn is reading this thinking "why only 5's?".)

Lastly, as you might have read on the other's blogs, we cannot seem to come up with a good name for our Tri Team. Please feel free to make some suggestions. Don't be offended when we don't choose it. We seem to be incredibly picky.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Gear for Genine

Genine and I went to go riding last night, during rush hour. We won't make that mistake again. We got to a stop sign and needed to cross the road to continue our route, we waited for about 4 or 5 minutes without a break that would allow us to cross. Genine's been having trouble with her feet cramping up, we think her shoes are the wrong fit. So I suggest we give up fighting traffic and go to the bike shop to look for some road shoes for her.
We wanted to have the shifting on her bike tuned up anyhow. The shifting of the front rings hasn't been as smooth as it should be and she has dropped the chain a few times as a result. We can't have those types of problems for Team KB2 this weekend.
I dropped my bike off as well. I can't seem to figure out how to adjust/clean my front brake to allow it to open properly. It just doesn't snap full open when released, so I've been leaving the brake almost completely open recently. It still works as a brake, I'd just like that extra clearance back.
While I was checking the bikes into the repair shop, Genine was being fitted for road shoes.
This is what she ended up with. Shimano R099. She was pleased with them because the colors matched her bike so well.... Oh, and because it's a men's shoe, they really fit much better than the other pair. It gave her just a bit more width. Of course these shoes aren't compatible with the pedals that are currently on her bike. (which we were going to change at some point in the future anyway). So we upgraded her to a Look style cleat and the Shimano 105 pedals.
I think her feet are going to be much more comfortable in the new shoes this weekend.

Matt's Buckman Race Report....LONG

Well I was hoping to break my habit of only getting about 4-5 hours of sleep before a race. No such luck.
As many of you know. The day before the race (Saturday) we had heavy rains because of the hurricane.
Problem 1: Our roof was leaking in our bedroom onto our bed. This had never happened before. So we had to sleep in the guest bedroom. Which was just different enough to make it feel like we had traveled and had to sleep in a hotel.
Problem 2: I had thought I might escape having to deal with water in our basement. Not to be, I have quite a line of defense in the basement to deal with the major issues but eventually there are a couple spots where it slowly rises through the floor and you just have to mop or shop-vac it out. There have been times where I would set my alarm to wake me every hour to do this. Fortunately it wasn’t that bad, but I was up until 10-10:30 dealing with this and had to clean up again in the morning before we left.
Problem 3: I didn’t want to put the bikes on the car to be rained on all night. So I had to leave time to load them up in the morning.
Problem 4: They canceled packet pickup, so everyone was going to be picking up in the morning. Guess it’s only 200 people and I prefer to be there early anyhow.

So I was up at 3:30-3:45 for a race that was 20-30 minutes from the house. 5 hours sleep.

5AM. Pull up to the entrance of the park. It’s still closed. Surprisingly enough, we are directly behind Maija.
Once we get into the park, we grab our flashlights to look for the transition area and packet pickup. We got our race packet easily and eventually figured out where the transition area was set up. Maija was glad to see that the prime location was still available. So we setup a bit wide so that we could compress down for others from our group if they show up too late. There looked to be plenty of rack space available for the 200 racers so it really wasn’t a big deal that we did this.
Bob and Todd arrive and rack along side us as well. It’s nice to have your friends right there at the race. Maija was helping people get their wetsuits on properly, Todd was explaining how the trick to his Gatorade Aero Bottle is he adds the powder but doesn’t mix it up. That way the first few chugs are super concentrated!! Ha Ha!
So about 30 minutes from the race start, this guy walks up to me and asks what time it is. He had forgotten his bike shoes and was trying to decide if he could make it home and back in time. Well Genine had her bike there and she has the clip-on that have a platform pedal on one side. So I ask if he’d rather just take the pedals off of her bike. He says that sounds like a good plan. So Genine takes the allen key set and they head off to the car. Sadly the pedals have never been removed and they weren’t going to be removed now either. Genine thought she was going to break the wrench!!! So he went flying off to meet his wife at a halfway point to get his shoes.
Genine saw him just before his wave start. He said it was frantic but he made it!! He also found me after the race and thanked me for trying to help.

Oh right, this is a race report. I should create 2 posts next time. The pre-race report and then a race report.

.5-mile swim: Clockwise swim so buoys on my right the whole time. Which is the side I prefer to breathe to so that’s good. Water is warm, supposedly just wetsuit legal. He explains because of all the troubles during swims this year, he is going to disqualify anyone that swims over people. If contact is made he wants slower swimmers to move to the right to allow the other person to pass on their left. Or something like that… So I’m there thinking, every swim I’ve done this year I’ve been in these groups of people that can’t break away from each other. Not to mention I have no clue where I should be lining up in relation to others. Typically I’ve been going to the front and just accepted that better swimmers will be going by me. This time I stayed towards the middle or back of the pack to start.
It was very shallow early, so many people kept standing up to walk/run in front of me. So I felt that in the first 100 yards or so I was just running into people and dodging around them. By 300 yards in I started to get the feeling I am swimming all alone. It looked like there were a number of people 50 yards ahead of me and 50 yards behind me. I had this odd feeling that I had been dropped by my entire wave. I think this is because I always pull to the left, so I was constantly going wide and having to correct. So I was thinking I must have gone further off line than I had thought. Ah well, nothing to do about it. Just sight more often the rest of the way. Once I rounded the buoy that sent us back to shore, I didn’t see any other buoys to sight by. I just had to use the large lifeguard chair on the beach as my guide. I still had nobody around me… until the last 50 yards. Maija started 3 minutes behind me in wave 2 and we were both coming out of the water at the same time.

My swim result 16:28 48/180 overall
For Comparison, Maija’s 13:30 was 10th overall

T1: I’m guessing this may be the most eventful transition I will ever have.

It was a bit of a run from the water to the transition area. As I’m running along, I hear Maija say “There’s something wrong with my wetsuit!!” I check the back of her wetsuit and see that she’s got about 3-4 inches still to unzip but it’s folded over on itself so it was a bit of a trick to get undone. My wetsuit being the 2-piece Desoto comes off totally differently. I need to ask Maija if she would have preferred that I help her pull the sleeves. The pictures are kind of funny. Looks like a Houdini straitjacket stunt. Genine’s favorite picture of the day is the close up of Maija after the zipper is finally down. Maija’s expression instantly goes to being very focused. As we run into the transition area they tell Maija she’s the 2nd female and that the 1st had just left transition.
Once we get to our bikes. I realize I didn’t actually set my shoes up the way I typically do. Lost a couple seconds there. Maija is pulling her bike off the rack to head out and next thing I know, the whole rack is going over!! I tell her to keep going. Todd’s bike is tipped way over to the side as a result and his aero bottle is slowly pouring water into Maija’s running shoes. I get that straightened out, grab my bike and go.

T1: 2:41
Maija was out in 1:47

The 17 mile Bike:
So Majia picked up the full 3 minutes on me during the swim. Bob and Todd started 6 minutes behind and are both capable of having made up 3 minutes as well. I’m going to have to work hard to keep them behind me. Because of the rain last night there was quite a bit of debris on the course. I was riding further out in the road than I typically would because of that. The biggest problem with that would be when people would need to pass. I just expected people would yell out to me as they were approaching. I was passed by plenty of people but I think I only heard “on your left” twice the entire ride. I found that odd. Anytime I’m about to pass someone, I want them to know I’m there, I don’t want them to turn out into me is all…
About 5 miles into the ride, I see Maija standing along side the road with her bike. I asked if she was ok and she says her tire blew out. (Tubular). I was slowing down as if I could help somehow, she knew I couldn’t and yelled, “Go go go!” When I got to the next turn I yelled to the volunteer, they need to send a vehicle to pick up a flat.
I felt like every time I got to a hill someone would get past me. Unfortunately there were a lot of hills. So I started moving further to the right on the climbs, eventually I realized with all the junk on the sides of the road that this was a really bad idea.
It wasn’t until the hill climb at the end of course that I thought about the fact I haven’t seen Bob or Todd yet. I think that actually gave me an extra bit of focus getting up those hills.
I didn’t think of this until after the race. But I took 2 bottles of Gatorade on the bike. It was a cool day, I drank maybe a quarter of one bottle and a GU. I shouldn’t have taken a 2nd bottle around that course with me, it was just extra weight on a hilly course.

17 miles 56:33 51/180 18mph
Bob 55:40 45/180 18.3mph
Todd 54:59 38/180 18.6mph

T2: 1:07
Ruth and the C5ers would be proud. They still give me grief about my T2 at Mooseman.
Rack the bike, lose the helmet, change shoes, (NO SOCKS!!) and RUN… As I was running through transition I actually checked a 2nd time to make sure I took my helmet off. Ha ha!

The 5K run:
I wasn’t 3 minutes into the run and I was already thinking about how I haven’t done a true brick in quite awhile. I knew it would get better soon, just keep pushing! Well my legs were feeling better but my chest was feeling tight just below the ribs… right where my HR monitor is!!! Off it goes, I guess I tightened up the strap too much. That problem is solved but the I can feel the inside of my left heel is being rubbed raw. 9 minutes into the run I had to stop and just scoop along side my foot to see if there was a rock or sand just sitting there. It was really bothering me. Nothing there to remove, just blood. Keep going… I’m now adjusting how I’m holding that foot as I run…. Stop.. check again, there has to be something in there!! Nothing! Try tightening the bungee! Keep going… Now I’m trying to think what I can do to get through this. I’m definitely running slower because of it. As I reach the water station at the beach, I realize I’ve got my headband on. (yes I know very 80’s). I pull it off and shove it into the side of my shoe to stop the chaffing. Oh man! That is so much better. One more lap and it’s in the books. I definitely felt like I was running much better now. As I’m approaching the beach I see Genine running towards the finish to get in place for the photo. Ha ha! Then as I’m just about to turn onto the sand for the run across the beach, the crowd starts cheering for the guy behind me. I realize he’s gunning for me and realize I’ve got another gear. Turns out it was some crazy 4 wheel drive kind of gear, running on the beach isn’t easy, it felt like my legs were flying all different directions…. He edged me out by one second. He turned and congratulated me on a good finish, very nice guy. I looked up his number from the pictures. #183 Doug Eiel, Relay Team, he had just run a 20:14 5K. Nice work.

5K 24:27 51/180 7:54 pace
Bob 23:42
Todd 24:42

I was fairly certain both Bob and Todd had beaten me. I forgot to look at my time as I crossed. Ha! It definitely didn’t feel like 6 minutes had gone by.
Maija was also out on the run course now. She had turned in her chip but figured she may as well knock out the run for a workout. You can find her race report here.

Final Result:
Matt 47/180 Overall 1:41:14 10/24 of Age group. 38/117 Male
Bob 32/180 Overall 1:37:11 5/17 of Age Group M40-44 29/117 Male
Todd 37/180 Overall 1:38:04 6/17 of Age Group M40-44 33/117 Male
Claudia 87/180 Overall 1:50:42 3/12 of Age Group F35-39 23/63 Female

Wahoo! Our friend Claudia made the Age Group Podium!

We went out to a diner nearby afterwards to celebrate. Which was very nice.

It was a very fun race. I would definitely do this race again next year.
Genine's pictures from the race. The slideshow of those shots.

Pascack Valley tri addendum

Somebody asked for photos of Dave's bike at Pascack. Slacker that I am, I did not take a camera, however the Freeze Frame Sports folks did an excellent job!

You can see Dave on his fixie at

I could not find one of Alexa 'cause I kept getting logged off. But I'm sure she's in there!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Buckman Graphs

Buckman Swim HR graph

Buckman Bike, red HR, Blue speed, brown elevation, pink cadence.
The Cadence meter has quite a few dropouts. (wireless)

Buckman Run. Speed and elevation. I pulled off my HR strap about a mile into the run. So I didn't bother including it in this picture

Buckman Sprint Results/ Photos

Here are the results. I took 47th. More later!

I just posted up the photos from the Buckman onto my flickr site.

Slideshow is here

Pascask tri report

Well, it's been a while since the Mooseman but there's no going back only forward (though you haven't seen me with a kickboard...I swear I go backwards. Matt, I feel your pain.)

We just got back from the first annual Pascack sprint tri and I must say it was a very pleasant experience all around. It was only about a 40 minute drive from NYC which meant we would not have to get up at 3am. BONUS! The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

It was small, I'd say about 200 participants but very laid back and supportive. The main base was the Stonybrook Swim Club in Hillsdale, NJ. It was really nice, with five (yes) five outdoor pools: an olympic size where most of the waves were held WITH a water slide, a 25 m pool (wave 1 insisted they swim there away from the plebes), 2 big kiddie pools , and an infinity pool. If you live around the area the Swim club is worth checking out,  though I don't know if they'd be open through the winter. The water was divine today. I'd say 76-78 degrees (no Newfoundland Lake flashbacks here!)

Our transition area was right next to the pool on the grass (nice on the bare feet but poor groundskeeper!)

We didn't have timing chips so I took it upon myself and my handy IRONMAN timex (everyone should have one of these) to keep track of our legs.

Our unofficial times were:
me- swim: 8:20 (personal best w 1/2 breast stroke...will i ever be able to do this w just Crawl?)
Dave- bike: 34:24 (on his fixie!)
Alexa- run: 33:15

To give us a total time of 1:16:02 ---   GO TEAM!!!! You're awesome.  Lidia, we missed you much but Dave did us proud!

We didn't have transition times because they said as soon as you see your teammate enter the transition area you can do your leg. So it was very laid back which made it very relaxed and fun.

This was the first chance I've had to observe other swimmers race in such proximity (other than the recent Olympics and of course that's not the same thing.) I was in one of the last waves (17), they had about 20 waves so I got to see almost everybody. It was cool. There were all sorts of levels. Some people did breast stroke, side stroke, backstroke, some people even walked a bit ... like the guy who came in IN FRONT OF ME (sigh) It was nice and inspirational. There was even a little kid (who did all three events.) He couldn't have been more than 12 years old. WOW. 

 300m is not long at all for a swim but I always feel ready to *really* go at it AFTER I finish that distance.  Anybody feel the same? Perseverance, I know.

So if they hold this race again, I certainly recommend it to anyone, specially a beginning Triathlete, the relaxed atmosphere made it a great experience. The only thing that could have made this better would have been to integrate the Water Slide somehow. I'll have to see if they are open to suggestions. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rainy Afternoon in NJ

Genine went to her intensati class from 8-9. I checked out the weather report. Rain was going to hit us at about 2. It was hot and humid out, I really didn't want to go for my short run but I did. No Socks, when I think back to the Bassman race, I had a ton of sand on my feet and they survived that run. So I'm guessing it won't be a problem.
A big 1.5 miles, basically a warmup, stretch, then some quick race pace stuff to remind my feet what I'm expecting from them tomorrow. Then back to the house totally soaked, it's crazy humid!!!

Genine and I met Maija and Esther over at the Y just after noon. We did Maija's Pre-Race swim routine. Which I will have to ask her for, so I can post it.
Genine was doing really well. I have a feeling she's going to be faster than me sooner than later if she keeps at this. (not that being faster than me is some great feat..)

Spend a relaxing afternoon around the house. Of course if we get a bunch of rain in a hurry, I'll be curious to see if my basement gets water in it.
Next thing I know, Genine is telling me the roof is leaking, in the bedroom, onto the bed. UGH!! I had found out last year that the previous owner had the roof replaced and when the first rain came, it leaked into every room of the house. The installers didn't do any of the flashing!! So they came back and put tar onto all the seams of the roof. I found this out last summer when the roof leaked into our living room. So I went around and put new tar down everywhere. I'll be curious to see how it's leaking into the bedroom. I'm starting to think a new roof properly installed is in my future. $$.
Oh, So far no water in the basement.

There was no packet pickup today because of the rain. So they suggest to bring a flashlight tomorrow at 5AM. There will be about 200 racers.
I'm in the first wave, Maija is 2nd, Todd and Bob 3rd, Claudia 4th. Maija says there is 5 minutes between each wave. If I have a bad swim/T1, Maija could be on the bike before me. The 10-15 minute head start on the others might be enough that I can stay ahead. (I haven't looked at their results to know if I'm right or wrong about this) I'll try not to be too discouraged if I hear someone say "Hey Matt, looking good" as they catch me/pass me. Ha ha!
It's going to be fun either way. We are looking at going to a diner after the race. Then we will go ride the bike course for next weekend's race, Skylands. Genine and Maija are a team for that one. I haven't decided if I'm going to race it or just be the photographer for the day.

Genine will be taking pictures tomorrow, we will post them ASAP.
Oh, Majia is defending her title at this one. Good Luck Maija!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Taper for Buckman

Other than a lack of running miles. I feel like I've been going pretty hard the last few weeks. So it was no surprise to me that I didn't decide to run after work last night, never mind that it was 92 degrees out, then I fell asleep around 9PM. I figured I'd run in the morning.
Well how about sleeping in instead...6:30AM. I feel really good now that I've slept well.

I was actually getting somewhat concerned that I'm doing to much leading into race day. I really backed off the training for all the other races this year. Well, if I look at it closely I didn't have a choice.
1) Bassman: My lower back was very problematic right up to the day of the race. Training wasn't possible.
2) Brooklyn Half: only had 5 days to recover from Bassman. Major pain just hours after.
3) Mooseman: Still recovering from the Brooklyn Half. Had considered switching to relay.
4) Morgantown: I looked at the blog to see where I was for this one. I was still talking about surviving the races on June 20th. So I guess I still wasn't 100%.
5) Tango: I was nervous about hurting myself at this one but it turned out to be a good test and confidence builder.

I have to say I'm regretting not making it to the brick workout on the course a couple weekends ago. One more time around the bike course would have helped me get a feel for when the good times to push are.
I am looking forward to being back in the wetsuit. I've been feeling awfully slow at the pool lately. I hope that with the super-suit on, I can put up a good time.

Anyhow, I'm feeling confident and I'm going to find out how I feel going with a short taper.
Should be fun!

Swimming Bear vs Dolphin

It appears MC has been dubbed Swimming Bear (SB).  I have heard this before, but I see where others are openly referring to him as this. 

So, on with Swimming Bear vs Dolphin.  I was watching a show with my kids yesterday, FETCH! w/Ruff Ruffman on PBS.  They had a 12 yr old little boy try to compete against a dolphin.  They were in the Dolphin's pool (so the dolphin had home pool advantage).  The kid was actually a pretty good little swimmer.   It took him 1:53 to swim the perimeter of the pool.  The dolphin did it in 9 seconds.  The dolphin could have lapped the boy 12 times.  So, the question is could Swimming Bear only get lapped 11 times by the dolphin. :)   Just to walk into another subject, would Esther only get lapped 10 times racing the dolphin pretending it was a virtual SB.

Just food for thought.  Ultimately I bring this up because SJV always says if he could just learn to swim like a dolphin.  Let's say that the little boy & dolphin was swimming a 100 yds.  I calculate Shawn could do the TANGO swim in 6 mins and 24 seconds, if he actually could swim like a dolphin based on the what I saw from a real Dolphin.

Of course in my scenario, Shawn still wouldn't win the TANGO because Toby would gain more during the half marathon than Shawn would gain on the Dolphin Swim.  

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Overtraining Article from NY Times

Link to Article.

I think this was my favorite quote.

“Athletes are obsessed and gullible,” Dr. Keteyian said. “They will do anything they can to improve their performance and they don’t know when to stop.”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Couple snapshots from the watch

Here is the Round Valley Trail Run with Maija Saturday.
X Axis set to Distance.

Here is the bike ride before the party Sunday

Track Workout 4

4:45 AM Alarm goes off. I really didn't feel like getting up. 5AM alarm goes off again...
OK, I've gotta do this.

5:45 AM... Armando,Maija, Todd, Bob, and I are at the track.
Armando has the Half Iron Saturday, the rest of us are doing the Buckman Sprint on Sunday. So it was a pace workout. I probably ran the first set too hard.

8 x 400m @ 10K pace with 200m rest interval
1:42, 1:40, 1:40, 1:38, 1:37, 1:34, 1:35, 1:30

400m rest interval

4 x 200m all out with 200m rest interval
:40, :41, :38, :38

It will be interesting to see how much of a zombie I am at Masters Swimming tonight at 8-9:30. A GU with caffeine might be the part of the pre workout meal.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Workouts and the Labor Day Bike and BBQ

Friday morning, Swimming with Bob, Claudia and Esther. 60 minutes of trying to keep up with the 3 of them. So maybe I only did 350 on the 400's just so I was at least on the same set they were on most of the time. :-)

I went trail running with Maija and her dog Frito on Saturday while Genine went riding.
Phew! There was one hill that was possibly more steep than that hill on the Morgantown run. I think it was longer as well. And just like the race, I had to walk. I'll download the file and check the elevation to get a better idea about the hills.
This is a run I should be doing more often. I'll have to work at making that happen.
Day 2 of 60+ minutes of trying to keep up.

Sunday 1PM Bike ride. Bob, Peter and I are the only ones that were able to make the bike ride. So instead of doing my route which was going to be 28 miles, I let Peter lead the ride because he knows the area so well.
Bob did IronMan Lake Placid in July, Peter is preparing to do IronMan New Zealand. We did 38 miles, which surprisingly enough is my longest ride ever. As I'm sure you could have guessed. I spent over 2 hours trying to keep up. It was a really nice ride tho'. The weather was fantastic.

After the ride, get back to the house, take a quick shower and crank up the tunes for the BBQ! I'm guessing we had about 26 people over. Great group of people, very fun time.

Monday, Genine and I did a quick ride in the evening, about 14 miles. After the first few minutes of the ride, I let Genine catch up and let her lead the ride. I was tired and I missed my place at the back of the pack. :-)

It was a great weekend. Thanks everyone!