Thursday, July 30, 2009

Timing is Everything

Having looked at the elevation profile of the run course and finding it hillier than I remembered, then thinking back to Casey saying "That course was just uphill and more uphill" or something to that effect, I am actually concerned about our intrepid team making the 3-hour deadline. That right there is going to be the race for us, either way. If we beat the deadline, then I say we're home free. If we miss the cut, then it's over. We will bust our humps to make it, of course, but our humps may not be big enough to hold all the energy we need to make this on time.

I know it seems hard to imagine for anyone who runs that this course couldn't be completed in 3 hours, but I assure you we will be running nearly the whole time, and we will still be pushing the clock.

It would be best if it isn't terribly hot in the morning. What other variables beyond my control can I also wish for?

I'm ready to race right now!

Just got back from the Y. Didn't swim much, just enough to feel like I'm ready for Saturday.
Let's get this thing rollin!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On the Road

Our plans have changed. Genine and I will be in Warren Wednesday late afternoon/evening. We are staying until Monday morning.

That's the news. See you all soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kinzua Country Tango Trash Talk

Just thought I'd let you guys know that the girls team, KB2 has been dishing trash. It just hasn't hit the blog yet.
I only get one shot at bragging rights this year. I have to beat Maija on the swim....
I think this means I have to try and use fins for as long as I can. Is there any way you guys can meet me at the beach and carry me up to the transition box? I have a feeling my legs aren't going to want to run up that hill. Or is that illegal? :-)

Some inspiration for the Quarter Ton Tango Team

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tango OCD

I'm not positive of all the details here. I do know it would be good to decide some of this beforehand so there are no questions. Maija had to hitchhike a ride from Bart Vashaw to the canoe start last year.
I also didn't see Mrs. Cerra before my swim. I was just kind of hoping they'd arrived while I was waiting for the tag from Craig.
Then of course the Vehicle shuffle. If we take too many cars up. We could be short drivers back into town at the end.
Take a look and make some comments. I'm sure I made mistakes. I wrote it up on the train this morning on the way in.

Shoes, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, nutrition and hydration

Jerry will have Truck with KB2’s Canoe
Matt will have car with Genine’s Bike
Craig will have car with His bike

Matt will drive Genine, Maija, Ellis To the next event
Jerry will drive Michelle to the next event
Craig will drive
Jim will drive? Chris? If we have 5 cars we only have 4 drivers from the Canoe Start.
Does someone need to drive Cindy’s car to Kinzua?

Bike, Bike Shoes, Helmet, Hydration, Tire Pump, Repair kit
Michelle will drive Maija / Ellis / Cindy in the Jetta to next event. Leaving Key for Genine. Genine can load her bike.
Jim / Chris will drive Craig’s vehicle so he can load his bike in.
Jerry Drives Matt to Next Event with Kayak or canoe

Safety Kayak, Wetsuit, Body Glide, Sunscreen, Swim Cap, Goggles, Fins, Hand paddles
Matt leaves Key for Genine. Genine Drives to next event w/ Ellis if Michelle is support
Michelle, Jim or Chris Drives Jerry’s truck to next if Jerry’s a support kayak
Craig drives Jim and Chris to next event

Running shoes, socks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, hydration, nutrition.
Safety Canoes will need to be taken out of the water.
Genine / Ellis ready with Maija’s Running Gear so she can have a quick transition to start Orienteering. Will need to take care of her wetsuit and swim gear for her.
Canoes and Kayaks will need to be brought up from the beach.

Shoes, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, nutrition and hydration
Matt / Craig will have whatever Jim needs ready for him to run
Jerry takes Matt to next
Genine takes Maija & Michelle to next
Craig Takes Chris to next or Chris Take’s Jim’s car?

Canoe in the water ready to go. Paddles, Life Jackets. Hydration, Nutrition
Make sure we have keys for all vehicles to drive back into town.
Who Drives Jerry’s Truck? Jim?
Who Drives Craig’s car? Chris?
Matt has his car


Mile Markers?

Are there mile markers along the 1st run at the Tango?

If not, it might help me to plot the run course and note those myself.

Our team brings new meaning the concept of "Cannonball Run." We need all the help we can get.

Great Finish to a Rainy Race

Not me of course, but Eleanor. She took 2nd in the annual Rainday 1 mile run. She broke 9 mins. It was like a 8:34. Levi was a minute behind her (which was awesome for him). They both took 2 mins off of last years time. I didn't even work with them. Oh, yea Eleanor ran in a pair of sandals because my mom & dad had forgot her tennis shoes in Warren. Just think that probably cost her first Place. Maddy walked the 5k pushing Dinah in a stroller (46 min +) and my mom also walked (near 45 mins, best female 60 and over, she was only 30 seconds behind the 60+ female runner winner).

I ran a 24:55 (8:03 pace). First mile 7:45, Second 8:32, last 1.1 miles 8:35 (translates to a 7:48 pace for the last segment). I got comfortable or I wanted to be comfortable running with the people around me in the second mile. Didn't pay much attention to the watch until I hit the 2nd mile marker, than Ohh crap, this is gonna hurt. Last little hill at the end, I couldn't hang with the two high school kids next to me. I ran a 23:10 at this race last year. Not too disappointed, would have liked to be closer to 24, didn't plan to rock the world at this race or go for any kind of PR, too hilly.

Important stuff. Biked 28 miles yesterday. The 20 mile mark I was just under 1 hour 20 mins. This ride was hillier than the Tango will be, but not as gravel filled. Over 1,100 ft of climbing. The first hill was over 600.

I bonked in the last 5 miles or so. Any little hill I was down shifting for the granny gear. Took no sugar packs with me, only water. That was probably a mistake. When my heart rate got up, my legs were useless. Low heart rate on flats, still could pound pretty good. Need to think eat at the 45 minute mark in the Tango to have the punch at the end of the bike.

Matt, I tell you this to say My goal is still 1:10, but it looks like a 1:15 or so. I hope I ain't bragging.

Oh, shoes worked great. My left foot was a little uncomfortable at first, but as I went it felt better. Might have been a little residual calf thing from the race on Saturday, once I was totally warmed up not a problem. I would much rather ride the road bike uphill. If only I would buy the rims and tires for the cyclocross. Maybe next year, with enough time to test.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rainy finish to a great day

I'm sitting on the back porch while the rain is pouring and the thunder and lightening are booming. I love summer rain storms.

After a rather "off-schedule week" resulted in my having 3 "rest days" and feeling tired and lazy, today turned out to be a good day for training. I did a bike-swim-run. After sleeping in well past our alarm this morning, Matt & I started out for a bike ride around 11am. We had planned on doing 2 loops of the Buckman course, but only got in 1 loop (16miles) due to rain. My legs felt so sluggish (my right hamstring/glut was acting up), but it was good practice to ride in the rain.

Then we headed to the pool to get our swim in. I just picked a workout from my swim binder. It was 2800m. My swim felt good today. We stayed focused and on task...holding true to the rest intervals, etc. I used fins for the 4x100's and the 200 kick. then it was 3x200. I did the first 200 w/o fins and kept pace with Matt. Wow! That's never happened before! I put the fins on for the last 2x 200's and Matt used the pull buoy. I still kept pace with him. The main set finished out with 12x25m fast on the 40. I worked hard on these to stay focused on my stroke using the tips Matt passed along from his last swim lesson with coach q. It was a great feeling to be able to hold my own during our swim today. Let's see how long it lasts!

After dinner we both we did a short run. Matt went 5miles. I ran 3miles. I wanted to see how my legs would do after the bike and swim earlier today. I was pleasantly surprised. Finished the 3miles feeling strong, with good legs at an 8:40pace. It started to rain again during our cool-down walk.

So, I am ending my day feeling better than I did at the start of it. Hopefully this bodes well for strong results at the Tango and Timberman!

Oh, the humanity!

I am never going to be so happy to get on a bike as I am at the Tango. It is going to be such a load off my poor knees and feet.

I could much more easily swim for two-and-a-half hours than I can run that long. Ugh. A half marathon is just too much running for a guy like me.

I ran 8 miles tonight, and that seemed like as much as I want to run. That is a new personal record for me. I have never had any reason to run more than 6 miles in the past. 13 miles is going to take forever. I'm going to get bored.

Is anyone taking bets on us finishing this thing? What are my odds? Can I get in on this action?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Biking Companions

I thought Genine would like this. I was biking along and encountered this:

Here is another to give a better sense of scale:

But this one was a lot cuter, though I couldn't get good focus in the dim light with my iPhone:

Maybe this is why my bike rides always take so long.

Uberman Triathlon Pictures

If you are interested in seeing the pictures Genine and I took at Maija's race today.
Check them out here.

Uberman Triathlon Race Results can be found here.

John Kenny
Todd Wiley
Adam Otstot
Rick Fesler
Christopher Ganter
Ian Ray
Todd Stackhouse
Alexander Ochman
Matt Coleman
Brendan Jones

Laurel Wassner
Laurie Hugg
Heather Leiggi
Sharon Schmidt-Mongrai
Midge Kerr
Sarah Dalfol
Leah Roberts
Maijaleena Zucker
Kate Donald
Lori Freeland-Morris

Fiona Tri's Again

This morning was the third annual kid's triathlon in town, and the usual suspects all arrived. It's a fairly informal race that is supposed to be fun. There were a whopping 9 contestants in the 11 y.o. category this year. There was an in-water start, and Fi shared her lane with her best friend. As the race progressed, Fiona was the first female out of the water, third off the bike, and she maintained that position on the run. Her best friend took second, and her old daycare buddy from Russia was first (as usual). That is the girl who was running sub-six-minute miles at 10 years old, but she just turned 11 recently. Fiona was wearing lace-up sneakers, so her transition was pretty slow, but she did a nice job keeping up the effort on the bike and sticking with the run better than usual. Her 40-pound comfort bike makes the uphills a little slower than they could be, but she is oh so comfortable. The huge tires and plush seat really make a difference. Probably not the kind of difference most triathletes would shoot for, but she knows the bike well so that's what she likes to use. The winning boy had a Cannondale racing bike. At 11 years old, that's pretty hardcore.

Fun times were had by all.

I need to take some swimming lessons from her.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Helpful Form for Kinzua Country Tango

Hey guys. Suggestions on making this better?
Click on it for a larger view.

Beyond Limits

I talked to Craig this morning, and we discussed estimations of finishing the Tango, as well as lodging issues and training ideas. He thinks the Quarter-Ton Tango can make it in 11 hours, while his team is shooting for 8 or better. Upon describing what I've been doing lately to prepare, I was met with uncomfortable silence. I interpreted these silences to mean something akin to "you are going to kill yourself" or possibly, as my wife has prognosticated, to become "permanently crippled."

My training has been...shall we say...lackluster.

So here's my new philosophy: We enter races like this to push ourselves beyond our limits, to get out of our comfort zones, to see what the human body can do. If we train to successfully handle such an endeavor, then we don't go beyond our limits!

Anyone who finishes this race looking good has clearly not gone out of their comfort zone!

I am taking the charge of being utterly unprepared for this race seriously. No one can make me prepare myself! I won't have my body defiled with some pesky training and so-called aerobic fitness. Nay, I shall undertake this race with the least possible understanding of what I need to do, how fast I can go, when I've gone too far, or how to nutrify and hydrate myself. Indeed, I shall not rest until I am totally, hopelessly unprepared. Hey, not resting might be part of my new training plan too!

I might even pack on a few extra pounds just to give myself a little extra challenge. Let's see anyone try to weigh more than me on race day. I dare ya!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


FedEx website telling me they have my Box with my new mountain bike shoes and pedals only 40km away. Why does it take them 5 hours to delivery something I could bike down and get in two (less than two at race speed)? Exciting, can you feel the tingle!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bike Lesson

A little different than Matt's lesson, but a lesson just the same.

Lesson #1 - Get home from Mall with wife and child. Tell wife you are going for bike ride 8:30 pm. She says it will be dark soon. Aaaah . . . (looking up to the sky) . . . not for an hour or so. I was wrong, she was right.

Lesson#2 - If riding at sunset avoid areas with overhanging trees with steep descents. The shadow or dark spot of a pot hole plummeting at 40 mph is not as evident as you would think it should be. No wreck on my part, but I was so scared (because of course I couldn't slow down), I think I pee'd a little (or it might be the hard rack of the saddle into that area forced a little out, or it was just sweat, yeh sweat).

Lesson #3 - Don't let the neighbor kid see you coming home without a light on your bike after dark. "Hi, Mr Cerra, didn't you know it was dark?". "Are you suppose to be riding in the dark, my mom told me (numerous reasons not to do it) " "Does Mrs. Cerra know you are doing this?" Good night Bryson.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Swim Lesson

I posted a couple weeks ago that I was going to do the swim focus. That's because I thought my first lesson was going to be that Thursday. Then a schedule conflict happened.
Well tonight was the first lesson. I wrote a bunch of notes about what was discussed but just looking at it I'm not sure how useful it is unless you were there.
I forwarded those notes to Shawn. If he thinks it's useful info, I'll try to edit it into something to put up here.

I feel that we set a good path for me during tonight's lesson. I hope to continue saying that after each lesson. :-)

Orienteering practice

Here is my spontaneous training amble from today's church picnic.

Nothing major, only a little over a mile, but what a mile. Check out the elevation profile on this one. I figure it's a pretty good representation of the first climb up to Rimrock in the orienteering section.

The Really Important Stuff

Leave it to me to be thinking about the post- race gathering preparations instead of the actual race! But I can't help it! I think all of the cooking and baking for the Mooseman took it's toll, so I am brainstorming of ways to simplify. Which if you ask Matt, is a difficult task for my "inner-Martha". Here is what I came up with...please tell me what you think.

Since we will most likely be eating at the picnic hosted by the race at the finish, I'm thinking that instead of another big dinner at Matt's dad's cottage, we can have the Post Tango Dessert & Fruit Extravaganza....complete with a make-it-yourself ice cream sundae bar. This will keep it simple for those who are traveling (which is most of us) to be able to pick up something easy to bring (ie:cookies, fruit, watermelon, favorite ice cream flavor, etc). Matt & I will pick up all the ice cream toppings, cones, dishes, etc. No know I can't stop myself from making a few cookies!

Let me know what your thoughts are or if you have any other ideas that you think will work. Most of all, we just want to be able to get together to relax, laugh and share our stories from the day's adventures.

Now...get back to your training!!! ;-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thinking about nutrition

Here is an article with some good info about typical mistakes made during an endurance event.

The Top 8 Race Fueling Mistakes Made By Ironman Triathletes

Things in my head

Matt asked me today what has been going through my head as I prepare for the Tango. He thought it might be entertaining to see the craziness that occurs in there as something like this approaches. I will not bore you with all the details. Instead, I will bore you with a few thoughts about the quest to finish this race with my brother.

The big question is this: can we finish the first run before the cut-off, and with the ability to continue? That means we can't be dehydrated at the end of it. That has led to another big question that I have mentioned recently which is the hydration equation. I believe I have decided to go with two handheld bottles, so I practiced with them on Thursday and my right arm, which previously has normally held the flashlight when I run at night, got to hold a significantly heavier 24 oz bottle. On Friday, my right shoulder was extremely uncomfortable, tight, stiff, and sore. Not to worry, however, since that means I am adapting to the changes. A little more practice and I'll be ready. I have decided to shrink the right bottle a little too. My left arm is totally cool, even with the bigger jug, presumably because it is stronger in general and I have been running with a bottle in that hand longer.

I have not had the patience to run the full distance yet, and I may never get there until race day. I go so slow that it takes a freakin' long time. I much prefer biking for 4 hours to running for 2 and a half.

The next problem is eating. I love it! Every time I think I had a good day with a nice calorie deficit, the next day I recover from it. I have lost a few more pounds in the last two weeks though, so that's always helpful with running. I have about 12 days left here, so I could still lose a few more. I'm shooting for 6. Every pound counts in a run like that.

Biking is good. All my bike rides have been way harder than the Tango course, with 1500 foot climbs being a weekly occurrence. Of course Matt has my pump, so that's been a bit annoying ( I left it in his car in NH), but everything else has been great. (Bring the pump to the Tango, Matt!)

I have been swimming with the fins a few times and I feel really good about that for me. If I were doing it alone, I think I could really smoke the swim this year. As it is, this may be my brother's weakest link, so it looks like I may be getting to take it easy here and catch my breath. It looks like Greg is coming up again to support the team, so maybe he and I can have a nice long chat during the swim.

Our orienteering should be fine. Nothing spectacular, but we should be quick to find the points this year. No mistakes like last year. Aside from the fact that we're old, fat, and slow, this might be one of our better splits.

The second run is going to suck. That's all I have to say about that.

The canoe then is our last chance (one of two, I reckon) to bring in an above average split. It would be nice to pass someone here, or at least have one event in which we are better than half the entrants. Bart has a very nice canoe for us, so at least that won't be a hindrance, and our healthy arms will finally be useful. The good news is nearly everyone should be ahead of us, so passing people might be a possibility. I just hope they aren't all hours ahead.

My workouts have focused mostly on running, with occasional biking, swimming, and lifting. I am doing nowhere near as much as Matt or Genine, or probably anyone doing the whole Tango. Maybe there is a part of me who thinks completing this thing while being utterly unprepared is more of a challenge than being good at it after lots of training. I do tend to enjoy my own suffering. Pushing myself beyond my comfort zone was part of the idea when signing up for this thing.

Looks like I ought to have a lot of enjoyment.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Training is fun

Genine and I had a great time in NH. We managed to get projects done around the farm. (mostly mowing). Got to hang out with Eric and Family. Our friend Jeff even stopped by. All of this happened around a bunch of training.

Sunday: Swim
Monday: Mooseman Bike + Side Trip 33 miles, Some swimming
Tuesday: Wetsuit Swimming 2500m or so
Wed: Timberman Hills 26 miles. 45 min swim. no wetsuit. 4 mile run later
Thursday: Wetsuit Swimming
Friday: Timberman Full Course 56 Miles. Swim got rained out.
Saturday: Travel Day
Sunday: Back in NJ 10-11 mile run with Todd and Maija
26 mile bike with Genine. I got to try out Todd's HED 3 wheels. Sweet!

I'm pleased to report my knee is well. The 10-11 mile run today was super flat tho'. Maybe if it were on hills I'd have a different result. The funny part of this run was after 45 minutes. We are to run 3 miles at 6:45 pace... Todd and Maija knocked that out, I just watched them slowly pull away from me. Ah well. It was good for me to put out a hard effort for 3 miles. I didn't have my watch so I don't know what I ended up running. (good excuse eh?). I also finished thinking I need to put some more attention on planks and core for the next month. I really don't want to be dealing with side stitches at Timberman.

The only thing I messed up was practicing for the Tango. I never got my fins on! I'll be in the pool quite a bit this week. I'll be ready.


I'm in as the swimmer. I thought there might be a chance I'd get you guys and upgrade to the team and I'd duck out. That didn't happen. You are stuck with me.

So I guess it's time to start covering some of the details.

Do we have someone that can be my safety kayak/canoe during my swim? I definitely swim off to my left when I get tired. So it would be helpful if they understand I'm going to use their position to guide me rather than them following me.

Do we have a canoe lined up for Craig and Jerry and someone to get it below the dam?

We can work on the car shuffle details later.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone!

Friday, July 17, 2009

great week - great workouts

This past week at the farm has been the perfect mix of relaxing, mowing, projects, family time, alone time workouts. My favorite by far was today's Timberman Half bike course. Since Matt outlined the ride, I won't go into details except to say that I love riding my bike! While the course obviously was challenging, the long stretch on 106 was awesome. It felt great to have plenty of room on the birm, smooth pavement and miles upon miles to hammer away. I held on to Matt pretty well for the majority of the ride. He dropped me on the last long hill. I decided that I couldn't allow that to happen, so on the last mile+ I went into full sprint (about 23.5mph on the incline) to catch him as we made the turn to the park road. Whew! After today's ride, I think I'm going to feel cheated doing the Timberman sprint bike.....15 miles?? What's that all about??

We also got in everybody's favorite Mooseman course with a few extra miles added with a trip to Sculptured Rocks at the start on Monday and several of good swims at Newfound. How is it that I can get so excited about swimming in that lake? I need to figure out a way to channel those emotions when I am back at SVY next week! Although let me just say that vertical kicking in the lake sans wetsuit is tough.

My running took a back seat this week. I did get in 3miles on Wednesday night. We went to the walk/run trail in Bristol. I did my first mile at 8:30pace/ second mile at 8:50ishpace and third mile at 9:30pace. Hamstrings & gluts gave me major grief....sigh. I guess they were ready for Wednesday night track workout instead.

In my opinion, there never seems to be enough relaxing time at the beach. I'm hoping that the Monday after Timberman is sunny & beautiful so we can plop our chairs in the sand and just hang at the beach....all day and do nothing...well maybe a little recovery swim! ;-)

Here are some fun pics of the ice cream place we stopped at after Wednesday's bike. It was homemade and yummy, although we both agreed that the Jordan's homemade ice cream that we had post race at Mooseman was better. Luckily, they will be having Jordan's post Timberman. The actual ice cream place is on the bike course on 106. I told Matt that Amy, Fiona and I will be heading there while he & Shawn are racing!! :-P

Timberman Bike practice

So we went over to the Timberman Course for the 2nd time this week. Wednesday we didn't do enough homework to be able to ride the course without wrong turns. So we ended up doing all of the hills and none of the flat stuff (26 miles). Then we got back to the car and drove the course.

Today, it was less windy and we knew where we were going. I have to say I had my concerns. When we drove the course the other day it seemed like a long drive. How long will the bike ride feel like?
Well the good news is that we didn't make any wrong turns today. So we got to the long straight "flat" section about 30 minutes faster than we would have on Wednesday. (Note to Shawn the part on 107 on the way out is the toughest section).
Much of 106 is repaved and is a great ride. Genine was having a blast. She hung with me the whole way. (G=tough cookie). Really the only section where I think I dropped her was the uphill on the way back on 11A.
The worst road is 11B. That section my arms were taking a beating in the drops. The only smooth part is the center of the lane to the double line. Fortunately it's a short stretch.
When I got back to the lot, I figured I had better try to run a bit. So I pull on my running shoes and head up the road. My legs felt ridiculously huge, like each of them were the size of my torso. I didn't have my footpod on, so I don't know my pace. I don't think I ran more than a mile. Just enough to know that my legs will in fact be willing to run after that bike.

I had predicted awhile back that it would take me 3:15:00 do finish the bike. Today we finished in 3:17:31.
So I looked up some of our friends finishing times and found times from 2:53:00 to 3:13:00. I've got some work to do...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

fun times in NH

We got a late start to our bike today. The nice thing was I got to see this because we were late.

At the very least I know Levi will appreciate this post.
Having fun up here. I just don't have time to keep the blog up to date.:-)

A little inspiration

Cooked out on the grill last night. Did deer steaks, corn & small potatoes cut in half. Excellent. That wasn't the inspiration, even though it could be.

Tamara took kids to Vacation bible school at 6:30. I went to my haircut at 6:30. I get back a little after 7 pm. I take Dinah to the neighbors who haven't seen her much since she was born. We visit. I get back to the house at 7:30. Put Dinah down for a mid evening nap. I get ready to run. Tamara says "You will be back to get the kids from VBS". "Sure", I say. 7:45 start run. I set timer for 15 mins to tell myself to turn around at this point no matter how far I am to assure I am back by 8:15 to pick kids up at 8:30.

I realize I can get to the top of the big hill in 15 mins, so I really go out hard, thinking I can always take it easy on the way back. 10 mins into run, Heh, here comes Missy Rose, Man, she is going early to pick up kids from VBS, maybe she wants to visit with someone.

Got to top of hill 14:37. Turn around, burning pretty good, I walk until the timer goes off. Start to jog again. Going pretty good. Car comes by full of kids. I think those kids are in VBS with my kids. White GMC, Missy Rose, coming towards me. AHHHHHHH Crap. Switch off Chrono to time, it is 8:07.

You guess it yet, VBS is over at 8:00 not 8:30. I start to haul. I didn't tell Tamara which way I was going, the baby is napping, I promised to be back. Run, Forest, Run. Another car full of kids I recognize. I am 1/2 mile from home, kids are 1.5 miles on the otherside.

Come hauling up the driveway, both our cars are still there. Run in door, no cooldown, reach for keys. I yell "I'm sorry". Tamara appears from other room. "I took care of it" She says she realized it ended at 8:00 around 7:59 and called the church and Rob was bring the kids home. Then she looked a little paniced and said "Are you OK, don't have a heart attack on me".

I was panting. Definately had the heart up to race speed for the last 1/2 mile. I actually felt it in my legs this morning. That was a little inspiration, Panic. I knew she would take care of it, I was glad that we both had thought through it the wrong way.

A couple more like that and speed workouts will be nothing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Backed Out

Backed out of another race that I didn't sign up ahead of time. Makes it a lot easier. It was the five mile run last Friday. I knew I wasn't going to set the world on fire, but wanted to do it anyways.

Well, the long story is as usual, long. Short version is Geothermal heat pump quit cooling the house right before the 4th of July. Did not cause harmony in the house when your super wonderful 1.5 year old heating cooling system stops working. Good news is company I bought Ground Loop pump from stood behind the product and sent me a new pump, bad news is I had to put it in. Of course it took longer than anticipated and I was up late Thursday night. Good news, house was like a meat locker after new pump was installed (literally Eleanor had to put on a long sleeve shirt because she was so cold), Bad news I was beat, it was hot (outside) and Tamara really needed my help with the baby after she worked all day, so I decided late, real late Thursday night to not race Friday. That is the short version. Whew!

I still ran Friday night. Took the opportunity to do a fast run for two miles and a third slower. Right near 8 mins on first mile, a little slower on second, and much slower on third. Ran again Saturday. Lots of pushups and abs.

Other good news, may have found local dude with a pond big enough to open water swim only 4 miles from home. Neighbor guy who does tris wants to start putting in a couple swims a week.

More shuffling of kids anticipated over the next couple weeks for camp and Grandmas. Hope gas prices stay level.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cut-off times?

I am just curious if anyone here has any record of the cut-off times for the Tango? It was my understanding that the cut-off for the first run was 10 AM which would be three hours. Where did I get that idea? It isn't on the website anywhere. I assume then that it was in the race packet, but I don't have that info anymore. It would be an unwelcome surprise to arrive at the race and discover that we are not going to be fast enough to make the first cut-off time. I am not worried about taking three hours, but it would be good to know what the outside limit is, in case things get hairier than Matt's back.


Anybody interested in working out some logistics for the Tango? We might need to figure a few things out.

In the meantime, I took my new shoes outside for a real world run tonight. Did a 5K in reasonable time (for me). Shoes are good. I think these might work. I'm feeling surprisingly spry for my size right now. I really hope I can drop a few more pounds before the race so it will be even easier than the cakewalk I'm imagining now. I also took along my new Nathan hand-bottle with reflective strap (interesting brand name given the nature of this blog), and it seemed to be acceptable too. I was concerned that it might feel like doing 16 oz. curls for half an hour, but it was hardly noticable. Of course my arms are not the lightest things to start with, so I suppose it isn't much to add. I might have to end up going with one in each hand by the time of the Tango. This whole "no-aid-station" thing adds an interesting element of problem-solving to the race. I sweat a lot, so hydration, especially early in the race, is going to be very important. Anyone have any hints?

I tried on the 4-bottle fuel belt and that isn't going to work. I can explain in more detail later, but in a nutshell I would say the design flaw is that it can't handle a guy of my waist measurements, even though it fits. I swear I could start a company just making stuff like this. I can never find what I want. How hard is it? We could be the next Camelback.

Do you guys have your team figured out?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shoes work

Took the new shoes for a test run tonight on the Y treadmill. Two miles and no troubles. I quit while I was ahead. Everything seems to be in order. No pain. No squishy crooked feet. I didn't want to run too far in a pair of shoes that were new to my feet. Mileage is going to go up quickly though.

I also lifted a few things, Matt inspired me to do a bunch of lunges, then I went swimming until the pool closed. Everything's looking good. I even lost a couple more pounds from last week.

Gotta go for another half pound a day for the next 21 days. I still won't be down to where I was last year, but I think I'll be faster.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Neither fantastic, nor damaging

I just thought I'd post since the boys seemed to be in the mood. Sounds like I should have been in Warren. Here is how things went for me lately:

On Wednesday last week, I ran 6.2 consecutive miles. I believe this is the longest uninterrupted run I have ever done. My goal was to run at whatever pace allowed that to happen. It worked. That was good.

On Thursday, I awoke to a sore foot. I decided to just walk a few miles to take it easy. By Thursday night, my foot had swollen up like I sprained my ankle or something, which I hadn't. The pain was on the top and outside of my foot.

On Friday, my family and I drove to DC for a short visit, and I ended up walking all over the place (in the same shoes that had allowed the injury to occur), getting steadily more painful as I went. By Saturday night, it was really unpleasant and swollen. I decided I better stop walking and probably needed to buy a new pair of shoes.

Sunday, I went on a 4-hour bike ride. I didn't map it, but it was probably around 50-55 miles. I was taking it easy, trying to do a level 1 or 2 ride. I have to take my camera out on these rides because they are so beautiful. The bike riding was perfectly comfortable. No foot issues or any other kind.

Monday I went swimming. Trying to avoid the weight-bearing stuff. I took the fins in an effort to develop the fin legs I need for the Tango. I love swimming with those. Again, no foot issues, and I rocketed through the water. Why can't we use those in triathlons? Later in the day I went to the local athletic shoe store where the guys are actually supposed to know what they are doing, and I tried on 5 pairs of shoes. I ended up buying Brooks Adreneline 9's. I have not tried running in them yet, but walking seemed very comfortable and level. I crush shoes, so I am looking for models that do not squish one way or the other. We'll see how these fare as I put them through the paces. I don't have a lot of time to change horses again, so I hope these feel as good down the road as they do know. Gotta run 17 miles in them less than 4 weeks from now.

Today I took it easy. Chores around the house, getting the kid where she was supposed to be, and then went to a swim meet all evening.

I am supposed to be ramping my running mileage up to 13, but I don't want to push this foot. The Tango could be quite an adventure indeed. My wife thinks I am going to permanantly cripple myself. I explained that I am rather durable. She wasn't buying it. Then again, I am over 40 now, so maybe I am toast.

Another fantastic weekend

Friday: We sleep in for a bit then load up our bikes for what will be our longest bike ride ever. We planned 46 miles. I took my GPS in the bento box just in case I get us completely lost or if we need to modify our ride for some reason.
I wanted to pace this ride similarly to how I might ride the Timberman course. Meaning I wanted to feel like I could run when we finished. I think I accomplished that goal. I would have run a 5k when we got done but we had to get home. Jerry and Michelle were going to be there soon.
That evening we took them downtown for the “Cruise in” and met up with Tiffany and Jimmy. He brought his cobra, that is an awesome car.

Saturday: Sleep in a bit, go for a short run, then drive down to Scott and Kryste’s for dinner. Nice to be able to just sit and catch up with everyone.

Sunday: Genine and Michelle go to the pool to swim. Jerry and I go to the weight room. I did better than I expected. Jerry kept the workout moving. It was as if I had a personal trainer. We did a bunch of lunges. I’ll admit I must have gone too heavy with the weight, I’m still really feeling the legs from that workout.

Monday: Evening Masters Swimming. I think I got about 3400m in. It was a good swim. I was really trying hard to hold form. I left feeling pretty good about the swim. My legs were super tight when I finished.

Tuesday: Morning run with Todd. I got a good stretch in before I left the house but my legs are still feeling sore from Sunday’s lunges. I felt super slow. I think my legs were trying to avoid any stress, so I was running tight.

Evening Bike: With Genine, Maija and Bob. I think this managed to work out some of the junk/soreness in my legs. I guess I’ll know for sure in the morning.

I think this would have been the perfect week for a massage. I just don’t see where that’s going to fit into the schedule. Maybe when we are in NH next week.

Almost Ruined it all

Almost ended my triathlon season Sunday. I was in Warren, sorry Jim didn't have much free time to run around, and the kids were jumping off the dock. "Come on dad, do it with us". All right here I come. Running down the deck, I decide to really plant it and fly out far. The deck is composite and at this time wet. Of course the dock is trimmed with a nice piece of aluminum.

Long story short, I slipped on the composite deck at plant time, lucky for me the slip ended when my foot rammed against the aluminum, instant pain. Of course this made me lean back instead of forward, fortunately my head missed the side of the deck by inches. I hit the water, my foot was screaming. All I could think was "Triathlon season over".

I have been able to walk without a limp, but the black and blue mark is nice and the swelling was less today. I had a five mile race planned for this coming Friday, we will see.

I plan to do the real test tonight on a run. I should be OK.

I did not do the bike course for the TANGO when I was in Warren, too much other stuff to take, but I did do an open water swim from the Marina to the Bridge, without the wetsuit, felt good. I did this after I hurt my foot, so my foot couldn't be too bad.

I was never so thankful that the water was cold five feet under the surface.

A guy at work already pointed out that I can still do these things in my thirties, but when I hit forty it is all over.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Swim Focus

As I've said many times before, I love swimming. I don't know why exactly, it's not like I get in the water and speed like I've got a motor. Maybe it's because I believe I can get much better than I am right now. So how do I make this happen?
I've felt my biggest improvements have occurred during/after my sessions with Coach Q. So I looked at my schedule and found 5 or 6 sessions between now and Timberman. So here I go. Another attempt to raise my game in the pool.

In my email to him, I said that I was only interested in working on freestyle for triathletes on a 1500m distance. I don't care about flip turns, open turns or anything else. Yes these things will help your time in a pool and maybe keep your flow. I'll worry about that when I finally have flow to keep.

Some of the things I'm thinking about going in.
1) How to build a kick. My kick is awful. In my opinion 50m is too far for me to kick drill as I just lock up and practice a horrible kick.

2) I think I'm trying to muscle the swim too much. (and quite possibly I'm not using the right muscles either). I don't think my pull is efficient and it's rushed. I feel like he did a good job helping me with this before. I'm looking forward to revisiting this.

3) I'm sure he will find plenty wrong in my swimming in just 25m. I'm going to make sure to have him watch me swim 200+, I'd like to hear what he thinks happens to my stroke once I fatigue. Do I get lazy and completely change something? Or do I really fatigue.

4) Speaking of fatigue. Weights for swimmers. I'm curious what exercises he suggests for dryland training.

Of course I have a million questions, I always do. I'm not expecting the lessons to be structured around these exact issues. Yet I'm hoping after 5 or 6 sessions, I'm no longer wondering where I am with these things.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Midweek rambling

I went to Jack Rabbit earlier this week to look at my gait and see if my current running shoes are still the right shoe for me. Sadly, I wasn’t sold on what the guy was telling me. Basically he didn’t seem to think there was any difference between running in my Stability shoe or a Neutral shoe. Whatever, I can live without knowing what the deal is there. Or I can go back some other day and get another person to take a look.
The other part that was nice was I got to look at both feet on the video. I was concerned that my right foot might be moving oddly because of my injury. We didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

I did get a bit of a trick from the sales guy, which might help me with my heel rub when running sockless. I need to lace up my shoes differently so that my heel doesn’t slide as much. I’m not sure if it will work with bungee laces yet but it definitely worked with standard laces. Here is a link showing different ways to lace your shoes to try to make them more comfortable for you.

I did try on about 4 different shoes. He didn’t see a difference in my running between any of them….
This is the pair that I thought was the most comfortable. Other than the fact my heel was slipping a bit Thus the lacing trick to fix that problem.

I did try on the Zoot shoe as well. I don’t think that’s going to happen for me. I know they are supposed to be super light for racing. I just felt like I was running barefoot and I’m not sure that’s a good thing for me. Maybe if I weighed 120-130 pounds I wouldn’t feel that the extra cushioning is necessary. Or if I was a Chi Runner. I think I'll stick with the thick cushion.

I got my Wednesday morning track workout in. 7x400 on 5K pace. Unfortunately I didn’t remember where I put my watch. So I don’t know what my splits were. Not a big deal, my goal here was to pace well and get through all 7 of them without feeling as if I might injure myself. I’d prefer not to have the hip flexor issues again this year. I also have plenty of time before my next race. I’ll just keep building it up. It definitely feels good to be pushing the pace.