Friday, July 29, 2011

Ouch. Bad timing.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I've been dealing with some bad bites on my back at times they feel like they are on fire. Also my upper back muscles have been in knots for well over a week. I figured the beds up in NH had crippled me.
Well the muscle pain was bad enough Thursday that I left work early to go to a chiropractor (different Dr from my Tuesday visit). I also scheduled an appointment with a medical doctor on Friday AM to see about how to get these bites to chill out.
Well my chiropractor takes a look at my back and tells me that there is a chance that those aren't bug bites. Those might be the result of shingles. Suddenly it all makes sense. I've never had shingles before but I know about them and all the aches and pains I've been having fit the description perfectly.
Sure enough, my doctor this morning confirmed it. I'll be picking up a prescription soon and I'm hoping that it will be fast acting (really hard to know, it could take weeks). I have the Tango race a week from Tomorrow and Timberman 70.3 in 3 weeks. Can I race with this? Probably. It's really quite painful and uncomfortable at times tho'. Not exactly what you want to deal with for your A race for 2011.
I would LOVE a back massage right now but the doc says not until the skin clears, same for swimming. (we will see about that one).

I sure didn't expect this.... Ah well. This is painful and uncomfortable but there are worse problems to have.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NH Vacation

The NH vacation was great. Did we get to everything that we had hoped? No way, but we had a really good time.

I’m going to summarize the triathlon side of the trip.

Swimming: Started off badly, I was really wasting a ton of energy with a bad stroke. Even with the wetsuit on I was unhappy with my swim. Fortunately I was in the water enough that I eventually corrected the problem. By the end of the trip, I could have swam for miles with or without a wetsuit. I’m really hoping my form sticks around for Timberman. I’m not sure it’s going to be faster but it should be an easy start to the race. My biggest concern is my sighting. I drift left when I get tired. (I don’t think I should be tired after 1.2 miles).

Biking: We biked over 56 miles a couple of times. We were carrying over 100 oz of water with us at the start of those rides and we both became familiar with taking salt tabs. We also ate along the way, testing out what we were planning for race day.

I think I’ve determined water with salt tabs is much easier on my stomach than Gatorade. So I’m going to stick with water on race day. Also I’m going to stay with bars for the first half of the ride. I will have GU but those don’t seem to sit well initially. On both the rides, during the 2nd half, the GU was definitely the boost I needed.

I didn’t ride the Hed 3’s at all this trip. I’m really glad I didn’t for the Timberman course ride, there were some wind gusts that were really giving me trouble with my standard wheels. There are also a couple of rough sections of road. I’ll admit I’ll be nervous on race day if I decide to got with the Hed 3’s. A flat on the tubulars could really mess up my day.

I’m definitely a 90+ RPM rider now. It’s definitely made a difference. Going long is much easier and the legs are feeling much better at the finish. (ready to run). It’s unfortunate that I haven’t been spinning 90RPM since last November because I don’t think I’m going to be able to hold the HR zone I would like for 56 miles. I just haven’t had enough time spinning this speed. I didn’t track my speeds during my rides, I didn’t want to be caught up trying to push using the wrong gauge. My bike split for Timberman is going to be a surprise. (It may very well be slower than last time).

I’m really happy with my biking tho’. I haven’t been having the low back pain I have had in previous years. I’ve also put much more training time on the bike, most of it on a trainer. (sadly). The extra time has paid off and I feel that I will continue to improve. I almost wish I Timberman was in September so I’d have a bit more time to work in this 90RPM with more speed.

Running: I am still way behind on my speed workouts. It’s really unfortunate, as there is no catching up now. I’m not too upset by it tho’, because I feel like I’ve been dealing with some issues which feel like they could be an injury if I pushed it too hard.

After the 60 mile bike at the Timberman course we ran for 30 minutes. I was moving along feeling pretty good. I started to get some stitches in my lower abs, right above the belt line. Cramping is always a concern of mine. If it’s a warm day I’ll be downing many salt tabs hoping that it will help.

My run split is going to be a mystery also. Although I’m fairly confident that this is the one split that will improve over my time 2 years ago. (2:09:54)

Now that we are home, I ran last night and my legs felt horrible the last 20 minutes. I really need a massage. Driving 5-6 hours really gives me troubles it seems. I guess if I go for a massage, I’ll have to have them just work on my legs even tho’ my upper back is killing me. Why? Well I’ve got a bunch of bites on my back from either a spider or mosquitoes. They itch like crazy and they aren’t going away. I don’t think they’d want to deal with that. I know… Gross.

That’s all I’ve got time for. Time to hop on the bike trainer.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Race updates

Tupper Lake 1/2 Iron- Great race for me (really not a race, but a personal challenge). Swam 1 hour for 1.2 miles, ....took 22 minutes off my time from 11 years ago. The bike- rained a little during but when it did, it hurt! Bike 3:30 hours for 56 miles- a 45 minute improvement. Legs started burning at 45 miles. Run went well for three miles then decent the rest of the way 2 hour 5 minutes for the 1/2 marathon. 5 minutes slower than 11 years ago. Bottom line- 1hour faster and finished in 6:44 and felt better after the finish than I usually do following a marathon. So in September,... I'm signing up for this race.

Butler Triathlon- 2 weeks later. Swam my faster 1/4 mile ever- 9:13. The water was significantly warmer than tupper. Bike was tough and crowded, but I was pleased. The run was fantastic. I ran 21:15 for the 5k and negative split the run course. Finished 80th of 242. A good showing for me.

Today- Oil city Firemen's 5k- Marty and I ran 12 miles total as we are now training for the green mountain marathon in vermont (Oct 16). I ran 5:58, 6:00, 6:07, :29. Felt like a million bucks. Total 18:36 and placed 10th of 199. My best 5k in several years and the course it certified!! I was nervous about the tango run coming up. Now I feel like I should be able to run as fast as last year.

I look forward to seeing you all soon

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got to have a good Tango

So today Genine and I ran for a little more than an hour in afternoon heat. We figure it's likely that's what we are going to be running in for Timberman so we'd better get used to it. I took the fuel belt again and am doing a much better job keeping hydrated on the run.
Later we were at the lake, we both put our wetsuits on but Genine added fins for Tango training. As she passed me I thought, "I'll just draft off of her", ummm... nope, I have no chance of keeping up. She is a totally different swimmer with fins. I hope the reservoir is calm on race day. I'm really curious to see just how fast she's going to go on race day.
I also read that Craig continued his bike workout through the crazy rains in WV Monday night. Sheesh! My teammates are serious! I really have to hope I manage a good orienteering split this year everyone is working so hard, it would be nice if our overall time shows all the hard work.

Never bored

Posts are infrequent because we've been vacationing. I don't have that 2.5 hours of sitting on a train commuting to work, to write my blog posts. I also think there are less hours in a day when you are on vacation.
I'm in the heaviest part of my training schedule. Swimming hasn't been happening much, nor has the weight lifting. Which is a shame but what can you do? I think the swimming will pick up this week. I plan on being in my wetsuit for most of those swims, hopefully that will help.
I biked a double loop of the Mooseman Int. course the other day. First loop was done at an easy pace and yet when I got to devil's hill the 2nd time, my bike felt like it was made of lead. I was odd how heavy that climb felt. Once I got out of the hills I made a point of taking a couple GU packs to make sure my calories were good. That may have helped, the rest of the ride was pretty good. It was also a hot day, so I was carrying 60 oz of fluid and I was taking salt tabs often. I think that was successful as well.
Knocked out a 2 hour run the other day too. Took a fuel belt and made a stop at the hour mark to reload. If it is crazy hot/humid on raceday, I may consider the fuel belt.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mini Vacation

We had a few days off in addition to last weekend. We went back to Warren to spend time with family and friends and to do some workouts (of course).

I think we did the friends and family thing well but in terms of Half Iron preparation, well I’d give that a C+.

We got an A for running tho’. We ran with Todd and Jerry for 60 minutes one night. Picked them up along the way of our 1:40:00 run another night. That run was probably the slowest they’ve ever run but it was what Genine and I needed to do and we were glad for the company.

Genine and I went up to do some biking along the reservoir. I don’t think we were prepared for the course. It was all climbing and descending. We didn’t mind the climbing but not knowing the roads well enough we had to take it easy on the descents. Some descents were long enough that we probably could have set new PRs on max speed.

Then came Tango training day. Initially I thought I would swim the 2.2 miles with Genine but it seemed like a better plan to do the 4.5 mile run with Todd and Jerry. This test swim for Genine was more about testing her nerves regarding swimming in the reservoir. It’s a big swim but she gets to use fins and has Michelle beside her in the kayak. (this is also the situation on race day). Once she got herself in the water she was fine and she did great. I think it’s very likely that she will post the best swim split of any of our previous years, or very close.

Todd, Jerry and I ran from the beach to the tail waters. We timed it but there was no warmup. The first mile or so was the warmup. None of us have run this course before and everyone has told us how awful it is, so we held back. Along the way I tried to give them every bit of advice I could that might help on race day. It turned out to be a pretty solid run. Once we were warmed up things started to pickup and I was running what would probably be close to my 10K race pace. Then when it got to the last mile… Well Todd opened it up and I had to give it nearly everything I had. I probably should have let up when we hit the off road section. That could have ended badly for me if I twisted an ankle or something but I wanted to be able to stop my watch when he reached the finish. The time was good and there is a good amount of free time to be taken off at the beginning of that run.

I think everyone left the weekend feeling pretty good about our Tango team. It’s going to be fun to see if we can beat our time from last year.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Timberman Goal

Chrissie just posted that she will be racing Timberman again this year.
She has a history of handing out finisher's medals for awhile at the end of the race.
The goal (perhaps wish is more appropriate): Get to the finish while she's still there.

It's been crazy busy between work and workouts so not much time to post.

I've become a walking injury. Rather than talking about it, I'm just doing what I can and that's that. I'm taking it all in and hoping to improve the plan moving forward.