Monday, June 28, 2010

One week to go

Next Monday I start the 18 week marathon training program. I'm ready for it. I already know I'm not going to be able to follow it exactly. Our summer is just too busy and there are too many other fun options. It's a guideline and as I get further along into the plan I will need to follow it more closely.
Here is what I'm thinking. I'm going to give the Hal Higdon Intermediate 2 plan a shot. There are 3 20 milers and one 19 miler on that list. That may be way too much for me. The thing is, I can dial it down to the Intermediate 1 plan if it's not going well. I'd rather go for it rather than play it safe by starting with the easier plan. (bad idea?)
I've looked ahead and there are big runs on the weekends of the 2 sprint triathlons near home. (Skylands/Buckman). I guess on those days, I'll be the guy that finishes the race. Then has to go back out for another couple hours of running. Or I'll have to have done my long run the day before these races. Actually, I'm guessing I'll only be doing one event for Skylands. I think I can get our relay team back together. Team "Steve Austin" needs to win it this year.

Sunday, Genine and I finally got out on the bikes, it's been awhile because of travel and such. We had been wanting to do the Buckman bike course twice and we finally made that happen. This was also the first time riding since I purchased my headsweats cap. Well we had the heat to make it a good test for that. It was in the low 90's and we were out for about 2 hours. That course isn't as shady as I thought it was. The headsweats cap was great. I'd say 80% effective on helping keep my sunglasses clear of sweat. On a flatter course it probably would have been even better. I'd really start dripping on the hill climbs. Anyhow, big thumbs up for the headsweats cap.

I got 7 miles of running in with Todd on Saturday morning. Then that afternoon Genine and I got to the pool. I knocked out 3000m following the workout to the letter.
The new masters swim coach came over and introduced himself. Classes will be Monday and Friday nights. Well that pretty much says we won't be signing up until late in the fall. We are gone too many Fridays and Monday night is Yoga. Not a big deal, I'm feeling pretty good about my swimming at the moment and other than the Tango race, I don't have anything on the schedule that has me worried about my swimming.

The calorie deficit is still rolling. I'm down 5.5 pounds in 21 days that's ahead of plan. I'd love to be down a full 10 after our vacation in NH, 14 days from now. After that if I lose a pound a week every week until the Marathon I will be where I want to be. It may not be possible but I plan to find out.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

5-Finger Revolution

Well, I finally got me some Vibram 5-Finger "shoes." I've been selling the idea of these for years, running in my Sambas, and wishing for even less, so I finally decided to go for it. My Sambas were starting to hurt, and my Brooks got a little squashed last year during the Tango, leading to discomfort on longer runs. I'm gonna try the minimalist approach and see what happens. I'm basically a barefoot evangelist already, so i sincerely hope I am not disappointed.

In addition, I too, like Matt, am in diet deficit mode, trying to lose a truckload of weight. I am shooting for an unreasonable amount, but I will take what I get. All out this month. Gotta get down for the Tango, my only race this year. Anyone think I can do a 3500 calorie deficit daily? That's close to my base metabolism, so if I eat nothing for the month, I might be good. I bought a new scale today so I can track the effectiveness, and I have my flipcam, so I might see what kind of entertaining montage I can put together of this effort. I'll try to start with the filming tonight.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I’ve completed my volunteer requirements for the NYRR 9+1 NYC Marathon 2011. Wednesday I went to the NYRR office and helped hand out race bibs and later explained how to attach the D-Tag chip to your shoe to first timers.

I’ve learned that I’m not very quick at pulling names out of the box. Towards the end of my shift the order of the alphabet kind of left me. It was probably a good thing that I was moved to the D-Tag station right as the after work rush happened. I caught up with the other volunteers later and they said people were much less patient once there was any kind of wait.

It was interesting to see the runner demographic in a non-race setting. I was disappointed that I chose a race that didn’t have the person’s pace listed on the bib. I think that could have made it even more interesting. I would have tried to guess the pace of each person just by looking at them.

All in all it was a very simple job and I’m now one NYRR race finish from earning my 2011 entry.

I haven’t been keeping track of my SBR mileage lately. Mainly because it’s just been too crazy making trips every other weekend to race. Also it feels like the only thing that has been happening with any kind of plan has been my running.

Fortunately I think I’m starting to get back into the groove again. We got back to NJ Monday evening and had just enough time to make it to yoga then do some core after that. That’s a good way to recover from a 6 hour car ride.

Tuesday: I am determined to get my eating under control and create the calorie deficit I need to knock off some of this weight.

Tuesday morning was not ready to run in the AM it would have been a bad move. So after work I did the core work when it was raining. (ab ripper + planks). Then once it stopped raining out for an easy 4 mile run.

Solid day of eating I’m guessing about 1500-1700 calories which is really low for me.


Wednesday morning I’ve been meaning to get back to a morning swim schedule and today I finally got there. Later than I’d hoped but I got there and fit 2500m in and I didn’t cheat the kick sets. Okay I put fins on for the 300m kick set. That’s because it’s Tango training! Turns out Bob was also swimming. I didn’t catch up with him until after the swim tho’. I talked with him for a bit and it sounds like Wednesday swim workouts might fit both of our schedules. That will be really good for me, he’s a better swimmer than I am and that will keep me fighting to keep up.

Afternoon/ evening was spent as you read above at the NYRR office handing out numbers. I got back to NJ around 9PM. I realized my hip flexors are very fatigued feeling, so the abs workout was all static work (planks) no ab ripper stuff.

Another good day of eating with one mistake, I didn’t plan enough food for the trip home after NYRR. I had to pick up a turkey sandwich on the way home. I kept it plenty healthy. At worst I may have hit 2000 calories for the day.

Thursday morning, Todd is out of town so I’m on my own for the run. It’s going to be short so I spend about 30 minutes doing yoga to get stretched out. Hip flexors are definitely an issue. Ab ripper followed by a run on Tuesday was probably the cause. Heck Ab ripper all by itself might be the cause. I figure a 3 mile run was more than enough, I don’t want to push this into an injury.

Thursday evening, we were planning on biking but it was still 90+ degrees out and Genine wasn’t feeling her best. It sounded like a bad combination. So we relaxed in the A/C then went to the pool around 8:30 and I got another 2500m in. I just fit it in and that was following every rest break by the book.

Another solid day of eating 1700-1900 calories.

I can definitely feel the calorie deficit. Speed work would definitely finish me in a hurry. I have to be happy with whatever speed feels doable and know that eventually I’ll be eating enough to do harder workouts. At the moment the focus is dropping weight not getting faster. In a way dropping weight will be the same as getting faster, it just doesn’t feel like it during the workout.

I’m very surprised how easy it’s been to eat so little this week. I think it might be because it’s very Atkins like (no simple carbs) so it’s all about fat burn for energy. It must have made the change quickly because I have not been craving carbs. Or maybe it’s the lower intensity workouts? Whatever it is, I’m not complaining, I’m actually looking forward to hopping on the scale Monday.

For the record my daily breakdown of fat/protein/carbs has been averaging 30/30/40. Which sounds really high on the fat side of things but with the reduced carb calories it's not a very accurate picture. At the moment I'm only looking at doing this for another week before adjusting back to a 500 calorie deficit with a balance closer to 15/20/65. I'll use this method to get an idea of how many calories I need every day, then apply the 500 calorie deficit.

Oh one thing I forgot to mention, when I go without eating simple carbs I start to have issues with muscle cramps. I was reminded of this at the pool Wednesday morning. My feet kept cramping up. The next thing that was likely to happen is the leg cramps while sleeping. It’s kind of a weird side effect if you don’t know why this is happening. Here is what I’ve read, because you don’t have simple carbs to burn, you are burning much more fat. Your body is in ketosis. The process of burning fat requires more electrolytes to get the energy. You are using more than you typically do. In an attempt to keep the cramping at a minimum, I’ve been taking my Hammer Electrolyte capsules. I figure it’s more balanced than just using table salt on my food. It’s been working well so far.

Here is an article that's pretty in depth about muscle cramps. I think just for fun we might mix up a batch of switchel. I remember my Dad and Grandfather were drinking this when they were installing a roof. It would be pretty comical if this turns out to be the answer for my leg cramps during long races. Of course I can't find the link with the benefits of each ingredient at the moment.

Friday is a day off. I’ll do planks and that’s it. I may go get a massage to see if I can make the hip flexors chill out. It should be a full weekend of swim/bike/run, they had better be ready.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

From a whisper to a Rumble

Hear the rumble....GIRL POWER...KB2 Unite!

waka waka

Hi Folks, here's the 2010 mooseman recap, filled with rain, mosquitoes, lost gu and missing bikes. Just your typical triathlon. Though I was really bumming I could not participate, simply by being there and observing I felt good and of course very inspired to keep training and perhaps do the Buckman in September.

And yes, I've been watching way too much world cup action (GO USA and SPAIN!) but I felt the lyrics of the song were a good indicator of what goes on during a triathlon. Simply substitute AFRICA with MOOSEMAN and it should work. Enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Front Page News

Another small town perk, our 5k/10k makes front page news for the local paper.
In this shot they got a picture of Jim, Marty and I. Jim in Green, I'm behind to the left in white, Marty to the left of me in white.
Here's a shot of Genine she's wearing the white hat.

And here's a movie of my golf swing if anyone wants to post video analysis.

We played a course which was pretty wide open and even the rough is playable. Shot 49/50. The 9 on the par 5 on the back didn't help. I did putt in regulation (18) on the back 9.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

5K or 10K?

We got to Warren Friday night/ Saturday morning at 2:30AM (we left at 7:30) I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to stay awake but we made it, with the help of a ton of stuff I normally don't consume.
A Venti Coffee from Starbucks full caf, not decaf at around 8:30. Then we hit construction at 10:30PM on I 80. So we hit the side roads using the GPS. As we were riding the nice country roads we came across this stretch of road that would be awesome for a bike TT race (it's shorter than I thought). Great pavement and almost no side roads. They could just close off both ends and you could fly. Only 4 miles but it looked fun.
We stopped again and I bought a Mt Dew and a Dr. Pepper. I can't remember the last time I drank a soda, but it was necessary to make it home safely. Genine was asleep for most of the ride. I was surprised at how easily I stayed awake. Glad to have made it safely.
We woke up at 8AM then went to the Y to register for a fundraiser 5K or 10K. As I'm making breakfast, it feels like my hands are shaking from being buzzed on the caffeine and sugar last night. Very odd and weird. I guess that's why I gave it up.
We get to the Y, I see Jim and Marty I ask which they are doing. Jim says he has a chance to win the 5K so he's going to go for it. Marty says it's too hot for the 10K. Hmmm good point. I walk back over to Genine and ask which she wants to do. She says 10K. Alright, 10K it is, why not?
Jim, Marty and I go run a bit for a warmup. I'm surprised at how well I'm moving considering the long car trip last night. Very cool maybe I can put down a good run this morning afterall.
The 5K and 10K start at the same time an out and back course where the 5K has an earlier turn around is all. I didn't think about it much and I lined up towards the front of the pack. They sound the horn and we are off. The 5K speedsters are up ahead of me which is to be expected. I kind of am zoned out and just running. As I'm approaching the 5K turn around Jim is headed back at me as the leader. Nice! I pass the turn around and look ahead to see who's out there. Then I notice the 2 mile marker and I hit my watch for a split. 14:13. YIKES! That is too quick. Alright just dial it back a bit and get back into 10K mode. (easier said than done I guess). Mile 3 in 7:31 and my HR monitor is flaking out. It is HOT and I'm already wishing I had signed up for the 5K.
I get to the 5K turn around at 22:23 and I stop running. Legs are alright, Lungs are OK. HR is probably a bit too high for a 10K but not awful. So what's the problem? I am mentally exhausted already. Alright whatever, gotta get back to the finish. Just take it easy on the way back in, not a big deal. Mile 4 in 7:55 (including breaks). I stopped and walked quite a few times. Which was weird because physically I was feeling ok. Just too tired to be doing this. People would run by me and say. "You can do it, let's go!" Which was funny to me. I haven't been "that person" for quite awhile. Even more funny to me was that when I would start running again, I'd end up passing them again..... only to end up walking and they pass me again. I'm sure they were thinking "this guy needs to learn how to pace".
As I'm in the last mile running past my Jr High School, I hear someone yell from a car "Go Matt". I look over and see my friend Jen Olson driving by, guess that's the fun part of running a hometown race. I wave and think to myself that I'm glad I wasn't walking right then. LOL. Alright, not much further to go, there is one guy out ahead of me that might be in my age group. (not that I have a chance at anything with how this is going). I use it as motivation, I get by him and then look to the next person. She's far enough ahead that it's unlike that I'll catch her but I keep pushing. I thought when we got to the track we were going to get 3/4 of a lap. Instead I get there, Jim and Marty are there cheering and saying finish is just ahead. Only 100m probably, I've got a kick in me, I'm not going to catch anyone but I may as well look like I'm capable of running. So I sprint it in and finish... somewhere just shy of 50 minutes.
Live and learn. I could have run the 5K and maybe have finished at my best race pace of the year. Instead I ran the 10K and finished with my worst run pace of the year. (not confirmed but probably so). I definitely learned the importance of rest and was surprised at the fact that it attacked the mental side of my race more than the physical.
Admittedly I did start out too hot running with the 5Kers instead of holding back and shooting for a negative split 10K. That played a part as well, for sure.
You know what? It was still fun and I'm glad we got to run this morning.
If you are wondering how the rest of the crew finished. You will have to wait for the rest of the reports. :-)

mooseman 2010 video

It's ready but I can't figure out how to post it...hmm. what has changed?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Next one should be yellow

I received 2 deliveries last night. Our camera is back from repair, hopefully we can try it out this weekend at the 5k or 10k (we haven't decided which to run yet)

The other package was the headsweats skull cap. I bought a blue one. I put it on and Genine said I now need to grow the mustache that goes all the way down to the jaw. Which at first I didn't get. It reminder her of the Hulkster. His was usually yellow. LOL. She didn't say I could grow the mullet back tho'. Also notice she didn't take a picture of me with it on for the blog. In fact she said, "you can put that on only when a bike helmet will be going on over top of it ASAP".

So there you have the fashion review of the product. I'll give the function review once I get a chance to go out and ride.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Matt's Weekend report

I’ve been considering a helmet cam. My last two non-race rides have had close calls. In all 3 situations there was no reason for there to be a close call. At least one case they person was actually trying to drive as closely to us as possible without hitting us. Straight road, nobody in the other lane for miles. He hits the horn because we happened to be side by side. (which we rarely do). I immediately move over and he nearly sideswipes both of us as he passes. He didn’t even cross the double yellow line. With the helmet cam, could I have enough detail to send to police? Maybe they wouldn’t care. That’s where the Facebook group comes in. I’d be more than happy to pay money to an organization that improves laws, signing and safety for bikers. There are probably groups out there, I just need to do a bit of research. More on this later.
Unfortunately, it only takes one bad driver to really mess things up.

Another purchase that is happening is this, the headsweats skullcap. This is not a fashion statement. It’s an attempt to redirect the 2-3 pounds of sweat I lose every hour away from my sunglasses. (yes it’s really that much sweat, I know, yuck). When we finished our 3 hour ride Sunday. I handed Genine my sunglasses and said. “This is how well I can see once I start sweating.” She couldn’t believe how bad they were and said we need to find you different sunglasses. I think the fix is redirecting the sweat tho’. So I’m going to give this thing a shot.

At mooseman or columbia, we were given a Chocolate Chip Hammer bar. We tried that out this weekend too. The verdict is this. It t astes good and we think it might be easier to chew/swallow than a cliff bar. Mainly because this seemed to melt in your mouth and didn’t have oats to deal with. (I realize Cliff bars aren’t marketed to be bike race food). Although I’ve tried cliff shots on the bike and I found those to be difficult while on the move. I can understand why some people get these bike mixes that have all the nutrition they need in liquid form.
These things are expensive enough that we won’t be using them during training. We might pick up a few for race day tho’.

But wait, I don’t have any races until September… or do I? We are going to be in NH the weekend of the Black Fly Tri. Initially I didn’t think I’d want to complicate our vacation week by having a race at the end of it and I can’t imagine we are going to be tapering that week. It’s less than an hour from our place so we are considering it. The distances for the race are odd and it’s a time trial swim start but it’s a race and because it’s Keith Jordan’s race, I’m sure it will be good/safe/fun.

Depending on our schedule and packet pickup. Maybe the Bike Time Trial will happen too. Here is the course map for the TT.

Naturally I’ve been thinking about the marathon a bunch. Maybe I’m crazy but seeing how I just turned 40 and I’d like to be able to race when I’m 60+ I decided on a couple things. The first one is simple. Glucosamine/Chondroitin.
When I dial back the miles, I’ll probably drop this from the supplement list. For now this sounds like an easy bit of preventative medicine. If anyone knows of a reason I shouldn’t be taking these please feel free to speak up.

The other thing is something my friend Todd and I talk about all the time, a run coach. I’ve never had any instruction running. I keep thinking maybe I could find someone that could break it all down, the same way as my swim coach. Just maybe there is some easy speed to be found, along with some injury prevention. (the injury prevention is the bigger concern because of the distance, but speed would be nice too).
So I did some digging and I found this guy in NJ and he’s got a book. The book has some good reviews on amazon, so I figured it would be a good place to start learning about running technique. Then look for his seminars or consider the run video analysis.

The first week of the diet was pretty solid. I weighed myself Monday and then again yesterday (Sunday). 5 pounds lighter. Is it possible I was carrying around 5 pounds of Genine’s Mooseman cookies last weekend? Nah, more likely I was dehydrated from Saturday’s workouts, about 4 hours of training. So in reality I'm probably down a pound.
The diet wasn’t helped by this comment on Facebook. “Friday Birthday=Birthday all weekend”. Fortunately for my diet it’s Monday again and the possibility of the Black Fly Tri ups the focus a bit.

I lost track of the training miles a few weeks back. It was just crazy busy and it didn't feel like there was much training going on anyhow. I need to get the journal going again. Nothing beats seeing your preparation or lack thereof in writing. Same can be said for your food choices...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

40 years and 40miles...

It was a great weekend! Filled with pizza, beer (for Matt...not me), birthday celebrating, biking, swimming, chocolate cake & friends. Doesn't get much better than that.

Friday was Matt's 40th birthday. (I'm still in disbelief that many of us are turning 40 this year....ugh.) To celebrate, we headed downtown to Somerville for the cruise-in and met up with Tiffany & Jimmy. The weather was cool, so it was a beautiful evening to walk around, check out the fun cars & shoot the breeze. We ended up at Alfonso's for a last drink with them while we waited for our friend Todd (Matt's running partner) for birthday pizza & beer.

Saturday morning was IntenSati at 8:00 with Tiffany. This is one of the best hours of my week. I love it. This month's series is focusing on believing. Check out Tiffany's blog to read more about it and get inspired. This is the time that I get my mental adjustment for the week while at the same time getting an awesome butt kicking. Good stuff in my opinion. I arrived home to find Matt taking a nap after his early am run. I guess that's what happens at 40. ;-) So after some relaxing and a snack, we headed out on the bikes. We were aiming to ride 40miles (for 40 years). It was a humid day, we probably could have use another water bottle each, but it was a great day for riding. We took it pretty easy, but did get a decent climb up Bissell Hill. In total we got in 38miles. (oh so close!) We were tired, hot and hungry. So we headed home to grill up some steaks, shrimp & salads. yum!

Today we rode the Round Valley loop to get in another 16+miles. Then drove to the pool for a short recovery swim. I think it's the first time we have been in our pool in 2 weeks! After swimming, we went to Wegman's to get sushi and somehow ended up going home with a mini Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Hhmmm.....???? How did that happen??? It's still Matt's birthday weekend, so it's all good.... really good. mmm....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Genine's Mooseman 2010 Race Report

Here it is a week after Mooseman and I'm finally getting around to writing my race report. I haven't been too motivated to write as I wasn't really sure what I wanted to say. The months leading into the race this year felt totally different than the previous 2 years for me. Without the relay division, many of our friends who raced with us before would not be attending. :-( And as I have posted before, our house construction & my work insanity led to major stress and insomnia for me which therefore led to severe fatigue, both physical & mental, and a very inconsistent workout schedule. What did all of that boil down to for me on race day? Not feeling prepared to race a strong race. The only thing I was hopeful for was an improved swim time over last year. Other than that it was about crossing the finish line...which I knew I could do.

Well, as you know by now, the swim did not happen due to the thunder and lightening storms that morning. I have to admit that I was actually disappointed that the swim was cancelled. It is the only swim that I look forward to. ( You know the life-long love affair The Carlsons have with Newfound Lake.) But after an hour and a half delay, I turned my focus to the bike. We were doing a time trial bike start & riding a 17mile abbreviated bike course. Again, I was a bit disappointed. Since the bike is my favorite part (why couldn't they have decide to shorten the run?!), it is always my most anticipated part of the race for me. I decided to make the most of it and ride strong, not worrying about the run. The run will be S-L-O-W no matter what, so what the heck, right? I was happy with my ride. Unlike most of my training rides leading up to the race, my legs felt strong. I almost forgot what that felt like. I finished in 52:22.

My run just was. Much slower than last year at a 10:38pace. I can't say that I'm surprised. Even at my best, I am not fast. But guess what? I finished!! Goal acheived!! The good news is that my hips were not hating me. I'll take it....big blisters and all. (I really wished I would have remembered when I decided to run in my old shoes so my toes wouldn't cramp, that the arches of my feet rub on the orthodic inserts if I don't put on big band-aids...especially with wet socks.)

After the race, we enjoyed the great post-race food while we waited for the awards. After the awards ceremony, we all agreed it was time to head back to the house. Everyone was tired and ready for showers & naps. It had been an exhausting and eventful morning. But as we were getting ready to go, I suddenly realized that I had not even dipped a toe in the lake yet! Down to the water I went. Even though I only waded in up to my waist, it was as if the water washed over me and cleared my mind. Depsite the circumstances and my lack-luster emotions leading up to the race, the crazy weather altering the race, the fundraiser results not being as much as we had hoped, etc...... my mind and my heart were at ease in that very moment. I knew, no matter what, Judy was proud....and that somewhere Nathan was playing "shark" in the lake...and Dan was doing cannonballs at Sculptured Rocks. The day was perfect just as it was.

Matt & Judy in NH 1998.

Judy & Nathan in NH 2000.

Dan Dare at Matt's house 1987.

The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent visiting, laughing and of course eating with friends and family(Eric & Ryan came up for dinner). I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. A GIGANTIC THANK YOU to Ruth!! RUTH ROCKS!! She is a fantastic assistant chef, sherpa, photographer and not least of all Scrabble player and friend! Big thanks to Amy, Steve and Maija for making the trip up to race with us! Fun times as always! And to the most amazing husband in the world, Matt....xoxoxo. For the record, I kept my promise to myself and prepared much less food this year at the house. Even though there was plenty of leftovers left in the freezer and in cars headed back to NJ/NY, it really was less...really.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's Next?

It’s kind of strange but I feel like I just finished my triathlon season and it just started 3 weeks ago. I guess that’s because if I don’t do Timberman, my next Tri will be Skylands on September 12th a local sprint. Then a week later is the Buckman sprint, even closer to home. Those are 3 months away! I’m not sure you can consider them the same race season. :-)

I/we do have the Tango Adventure race on August 7th and there is the little thing called the NYC marathon on Nov 7th. So it’s not like I don’t have anything on the calendar to keep me motivated. Honestly the marathon still freaks me out from time to time. For some reason every now and then I worry that running that far in a race is going to do some permanent damage. Then I realize that if I follow the training schedule, I will know long before race day whether or not I am ready or if this is a smart thing for me to do. Training starts July 5th, we will be back up at Newfound Lake. I can’t think of a better place for it to begin.

Back to the Tango. Let’s say Timberman is off the schedule (which it pretty much is). I keep thinking that running the Tango Solo would be an interesting replacement race. Or maybe as a relay and I do every event but have someone with me for the orienteering and canoe. Here’s the funny part, do you know what event scares me? Take a look at the events.

13.1 mile run hilly

20 mile non technical mountain bike

2.3ish mile swim with hand paddles and fins

7 miles orienteering (Hiking to the top of Rim Rock after that swim, Ugh!)

4.5 mile road run (more hills)

8 mile kayak/canoe

Did you guess the last one? Kayak/canoe. If I am solo and I have to kayak how do I handle my hip/leg cramps while tucked into a kayak. I’d love to think I won’t cramp up but I think that is being unrealistic. After doing all that leg work, getting into a boat where my legs can’t move much is just a begging for some serious leg cramping. I know, I know, just suck it up and deal with it. It’s just funny to me that the “easiest” event is what concerns me. It’s downstream after all, I could just lie in the bottom of the canoe and I’d finish…. Eventually.

Anyhow, those scenarios are also unlikely. I really enjoy doing this race as a relay. There is something about being part of a team that makes the day even more fun. Giving it your best because the next person is waiting for you. Waiting at T1-T5 and the finish wondering how your teammate is doing? Then seeing them appear in the distance and the adrenaline kicks in because you are up next. That is fun stuff!

At the moment I believe my team is: Jim, Marty, Jerry and myself. I feel that Jim would do the best job of assigning people to events but here is my stab at it.

13.1 run: Jim

20 mile bike: Jerry

2.3 mile swim: Me

7 mile orienteering: Marty & Jerry?

4.5 mile run : Jim

Canoe: Jerry & Marty or Matt

Keep in mind Jerry plans on breaking the course record, be prepared to work! Heck we might want to find someone that only wants to canoe with Jerry.

Don’t think too hard on using these 4 people yet. Definitely consider what slots could benefit from adding a person and see what we can do about that. There is a chance we may have another strong runner that would be interested. We should know if that’s the case in a couple weeks.

As for my training plan for the next few weeks before the marathon schedule hits?

Run no more than 3 days a week. Tues/Thurs/ Weekend

Get back to swimming 4 days a week. Mon/Wed morning. Thursday PM and weekends. (I want to crush the Tango swim)

Bike as often as possible. (Genine will make sure of this)

All while dieting....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mooseman 2010 Photos

Mooseman 2010 Photos Olympic/International distance only

I just finished trimming down the "other athletes" photos from Mooseman. I just uploaded 902 shots to flickr. PHEW!! (3000 to start with).

I'm going to post a link to our fundraiser with all the photos. I'm hoping that at least some of the people that find their picture and download it will donate to Dr Guinan at the Boston's Children's Hospital. That will make all the hard work worth it.

There are some really fantastic shots. It's a shame that many of the people won't ever find the website and not see their picture. I can't thank Ruth enough for toughing out the weather this weekend and taking all these great photos.

Go here to find all the photos. Thanks in advance if you donate. It's much appreciated.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Matt's Mooseman Olympic Distance Race Report

It rained overnight and it stormed during the transition setup in the morning. It was bad enough that they cleared the transition area.

We went for cover under some tents near the finish line. Eventually it let up some and word was the swim had been canceled and the bike would be a time trial start. Also the bike course had been shortened to under 17 miles, it’s now just one loop around the lake. The run will be the same. As you all know, the swim is my favorite part. It’s typically my best ranking of the 3 as well but that’s not really that important. In my opinion, the swim is what makes triathlon special. Not to mention this is the best lake to swim in on the east coast… Ah well, I’ll be back up here in a few weeks to vacation. I’ll have plenty of time to swim here as I ramp up my swim endurance for the Tango Race.

The storm pushed off and it started to look like a promising day. I considered putting on my wetsuit and swimming for 30 minutes giving myself just enough time to get to transition for the start. That way it would still have that Tri feel. I decided it’s just been too crazy of a morning to do that. So I just waited with everyone else.

Onto the Bike/Run race. Because it’s going to be such a short ride, I take one bottle of Gatorade with me that’s only half full. I also still have my 3 GU attached to the top tube. (they are still taped to my bike)

They had everyone go to their bike in transition. (many were relocated because of large mud pits/puddles). Then they brought us out in rows to the start line where they started us no more than 3 seconds apart.

I was number 431 so I was probably starting in the middle of all who stayed around to race. I was questioning how interested I was going to be in racing with no swim, but I knew that once I started, I’d be focused on doing my best.

I know this ride, and I make a point of “warming up” for the first 4 miles of the ride. I climb Devils Hill strong, make the fast descent (38-39 max mph) then have the legs for a good climb to the corner of 3A. After that the ride is all within my comfort range. If not for one very obvious bike jersey, I’d say that I didn’t race anyone but myself. There was a guy with an Ironman Wisconsin jersey on that started just ahead of me. We went back and forth a couple times on the bike. I think I finally got ahead of him for good on the 2nd to last climb on 3A. As I pass Shacketts (south side of the lake before the hill) another group of riders catches up to me and they pass me as we approach the turn towards the park. Not too many people passed me during the ride so this felt somewhat disappointing even tho’ without wave starts it was a meaningless event. As I get into the final stretch of the bike I spot Ruth taking pictures on the side of the road and I give her a wave.

I roll into the park and run to transition through the mud and rack my bike.

Bike Time: Ranked 121 overall 47:27 for what I think is a 16.4 mile bike. So 20.7mph avg. (they have me listed as 21.5mph)

My transition times have always been weak, today that shouldn’t be the case. I already have my socks on because of the lack of swim. So shoes off, shoes on, RUN! I didn’t start my foot pod, put on sunglasses or my hat. I had to negotiate another large mud hole on the way out to the Run Start but I was through transition in 69 seconds.

The run: I believe my run last year was an 8:06 pace. I should be able to beat that without a problem right? Well once again my run start feels pretty awful. Fortunately the beginning of this race is flat, so it’s not the sufferfest I had at Columbia 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t too far into my run when IM Wisconsin catches me. As he’s running by, I couldn’t help but notice that he’s got some decent heel kick going on, whereas I feel like I’m shuffling my feet. So I start thinking about my form. It wasn’t much longer before I see the guy in first heading towards me to the finish. (the course is an out and back). All I could think as he ran by was that I’ll probably never run that fast…. Ever.

I definitely understand the mindset of NEVER walking any part of the run. I can see how that can feel like a defeat. Well I’m starting to be okay with walking. I didn’t drink anything on the bike or use any of the GU (didn’t seem necessary). So when I got to the first aid station I wanted to make sure I got some Gatorade down. So I walked as I chugged it down. What would that be? 10 steps or so? I was pleased to find my run felt much better when I started running again. Then I ended up walking for a few seconds shortly after running up the first hill. I was hoping that I’d get that boost again when I started running again. Not sure I got that but my HR was certainly brought back into check. The good news about the hills is that they didn’t seem as big this year.

I get to the turnaround and I start to wonder how much longer before I see Maija heading my way. I get back up the hill to the main road. It wasn’t very long before I see her. It couldn’t have been too far off from where we crossed last year. The question is can I keep her behind me? Last year she passed me with about a mile to go. I focus on finding a faster pace. My HR monitor isn’t working so I’m not getting any help there. Fortunately, maybe with the help of the downhill, I’ve finally got my run legs. As I got closer to the finish, I heard someone running really hard behind me. I thought here she is about the same place last year… only it wasn’t her. I kept pushing and once I got into the corralled part of the finish, I gave it everything I had left. They called out my name as I got to the line as I edged out one more runner.

And just like that, Mooseman 2010 is over.

Run: 48:15 Rank 170th overall. 7:46 min/mile

Total: 1:36:49 137th overall. I'm not sure how many raced today, over 500.

36th of 80 in my age group.

Our race day pictures can be found here. Thanks Ruth!

Things I learned. My race day checklist needs to include:

New battery for HR strap.

Large garbage bags or a couple big sheets of plastic. I don’t care about keeping my bike dry. Keeping everything else from being sopping wet would be nice tho'.

I need to have some 50-60 degree rain gear. When we were just hanging out under the tents during the storm. I started to get very cold. I was glad that they had a warming tent to go to once the rain stopped.

After watching the wetsuit strippers in T1 at the 70.3 Sunday, I’ve decided that you had better choose carefully from the volunteers. I saw many people lose more time going to that station than if they would have done it themselves.

Things I wish I had known in advance:

That the park would be open for swim practice on Friday, this was not the case in 2009.

Athletes were not allowed to park at the park on race day. All athletes would be parking off site. We knew it was going to rain. We got up early to park close to transition. Had we known, we could have saved an hour or so of sleep.

Lastly, I didn't weigh myself until I got back from NH because I figured if I knew my weight I'd have gone into the race disappointed that I was racing so far from my race weight. Well now I know, 190 pounds. I raced almost 15 pounds heavier than I was last year. Not cool but there it is.

I have the NYC Marathon to train for starting July 5th. I need to get back to where I know I can be. Today was day one of the diet, it's going to be a strict calorie deficit until July 5th with an Atkins like approach. On July 5th I'll go back to calorie tracking and my 65/20/15 Carb/protein/fat plan. I plan on being at my lightest weight in 20+ years for this marathon. My knees will thank me for it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another rainy race day...

We arrived back in NJ tonight. I have not even started to write a Mooseman race report yet, but here is one of my favorite movie clips from race day. Let me set the scene for you....

Here we (Matt, me and Maija) are at 5am on race day morning, unloading our gear in the rain and preparing to walk to the race site. Ruth captures the moment on film.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Running updates

Last Sunday I ran a 1:35:10 at the Buffalo half marathon. Finished 114 of 2500. It was a warm and humid morning and by 8:30 am itwas in the mid 80's. I was pleased as I needed a 1:45:00 to get Corral 1 seeding at the Twin cities marathon in October. Registration for the marathon is closed, but Marty Chris and I are running it. Chris has the 1st corral placement too.

The rest of this week I was at a conference in the Baltimore. The conference hosts a 5k. I felt recovered enough to do the 5k on Friday. Not my fastest time of the year, but not a flat race either. Finished this in 20:30, but that was good for 34th of 249. It appears from previous year results that most people were 30 sec to a minute slower.

Next on my schedule:
YMCA 5k /10k June 19th to benefit Rich Norris
Lakewood 10k July 4th
Maybe Butler Sprint Tri on July 11th.

Mooseman 2010 International Results and Photos

It's been very fun and busy up here, thus the late post.

It was pouring, POURING rain the morning of our race. So they eventually canceled the swim. Then they shortened the bike to be about 16-17 miles. We got to run the full 10k.

Here is the link to our results separated by age group. I haven't found a link for overall results.
edit: Here are the pictures I took of the overall results. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of all the pages, as I've never found these results to be posted anywhere.

Ruth took a ton of pictures. I'm willing to bet we have a picture of over 70% of the athletes. I'll post them to flickr soon.

Here are the pictures of our group. We will post up the other athletes Monday night or Tuesday. Tons of great pictures.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another good day

We went down to the lake again today. Genine and Ruth headed straight to the water. I had to run a couple miles before doing that.
Wow did the start of my run feel bad! Which then put a ton of negative thoughts into my head. Fortunately, after about a mile everything was feeling much better and I finished feeling pretty good about it. I'll have to run a bit tomorrow as well as a very short easy bike.

Now down to the lake. I wanted to try out the sleeveless top to my wetsuit. Well I definitely can say I can feel the catch much better but I'm going to be in the water for 25-30 minutes and it's not going to be a hot day. 65 degree water on bare arms is probably not the best idea. So I switched back to my full top and swam a bit more. All is good.

I saw something today I've never seen at Newfound Lake (other than all the Ironman branded signs and logos). There were 2 people on paddle boards out on the lake. I've only ever seen that in pictures from Hawaii. I've always though that would be fun to try. Maybe we will find a way to make that happen when we are back up here in July.

Time is flying by up here. I spent a bit of time today having to reconfigure our servers for work. That was frustrating. Actually I've had about 2 weeks of frustrating networking work recently. Hopefully next week I'll have it all solved and I can move on to other projects. But enough about work, I'm on vacation... sort of.

Great Race director

We were driving over Cass Mill Road which is towards the end of the Mooseman Bike yesterday, we were noticing there were some spots which you would want to be careful to avoid.

Today we drove over that road again and there was a road crew out there. They were patching all of the rough spots. I'm fairly certain this isn't a coincidence. It's nice to see everything come together. Stuff like this makes for an amazing race day experience.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mooseman practice swim

Yep. We made the trip up to NH today. Easy drive. And we had time to stop down to the lake to get a short practice swim. Wahoo!

I know you all are jealous ;-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

race weather

Anyone else out there checking the Mooseman weather at least twice a day?

Most of you are probably checking so that you can determine how it's going to change your race. I'll admit that I'm checking hoping that it will not rain, so Ruth (photographer) won't have to deal with trying to keep the camera dry.

I've got my allergies back under control. My back/hamstrings are still not great but I'll see the chiropractor today and usually within 48 hours of that visit, I'm doing much better.

Yesterday we watched part of the Tour of Somerville bike race. We really missed having our camera for this. The best we could do was take some movies with our new point and shoot.
Whereas here are a few shots from last year, much better I think. Ah well.