Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lawn Service

It's been a fantastic weekend of weather which means we've been outside most of the weekend. Can't beat that. Then today I decided I had better mow the lawn. I've regretted that decision the rest of the day. My allergies are killing me now! So I've doubled down on the claritin, used the neti pot about 6 times and finally broke down and took a sudafed. Ugh! I had been doing so well with keeping the allergies away. Hopefully I can get it back under control soon. I think it's time to find a local kid to mow my lawn for me. (not really, although I'm surprised my neighbors haven't taken a collection to make this happen)

The other bummer is that my lowback/hamstrings on my left side refuse to get with the program. The massage thing wasn't a magic cure. I'll have to let the chiropractor take a shot at it Tuesday. If that doesn't work. I'll just go up to Sculptured Rocks (near Newfound Lake) on Wednesday afternoon and chill in the 50 degree water there. If that doesn't do it, there is another place that's even colder but hopefully that won't be necessary.

In other fun Mooseman news, we just realized that Samantha McGlone is racing the Mooseman 70.3 on Sunday. Upon hearing this Genine said that we will now have to be at the Sunday race early to check out the action. :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

7 days to Mooseman 2010

The race director posted that the water temp was 66 degrees yesterday. I knew it would be warmer this year but that is better than I expected. I believe race day temp the last couple years has been about 58 degrees.
I'll be up there early enough in the week to do some practice swims. I'll definitely be trying out the sleeveless top to the wetsuit. All I could think during my last 2 wetsuit swims is the fact that there is definitely some shoulder restriction with the full sleeves. Hard to say how that adds up in terms of fatigue but I have the option so I will try it out before race day.

Ran track this morning. It was ugly. I was glad that I forgot my watch. My hamstring/glute tightness is back. I did a really poor job at keeping that in check this week. I did very little in terms of workouts and spent way too much time sitting in traffic driving to and from work. Fortunately I've got a week to get it back to feeling good.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goggles, Sniglets and race photos

I bought new clear googles today, and new speedo endurance jammers. I kept thinking, where could I have lost the goggles and swim cap? I didn't see them in transition at all, but I wasn't looking either. So when I got home tonight I looked in the one place they could/should be. In the sleeve of my wetsuit, where they end up as I pull the top of my wetsuit over my head. Sure enough there they were with my swim cap. Which is pretty funny seeing how I washed the suit off by hosing it down in the driveway, then hung it over the shower curtain rod, both Genine and I had moved the suit. Neither of us realized they were still in there. The swim cap smelled... yeah let's just leave it at that. Well now I've got a new pair as a backup.

I like having someone near the swim start with a backup pair of goggles for me. Just in case the first pair is leaking or fogging up I can make a quick switch and hope that the 2nd pair will be better. Genine will be racing Mooseman so she will not be the sherpa. This is where the Sniglet comes in. I may be showing my age by bringing up the term sniglet but I feel I'm safe in doing so because another blogger/follower Jon, is quite the creator of sniglets. You can check out his blog here.
So here is my attempt at making up a word. Ruth who has been the swimmer for the C5 relay team at Mooseman the last 2 years is going to NH this year not to race (because they eliminated relays) she will instead be our sherpographer. That would be sherpa and photographer if you hadn't guessed. Ruth is great behind the lens but the trick is we need to get my camera back from repair (unlikely) or come up with another Canon camera body before we leave for NH. One more thing to add to the list for next week. It will be worth it tho'. Hopefully we get better weather than rainy Columbia. Dealing with a camera rig in the rain is tough.

The weather is looking good for our 3 day weekend here tho'. We plan to make the most of it getting out and training. Also there is the Tour of Somerville to check out. Our friend Adam is racing 2 of the 4 days. Again we are bummed that our camera is at the shop. Would have been fun to get some shots this weekend.

I posted up the shots from the point and shoot from the Columbia Triathlon. You can check them out here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I keep spending $$

I feel that I'm going to have new everything soon. Last week, I realized I'm missing my bike wedge with all my spare and repair stuff. So I had to replace all that. Tonight as I'm packing to go to the pool, I realize I don't have my goggles from race day or my race cap for that matter. I have a spare set but they are dark mirrored, I'll have to buy a clear pair before Mooseman.
Off to the pool. Genine decides after we warmup that she's going to do a couple 500m sets. I figure that's a good plan and decide to do them with the pull buoy. I timed the 2nd 500, I finished in 8:18. That's 1:39 min/100 m, now to make that happen at Mooseman. Then when I'm climbing out of the pool, my swim trunks rip. ::sigh:: Well at least I was already going to the swim shop for goggles, what's one more thing? (don't get me started on the $$ being spent on our cars)

Moving on.
Yesterday we picked Genine's bike up from the shop. Her bike needed a bit of a tuneup. They gave us a pack of the new GU Jet Blackberry to try. It was pretty good. It's double caffeine if you like that. It had less flavor than I thought there would be as many of their flavors are intense.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How'd you do?

I'm back at work today and everyone keeps asking how I did at the race. After re-reading my race report I'm not sure you can tell that I really enjoyed the race. I'm just that bad of a writer I guess.

The course was challenging but it was a very nice setting.

Swim: Wasn't the best water clarity but not the worst either. I really liked the layout, I had no trouble sighting. The 5 foot tall buoys were certainly easy to spot. As a spectator you can watch a good portion from a side perspective. Typically the swimmers swim away from you and you can't tell what's happening. (kind of like endzone seats at a football stadium). Here you had 50 yard line seat and you could walk along the lake if you wanted to track someone.

Bike: This may have been the first time since my Patriot's Triathlon disaster 2 years ago, that I didn't ride/drive the bike course before the race. I figured this event was organized well enough that I wasn't going to have trouble knowing where to turn. I was right about that. Plenty of people on course directing the racers. Very scenic course to ride and plenty of terrain to keep you busy.

Run: You run around the lake in the park and through a bit of the surrounding neighborhood. All very nice. Plenty of water/gatorade on the course. Great layout for people to watch the finish.

I am more than pleased with my swim and bike results. I guess because I've done so many running races this year I was expecting a little better. I'm still really fascinated by my low HR during the run and the fact that I actually had a sprint in me at the finish. I guess the next time I find myself in this position, I need to attempt that sprint earlier on in the run to see if I can get the legs moving earlier in the race. I don't think I've ever had this problem before. Maybe my new bike fit has my legs working differently enough to have caused this. Maybe I just burnt myself out on the bike. Maybe it's just a really hard run course and I'm 10 pounds heavier than I should be, ha ha!
Honestly, I think I had forgotten how hard the run is after swimming and biking. I haven't done a single brick workout this year to help remind me. Now I remember! (Remind me next April that I need to start adding bricks in early.)

I definitely see myself racing this event again. I really appreciate events that are run well. It allows you to compete without distraction or worry of safety.
My only disappointment was the post race food. I think that's because Keith Jordan up at Mooseman and Timberman has spoiled us. :-)

11 Days to Mooseman! Not much time to recover/workout/taper. I'm curious to see how well I can get myself feeling recovered and rested. Can't wait to swim in Newfound Lake!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Columbia Triathlon Race Report

Here is the link to the overall results.
Here is the link to Age Group Results. (I'm racing 40 this year)

Here we go! My first triathlon of 2010!

We actually left NJ Saturday morning at 10:10. We had planned on leaving at 10. This is already going well, typically we run hours behind plan. Instead of driving the dreaded I95. We go west out to Harrisburg PA then south towards Baltimore. There was heavy traffic but no major slow downs.

Arrive on site for packet pickup. I'm standing directly behind Andrew Yoder. Pro. 21 years old. The race directors were talking to him the entire time. With good reason, he ends up winning the next day. Check out his results. I can't imagine riding that course at 26.6mph on a rainy day.
Next we drive down to transition to rack the bike. This is when we find out that our SLR Camera was broken. We had to go to the back up point and shoot. Better than nothing but not nearly as fun for Genine.

I've got the course map with me and I'm looking to see which way we go to start the bike and the run. We walk around a bit to make sure we know how everything is connected then we go and check into the hotel. Then we are off to dinner with a friend from college. I don't think we've seen each other since 1992. I had posted on facebook that I was going to Columbia MD and she lived close by so we made dinner plans.
Back to the Hotel. Maija and Adam had checked in, so we stopped up to visit them. They brought Cooper and Frito along as well. They are good dogs.
Then time to zzz. I think I was asleep by 10.

4AM wakeup. I really didn't have the ability to make my normal breakfast. Fortunately I had made hard boiled eggs so I had a few of those without much of the yolks. After that it was largely Cliff bars and gatorade. Not ideal for me. I should have thought this out better.
It was raining but I figured I may as well just go down to transition and get a good parking space. This way if it's pouring during the race, Genine won't have to walk too far to get to the car.
I had my clear lens glasses for the bike. I put both my bike shoes and running shoes in a plastic bag to keep them dry. If I can have dry shoes for the run, that's going to be much more comfortable. I also had socks for my running shoes, sockless is not going to be an option today.
They kept saying to lower the tire pressure to give you better grip on the wet roads. I go to let air out of my tire and I notice the back brake is bumped onto the tire. It wasn't like that last night... (have to remember to always check race morning). Anyhow, I let a quick blast out of the tires. Then when I squeezed the tire, it felt too soft. The volunteers had pumps so I flagged one down so I could check witha pressure gauge. The front was 70 psi rear was 80. That's too low. I pumped them back up to 100. Glad I checked.
I also had a plastic shopping bag with me to help get into the wetsuit. If you are wet or sweaty, it's really tough pulling those sleeves over the arms and legs. Putting your foot/hand into the bag first then pulling the suit on over it makes it a whole lot easier.

We were at the car quite a bit before the race because of the rain. I put the wetsuit on at the car just a few minutes before walking to the swim start.
It's funny how difficult it is to find a person in a wetsuit in a crowd of people wearing wetsuits. Maija had to have walked within 5 feet of us at the start of her race but we didn't see her to wish her luck.
I was in wave 6, starting about 30 minutes after Maija. My pre-race nerves always show on my HR monitor. I was averaging 95-105 bpm just waiting for my wave to be called.
As we were waiting, the pros and elite waves were swimming back past us. The first place swimmer had a sizeable lead. Turns out that was Rebeccah Wassner. Not long after that one of the elites makes a wrong turn on the swim course. He passed the buoy just out from the swim start and headed back in to the start line. The people in the safety kayak didn't see him for at least a minute or so. He had to have lost 2 minutes or more for that mistake.

Finally I'm in the water to start. We have at least 6 minutes. I try to get a long warmup in but I start to realize if I wait too long, I'm not going to get anywhere near the the starting line. So I cut it short and work myself towards the line.
The gun goes off and the washing machine begins.

I can't find myself in this video I just thought people might want to see the fun of a swim start.
The swim is a long counter clockwise rectangle (basically) which is perfect for me as I tend to track left. I need to work on pushing hard for a determined number of strokes or something because this start was pretty hilarious. There are 218 of us starting. I thought I had a good start and had some space so I started concentrating on lengthening my stroke and establish the distance pace. I swear I took about 3 strokes and was suddenly mobbed. I was getting hit from every direction. Legs, head, arms colliding. I don't put my goggles under my swim cap. I think I need to consider this in the future. I haven't had a problem but that was my concern as I was being clobbered. If this was non-wetsuit, I might be more concerned about all the contact here but honestly, I think it's fun. I do hope to improve to the point of being able to leave that mess behind someday tho'.
I'm not positive of the distance (500m?) of battling with the pack. Finally as we reach the buoy that sends us back the other direction, I have some room to get into the groove and focus on powerful efficient swimming. I eventually notice a guy with very obvious red sleeves has been 10-15m ahead of me for quite some time. So I decide I'm going to try and close the distance and get onto his feet. Sadly this didn't work out at all. I couldn't close the gap. Ah well the real trick at this point was to pick good lines to avoid the other color swim caps (AKA the weak swimmers from previous waves). This I negotiated well and I got to the swim exit feeling good. I look at my watch and see 26:xx. Well nothing new there, that just seems to be my pace. Moving on.
(time was 26:27 which is a 1:45/100m pace.)

First concern or the bike is running up a wet grassy hill with bike shoes on. This was easier than I expected. I ran up on my toes (sort of) and I was off. Genine said many people had jammed up cleats at the start. (not good conditions for speedplay for sure, I've got the delta clips). At the start of the bike, I really focused on giving myself time to adjust. Which I feel I did somewhat successfully. I say somewhat because I raced the bike leg in upper zone 4 HR. I was well aware that it was happening but my legs were not complaining about the effort so I figured I'd roll with it. I was incredibly cautious on the bike because of the wet conditions. I don't have the experience to be aggressive here. There seemed to be an unusually high number of people with flats on the course. Snake bites from the low tire presure? I became much more focused on avoiding bad road once I thought about this. I pass a guy riding my exact bike. I say "Nice Bike" to him as I go by, it took him a few seconds to realize why I said it. Then he laughed. I also passed a guy riding a steel frame with shifters on the down tubes. I say "Awesome bike" as I go by and he was obviously glad to have someone take note. As his response was "Purple dinosaur baby! Purple dinosaur!" LOL. Once I realize I'm on the home stretch to the bike finish, I work on leg speed. I'm feeling pretty good about the bike considering the conditions. I never bothered to figure out what my goal time was for this ride so knowing my split here was meaningless to me. It turned out being a 1:20:14 for a 19 mph avg. 41k/25.5 miles.

Onto the run. As I said even with my heels bandaged up, I was going to take the time to put socks on in transition. There have been races in the past where I had to slow myself down at the start of the run because I'd go out too hot. This was not one of those days. My legs felt like lead. I kept telling myself, first mile is always bad, just let the blood redistribute and all will be good. Sadly that wasn't what happened. My HR when I run is typically 180-185 for a good pace run. My average HR for the first mile was 164 and it was hilly! My pace was 8:26. 2nd mile 7:54, 167 Avg HR. Is my HR monitor not working?? This is crazy low for me. No the numbers are changing it's the real deal. Mile 3 more climbing 8:33 pace and 170 HR avg. Come on legs!!! GOOOOO
Mile 4 8:20 pace. 172 HR Avg. Mile 5 the steep downhill is over now it's gradual downhill to flat. The legs are hating me but I start pushing. I missed the next mile marker for my split. Quads are starting to feel like they could cramp on me. There is no stopping then, if I stop they will probably lock up. As I near the finish I hear Genine yelling for me, I see there are a couple people I might be able to beat to the finish. I go into an all out sprint and manage to pass both of them. (I need to save this race on my watch so I can download the graphs, this run was a mess and I'd like to see it).

The volunteer at the finish says they need to take the chip off my ankle, I step off to the side and stop. She looks at me and says we have to go further down the chute. I said well now that I've stopped that is going to take some effort. My right quad was twitching, if I took weight off of it, it was likely to cramp badly. Eventually I got out of there.
My 10K was finished in 50:20 or an 8:06 pace. Yikes! I think that is the toughest run course I've done in a triathlon.
Final time 2:41:54
62 of 218 age group. 55th swim, 85th bike, 74th run.
361 of 1532 overall. 380th swim, 437th bike, 421 run. (sum is better than the parts).

I was hoping to meet Laurel Wassner after the race. The fact that she had just won the race and was with her family made it difficult for me to decide to go over and introduce myself but I decided I wasn't likely to have the chance again any time/year soon. So I went over and said hello. I'm glad that I did. Very nice family and I love that they race for a cause.
(I guess I should add this for people that haven't read my blog before. Laurel contacted me last year about a photo I took of her at a race and it ended up being used in a Nike Livestrong campaign)

After the race, Genine and I went down to visit a friend from High School who lives just 30 minutes further south. Again another last minute decision as a result of the facebook post. We stayed at their place for the night before heading back to NJ.
Great weekend! Can't wait for Mooseman week!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stretch... please stretch.

Here I am a few days out from the Columbia Triathlon and I've tweaked my left hamstring. It's not an all the time painful, it's just tight.

I considered using a pull buoy for my entire swim last night but swimming didn't seem to bother it. Then I hit it with Icy/Hot overnight. It seems to be somewhat better today.

My plan for this evening was going to be a short spin on the bike trainer then stretch. I may add in a massage before that. Maybe. We will see.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised about this. I always seem to be dealing with some sort of injury in May. Not to mention a sinus infection from allergies. So far so good with the allergies, I hope I didn't just jinx myself. The good news is that the past couple years I always end up ready to go on race day. Hopefully that trend continues.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Biking is Dangerous

You can really psych yourself out about biking if you are overly concerned about crashing or being hit by a car. I found this article and suddenly all my rides seem a whole lot safer.

Cycling the world's most dangerous road.

Running can also be dangerous. Check this out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

BIG week in photo review.....

As Matt posted a few days ago, I have been wanting to post some things for almost a week now. Luckily, Matt has covered many of the events and details. But now that I have a moment, I would like to add my 2 cents (don't I always?) and some photos of the past week. We recently used our reward points from a credit card to purchase a new camera. It's much smaller and more compact than our big camera, but still has many options and a great zoom. I've been wanting one to take with us on bike rides and to be able to slip it in my bag for occasions when it's too cumbersome to lug around all the camera gear. So, I've been playing around with it this past week. Here are some of the results. I'll try to keep my commentary to a minimum.

Last Tuesday nite we went to my friend/co-worker Eleftheria's house for dinner and Greek cooking lessons. She was preparing some of the food for the fundraiser luncheon. It was an amazing evening full of laughter and so much delicious food. I love going to Eleftheria's house. It is truly a home. A simple place that you immediately feel comfortable and at ease. She has a way about her of making you feel so welcome. Very similar to 122 Biddle Street. Maybe that's why I love it there so much.

Here I am giving Eleftheria a big squeeze in her kitchen!

mincing garlic for my first batch of tzatiki.

This video clip is one of my favorites.
2 opinionated women in the kitchen...ha!

Our 3rd Annual Greek Luncheon Fundraiser was held this past Thursday. It was a great success! Thank you to Eleftheria, Mary, Christin, Bonnie and Hermine for cooking. These women ROCK!

Eleftheria and Corina celebrating with dance.

Me, Mary and Eleftheria

Self portrait of me and Christin.

I decided at the last minute to sign up for the Jersey Shore Kick-Off Sprint Triathlon. It was this past Saturday. It was a very early wake up call at 3:30am to meet up with Maija & Alexis to make the drive down to Toms River, NJ. I drove us down in the Golf. Let me just say how much I still love my VW Golf....3 women, 3 bikes and 3 tri-bags all fit quite comfortably. Nice. It was a perfect morning for a race. the weather was low 60's, a bit windy since we were on the shore, but beautiful.

crack o'dawn on the bay

The purpose for me doing this race was a practice for Mooseman. It was the perfect race for it. It was women only and about 100 participants -simply laid out- small transition area and well organized. The .3 mile swim was in a very calm bay. My first salt water swim. it wasn't awful, but can't say I'm a fan. Luckily it was short and well marked with several buoys. I felt good on the swim and was actually one of the first in my wave out of the water. Shocking! My time was 7:39 for 15th best swim time overall. Crazy talk.
The bike was super short - 10miles and flat....really flat. I pushed as hard as I could but I could feel the fatigue of my insomnia and the windy conditions sometimes slowed me down. But overall I was quite happy with my ride. My time 33:44 for the 12th best bike time overall.
Then came the run......ugh. My legs were super fatigued, but I felt like I could have attempted to push thru if not for my upset stomach. I find this so frustrating. I'm not sure if I didn't eat enough, not the right foods, salt water, or the gu I had at the swim start w/o water. At any rate, I was only able to get in an abysmal 9:51 pace for the 3mile run. ::sigh:: 30:32 and 52nd run overall. That brought my total race time at 1:14:45 and placed 22nd overall out of 97 racers.

Me, Maija and Alexis post race.

Sunday morning Matt & I went to an open water swim practice in Oxford,NJ. It was another beautiful morning. The lake was nice and the water temp was quite tolerable. It was set up to replicate the Jerseyman course. We were able to get in a good warm up swim to the first buoy and back. Then it was 2 times around the course. It was great practice for me and allowed me to focus on starting and navigating around people to find "my spot". I also was able to see how fast I cold pace myself without the worry of getting winded or lost in the shuffle if I slowed down as in a race. This practice also reminded me of the fact that I actually enjoy swimming in a lake versus a chlorinated pool with walls every 50m. Too bad all of my swims can't be open water.

pre-swim pics...I'm not quite awake yet. And I can't help but wonder how much sweat Matt could produce if he went running in his wet suit. :-)

After our swim we went to Gronsky's Milk House for second breakfast. Tons of food for a post swim/ pre bike feast! We ate until our bellies ached. Then it was home to change clothes, load bikes and head out for a ride before our massage appointments. We got in 22miles in an hour and a half. My ride felt decent - better than most have recently, so that was encouraging.

Post race/swim wet suit scrub in the driveway.

Unloading the bikes...ready to ride!

Massage was good. He spent 1hour 15mins on my legs & lower back (and a little on my mid/upper back on a few points he found. He spent most of the time on my calves, hamstrings, pirformis, and gluts med. It's still amazing to me how something that hurts so badly it makes jump off the table can provide such sweet relief.

Last night was yoga with all the usual suspects and then we met up with some of our master swimmers to go out for $1 tacos and guacamole! It was a fun time, but now that Shaun & his wife are moving to Atlanta and Coach Elana is headed to Boston, it may have been the last time we were all together. :-(

Tonight was our last scheduled swim lesson with Coach Q. We just made it to the lesson on time. I was late getting home from work. It was raining which automatically means a longer trip than normal. That paired with the fact that I was so tired I actually pulled over to sleep for 10mins made our departure time for swimming down to the wire.

And there you have it... a pictorial week in review.

Phew! Busy Weekend!

Friday night was spent getting Genine ready for a 4:15 AM departure for the Jersey Shore Triathlon. For me that meant: Cleaning out the car, bike maintenance, Tweaking the shifting on her bike, Cleaning wheels and breaks and chain. Lube the chain. Check her bike bag to make sure everything is there. Load it onto the car. Go fill the car with gas. Program the GPS with the address of the race site. Pickup some dinner for us as it’s now too late to cook for ourselves. Genine of course had plenty to do getting her transition bag together.
I got my abs workout in, ate some dinner and it was time to zzzz.

Saturday 4AM: Genine wakes me up as she’s preparing to leave. I see them off. I go back to bed. Wake up. Put on Running clothes with race belt and number and I’m ready for the 10K in the city. Preparing for a run race is much easier than triathlon.

We both end up back home around 11:30AM. Now I’ve got to get the jetta in for a wheel alignment. Drop that off, grab some lunch, pick up parts from Napa to work on the fuel injectors of the Golf, go home, Genine falls asleep on the couch while I take care of the yard. Go pick up the Jetta. They tell me the alignment is fixed left front was off a bit, but they also tell me the wheels are beat. Okay, everyone has told me this, now that the alignment is on I can buy tires without ruining them on a bad alignment. (tires are crazy expensive aren’t they?)
I was hoping to swim or bike today but there just isn’t time. I do an extra long abs workout instead.

Sunday: 8:30AM Open Water Swim practice. We just found out about this group on Thursday or Friday. We had no idea what the lake was like, how big the group was or how experienced. I just know that it takes me awhile to adjust to swimming in a wetsuit so I figured it would be good practice for next week’s race at Columbia. It turned out really well. I’m guessing there were 20-25 people swimming? Our first swim was out to a bouy 350-400 m out then back. This was the warmup, I was having issues with my goggles. The right side kept leaking in a bunch of water. I must have stopped 4 times trying to deal with that. I really hope that doesn’t happen race day.
Next they setup the course similar to the Jerseyman swim course, which most of the people were going to race next weekend. So this would be a .6 mile swim (about 900-1000m). This was to be race pace. I didn’t get a look at how fast anybody was during the warmup, so I just went up front and pushed the pace. There was one person ahead of me. I pushed harder trying to catch him so I could practice drafting. When I next looked up… he was even further away. He had a tendency to pull left which is the same problem I have. It was nice to have him ahead of me as an additional sighting point. I didn’t have my watch but I came out of the water second. (not that that matters). Turns out this other guy is preparing for the Jerseyman next weekend and he’s only doing the swim for a relay team.
We had time to swim one more time if we wanted to. So I swam hard to the first buoy and then did this funky backstroke trick she taught her students to make a 90 degree turn at the buoy. I look up and I don’t see the 2nd buoy. I assumed we had run out of time so I swam back to shore. Once I got there. I look out and the buoys are still out there. The 2nd buoy wasn’t 90 degrees from the first one. It was more like a 45. I just didn’t take the time to look around. So I decided I’d swim back out again. They picked up the first buoy just before I got there. So I looked to see where Genine was. She was past the 2nd buoy and heading for shore. I needed to cool down, so I flipped onto my back and did backstroke back to shore on a line that should put me close to her. Well it did. We ran into each other. LOL. Couldn’t do that again if we tried.
I left with a bunch of things I need to focus on for the race next week. Now this next statement will make me seem like I’m some kind of awesome swimmer. I’m going to say it anyhow. I was having a tough time getting a feel for my catch because I couldn’t feel the water on my arms through the wetsuit. It’s just different is all and I’ll have to focus on how it feel with the wetsuit is all…. Or I could choose to swim with my sleeveless. Next open water swim practice, I’m going to take both wetsuit tops just to compare.
So glad this swim practice happened, my results next week will be better for it I’m sure.

Next stop, monster brunch at Gronsky’s in/near High Bridge. It was a 90 minute brunch stop but it was worth it.

Go home, change to Bike gear and we had around 90 minutes to ride. So we got about 22 miles in. I made sure to have my computer set to cadence and my HR watch turned sideways so that I could read it easily. I varied my effort and my cadence to see how the cadence/effort/HR varied. I think I found my zone. I’ll try very hard to stay in that zone next weekend. I have a tendency to push too hard on the bike and I lose power towards the end of the ride. I’ve got to convince myself that pacing the bike is a better plan.
The really good news about today’s bike is that I got off the bike and my back and right hip were feeling good. Typically anything over 60 minutes I start to have problems. Too many variable to know what is making the difference. Very low bike mileage this month? All the Planks/Abs work? Chiro and Massage? Doesn’t matter, I’m just glad it’s not hurting.

Go back home, Genine heads off to get a massage. I wash the wetsuits, then clean and lube my bike. Sadly my bike bag has been lost or stolen. I can use Genine’s at Columbia but I need to buy a bunch of stuff before Mooseman. I’m next in line for the massage so I clean up and drive over.
This is a different person than the last time for me. The first time I had a very ART like massage. This person still had an ART like approach but it was considered a Deep Tissue massage. I left feeling like I preferred the first person better but I think that perhaps it’s just different.

Back to the house, now it’s time to work on the Golf. I’m going to run some injector cleaner through the system by disconnecting the fuel filter and running some Diesel Purge straight into the system. 30-45 minutes later it is done. I’m not certain that it was done correctly but I definitely didn’t damage anything in the process. Also the attempt only cost me about $15. I can’t say for sure whether it’s made much of a difference. More on that as we drive it more. If I try it again it will only cost $7.

I’m starving. Again it’s too late to cook for ourselves. Back to a diner for salads and some time to relax.

Get back to the house around 9:30ish. I haven’t done abs yet. Ugh! I only did half of what I normally do. Good enough.

I take my 2nd Claritin of the day. Yeah I’m doubling up. I think something that hates me is blooming. I’ve used the neti pot 5-6 times today. So far so good but I can tell that if I forget to keep on top of this, my sinuses will be a mess in a hurry.

There you have it. More that you wanted to know I’m sure. I just figured this would prepare you for my race report next week. ;-)

1st half of May Training

May 1st: AM IntenSati, Afternoon, 17 mile bike Buckman course, PM Abs

May 2nd: AM 6 mile run from Todd’s house, Massage, Afternoon Abs

May 3rd: Afternoon Chiropractic, PM Yoga

May 4th: AM Run YMCA Hill Loop 7.5 miles, PM Swim Lesson, PM Abs

May 5th: PM Abs, PM Swim 2600m, Test 100m sprint 1:31

May 6th: AM Track Workout. 5x800, 4.5 miles total distance. Splits 1:36,1:40 each of the first 4. Then 1:41, 1:37 for the 5th one.

May 7th: Day Off Drive to Warren

May 8th: 7.5 mile Run with Jim and Marty, Abs

May 9th: Drive back to NJ, PM Abs

May 10th: PM Yoga, Abs

May 11th: AM YMCA Hill Loop 4x 7.5 miles, PM Abs

May 12th: PM Swim 2000m, ABS

May 13th: AM Track workout 8x400 1:31s. 5.5 miles total

May 14th Day Off Abs

May 15th: AM Central Park 10K, PM Abs

May 16th: AM Open Water Swim Practice 2400m, 22 mile bike, Massage, Abs

May 17th:

Swim: 8000m (3 workout)

Bike: 39 (2 workouts)

Run: 44.75 (7 workouts)

Abs: 12

Yoga: 2

IntenSati: 1

It's been busy so the workouts took a bit of a hit. I'm very much on track with my run training and the core workouts. I said I'd do core everyday and there are many days where it's being done at 10-11 at night but I'm getting it done.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

10K Central Park UAE Healthy Kidney

Fantastic weather for races!
I woke up at 4AM to see Genine and Maija head off to their triathlon. Then went back to sleep. Todd picked me up at 7 to drive into the city. Nice enough to have the top down in the Jeep.
Todd has started his marathon training so this is day 5 or 6 in a row of running and tomorrow he has an 11 mile run. So he plans on pacing the run.
He asks what my plan is and I told him my goal was to stay out of the suffer zone. Which means my HR should hang around 180bmp. I figure that will equate to about a 7:40 min/mile pace.
This is my practice run for next weekend's Columbia Triathlon. After all those 4 mile races, where I go out speedy and just try to hang on. This time I want to hang in a zone where I think I should be able to run comfortably and then towards the end, if I happen to feel strong enough to push, I'll push.
I also have another trial happening. I bought some waterproof tape to use on my feet. I want to see if it will stay in place if I run without socks. Typically the inside of my heel rubs and the I'm bleeding the last couple miles of my triathlons. I did bring running socks with me. If it goes wrong, I will stop to put them on.
We had time for a warmup but it sure was hard finding room to actually run. Also I drank too much gatorade on the way in. So I spent much of the time standing on line to take care of that before the race.
Todd is in the corral ahead of me. I tell him that I'll try to catch up. (not likely).
Horn sounds and we are off. Now to execute the plan. I hold back and don't have to bob and weave much to find places to pass. Just going with the flow more or less. Half a mile in I check my HR and I'm around 170. Kind of low but it's early.
First Mile 7:43 min/mile. HR Avg/Max 169/179.
2nd Mile 7:31 min/mile. HR 179/184.
The tape on my left foot feels like it has come off and it's now balled up under my heel. Right foot everything seems to be in place.
3rd Mile 7:28 min/mile. 185/186.
4th Mile 7:48 min/mile. 184/186.
I guess I was wrong about the tape on my right foot. I've definitely torn the skin on the inside of my right heel. I was hoping that I'd feel that I was having a problem, so that I could stop and put my socks on before it broke the skin. No such luck. I still decide to stop and put on my right sock.
Not sure of my "transition time" 10-20 seconds? Once I start running again, I become very aware of just how comfortable socks are. Then I realize that I get to run by Mr Flipper Feet again. This guy's every foot strike was so loud, I could only imagine it possible if you had some sort of flippers on for shoes. It sounded painful but he didn't seem to be bothered by it. Anyhow...
5th Mile 7:56 min/mile 173/183. (that sock change didn't hurt me too badly)
6th Mile 7:25 min/mile HR monitor not functioning.
Final Push 1:29. Kind of disappointing not to have my HR stats here. I didn't go all out but I did turn it up.

Official chip time. 47:22 7:38 pace.
1499 of 7826 overall,
1298th of 4100 Men,
245 of 753 in my Age Group.

I meet up with Todd he asks how I did I thought I had run 7:33's and he says I may have beaten him. He said he fell off for the final 2 miles (he's run almost every day this week). I just checked the website to see if he was telling the truth or not. He's a modest guy. He beat me, by 2 seconds. That will teach me to run sockless and add a transition to my run!
I plan on taping differently on a run next week to see if I can figure this out before Columbia Tri next Sunday.

Awesome, fantastic, wonderful day for a race. I hope the weather for all my races this year are this nice.

Edit: One more thing I just looked at my result for this 10K course from back in April. 47:17 vs 47:22 today. Yes I stopped for a few seconds today but the bigger deal to me is that this was a maintainable paced run today. That effort back in April I think was less comfortable that today's.
It's amazing how similar the mile splits are tho'.

Edit 2: Todd had to get back to NJ quick so I missed out on this bit of news. The winner broke the course record today. Which means he got a bonus $20,000 on top of the $7000 for taking first. He ran a 4:28 minute mile pace, finishing in 27:42.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Saturday is Race day.

Genine has been wanting to write a post for the blog all week. She's just been too busy. So I'm going to give a quick update.

Genine is going to be racing the Jersey Shore Kick Off Sprint Triathlon tomorrow. It's a smaller race and it's women only. She will be going with Alexis and Maija. Unfortunately, I can't be the spectathlete/photographer. I'll be going to Central Park to run the 10K with Todd.

We will likely bike later in the day Saturday. It's been way too long.

Sunday morning, we are planning on going to an open water swim practice if we are allowed to join the group. I'm hopeful that we can join and that this group will continue to do this a couple times a month all summer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One more Video

Because some people hadn't seen those ironman videos, I figured I'd cue this one up.
This is 8 time champion Paula Newby-Fraser.

It's absolutely incredible to me to see someone that has won so often get to this level of suffering. I realize it's always a sufferfest. It's just that the elite are so incredibly fit that they make it look easy.
My dad went to High School with some kids named Smyers in Corry PA. We've often wondered if Karen is their daughter. He has a HS reunion this year. I hope he remembers to ask around about that.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Limits of the Body and Mind

A co-worker sent this to me today. RadioLab
Looks like a good website to keep track of for some interesting topics.
I haven't seen the Julie Moss IronMan finish in quite awhile. The person that sent me the link couldn't even stand to look at the screen. It made her that uncomfortable. Understandably so. I think the second video is even tougher to watch.

Another co-worker emailed me a link to a story in the NY Times about an ultramarathoner
and his diet. A 7 hour training run. Yikes!

It's still funny to me how these are the types of things that get passed my way now.
A few years ago I would have been sent articles about the World Series of Poker, Beer and BBQ.
I wonder what I'll be doing next.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quarter-Ton Tango Redux

Welp, I consulted with the other half of the Quarter-Ton Tango Team last night, and he seems to think we should go for it again. He suggests he's going to be in better shape this year, and he doesn't plan on having the death-defying (but not pain defying) crash on the bike that nearly sunk us last year.

Given the unlikely possibility of him finding any other partner who would be comparable to his speeds in the various disciplines, I guess I will have to join him. I am totally unprepared right now (although that's never stopped me before), but I think I can use that deadline to my advantage and become the Spartan I failed to become last year.

We can hardly do worse. We almost missed the cut-off on several legs of the race. Had we been much slower, I don't think we could have finished.

Thus, we are looking at a much better finishing time this year. We will be last by a much smaller margin!

Based on this information, who can give me the P90X series first? I need to pull out all the stops for this.


It's less than 2 weeks to Columbia. My April training was right on track. My May training is very swim and bike deficient. The last two weekends didn't allow us any time on the bike and we've come off the weekends being very tired. So the 5:30 AM weekday bike trainer rides weren't going to happen either. I needed to sleep.

I feel that's a priority for me the next few weeks. Go to sleep early and get enough rest so that all those miles of training will be available to me. I'm not going to try and make up the miles I've lost the last couple weeks. It's too late for that.

As I've said before, I'm not sure what to expect from myself at these races. I think I'm running 10 pounds heavier than last summer. Because of that Personal Bests might not happen. I still plan on racing as if it could happen. Don't you worry about that.

I don't see myself being disappointed with the results whatever they end up being. Race day is always a ton of fun. It puts me in a mode that I can't seem to recreate while training. If you've been there, you probably know what I'm talking about. I'm guessing it's the same for most people.

Which brings me to the 10K Race this Saturday in Central Park. I should probably consider taking it easy and use it as a training run. That is going to be hard to do but I would be incredibly disappointed if I injured myself this close to Columbia and Mooseman. (This race is another step towards the 2011 NYC Marathon, that's why it's on the schedule a week before my triathlon)

I've got another massage scheduled late Sunday afternoon. That should help me recover from the weekend workouts. It looks like our weather should be perfect for anything we want to do. It's going to be a busy weekend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Catching up on the posting

I had a number of things I wanted to post about last week. I’ll start with a few topics that likely would have been much longer posts but now they are just a couple sentences. (You’re welcome).

I got a massage for the first time last Sunday with the added bonus of them not charging us because of a scheduling mistake.

Going to a wedding makes you remember details about your own wedding day even though it was 15 years ago. How does 15 years ago somehow feel like yesterday in one sense and forever ago in another? (I should probably go into more detail about this last statement, as it could be interpreted poorly…)

I also may have found the trifecta for my lower back. Massage, Chiropractic with electrostim thenYoga. I’m sure I didn’t look any more flexible to anyone else in Yoga class last week, but I really felt that I could stretch like never before. Of course the majority of that flexibility was lost after my run the next morning…

Then there was our swim lesson. Our lesson is in a yard pool not a meter pool. So when he had us race 100, our times sounded incredible (to us). I finished in 1:20, Genine in 1:40 (I think). Then he says, add about :20 to that pace and that’s going to be close to your mile pace. That sounds about right, not much faster than last year's races but maybe with the wetsuit, I'll see some improvement.

The next night we were at the meter pool. After swimming for an hour. Half Drill, half swim. Half of the swim being 50m sprints. At the 2000m mark I ask Shaun if he’s willing to break off the workout and race a 100m. I was curious to see what my time was going to be in the meter pool. I’m sure he will accuse me of planning it this way so he’d be fatigued and I’d have a chance to beat him. I didn’t, he hit the wall on 1:30 and I hit on 1:31. Not bad, nice to see that I have that speed in me. Now to work on building that into my race pace somehow in time for the TANGO!!

Alright, that kind of gets us up to this weekend. Genine and I took Friday off. She had worked insane hours Mon-Thurs last week. In fact I took the train up to her work on Thursday night so I could drive her home. This way she wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel on her drive home from work. (Crazy right?)

We headed for Pennsylvania around Noon on Friday. It should be a 5.5 hour drive. Instead it was 8 hours. We sat in park on the interstate for hours. Fortunately Genine had packed the Ironman DVD and portable player. We could have watched it through twice while sitting in traffic.

Saturday morning I went running with Jim and Marty. I had initially planned on discussing the Tango with them along the way. Instead we ended up talking about Marathon training. This was probably the smarter topic for me to spend time on anyhow. Here are a few things I took away from our discussion. (Jim, please correct me if I misunderstood anything.)

As we start running. Marty throws out 3 numbers. Something like 1, 7, 4 and Jim responds with something like 1, 7, 2. (I have no idea what the exact numbers were). I ask what’s up and they said it’s their current weight. Ugh! I say that I’m likely at 185. I’m nowhere near what I was hoping to be at this stage of the game. I haven’t made it a priority so how can I be surprised. Point taken here is I have plenty of time to make it a priority for Nov 7th goal.

I mentioned that I was looking at the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 or 2. Intermediate 1 having 1 20 mile run (actually it’s 2, But I thought it was 1 at the time). Intermediate 2 having 3 20 mile runs . Jim explains that an 18 week schedule for him is too much. It would leave him dealing with an injury in the final month leading into the marathon. His schedule would have 2 20 mile runs on the plan with enough time to recover from either one of them going poorly.

They agreed that you need to know when to back off to avoid a longer setback. Most first time marathoners get too focused on the plan and arrive at the starting line over trained or injured because they HAD to stay on plan.

Psychologically they were telling me you’ve can't be worried about the distance of the run. If you go in with that in your head, you will be in trouble. Marty’s first marathon was shortly after Oprah’s marathon. They joked with him constantly that Oprah was able to finish so he had better be able to. So I guess keeping a good sense of humor about the event might be a good approach. That shouldn’t be a problem considering I’ll be doing much of my running with Todd.

Unfortunately, that was the extent of our workouts this weekend. So far May is looking like another low volume month. I’m not overly concerned. I’m looking forward to racing Columbia and Mooseman but I can’t even make a guess as to what my results will be. Which could make it fun. If I’m lucky I’ll surprise myself.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Photo Contest

We submitted a couple of pictures Genine took of me at Timberman last year to the De Soto
Photo Contest on facebook. It was very last minute, Maija gave us the heads up about it.
Well if you clicked that De Soto link up there already, you know that we won. Wahoo!

I get to pick out a Forza Tri Top and a hat. :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Still here

I do much of my blog post writing during my commute into NYC on the train. We went to a wedding Sunday evening, as a result we started our week off short on sleep. I'm catching extra zzz's on the train rather than writing.
One quick bit of good news is that our place in NH has been repaired . No copper pipes this time around. Plastic. I'm curious to see what the install looks like.
More later!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Olympic Hopeful, Can't Sleep

Figured I'd post this article for those who have trouble sleeping.
I can't say I agree that training with so little sleep might be good training because of the added stress.
Here is another article about her in Runner’s World

Always something

My brother called me on his way back from our summer place in NH. He said the black flies are awful but he got a good bit of the mowing done. Which is nice seeing how mooseman isn't too far off and we have 3 friends going up to race with us this year.
Later in the day, he calls me again. It turns out that our cousins that own the place along with us stopped by the house today as well. They were going to get the water pump going and stuff like that. It turns out that someone broke into our basement and the cut out all the copper piping and electrical. Ugh! It's sad that someone is that bad off that they need to steal copper to sell to a scrap yard. I know it's expensive now but it's not gold (copper is less than $3 a pound). I guess it's just simple to sell. We are not the only ones dealing with this.
Scrap Metal
Stadium Lighting
More Stadium Lighting

I realize those stories are a few years old, it's an ongoing problem. People being out of work doesn't help. All in all, I'm glad that they didn't do more damage.
I'm not sure what the repair schedule is going to be. Hopefully it can be taken care before Mooseman. Not the end of the world if it isn't, it will just be a little less convenient.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April Review

I was looking over my April workouts and the numbers look pretty good in terms of distance/volume. Yet when I looked at the bike total I felt that didn’t really tell the whole story. I know I wasn’t on the bike often enough in April, my sore right foot being part of the reason for that. So I figured I’d better start to count how many workouts for each discipline as well. This way I will be able to see when I should consider switching a swim for a bike workout or something like that.

IntenSati : This is on the list because I intend to go every chance I can. It’s just very tough to fit into the Saturday morning schedule. Everything fell into place today and I went this morning. Tiffany’s classes are always good. It was a fun way to start the weekend.

The other number that isn’t good is my Abs workout total. I really let that fall apart in April. During a couple of my running races, I could really feel my abs being tired and maybe even too tight. So I think I decided that I needed to cut back on the abs workout leading into a race. Well I raced 4 weekends in a row, so the abs workouts just disappeared. That’s no good. I’m now going to attempt to reduce the intensity of the abs workouts during race weeks, rather than skipping the workout.

The majority of my abs workout continues to be plank and side planks. For low back I do some Superman pose. I’ll also sneak in the Ab Ripper from P90X from time to time.

Speaking of the P90X I’ve got a couple of friends that are doing this and loving it. I’ve wanted to add some weight training to try and work out some of my imbalances for quite awhile. I never seem to get around to it tho’. So I just put it onto the calendar starting the week after Mooseman. I realize adding something like this screams overtraining but it’s going to be a very light weight plan. I’ve got 4 different exercises in mind I don’t want to have many more. I figure it will set me up well for a heavier weight training program starting after the NYC Marathon.

Good training article found here .

Inspiring Video here . Dang!