Sunday, February 28, 2010

NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake 4 miler

Results can be found here.

We got in from our Friday night IntenSati class in NYC late, after midnight. I got to bed around 1AM. Saturday was a scheduled day off. Thank goodness. My hamstrings and glutes were hurtin'. Genine actually got up and went to Tiffany's IntenSati class at 8AM. I eventually got on the treadmill and walk/jogged to warm up, then stretched a ton. Then rolled out with the stick. (the stick is really a good thing to have around BTW).

We then got ready to head over to Kevin and Lara's in Brooklyn. A nice easy drive, then we turn into the neighborhoods. Whoops, that's right, we just got 12-15 inches of snow the other day. The cars parked in front of all the houses are just packed in by snow plows. We probably should have brought a shovel. It might not matter, we might not find a parking space anyhow! We figure anywhere within' 5 blocks of their place is going to be a miracle. Well we got that miracle. Somebody was actually pulling out just as we were closing in on their space! It can't possible be legal. There must be a hydrant or a driveway. I hop out dig around in the snow to make sure... Wahoo! I think we are good! Only 2 blocks away!
We walk over to their place. Drop our stuff off and head out to dinner. Casa Pepe! A good mexican place just a few blocks away. Had we known, we should have said it was someone's birthday. Two other people were celebrating birthdays and the restaurant would crank up Tequila and pour Tequila straight out of the bottle directly into their mouth. The one woman must have had about 5 or so shots poured in on her first try! Yikes! Anyhow, it was a good dinner and a good visit. How often do you get laughing so hard you are crying?

Sunday morning: Wake up, find "The Stick" and attempt to get the back of my legs loose. There is a definite chance that my hamstrings lock up on me during the run today. Guess we will see.
We take the subway up to the park and walk over to the race site. We dump our boots, sweats and jackets onto Kevin and Lara. There really isn't much time for a warmup run again (5 minutes or so). I just jog up the road a bit and try to get some blood moved to my legs, work on the hamstrings real quick then jump into the very back of the 1st corral. I'm going to have room to run this week!

PreRace video provided by Kevin

The gun goes off and away we go. I realize I didn't remember to eat a GU or anything on the way over, dumb! Anyhow, the biggest hill on the course starts probably less than a quarter mile into the race. I focus on keeping my arms pumping and my breathing under control. I feel like I'm holding my ground within the pack. Once it flattens out I start looking for my "rabbit". I pick someone out but I don't think I gain a step on them the entire first mile, which I finished in 7:20. That falls in the ballpark of where I thought I would be in terms of speed. Breathing is good and everything is under control. Sadly my HR monitor is not picking up again this week.

2nd mile: Where did my rabbit go? Doesn't matter just keep the speed up. There aren't too many people getting by me but I don't feel I'm passing anyone either. This mile seemed fairly flat. I ran mile 2 in 7:12.

3rd mile: This would be the downhill portion of the run. Now people are passing me. Grrr! I am trying to let loose on the downhill but it's just not happening. The tight hamstrings could be part of it. I get to the mile marker expecting to see that I had a really bad mile. Turns out it was 7:06.

4th mile: I'm glad I had my watch with me and that I was tracking my splits. Because otherwise I really would have thought I didn't have a shot of making my goal of being under 30 minutes. (my challenge goal was to be under 29 min). I guess what I'm saying is I was starting to feel poorly. I was really bummin' that I didn't eat that GU now as well. The only carbs I've had today was 2 slices of toast. Whatever... bad race day management, but I've got 3 good miles behind me so I'm going to keep pushing. There was a bit of a hill going in towards the finish and as hard as I tried to find another gear I had nothing. I was going as fast as I was going to go. Final mile 7:34.

Final Time 29:11 = 7:17 min/mile average
457th overall of 3684
404th Male of 1935
I'm happy with that. I'm confident that it will get faster over the next 3 months.

My lungs always get really funky post race when it's cold out. I think they are fine while I'm running but shortly after I stop breathing deeply just causes me to start coughing. (so I don't breathe deeply for awhile). I think it's the cold. The good news is that I should be able to test that theory out at my next race in 2 weeks, because I will be running that one in Florida.

Big thanks to Kevin and Lara for everything this weekend. We had a great time!

Weekend Update & NYRR 4mile Al Gordon Snowflake Run

This has been such a fun weekend filled with good times with good friends and a few good calorie burns. Can't beat that, right? I'm not feeling very verbose, so I'm letting Matt do all the talking about the 4mile NYRR run today and the fun we had in Brooklyn with Kevin & Lara. But briefly, here are my thoughts from the weekend.

1. Back-to-Back IntenSati workouts make for a strong mind, but sore gluts & hamstrings.
2. I do not miss living in Brooklyn, especially when it snows.
3. As always, Kevin & Lara were gracious hosts. I always feel at home in their home.
4. Kevin is one of the best story tellers I know. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard!
5. How does one allow large amounts of tequila to be poured down their throat without choking? That stuff is nasty!
6. Considering my tight gluts & hamstrings, I am pretty happy with my race today. I finished under my goal time of 40min (36:49) and managed a 9:12pace. I'll take it...for now.
7. Prospect Park is a beautiful place for running.
8. I'm looking forward to getting on a training plan for my run and marking my improvements in distance & speed by running a few more races this spring.
9. Racing today got me excited for the start of tri season!!
10. Can I get over my intense fear of snakes and murky water to sign up for NJ Devilman Half Lite? I really think I want to try that distance. Matt thinks I could PR considering how fast I run when I see snakes! :-)

Here are a few pics/videos from today's race:

Taking the subway to the race.

Snowy Prospect Park.

Matt, Lara and Kevin

Matt & I post race with the snowman at the park entrance. We were loving the mustache!

Happy Runner

Post Race Wrap Up

A first, and probably a last all in the same day!

Indoor Triathlon-Chautauqua, NY

The good news first. I finished as Third Male Overall in a triathlon. Let me repeat that,... I finished Third Male Overall in a triathlon. The format was 15 minutes per event with a 5 minute period for transition. 5 people went at a time. The event was then calculated by mileage,... straight up: no multiplier for any of the events. That seems to work great for a person that doesn't swim well. I finished with almost 8.4 miles, and 5th of 50+ people and teams. One woman was .15 ahead of me and one team finished ahead of me.

Swim- I planned to swim 1/4 mile and then quit and rest to hammer the other parts. Well, the pool was more like a pond and I had a hard time adjusting and getting used to an open water swim ( at least the murkiness was like that) when in a pool. I struggled the first 100-150 yards and was anxious and couldn't get my breathing down. I finally got in a rhythm and did "ok" and stopped with 450 yards in. I asked if I could get out if I was done, and they weren't sure so they said I had to stay int he pool until the 15 min was done. So I tacked on another 50 yards and then stood there for 1.5 minutes to collect myself. Total 500 yards

Bike- For this event, my plan was simple, pedal at the fastest speed/resistance that I could sustain for 15 minutes. I was pretty confident based on my trainer that I could do 5.5 miles. However, this was on a recumbent bike. Since it was only 15 minutes, I was able to pedal between 20 and 24.4 mph for the duration with much of my time being 23-24 mph. Total- 5.88 miles

Run- Of course, my favorite! After getting off the bike, my quads were tight, my backside sore and my legs twitching. However, my plan was to go over 2 miles if I could. I hopped on and immediately cranked it up to 9.3mph ( somewhere under 6:40 per mile). I stayed there for about 4 minutes and realized 15 minutes at this pace will not happen. So, I dialed it back to 9.0 and varied spurts as slow as 8.7 up to as fast as 9.2 miles her hour for the remainder. Total 2.2 and change for the hundredths.

It was fun, but not really reinforcing for the swim especially when considering a half iron.........

All this just after turning the big 40! Ugh. I'm sure this doesn't give me anything on the USA triathlon, but it was cool to place overall.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

IntenSati in NYC

If you haven't read Matt's post right below this one, please read it before reading this one. He did such a great job of putting pen to paper and expressing the spirit of IntenSati.

I registered for this event 6 weeks ago and had been anxiously awaiting the day. At the time I signed up, I was expecting to attend by myself. So when the plans allowed for Matt and Tiffany to join me, I was elated. I'm always thrilled to workout with Tiffany, especially when we are fortunate enough to attend Patricia's class together. But what really felt the best was knowing that Matt chose to step out of his comfort zone, face his fears & discomfort, and experience IntenSati for himself. I had no doubt that he would be great, but I also know how intimidating it is trying a class (especially a BIG one) for the first time.

Before every workout, Patricia addresses the class by sharing what is happening in her life, her challenges and how she is choosing to face them. I think this is what I respect most about her - she is real. She doesn't get up there and preach about how perfect her life is. She stands up there professing she loves her life and is grateful for the challenges as they make her face her fears, make the tough decisions and through that process becomes the person she wants to be. She never claims it is easy, but that it is possible....if you really want to be it. And then from there she leads you through the most intense cardio burn of your life! But more than that, everytime I complete an IntenSati workout I am fired up and always think 2 things: 1. "Holy Crap!! That was amazing! I did it!!" and 2. "I can do/ be anything I set my mind to. I have to want it bad enough." Each workout closes with a short series of flowing yoga poses followed by a few minutes of peaceful refelction. As you sit in easy pose, Patricia (in her soothing voice) reinforces that affirmations that we spent the last hour+ declaring. It is done. All is good.

I was thankful to have the opportunity to have Patricia sign my copy of her book, The IntenSati Method- 7 Secret Principles to Thinner Peace, last night after class. It was published last month and in it she talks about all aspects of the practice of IntenSati as well as her nutritional practices. There is also step by step instruction with photos (which Tiffany is in many of!) of the basic moves/affirmations.

I know I've said this many times before, but for me IntenSati is the best cross-training both physically and mentally. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class, do it.

The Warrior in me bows to the Warrior in You.

Tiffany, Patricia and me after class.
Note the red face and wet hair. Sure signs of a great workout!

Stepping out of the comfort zone

As many of you know, Genine goes to Yoga, Kickboxing and IntenSati each week with our instructor/friend Tiffany. She has a great time with it. I've considered going many times but it's tough to make it fit the schedule. My train doesn't get me home in time for Kickboxing Wednesday night. IntenSati is on Saturday mornings and for the longest time that was when Todd and I would run. Also weekends are also when I usually do at least 2 workouts already. Then of course there is the fact I just haven't taken group fitness classes. Also intensati doesn't include swimming, biking or running, would I even be coordinated enough to do this?

Genine and Tiffany were going to Equinox in Manhattan Friday night to attend a special IntenSati event. Workout schedule wise for me, I had been planning to take Saturday off before the Sunday race. Tiffany had offered a ticket for me to go. I had to decide if I wanted to go to an 80 person workout with the Inventor of IntenSati, whom Genine thinks is just fantastic. I decided to give it a shot.

I had teased Tiffany that I was going to show up wearing a T-shirt ripped 80's style, leg warmers with matching headband and wristbands. This was not a joke being made about the workout I was about to do. I knew going in that there was a very good chance I was going to be hurting the next day.
The studio filled up. It was going to be tight. Patricia first talked about what inspired her to write the workout we were about to do. She explains where she is/was and how she had to work on removing certain fears from her subconscious in order to become the person she wanted/needed to be. Then we began the workout.
The music starts rockin and she shows us the first couple moves that we are going to do. Once we started moving we didn't stop for 75 minutes. What started as a 2 moves she continually added to until we had 19 different moves we were doing. Everyone was into it. Nobody was slacking. There were people that had to take breaks but you could tell that everyone there was giving it 100% and in some cases more. (seriously)
The other day I joked about the splash zone at yoga. It would seem I posted that joke too soon. As I had said the room was packed, I eventually became the splash zone I joked about. Maybe the headband and wristbands would have been a good idea after all.

This video gives you an idea of what the workout is like.

After the class, Patricia invited people up to the mic if they had anything they wanted to share with the class. The first woman to speak told of how she wanted to meet the man she would marry and be engaged within the year. Which was going to be quite difficult seeing how she hardly ever dated anyone her entire life. She credited Patricia/Intensati and gave an assist to Lou Gramm of Foreigner with her success. (She would rock out to "I want to know what love is"). I suppose to some of you reading this, that sounds pretty cheesy. Yet if you think about it, it really isn't at all. During the intensati workout, Patricia asks you to think about what you want in your life, then tells you to focus on it, and is building your confidence in yourself and your ability to succeed. At the very least, during that workout is an hour a week where you are thinking about yourself and who you want to be. I couldn't help but think of how it's the exact opposite of why many people go to workout. There are many people that go to workout because it is an escape. Perhaps they are putting off something they don't want to do or just gets them away from a situation they don't want to be in. While they are training they are in a zone and free from those problems for a short time. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with doing that. I'm just saying that I see how intensati is much more than a physical workout.

I learned a few other things as well. I found out that Genine knows how to throw a punch whereas me? Well not so much. Maybe it's just because Genine was rocking those sequences and I knew I wasn't matching her intensity. Genine always tells me her definition in her back and arms is because of the punches during her workouts. Now I see why.

I also expected this class would show me where some of my weaknesses are. Much in the same way yoga does for me except this is kinetic rather than static. Sure enough here I am the next morning and how am I sore? Glutes and Hamstrings, nothing new there. The class definitely would be good cross training for me for those two things alone. Doing 100's of squats and lunges during this class would be more enjoyable than standing in the basement doing 100's of squats and lunges. (which is why I don't ever seem to get around to doing them at all)

So the barrier has been broken. I've taken IntenSati. Tiffany may have to come to class prepared to mark off a splash zone for me from time to time. I'll be sure to take some punching lessons from Genine before I go. ;-)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pro Photo

Here is the action photo of me going into the finish line at last weekend's 4 mile Haiti Run.
Photo link.

I think you will like this

Shawn you could have a webpage like this if you design your swim gear cheats for the Tango.
Check this out. Kona on a Fixie, a heavy one at that. Here is the link.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

4 miler, take 2 / Florida / Fundraiser #3

I went up to the NYRR office to pickup our race numbers and timing bands today. It was a mess out there. It was dropping big wet snowflakes on us non-stop all day long. I witnessed quite a few businessmen wiping out as they were trying to walk down the street. They weren't very happy about it. Guess they need some yaktrax for those fancy shoes.
I'm #42 this Sunday and Genine is #4561. I'm hoping the course is clear and race-able.

The Florida trip triathlon isn't going to happen. The bike rental was going to be $140 and it's just too far away to be considered convenient. I found a Plan B. I'll be running a 5k or 15k trail run instead, weather permitting.

I also sent in the necessary paperwork for our (3rd annual) fundraiser today. I've been talking with them the last few days. One cool feature that they've added (mainly because of our group) is a team fundraiser site. The last couple years, everyone would direct their friends to our fundraising page. Now they've designed the system so that each person on our team can create their own personal page. I haven't seen it yet but I think the total money raised will be shown collectively on each page. They were excited to tell me about it.
They also had said there were new guidelines that had to be followed. I was beginning to worry that they were going to raise the amount needed to allocate funds specifically. Fortunately that hasn't changed. The goal again this year is to raise $10,000 or more so that every cent of that goes directly to Dr Guinan at Boston's Children's Hospital for her cancer research. I'll post more about this as it moves ahead.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Swim Video Analysis / Mooseman Crew / Dreadmill / Yoga

Genine and I are on Coach Q’s schedule for a swim video analysis on March 20th. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time now. Although I think up until very recently most of the feedback I would have received would have been about body position as that was (maybe still is) my biggest problem. Now I’m hoping there will be more feedback about what I’m doing wrong with my left arm. I still feel that I’m not pulling properly on that side. Well actually, I’m not sure I pull properly on either side. I’m also hoping this video session might be a step towards learning what I need to change so that I’m using my lats more when I swim.

To follow up the video session, Genine and I are signed up for 5 lessons, 1 per week, with Coach Q. Not only am I excited to see if he can bump me up another step like he did last year. I’m very confident that he is going to help Genine move her swim up to the next level. It’s going to be fun.

The other fun news I got yesterday is that our friend Steve is going to join us at Mooseman this year. Genine and I were definitely disappointed when they dropped the relay division. That eliminated 6 or more of our friends from going up and competing. Not to mention any entourage they may have brought along with them as a support group. So weren’t sure what to expect this year in terms of our “party”. So far we have Maija, Amy and Steve racing with us. The Farmhouse is filling up! You know that house prefers to be full.

This morning it was raining. Jim’s going to think I’m a wimp but I have a tough time getting inspired to run by myself in a 35 degree rain. I’ve wanted to start interval training. So I decided to try out the treadmill. I’m not sure I can remember the last time I’ve run on the treadmill. I certainly didn’t have a clue as to what speeds I was going to attempt or how many. I was thinking 6 ¼ mile intervals. I warm up, slowly increasing the pace. It always seems to take a bit to remember how to treadmill run without running off the front of the track. Once I was warmed up I started to increase the speed to find out what my top speed was going to be this morning. It ended up being just shy of a 7-minute mile. I’m not sure I’ve ever run on this thing that fast. Certainly a long way from that first 10-minute mile 5K I celebrated 3 years ago. I managed to do 5 ¼ mile intervals with 1/8th mile recoveries. Aerobically more was possible, I was just trying to play it smart for a change. Speed work has a way of beating up my adductors and hip flexors and I was feeling the adductors on the 5th interval. So I cooled down and stretched out.

You know what? That was actually tolerable, not dreadmill like at all. Obviously I don’t want to do much of my running on a treadmill but I think I’m going to be doing that again soon.

Yoga: I’m sure to look at me doing yoga, many people would think “why does he bother? He’s never going to be good at this” I know one of the reasons is that I now know how to stretch myself out much better than in previous years. There are stretches/poses that I’d never have thought of, or know how to do to stretch something out. That right there is worth the price of admission. Not to mention it’s a fun group. Last night Shaun and his wife Brie joined the class, our friend Alexis has already been a regular for awhile now. The joke last night was that they would paint a red box around my yoga mat and put a sign up that read “splash zone, you will get wet”, like they have at those Sea World Shows. It was a full class last night with plenty of splash zone potential. I wasn't too bad this week tho'. I'm guessing because I didn't bike before class, or maybe because Tiffany had the A/C on for longer than she typically would. (probably the A/C).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Racing again Sunday

Genine and I are both registered for the NYRR Al Gordon Classic 4 miler in Prospect Park Brooklyn next Sunday. This is a capped race, meaning there won't be 9000 people at this one. I'm sure it will be sold out but it will be raceable as long as I get myself placed into the right corral.
It's a bit early to give the weather forecast much reliability but currently it looks promising.

I seem to remember this park having more hills than the central park run. The only time I've run here was at the end of my first half marathon in 2008. Genine didn't like hearing me say that but I honestly can't remember much about the course. I guess I'll find out next weekend.

It will be a fun weekend. We will be visiting with Kevin and Lara in Bay Ridge on Saturday. I thought Kevin might run it with me but it seems the course is 22.2 miles too short for him. ;-)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Goin' to Florida

I booked a flight to go visit my dad in Florida for 5 days in March. The weather down there hasn't been all that great this winter. Colder and a ton of rain. I'm hoping that will all change by the time I get there.

My last trip down there was 2008 and there was a local sprint triathlon that I decided to race while I was there. The one where I decided I'd wear my jeans during the bike because it was so cold. (I was on a hybrid bike anyhow).
I wasn't really thinking about racing when I was down there this time, then my dad asked me if there were any events. So I went looking. There is an Olympic distance race about 90 minutes away on Sunday morning. I'm not sure it's going to work out but I'll consider it. I'm going to contact a bike shop down there about renting a bike. I'd prefer not to ride 40k on a hybrid that doesn't fit me very well.

Even if I don't end up racing, it will be fun to be down there. If I were smart I'd get to the driving range a couple times before going. I'm sure we will be out on the course at least once... a day. Haha. No not that often, maybe if I were a better golfer that would be true.

It will definitely be a run focus week in Florida if I don't race. Swimming isn't very convenient and I won't have a bike unless I decide to race. I looked at my run graph from the race 2 years ago. I haven't been charting my runs lately but I'm guessing that chart there would look awfully similar to my 4 mile run today. (without the push at the end) I'm not sure what to make of that. I should probably be further along with my running? Maybe all the NYRR races will get me in speed mode for a change. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed not to be able to "race" yesterday. There is just something about race day, it just puts me in a different frame of mind. Which is really strange considering I'm not going to make the podium. It's still really fun to be out there.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Run For Haiti Results 4mi Central Park NYC

Here is the link to the results page.

Genine's class with Tiffany was canceled for Saturday morning so she went into the city with me this morning. Wahoo!
We left the house about 7AM. We were on central park west by 8AM. We looked for parking until 8:40AM! Parking in a lot was going to cost at least $30. I really didn't feel like doing that. You could park on 72nd street starting at 9AM. So at 8:40ish Genine said she would sit with the car until it was legal to park there and then head over. So I jog over towards the start. I was thankful the portajohns didn't have pre-triathlon size lines. Then I headed to the start line, that's when I realized that this was going to be a slow run. I was directed to file in where you can. Well I was in the 11 minute mile corral which was just in front of the walkers. Only there wasn't really anyone in the walker corral. I call Genine to tell her she's not going to miss much by waiting with the car. There are 1000's of runners ahead of me, I'm not going to be able to race this.
So I've got my cell with me. I don't typically have anything with me when I run. So what do I do with it now? I decide my best solution is to tuck in into my sleeve along my forearm and hope for the best.
The starting horn goes off. People cheer. We stand and wait. And wait... eventually we shuffle.. then wait. I should have looked to see how closely to 9AM the horn went off. I got to the start line at 9:20. At which point I hear the announcer say there are over 10,000 runners. I'm fairly certain I'm in the last 1000 to cross the start line. If they started the race right at 9AM, the winner finished 20 seconds after I crossed the starting line.
Fortunately I didn't come into this race with high hopes of putting up a good time. Although the weather couldn't be any more perfect for a good run. 40 degrees and sunny.
The good news is I remembered to wear my polar watch today. Bad news is the Battery in my HR Strap died on me before I got to the start line. (not a big deal). So I kept track of my mile splits along the way.
Mile 1: 8:58 LOL! I think to myself, maybe it will open up later in the race. (really?)
Mile 2: 7:53 There was a decent stretch where I ran tight to the curb and up on the grass when necessary.
Mile 3: 8:39 I think this is because of a bottle neck in the course. It got tight and you couldn't bob and weave.
Mile 4: 7:32 This is because people were on a down hill and people were yelling "you're almost there!" to them. I'm not sure all those people considered a half mile to go as "almost there" as quite a few of them would be pushing hard and then slow to a walk.
I'll admit that I also stopped my watch before crossing the finish line. In my defense it was because I couldn't get to the finish line. I was at a complete stop about 15 yards from the finishing gate.
My watch time was 33:02.
I walk over the finish. Pull my phone out and call Genine. I ask where she is. She says she's just in front of the finish line and she's upset that she didn't even see me. Then my phone died. Have I ever mentioned how much I sweat? Fortunately she had given me a clue as to where she was before that happened.
My official race time 33:21. 8:20 pace.
Overall 2256, Gender 1657, Age 329
I didn't bother to see out of how many people for each category. It doesn't matter. It was a nice day to run in central park and raise money for Haiti. All the entry fee money was donated. So I guess they raised over $400,000. I'm sure it was much more than this with the extra donations.

Hopefully they don't look at this race result to place me into corrals in future races.
My biggest concern? I hope that I don't have this much trouble finding parking for future races.

Here is a picture of me after the race.

Update: phone dried out and is working again. Whew!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Follow up on Diet vs Training

So I was curious as to just how much faster I'd be on the bike if I weighed 10-15 pounds less.
I found a "bike calculator" that helps answer that question. Of course I haven't a clue what kind of power I can push but I played around with it a bit to see what happens.

Here is a link to the Mooseman Bike course if you want to try and estimate some distances and elevations. Turn on Elevations from the menus on the left side of the screen.

Enter in 190lbs. 4 mile hill. pushing 150W. 300ft climb. Then change to 170lbs. It looks to be about 45 seconds faster or .5 mph faster. Which doesn't sound like much, but if you visualize that 45 seconds as him cresting the hill 45 seconds ahead of you...

I seem to choose races that have hills so I may as well try to make the job easier for myself. Although I'm starting to think I need to choose one flat course this summer.
NJ State perhaps. It's about 25 minutes away and the swim is a non-wetsuit swim which I am fine with.

Low Fuel

It was a long day yesterday. Started out swimming at 6AM with Maija.
500m warmup.
2x150m race pace.
6x100 on 1:40. Which meant I'd get about one breath before I had to start again. After the 2nd one I was on 1:45.
100m easy
12x50 on :50. Again almost no break for me I ended up doing mostly :55's
100m easy.
Then I had to catch my train.
I don't think I've pushed myself to try and make intervals like that in quite awhile. It may not have been my best swimming technique but it was fun.

At lunch I went up to the NYRR office to pick up race numbers. I was in and out of the NYRR office in less than 5 minutes. The trip on the subway from 23rd street to 89th street is something I'm not looking forward to doing 7 more times. Yes I took the Subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan for 6-7 years, but as impressive as the NYC subway system is, I don't miss it.

After work, I figured I had better run, seeing how I haven't done that much lately. I ran 5k. I didn't take my watch or HR monitor. I just wanted to focus on perceived effort/feel more than anything. I was hoping to get some speedwork in, but my legs were in disagreement. I took about a 30 min break, and then I hopped on the bike. This is where I really got to feel just how shot my legs were. I ended up just spinning somewhat easy for 30 minutes.
I'd guess half of my weakness is from the diet. Meaning my lack of calories. The weight is dropping, which is good, but I'll admit when I'm having a weak training session, I wonder if it's worth it. I'm sure it is though. I've dropped 8 pounds and I'm still not to my average weight from last summer (ugh!) and I'd like to try and be lighter than that. Power to weight ratio!

Today is an off day, from training, not the diet. I'll be curious to find out how well the legs are recovered for Saturday morning's race. It looks like I'll be going it alone. I'm hopeful that I manage a good race morning and am able to push hard. I think it would be a good measure of where I am and help me get my run training plan put together.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

107 Call Out

We started scheduling our official Spring 2010 fundraiser luncheon calendar at work this week. Which of course means...Greek Lunch!! Which of course means...Mooseman 2010 is around the corner...107 days to be exact. And that of course means it is soon time to kick-off our 2010 fundraising campaign for Dr.Guinan. It's hard to believe that is is almost upon us. While it is such a big effort for both Matt and me, it is quite possibly the most rewarding.

OK, let me make the call out official.... Who's in for Mooseman 2010? Matt & I are already registered along with our friend Amy. That still leaves plenty of room at the house. (hint-hint) There are still race slots open, but don't delay. They will surely fill soon. Our C5 and Bloomie's teams will not be competing due to the elimination of the relay division :-( , but everyone is welcome to make the trip to hang out, cheer, relax and of course EAT!!

So how about it Venerable Companions?? It's time for a 3-pete don't you think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Race Prep

The "Run for Haiti" 4 miler in Central Park is Saturday morning. Todd is also signed up but isn't sure if he's going to go or not. Well I'm going, the question is will I race or pace? I'm leaving this as a last minute decision. If I get a good warm-up and get myself into the race day zone, then I'll test out the leg speed. Otherwise it's just another step towards guaranteed entry for the 2011 NYC Marathon.
I also realized we are under 100 days until the Columbia Triathlon, so I made my hotel reservation. Hopefully I don't repeat last year and have to cancel it. I also hope they have better weather for the race this year.

When we were in Warren back in January, Jerry stopped by. He's been doing the P90X workouts and has been enjoying them. Seeing how long Jerry has been working out, for him to say it's a good program says a lot to me. He ran us through the Ab Ripper X routine. It's 25 reps of each move and it takes about 15 minutes. This is the ab workout I'm trying to do 3 times a week. I feel like I have a long way to go. I'd be happy with feeling average at that workout at the end of 3 months.

We went swimming tonight, 8:30 start. That's kind of rough but we were looking for a shorter workout anyhow. Alexis and Shawn showed up as well so we had a good group swim. We got 2000m in. Decent mix of pace and race. Shawn is a really good sprinter. He pushed me to really kick hard on those races. He still beat me. It was a good time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good day off (of work)

I figured I'd be up early go run hills, then head to the pool. Instead, I had to move stuff for the guys working on the baseboard trim in our house. I think we might be in the final week of playing the tile puzzle game with all of our belongings in every room. We relocated so much of our stuff it's getting tough to find anything.
So I got out the door for my run around noon. 4 miles of the hill loop. It was good to be out running, it's been about 10 days. I've been curious to see if my foot pain improves if I don't run. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference.
I then went to the Y to swim but the kids swim meet had already begun. So much for that idea. Back to the house then off to run errands.
Home Depot to order blinds: After 20 minutes, it was determined there was nobody that could help me. The person is on lunch and return time unknowable.
Auto Zone to get engine code read: 10 minute wait, 3 people were working, but only one guy doing anything. After 10 minutes I decided it wasn't going to happen for at least another 10 minutes. So I drove to the garage instead. Of course he's doesn't have time until Thursday.
Not a very productive outing. I guess I should have waited at one of those places, at least something might be off the list.
Genine calls, she's on her way home. She figures we will have time for an hour on the bike trainer before going to Yoga. I'm not sure how good of an idea that is (biking before yoga) but I'm going to give it a shot.
We do a base builder workout. I'm supposed to stay in zone 2, it kinda turned into high zone 3, 4ish. For whatever reason, with the new bike position I just seem to be pushing higher heart rates. I'm going to have to learn to dial it back if I'm going to bike anything longer than an hour. We finish with less than an hour before we have to leave to get to yoga.
Tiffany begins Yoga by telling us that it's going to be a tough session and that you can go into Downward Dog or Child's Pose at any point to take a break. This is going to be interesting. Surprisingly enough I was feeling strong, but I heated up and was drenched within' ten minutes of the class starting. That was not surprising to me of course but I was good for some comic relief for the rest of the class. Nothing new there either. I guess I should show up with a mop to class next week.
(by the way, I figure the others aren't sweating because they are slackin')

It was pointed out to me that the NYRR Run this Saturday will count for 2 races towards the 9+1 I need to do for the 2011 NYC Marathon. Wahoo!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bit of a break.

Here is my Feb so far. I guess I forgot how to run. I have tomorrow off, so I'll make sure I get out there. I have a long to do list as well I'm going to have to pace myself. Speaking of pacing, I'm racing a 4 miler in Central park next Saturday morning. It won't be fast. Hopefully it will inspire me to start working on my run speed.

Feb 1st: 2500m swim 6AM. Terrible swim. I’m going to blame the tough weekend of workouts. Maybe Monday AM swim is a bad idea.
Yoga in the Evening
Feb 2nd: AM Bike 17.5 miles before work. Legs are tired.
PM Swim w/ Genine and Alexis 2550. Good swim 6x100 1:38s-1:40s
Feb 3rd: PM Run 4 miles. Petsmart run. Easy.
Feb 4th: PM Abs… sort of, my core needs work.
Feb 5th: AM Swim w/ Maija 2400m. Good swim. Not awesome but good.
Feb 6th: Day off. Meant to do Abs at some point. Painted all day tho’.
Feb 7th: Day off. More painting.
Feb 8th: AM Swim 2200m. PM Yoga
Feb 9th: Bike Fit
Feb 10th: Snowstorm, Paint 2 rooms in the house
Feb 11th: PM Bike 15.5 miles trainer. New setup became uncomfortable at about 45 min.
Feb 12th: ABS. Not sure I should call this a workout day. They need the work.
Feb 13th: Swim 3000m. Mostly 100’s.
Feb 14th: Swim 2500m. Mostly pull. Was going to bike ended up doing ABS.

Swim: 15,150m
Bike: 33 miles
Run: 4 Miles
Abs: 3
Yoga: 1

The good news is things are coming together on the interior of the house.
The addition of some core work is also a bonus.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time on the trainer

Had the day off Wednesday because of the snowstorm. We ended up painting 2 of the rooms that day and never got a workout in. Although a full day of painting may be worth something?
I finally got an hour in on the trainer tonight. I have been very curious to see how I was going to adapt to the new bike setup. Here is what I experienced.
1: Higher heart rate to achieve cadence in same gear ratios.
2: I have never had this smooth of a spin before. Before my fit, I always had to focus on creating a smooth spin. Now it just seems to happen.
3: I was hopeful that my back/hip "pain" would be diminished. Didn't happen, Guess I keep working on strength and sretching.
4: Aerobar pad position may be too far back. When I stand up I'm concerned my knees will hit them.

I've got to build up some new muscles it would seem. Glad that I've got a few months to do that.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Matt's Retul Bike Fit.

2006 Trek 2200 Road bike with Profile Design clip on aerobars.

In my previous post, I had said I felt confident about my decision to spend the money to do this because of the person that was going to work on my fit. Well he wasn’t going to be doing my fit. Not a big deal. It’s not a problem until it is a problem.

So Elliot Kalmus was in charge of fitting me today. The first order of business was setting the cleats on my shoes. I had told him that my left side seemed alright. So he matched that up on the right side before I even got on the bike. Then we put the bike up on the trainer, attached all the “dots” for the Retul computer and I started to pedal. Before he even started to capture data, he listed off 3 adjustments he could see. Saddle Height was going to go up. Aerobar pad position would be wider and pushed back. The saddle was likely to move forward as well.

Next we captured some data to get a baseline. Once that was done, he started by moving my saddle higher. He’d make a quick measurement using a goniometer. Then we’d spin again and make another capture on the computer and compare the numbers to the “ideal” Tri Bike fit numbers.

It was about this time that I was introduced to John Kameen (I’m pretty sure I got his last name right). He’s the regional sales rep for Cervelo. It didn’t take long to see that this is a guy who really enjoys his job. So now I’ve basically got 2 people helping me dial in my bike fit.

Rather than give you the play by play, I’ll just list some of the things I found interesting.

Bike Cleat positioning. As I mentioned before, I was having a tough time positioning my delta clip on to my right shoe. I just couldn’t seem to figure out how to match the left cleat, which seemed to be comfortable. Here is the trick. Find a level edge with a lip and hang the shoes from the cleats so that the heel is hanging towards the floor. With the shoes hanging side by side, you should be able to eye up or measure the fore/aft position of the cleat. The other thing this allows you to do is see the outward/inward angle the cleat is placing your foot when clipped in. When I stand neutral my toes point away from center as do most people’s. So we put a bit of this into the cleat position.

For aerobar position, we moved the elbow pads wider and back. The bars moved forward and turned in for a more relaxed grip. They now look more like those aerobars that are all one piece in a diamond shape up front.

With all that setup the measured angles were much closer to the “Tri Fit” range. Next it was time to find out how aggressive we could get with my aero position. Which basically meant how low could we go with the bars. With a regular bike fit, I think this is where they would make adjustments and then say “that’s a better angle, how does it feel for you?” Well in my case, so much has changed everything felt strange. Fortunately the Retul software offered them better feedback than I was providing them.

The one measurement that came to their attention was how my knee was tracking during the pedal stroke. Keep in mind this is taking into account whether my knee moves outward or inward during the stroke as well. The numbers showed that I had quite a bit of travel to the outside. Which points to the cleat position again. My cleats were placing my feet too closely to my bike. They set up a laser line to view my foot position compared to my knee position. We adjusted them so that they were tight to the inside of the shoe, moving my shoe/foot further from the bike. The numbers improved significantly. There was also a graphic for this measurement. You could see the shape of every pedal stroke superimposed on top of each other. So you saw how the range of motion tightened up and also that there was much less variation.

This measurement played a part in determining how low I could go with my bars. We kept removing spacers, lowering my position until I would end up moving myself out of position somehow to compensate for the “too low” position. It was pretty incredible because all of the numbers were so repeatable. Meaning once we’d gone too far, we’d back up a step and all the numbers would fall right back into place.

I know I’m accused of writing really long posts but this really is the abbreviated version. We were making adjustments for nearly 3 hours! I can see how you can really spend a ton of time perfecting a setup when you have the right tools.

At one point I mentioned my concern about whether my bike was the right size and my issue of being 5’10 with a 30” inseam (short legs). They said that unless you can’t stand over the top tube the standover height isn’t nearly as important as the top tube length. The height of your fit can be adjusted in a very big way. Whereas you are somewhat limited to how far forward or back they can move you. Yes you can get a long stem but you start running into bike handling issues. That made a ton of sense to me. Place your upper body measurement higher in priority than your standover.

John (Cervelo Rep) then mentioned that when I buy a triathlon bike I’d likely never go back. My build is such that a tri bike would fit me better. He then said gauging by the numbers we just got from the Retul session, that a Cervelo P2 56cm would likely fit me better than a P3. Something about the headstack I believe. My guess is the P3 would be more aggressive aero position? I haven’t looked yet.

If you haven’t guessed, I left feeling like that was money well spent.

Now that I’ve got my fit, I think I’ve got some serious adjusting to do. Enough has changed that I have an odd feeling of being weaker on the bike. They said I’d likely feel settled in after 4-6 rides. (keep in mind that they made big changes).

I’ll let you know how it all feels after I get on the trainer later today.


I forgot to mention when working on the adjustment to keep my knee from travelling in odd directions. They got some big tie wraps and pulled the front part of my Adamo ISM saddle a bit more closely together.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pre Bike Fit Thoughts

I'm a couple hours from going in for my Retul bike fit. I went back and forth quite a bit trying to decide if this was worth the money. It's not like I'm ever going to get money back from this investment. The whole thing for me is injury prevention.
As you might remember last year, I had that trouble spot just below my right knee. After my runs, I was having to ice down and I had 24 hours of trouble. Heck when Jim saw it he really figured something was disconnected or damaged. Initially I thought this was a run injury, seeing how my knee popped that one morning during a run. I'm not positive it was exclusively a running injury. It's really difficult to be positive about anything when you are training three different sports. I am positive about one thing though. My right hip/lower back hated being on the bike for more than an hour all of last year. So there are 2 things from last season that I'd like to try to fix.
Then of course I have a new saddle and my new cleats and pedals. My right ankle and knee has not been happy with this change at all. I'm not sure what's up. I'm not sure I can even describe it well to someone so that they can offer suggestions. My current fit is bad enough that I've taken a week off the bike going into this fit because I don't want to get used to my current bad setup. I also didn't want my ankle and knee to be injured.
All that is probably more than enough reason to want help getting a bike fit. Now the next part of the equation. Trusting the person fitting you.
Laurel Wassner recommended Drew at Ridgewood Cycle Shop to me. There is a big +1. Pros are happy with their fit. Next, I wanted to find out more about this guy. Well he's finished 4 ironman races. Another +, he's a triathlete. I say that because if he was a road biker, he might not be knowledgeable to the finer points of a triathlon fit. (especially me with my clip-on areobars). Alright, I'm definitely feeling confident about my choice.
So what's in the back of my mind right now? The fact that every bike shop I go into, when they eye me up to get a bike size they peg me for a 56cm and I'm on a 54cm. My legs are so short I can't stand over a 56cm top tube. I'm definitely curious to see what types of adjustments they will be making. Heck, maybe this bike is just all wrong for me and I should buy a properly sized Cervelo. ;-) I'm joking. I'd be really surprised if they tell me I'm on the wrong frame. I'm not going to be surprised if we have to swap out stems or seat posts tho'.
I'm sure there is more, but I feel this is just a rambling post at this point. I'm excited. Looking forward to fixing this problem with my right side, then getting back to training. Only 103 days until the Columbia Triathlon!

PS: I had to smile when I saw that Laurel has the picture I took of her at Uberman up on their new homepage.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Get Lean! Losing the final 10 pounds.

Whole bunch of advice on how to lose those final 10 pounds. I was kind of surprised at some of the suggestions. I'm not sure how accurate some of the scientific / biology / nutrition statements are. I just figured it was a good collection of ideas.
Check it out here.

(yes I realize I have more than 10 pounds to lose)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Serious eating.

Well after many failed attempts to get on track in January with our eating, Genine and I are officially back on track. It's not that we were eating junk, it's just that we couldn't get ourselves into that calorie deficit mode.
(I take that back, I did have a bad habit of grabbing a Luna bar or Clif Bar pre or post workout. I have no need for that type of thing right now. That problem is now in check)
I was having a heck of a time trying to figure out exactly how I was going to get this thing going. It wasn't like I had bad stuff I needed to cut out. I just had to eat less. So I had to make less. It's funny how you get in the habit of say, 3 slices of toast, 2 eggs, 2 whites, 8 oz glass of juice. It's just routine. So now it's 2 slices, 1 egg, 3 whites, 6 oz of juice. Apply that thinking to 5 meals a day and I've achieved my deficit.
The last 3 days I've had major deficit going on and yet I'm not feeling any of the usual "symptoms". The other day I biked 17.5 miles in the morning, then swam 2500 at night and only had 1800 calories. All I can think is that it's because I'm not doing speed work. Long Slow Distances and I'm just burning the fat. Burn baby burn!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dangerous Snack

Almonds. Eh.. I can take em or leave em.
Then I had these. Blue Diamond Salt and Vinegar Almonds.

These are awesome.
Just thought I'd should share the love that is going on with this product here at our house.