Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009, a year in review

2009 is done! And I feel like I have grown tremendously as an athlete. I finally moved far beyond just being a recreational cyclist to someone who "races" and someone who is striving to do longer distances.

2009 was the year of the Timberman. That was my goal for the year and I beat it by 5 mins (goal was to go sub 6 hours). I learned a LOT from that race and it is shaping 2010, which will be the year of the Half Ironman. So far I am signed up for 3 HIM next year! Yikes!

2009 was also the year of the marathon qualification. I qualified for the 2010 NYC Marathon via their 9+1 program. You race 9 and you volunteer for 1. I did all of that and learned that my legs have some speed in them afterall! I started setting AND breaking PR's. It was super fun and really taught me that if you put in the work, you are going to see results. Its actually rather easy!

I learned to like running.

I learned how to "really" swim. Thanks Bob (aka my super swimmer coworker)! If it weren't for him, last season would not have been as pleasant. Basically I was getting really frustrated with my swimming form up until last April. I could barely swim 2:00/100 yards and I was exhausted after 100 yards. He swam competitively through college and went to the Master's Worlds. He basically waved his magic hands over me, had me do two weeks of drills one on one, and suddenly, I mean OVERNIGHT, was able to swim a 1:45/100 yard pace. He also showed me how to go faster in the pool which resulted in some decent swim pacing, including shaving over 2 mins off of my .5 mile OWS time.

2009 was also the year of the blisters. I got to the point where I was taping up my right foot on every single run. And the crazy thing is that the blisters got the worst by Timberman and the thing that cured them was Timberman itself. They had callused up so much by that point in the season, that the run just rubbed off all of the dead skin and I was cured. The blisters, I later figured out, were due to speed laces which do not hold your shoe as tight as regular laces. Learned my lesson on that one!....which is convenience comes at a steep price.

In March, I repeated my first ever race from 2008, the Prospect Park Duathlon, and destroyed my previous time by an ETERNITY!!! (that felt goooooood).

I had a rough half marathon race with unseasonable high April temperatures of 80+ degrees and a super steep climb. My goal was to break 2 hours, and I came in @ 2:00:10. Heartbreaking yes, but there will be other opportunities.

By the middle of May, the temps cooled WAY down into the 50's and the rain began, on the day of the Montauk Century. This was my fifth Century ride, and by far the coldest and wettest ride I have ever done. Never have I ever been so chilled to the bone with 50+ miles to go. I built up some mental toughness that day!

Then came triathlon season. TriRidgefield turned out to be one of my favorite races of all time and I ran a 23 min 5K....a new PR and I came in 4th in my AG.

(I must have been feet aren't touching the ground!)

Then came my most put together race to date, The Stamford Triathlon, where EVERYTHING came together and I shaved 20 mins off of my Olympic distance time. I came around the corner to the finish line, saw my time, and blurted a few expletives in shear happy glee. I was hurting on that run, but boy did it pay off!

By the end of July I learned that my body and humidity don't agree with each other. I learned this on the run course to the NYC Triathlon. I put up a great time and PR'ed again in the Olympic distance by 6 seconds, but that run was one I wish I could have redone.

(Look at those arms! Farmer's tan anyone? Yeesh!)

By August, Timberman was looming quite heavily and I was SO GLAD to have gotten that race done and over with. I had a great experience and beat my goal by 5 mins, but I learned that going out too hard on the bike will lead to you paying for it on the run. I also learned that humidity and I still don't get along.

(Neoprene is sooooo 2009)

Quickly after finishing I decided to give the half ironman distance a rest for a year. I wasn't satisfied. Three days later I was chomping at the bit to go at the distance yet again. Little did I know that I would be signing up for 3 for 2010!

Because I broke my goal of 6 hours, I rewarded myself with a new bike. A REAL time trial bike!

I rode this new (fast) baby for 4 weeks gearing up for the ITPMan triathlon, which my relay team came in 2nd and I broke my previous speed record by 1 mph to hold a 21 mph flat pace. I had the 14th fastest bike of the day! (I am VERY proud of that!)

(Im a shorty....but put yourself next to 6'5" and 6' tall guys!)

Then things sloooooooowed way down. The bike was mostly put away and I didn't hit the pool seriously for about 8 weeks. I would go through spurts on the bike where I would get it back and then lose it again but the pool basically became distant. It was ok; it was the off season!

The running heated up though during this period. I focused soley on a standalone 10K way down on Long Island. I broke both my 5K and 10K records at the same time. The resulting recovery was long, but it was SO worth the effort! I found the speed in my legs again by holding a 7:39 pace.

After the 10K race, I went into autopilot mode, found my fins in the water again and just ran, ran, and ran.....and ran some more! Which gave me a monthly distance record for November (73 miles) and an even newer one for December (80 miles).

The biggest things I learned are that pacing your bike correctly will lead to a good run. I made the mistake of going too fast twice which gave me subpar runs.

I learned you can get through an Olympic distance on a bottle of water and 2 Gu's and some water on the run. You can NOT get through a HIM on 2 bottles of liquid, 3 Gu's and 2 bars on the bike and make it through the first 7 miles of a half marathon before bonking. Eat once you get off the bike is my lesson learned! And to repeat this again to myself, GO EASY(er) on the bike!!! Yeah, I finished the bike 25 mins faster than I expected, but the cost was a 23 min longer than expected run.

How did your 2009 play out? What were your hi's and low's? What were the biggest lessons you learned?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

learning the backstroke

Not only did the PT tell me that I was "rounded" meaning that my shoulders slump in due to the fact that I work on a computer 8 hours a day but that I should learn the backstroke to open my chest up and develop some back muscles. Thats fine; I can do that. I started today in the pool with my super swimmer coworker, Bob.

Little did I know that learning the backstroke IMMEDIATELY improved my freestyle. I was shocked! Basically with the backstroke you are rotating your body and using your core to drive power and to whip your arms out of the water. I guess I was not rotating my body enough with the freestyle because I took that same concept and applied it and my freestyle rotation was soooooooooo much easier and better! I'll take it! So I am thinking of adding a little bit of backstroke to my warmups almost as a drill to improve rotation.

Then this morning at 'oh dark o'clock, I was on the trainer for 60 mins:

I watched Righteous Kill. Eh, ok movie; it kept me distracted.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PT, a run, a swim

Woah, talk about a busy day! The wind woke me up this morning. It sounded like a freight train was outside! And since I was up and I had to do 4 miles, it was back onto the dreadmill. I felt my knee 3 times and each time it was a sharp pain that lasted about 5 seconds. The good news is is that I did NOT feel my knee once afterwards or during the day.

@ Lunch it was off to the pool. We did:
400 WU
6 x 200 main set, descending on 3
3 x 100 drill
100 CD
2000 total

For the 200's, I went 3:26, 3:21, 3:15, 3:35, 3:26, 3:11. I thought my heart was going to explode on that last 200. It was a good workout and a taste of what pain is. Oh, its gonna get worse soon :)

Then after work, I went to see a Physical Therapist about my knee. My knee has been getting better, but that is not good enough. I wanted to know WHY it hurt. So the PT had me lie on my back and she turned my legs inwards and outwards. Whe she turned them inwards I felt my knee and yelped. She suddenly had that look of, "Oh. I know what it is."

It hurts because I am out of alignment. My right quad is super tight which means my left hamstring is super tight and my pelvis is not totally level. So it is NOT joint/ligament/tendon/non muscular. PHEW! That is a huge relief!

So the PT went to work on my legs and it turned out to be a massage. This was no "fluff" massage as she put it. She had me gripping the table in agony! haha! She had her forearm going across the meat of the quads and her finger burried deep into the hamstrings. She kept laughing at how inflexible I am. Yes, I know I am inflexible. Well, the inflexibility is starting to mess with my running, so no more ignoring it. I am now the proud owner of a foam roller and I have homework to do in regards to stretching.

I am looking forward to the bruise on my leg tomorrow AM. ;)

Has anyone ever used a foam roller before? Do they really hurt that bad?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Gu!!!

I feel like a mad scientist right now. I have discovered the recipe to peanut butter chocolate Gu!

....not that it was really all that hard to figure out ;)

The recipe is really simple:
1 Gu packet
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp water

And the good thing is that it all mixes together, consistently (ala water addition). I was a little worried since Gu will NOT freeze solid that it is made up of a bunch of unnatural non-freezing type stuff. Trust me, I tried to see if I could make a chocolate Gu-pop. FAIL!

Here was my process:

Add Gu

Add peanut butter a tsp @ a time. Came out to 3 tsp = 1 Tbsp

Mixed: came out REALLY thick due to peanut butter addition

Added 1/4 tsp of water to bring it back to original Gu consistency (you can add more for desired thickness). I may add more to make it more liquidy for Gu flask.

Taste tested and APPROVED! :)D

So it tasted great! Nutrition wise, this will add 95 more calories, 3g of protein, 8.5g of fat and even more wonderful flavor. I'll be using this in a Gu flask.

This reminds me of my homemade uncrustable's PB&J method.

Friday, December 25, 2009

some new tri gifts and getting it together for IMNO 70.3

Santa was nice to me this year. I received the top item on my list, the Speedfil hydration system.

Which on the bike looks like this:
(not my bike, I have the step down from the P3)

Its a 40 oz container that is locked onto the frame with a large straw inside a mesh sleeve that goes right up to the cockpit. The mesh sleeve guides the straw and keeps it from going everywhere. So no more reaching down for the bottle and no more bottle attached to the TT bars. which means more time in the aero position (good!).

The opening to the bottle is a open-hatch design that will allow a bottle to insert liquid, but liquid will not come back out of the opening, which means easy fill ups on course. I need to practice exchanging bottles while riding.

So my hydration system is taken care of for the season. Sweet! Thanks Santa (aka mom and dad)! There was even a sample pack of Infinit in there. That is something I am going to start experimenting with really soon and was on my list of to-do's last season, but never got around to it.

Another gift I received that I was NOT expecting was a Gu flask:

It can be filled with 5 Gu's and is a lot more compact (and environmentally friendly) than having 5 individual Gu's in my bento box. Plus, they make a bike mount for it or you can fit it in your bento box or onto your running belt or carry it by hand. It has measurement markers just in case. I am curious to see how squeezing out the Gu works. Does anyone use one of these? Should I add some water to make it more liquidy? Will water even mix with it? I mean, Gu does NOT freeze!!!! The great thing about the individual Gu's is that you can use your teeth to scrape out every last drop of the Gu. I am worried that the hard-ish plastic will leave some of that wonderful Chocolate Outrage in there. Another thing to experiment with!

Total side note: I emailed Gu with a suggestion to make a chocolate peanut butter flavor. They responded with a "thanks for your sugesstion, we are looking into it....", but it sounded a little too automated. I still have my fingers crossed!

And now its time to start bringing up Ironman New Orleans 70.3 more and more. I am a freaking A+ personality when it comes to traveling and racing. Believe it or not, April 18th is gonna be here before I know it. This will be my first destination race, as in I gotta fly there to race, which means transporting the bike. I have heard horror stories of a bike going on a plane with the passenger from the east coast to the west coast and the bike wound up in Puerto Rico (twice!). That person was not able to race.....bummer....

Another horror story was a person shipped their bike via UPS or FedEx and the bike box appeared to have been used as a soccer ball. No thanks!

And this is what brings me to the holy grail of bike shipping, TriBikeTransport. You just show up with your bike at a pickup location (usually a local bike store), they take it and put it on a truck and it shows up at the race site intact and unbroken assembly required! Then you race, and you put it back on a truck and there it shows up at your local bike shop. I am lucky and I have a pickup spot 3 miles from my office at the shop that I bought the bike. I will drop it off 1 week in advance of the race. SCORE!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays! Did you score any goodies?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

a small victory and happy holidays!

I'm up in NH for a few days for the holidays and I ran on the treadmill for 27 mins this morning. I felt my knee a little bit off and on, but nothing like last monday; I immediately stretched and iced when I finished. I haven't felt my knee hurt once since. So I am going to call this a small victory. The two days of full rest with stretching and icing really helped a lot. Now I'm going to do nothing but eat and drink for another two days (plus some more stretching and icing) before I hit the treadmill again on Sunday.

Which brings me to my next point in that I am finding myself building with anxiety because I am not either running, biking or swimming on a daily basis! I think its the routine that I have gotten into and have become comfortable with and by NOT doing anything athletic on a daily basis, it feels unnatural. Weird, right? Or its the OCD in me kicking in....

Regardless, I want to wish everyone HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

(and I am super excited come Jan 1st to get this show going for 2010!)...its gonna be an EPIC year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not the "I" word!

My right knee has been bothering me for about a week. Dare I say its "injured"? I'd rather call it a "bothersome" for now, since I don't know what it is exactly.

Its the inner back part of the knee that has been bugging me. It occured after my 8 miler over a week ago and last week it would come and go. It wouldn't hurt during a run, only afterwards and during the day. After a few days rest, it was fine, until after a run. Come Sunday morning during the snow run both knees were bothering me so I was REALLY confused as to what hurt.

But this morning I went out for a 4 miler and my right knee was definately hurting during the run, which was a first. I called it quits @ 1.66 miles and swallowed my pride. I iced it immediately.

So now what? Well for starters its only December and there is NO reason to overdo it right now. No reason at all! So I stop running for a week? Big deal, its not going to ruin my season. My goal for 100 miles this month? There will be plenty of months to accomplish that. Its not worth it!

I am ditching tomorrow's run and will half my run on Thursday, which I will do on a treadmill. I will probably ditch Friday's run (its Christmas afterall!). And depending on how I feel for next Sunday's 10 miler, it will most likely be halved to 5 miles IF my knee does NOT hurt. If it hurts in the slightest come next Sunday, I will stop immediately and drop running altogether until I can see a PT.

I gotta keep telling myself, "Its only December, its only December...."

I am probably doing my classic overreaction, but I REALLY don't want to mess around with this. I don't have to run! Its really simple.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

YakTrax are awesome!...waiting on Get-A-Grip

We didn't get the bounty of snow that they were predicting; regardless, the roads were still a mess and would make running on them treacherous; the sidewalks were impassable.

So yesterday I went out in search of YakTrax and found a pair.

They worked great! These treads are not meant for running on thin icy roads; they are meant for terrain that has 1/4" of snow or more so you can grip the terrain. When I came upon sections of clear road, I actually sought out some rough stuff on the sides for better grip and to not ruin the treads.

I got in 4.75 miles in 43:05 for a 9:04 pace, so I was able to hold a normal pace despite the conditions (did I mention the YakTrax are awesome?!?!). I was supposed to do 9 miles, but my knees were getting really sore so I called it quits. I wasn't slipping on slick stuff, I would only lose the firmness if the snow wasn't packed down....kinda like walking through sand. That was doing a number on my knees.

But once the roads and sidewalks are all cleared up, then the black ice will appear and the YakTrax are not appropriate for that type of terrain, so I am on a waiting list for a pair of Get-A-Grip.
They don't have the coil tread meant for gripping snow, instead they have spikes meant to hold your footing on clear, but slick ground. I think between the YakTrak and Get-A-Grip, I will be good for any kind of snowy running this winter.

At least it was quiet with very little car traffic this morning. And it wasn't too cold either; I almost took off my headband.

Friday, December 18, 2009

uh oh! anybody been snow running?

Looks like we (northeasterners) are going to get our first major snowstorm of the season this weekend:

This is when I wish I lived right inside NYC so that I can see Central Park immediately after the storm finishes. I will be inside tomorrow anyways for a 90 min trainer ride, but on Sunday I'm scheduled to run 9 miles. 9 miles on a dreadmill? Um, no thanks!

I have biked in a snowstorm before, but haven't ran in one yet. Think I should add this to my list of 100 different strange conditions to run in? Hopefully by Sunday afternoon it might be decent to go out.

Whats everyone's workout plans for the weekend?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"A Race Like No Other"

My folks bought me this book, "A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York," by Liz Robbins for my birthday and it was a perfect gift. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Its a perfect gift because I have a date with this race on November 7th, 2010. I will be lining up with 40,000 of my closest friends to run my first Marathon.

The great thing about this book, is that Liz chronicles each mile and shares stories of people from different walks of life, from elites to celebrities to us mere mortals. I just finished the first mile, or the Verrazano bridge, so I have lots of miles left to read about. Its getting me even more hyped up about this race!

So, I would HIGHLY recommend this book as a gift to anyone who marathons, is thinking of running one, is scheduled to do NYC for the first time, has done the NYC marathon before, or you are just a runner.
I forced myself out the door this morning for a 6 miler. It was only 28 degrees, but I could hear the wind indoors, so I knew it was going to feel colder. Sure enough, I hit a headwind within the first mile and my face froze instantly. Fortunately by mile 2 I was all warmed up (literally!) and thawed out and I was on my way. I did 2, 3 mile loops because mentally I just could not do a huge loop. The 2nd loop felt smooth.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

oh yeah! the swimming is coming along

The great thing about swimming is that you can measure improvement quite easily since you are basically a ping pong ball in a 25 yard space; the distance doesn't change! There is no second guessing your GPS watch or your bike computer. If you only went a 1:35 for the last 100, well, you only went a 1:35! The pool's size did not expand or shink ;)

The other cool thing is that you can measure efficiency really easily in the pool. So you just swam the last 100 yards in 1:35? That's cool, but how many strokes did it take you? Was it taking you above 20 per length? 30? Were you in the teens!?!? The lower the stroke count, the better the efficiency, especially if your times are becoming faster. This means you are using less energy, which is GOOD!

So today in the pool I felt like I was on autopilot and I was wondering why I felt so good. So I counted my strokes and I was finishing each length on only 15. That's REALLY REALLY REALLY good for me. Last season 19 was my average and if I took only 17, I was having a great day or I was exaggerating my glide. The fact that I was averaging only 15 was a big confidence boost for me :) I just gotta get faster ;)

What is your stroke count? Do you even bother measuring it?
And I was on the trainer @ oh dark o'clock/the crack of stupid for an hour this morning. I am VERY thankful for Netflix's online movie watching. I can only watch action movies cuz they take my mind off of the bike. I think my power spikes when an intense gun battle happens! haha!

Monday, December 14, 2009

put your head down, and GO!

Felt like last weekend was an all warm and fuzzy weekend of training, but now its back to the grind. This morning especially was a morning where I woke up really not wanting to go for a run, but I knew I would beat myself up all day if I didn't get out there. And whats worse is that its still pitch black out @ 6:40 am. blaaaahhhh.....

BUT! I got my 4 miles in and I am DONE for the day. Just took it easy.

BUT! more importantly, I had a GREAT swim yesterday:

Swam 2650 yards @ lunch. My times are improving already! I was mixing long and short distances.

I did:
5 x 100 on 2:00 (went min 1:41, max 1:43)
2 x 200 on 4:00 (went 3:3X, 3:3X)
1 x 400 on 8:00 (went 7:05)
2 x 200 on 4:00 (went 3:31, 3:29)
1 x 400 on finish easy
50 yards to get back and forth for the clock.

My confidence is every increasing in the water. I am still reminding myself that I am WAAAAAAY ahead of this time last year, where swimming 400 yards straight was a major deal. In fact, I feel like a different person in the pool.

I looked at the calendar, and December is half way over with already and I have ran 47 miles and change so far. I'm almost halfway done with my goal of running 100 miles in one month.

Do you have any goals for December? Besides over indulging in holiday food and drink? ;)

And the winner is!!!

*Cue drumroll*

Kevin @ ironmanbythirty. Congrats Kevin! Your copy of "Sports Nutrion for Endurance Athletes" by Monique Ryan will be in the mail ASAP (I emailed you for details).

Thank you to everyone who participated. This was a lot of fun and a good learning experience for future giveaways. I used this reference to learn how to do this. Hopefully when it gets warmer outside and the racing season starts heating up I can do another giveaway.

But in the meantime, Happy Holidays and Happy Training!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

magic 8 miler. Last call on holiday blog giveaway!

My legs felt GOOD this morning. I ran 8 miles in 1:09:48 for an 8:44 pace.

Basically I have hit that point where I have been putting in volume upon volume upon volume at a slow pace (9+ min/miles). The last thing I want to do is to go into the next half marathon having ran nothing BUT 9+ min/miles, especially if I want to do better than 2 hours. I'm not saying its time to do official "speed work," since its not that period of the season, but I am saying that its time to start adding "some" conservative speed, so as to not wreck my body come Jan 24th.

So this morning I did 2, 1 mile pickups that were integrated into the 8 miles. My legs felt great. Here are today's mile splits:

The pickups were controlled and smooth and are possible half marathon paces. It think this is a safe and very conservative way to start adding some speed. Based upon my last 10K, and according to McMillan, my half marathon pace should be an 8:03. I'd prefer to go for an 8:30 pace to limit recovery time. There is PLENTY of season beyond Jan 24th :) As long as I go faster than 2 hours, it will be a successful day!

Last chance! Remember to enter into my Holiday Blog Giveaway! Win a free copy of Monique Ryan's "Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes." And If you mention the giveaway in one of your blog posts, you get entered TWICE! Drawing will be TONIGHT!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Aging on up! 26 going on 27 going on 28?

Well I am proud to say that I am turning 27 AND 28 today. Thank you USA Triathlon! (you race the age you are on December 31st).

So its strange to say, "Why yes. I am turning 27 today."....... when there were a bunch of times over the past 12 months where my age has been listed as 27 and I had to answer my age as 27 due to the above policy, while I was actually only 26. So when I turn (physically) 29, I will be age-grouping UP to to the 30-34 year old age group! Bummer!

Well I rewarded myself today with a run and a trainer session.......and some pie......and another slice of pie........and some ice cream.......with chocolate sauce........and a banana :) Gotta keep it healthy with the banana! haha!

Ran an easy 5 miles this morning. Gotta do 8 tomorrow.

Then onto the trainer where I spun for 90 mins (the severe vertical dips were from stopping to fix Netflix from dropping my internet connection):

And finally....
Remember to enter into my Holiday Blog Giveaway! And If you mention the giveaway in one of your blog posts, you get entered TWICE! Drawing will be TOMORROW night, Sunday December 13th!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a run that almost didnt happen: ice and a train

This is how my morning run started:

Take #1: Ice

For starters, I made it to the North County Running trail this morning up in Pleasantville for a scheduled 6 miler. It was 6:30 AM and still dark so I brought my headlight. I started running on what I THOUGHT was a wet trail (since it poured rain yesterday). Well, considering it was freezing cold this morning it took me about a quarter of a mile and a few slips to realize that I was running on a trail that was completely covered in BLACK ICE! YIKES! I stopped and shuffled my way back to the car.

Take #2: The train
On route to the next closest area to run, I had to cross the Metro North Harlem line train tracks. The crossing gate went down as I approached, so I stopped and waited for the train to pass. Train passes; gate goes up; I cross. I get between a quarter to half way across the tracks when the gate starts going back down and the lights start flashing! Oh crap! Panicking I quickly set the car in reverse and gunned it before the gate smashed my car.

Crazy! I wish I had my heart rate monitor on, cuz my heart was beating out of my chest. I realized later that I could have gone straight.

Take #3: Did the run
Finally got to the Westchester Medical Center. Ran 4.66 miles. Done!

Remember to enter into my Holiday Blog Giveaway! And If you mention the giveaway in one of your blog posts, you get entered TWICE!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Blog Giveaway! enter to win!

I am going to attempt my first blog giveaway. So here goes!

I came into a 2nd copy of Monique Ryan's "Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes" and since I don't need two copies and this book is a REALLY great reference for any endurance athlete, I thought I would pass on some giving.

To win a free copy of this book, please fill out the form below. I'll do a random picking on Sunday, December 13th. I'll email you if you win! Feel free to pass this along to anyone who wants to win a copy of this book. In fact, if you mention this in a post on your blog, I'll enter you TWICE into the drawing!

a beat down in the pool and an indoor spin

I got 8.5 hours of sleep last night and I still couldn't get out of bed. Well after 20 mins of hitting sleep I did get out and hopped onto the trainer for 60 mins. Now I'm up! I just spun for spinning sake going off of RPE. I experimented with using my big ring vs the small ring at the same intensity. I guess I pushed some more watts? Regardless, I need to put more time in the saddle........which hurts SO BAD when the bike isn't flowing freely like out on the road. Again, I need more time in the saddle. These #'s are SUPER WAY low. haha!

Then for lunch, we went to the pool. No snapped goggles this time cuz I bought a brand new pair. This swim, for the type of shape that I am currently in, was a man-maker. I did 2500 yards and it HURT!

600 WU
6 x 300, fast on #'s 3 and 6
50 CD
50 mixed in there.

For the 300's, I went 5:19, 5:19, 5:14, 5:26, 5:26, 5:11. I saved the best for last and my arms simply felt stupid during the short cool down. Bob and I again reminisced about the 3000 yarders we would consistently put up in 60 mins late last spring. We WILL get back to that level! And Im looking forward to getting my 100 yard pace back down into the 1:3X's. Its great to have benchmarks this season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

back in the pool (again) and a run

I feel like I sound like a broken record. "Hey everyone, I'm back in the pool AGAIN!" Wait, didn't this guy just announce the same thing every 2 weeks for the past 2 months? Well, yes, I have.

After last week's disasters, Bob and I went to the pool yesterday; I was litterly putting my toes in the water and putting my goggles on when the goggle STRAP SNAPPED!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Panic ensued...

Fortunately Bob has been swimming since he was 5 days old and has probably fixed a 100 pairs of snapped goggle straps, so within 30 seconds I was half down the pool.

I was able to get in 1800 yards; he got in 2600 before we were cooked and called it a day.

Then this morning I put in 4 miles in some rather tropical 34 degree weather :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

season 3 begins!.....outside!

To kick start my 3rd season of Triathlon, I went outside this morning......on the bike! And it was 27 degrees! That is a new all time coldest temperature that I have biked in. Running in 27 degree weather is balmy; biking in it is a different story due to the extra wind resistance and your entire body isn't moving.

I was dressed appropriately and only had a few numb digits. First my nose and face went numb; but by the time that warmed up, my thumbs were numb. By the time my thumbs warmed up my toes were cold. Seems like the warm blood kept traveling. I had on a pair of thick wool/polyester hybrid socks and neoprene booties and I'm surpised it took to the end of the ride for my feet to go cold. Maybe I need to keep my shoes a bit looser to help with the circulation? I surely had enough warm stuff on around my feet.

I was staring at the trainer last night and realized that I didn't HAVE to ride the trainer. I can always go outside! I feel very victorious for putting up with the cold and putting in 17 miles.

Finally, my water bottle was almost frozen by the end ;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Caddieshack" and some hills

After a broken car on Monday, sickness on Wednesday, my super swimmer co-worker, Bob, and I finally made it to the pool on Friday @ lunch. We were all suited up, about to get our passes stamped and jump into water, wheeeeeeeeeeen Bob suddenly points into the water and yells at the lifeguard to look. I will now reference the movie "Caddieshack" and let you figure out the rest. Swim didn't happen (thankfully!).

Yesterday I hopped onto the trainer for 30 mins before I lost interest and my legs could go no longer. Yeah....30 mins.....I haven't been on the bike in 2 weeks and my legs were not working. Oh well.
Then this morning my super runner buddy, Belden, and I went out for a cold run. He led; I followed; we did hills!

My legs were MUCH better than yesterday's failed trainer ride. I went into machine mode and held a solid pace despite the elevation. This was a good run and Belden introduced me to some nice new terrain with zero car traffic. We ended up with 8.39 miles.

Ironman New Orleans 70.3, ITS ON!

I finally pulled the trigger on New Orleans last night. I hadn't planned on doing a race this early in the season (April 18th), but based upon my training plan, there is no way that I wouldn't be in shape for the race already, as long as I treat it as a training race. I won't have the speed at that point in the season, but I should have the endurance and volume to go slow and steady and basically use this race as a test for better pacing and ESPECIALLY better nutrition to fix some errors that I made @ Timberman last August.

I realized a few weeks ago that you are not going to get better at something (i.e. Half Ironman distances) by only doing it once per year. I'd rather do it 3 times in one year :)

So this means that season #3 of triathlon will officially begin next Monday!

I got in a 4 mile run this morning. I felt 100% better on this run compared to yesterday's.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

post sickness run

My stomach bug (which my ENTIRE family has) is, dare I say, gone? Im able to eat! Even though when I do eat I feel full for hours (which is awesome!) but I don't have much of an appetite even when I do become hungry.

I felt strong enough to go for my scheduled 5 mile run today, which I did @ lunch so that I could get a full night's of sleep last night.

So its December 3rd, and its 62 degrees outside! global warming?

Which meant that I was out in shorts and a short sleaved jersey. I felt like I should have been out on the bike.

But anyways, the run was one that I was very very thankful have over with. From not eating very much over the past 48 hours, my strength has not returned 100% but I still managed to run an 8:48 pace for a 44 min flat time over a somewhat hilly course. My stomach was bothering me the most, but I think that was due to the fact that I downed 3 bowls of Cheerios 90 mins before I either my stomach is still finicky, or that was just a stupid idea. Im going with stupid idea :) Either way, I can only liken the overall feeling of the run to fingernails down a chalkboard.

I feel VERY victorious to have done this run. I can only see up from here...and I am VERY thirsty.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

exploding beer!......non-exploding stomach

The beer and I are in a similar situation tonight. While fermenting to 6.5% its wanting to explode out of the airlock. Fortunately its an easy remedy to fix....take the top off.

I on the other hand, was doubled over in severe pain a few hours ago filled with what felt like a twisting stomach and nausea. I wanted the pressure to relieve! but it wouldn't! Eventually I passed out on the couch in pain, woke up and felt 100% better. It was getting progressively worse all day after I ate a banana this morning. I have barely eaten all day and still do not feel hungry. When standing I can feel the weakness in my legs and I haven't felt this trembly-weak since finishing my half Ironman back in August.

Hopefully this will pass in time for my 5 miler on Thursday. I jinxed myself! hahaha! Gonna take tomorrow off completely unless a miracle happens....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

operation 100 & new shoes!

I just looked at my training plan for the month of December, and the # of miles that I am scheduled to run is 103. I am very superstitious, so I don't want to jinx myself, but this is gonna be an awesome goal to accomplish and will put me in a GREAT spot for January's Half Marathon.

Already I'm down 4, 99 bottles of beer to go! Ran in some mighty fine 32 degree weather this morning. It was brink and my face hurt for the first mile, but I better enjoy it, cuz this is gonna feel tropical compared to what I am about to encounter over the next 3 months. The coldest I have ran in is 17 degrees, and I had to stop once for traffic and I instantly froze. In other words, once you are moving, DONT STOP! haha!

Also this morning, I broke out my new pair of shoes. This is probably my 5th or 6th pair of Mizuno Wave Riders. Great shoes. I felt like I had trampolines under my feet and they didn't hurt after the run.

Monday, November 30, 2009

easy stir fried rice

My mom gave me this recipe and its really quick and easy to make. It lasts me a few days and provides some ample energy and a ton of flavor.

This is how I prepare it:

1 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp butter
2 cups water
4 sprigs of raw asparagus, minced
5 baby carrots, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sprigs of green onion/scallion, minced
olive oil
sesame oil
soy sauce

- boil the 2 cups of water with the butter and once boiling, add 1 cup basmati rice. cook till done.
- in a sautee pan, heat enough olive oil to sautee the minced asparagus and carrots. cook for about 5 mins
- then add the minced garlic and green onion/scallions, cook for 1 - 2 mins
- add a swirl of sesame oil to lubricate the pan so that the rice does not stick
- add the rice and mix with all ingredients in pan. add a bit more sesame oil if it sticks too much. a little sticking is OK.
- finally add a few splashes of soy sauce. add enough for desired taste

if you are quick, you can make this in 20 mins. you could even fry up an egg, chop it and mix it in @ the end. You could also add some fresh minced ginger in with the garlic and green onion/scallion.

I eat the rice with gingered chicken and the rest of the asparagus, baked. I'd say its fairly healthy? Regardless, it sure is TASTY!

And on the UNHEALTHY, but yet tasty front, I brewed up another 5 gallons of beer. Its a belgian blonde:

It will be ready to drink in 6 weeks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

7 miles to round out November

I finished up a personal record running month this morning by knocking off 7 miles; I'll end up with 73.78.....which for a seasoned marathoner is probably a week's worth of volume, but for me, is a milestone. I'm really trying to nail some confidence when running a half marathon. I want to race it for once instead of running to finish. I have 8 weeks till the NYRR Manhattan Half, and I am in a good place right now. Im for the first time consistently running 4 times/week and my body is able to take the abuse. I was feeling it a bit in my knees a bit in the final mile this morning.

Today's run:

Friday, November 27, 2009

fueled by turkey

I went "easy" last night on the turkey day dinner. Easy meaning only 3 slices of pie. haha!

So I had ZERO hunger issues this morning for my 4 mile run. I like running on holiday weekends because there is ZERO traffic in the mornings. Its this erie feeling like running through a ghost town, especially when you live in suburbia. I sometimes think of the beginning to "28 Days Later."

And when it comes to zombies, I always refer to Rule # 1 of "Zombieland,": CARDIO.


I haven't been on the bike in almost a week and my legs are not feeling 100% right now. I think I had a peak week last week because I never once felt fatigued, wheras this week I have only ran and my legs feel like crap every run. Maybe tomorrow I'll head out for a short ride.

I hopped into the pool on Wednesday and did 2300 yards. I felt wasted by the end, but at least I didn't feel as wasted. Monday is gonna be a big day in the pool.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

6 miler

Started the morning off with a tough 6 miler. I did 4 yesterday, so this made 10 in 2 days. The first 2 miles felt great, but by mile 5 the legs were hurting. The final mile felt better since I knew this pain was coming to an end. Its only going to get harder from here in the next few weeks! This was a good character building day.

Around the mile 5 marker is a 3/4 mile portion of trail running, which is spectacular. Saw a big beethoven type dog that from a distance looked like a black bear. Then soon after that was an absolutely GORGEOUS pure white Boxer. He was not on a leash and ran along side me for a bit to say hello. That lifted my spirits a bit.

I am finally reading Dean Karnazes' "Ultramarathon Man." Its been a quick read so far; Im only half way through it, but man, he is a BAMF! I think im about to start reading the part about the Death Valley ultra. Melted shoes anyone?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running for smoothies!

I was cleaning out my freezer the other day and I found a bag of frozen strawberries. They were taking up too much space, so I thought it was time to eat em. Well, I had some bananas and orange juice and I haven't used my blender in awhile. Smoothies!

And I am so glad that I floss. Those strawberry seeds are such a pain!

Ran another nice and easy 4 this morning. I figured out where that little psycho pomeranian dog lives. He was barking just as hard.

Monday, November 23, 2009

never stop swimming, OR ELSE! have two really rough swims in a row! haha!

Went @ lunch today and swam (more like struggled) 1550 yards. Did 10 x 150 on 3:00. I had to take an extra minute between the 5th and 6th 150. I was coming in around the 2:40 - 2:42 mark.

Man oh man this is the punishment I am receiving for slacking off in the pool. Utter punishment!

Still, my form and speed are way better than this time last year, so that is a relief. Can't wait to get my swim form back and laugh about these first swims back.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

good week in review, 6 miler to start new week

I had a good week. Biked 104 miles and ran 17.4. Swam only 2200, but we will keep that a secret ;)

Looking back at my logs over this past year, this past week (minus the swimming) would have been my most voluminous week all year. Uuuuhhhhhhh, wha?

How is this possible?!?!?!? I am in the freaking off season right now just taking it easy and my legs feel perfectly fine right now as I am typing this.

Well, the answer is: I biked 4 times and I ran 4 times. Thats it. No mystery. No magic involved. I just biked and ran 1 more time each than normal.

Here are my run/bike workouts:

Sunday 11/15/09 29.04 01:34:28 18.4446 5 00:46:24 00:09:17
Monday 11/16/09 18.04 01:07:35 16.0158

Tuesday 11/17/09

3 00:28:25 00:09:28
Wednesday 11/18/09 18.1 01:06:31 16.3267

Thursday 11/19/09

5 00:48:01 00:09:36
Friday 11/20/09

4.39 00:39:06 00:08:54
Saturday 11/21/09 39.07 02:07:30 18.3859

104.25 05:56:04 17.29 17.39 02:41:56 00:09:19

So right here explains what happens when you add a 4th day of running and biking. For me, I actually felt better and I put in more training load. I also noticed that I was taking it super easy on the runs. This week was a good accidental test that is really going to shape next year.

And this morning I went out for a 6 miler to start week #3 of my half marathon training. Talk about perfect weather!!! 53 degrees, lots of sun, and no wind. Ran an 8:55 pace and just felt great......after the 3 mile mark. You can check it out here:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

bought the right bike

I did a 39 miler this morning on my Cervelo P2 time trial bike. This was the longest ride that I have done on it while staying in the aero position for most of the time. My back never got sore and my arms only hurt a little. In other words, THIS is the bike for me and this ride justified me buying this bike.

I did the same route as last Sunday but I started 5 miles sooner on the same road which meant I had 10 more miles of aero riding on some nice straight road.

Unfortunately I got a flat @ mile 17. My steering suddenly became sluggish, which is a sign that the front tire was going soft. Easy fix. If its the rear tire, your bike starts bouncing when you pedal.

I am in love with this route! You can just go for miles and miles while cranking it in the big ring while in the aero position. Gonna spend a long time on these roads next season.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I haven't been in the pool for weeks. And before that, I'd only been in the pool for two weeks after I hadn't been in the pool for weeks. So let's just say I haven't put up more than 15,000 yards since the end of August!

So today I got into the pool with my super swimmer coworker. Fortunately he hasn't been as diligent in the swimming department either, so today was a good "restart" for us.

I was hitting times a LOT slower than times that I used to take for granted last summer. Take, for example, the 8 200's that we did today: I hit on my fastest a 3:35, which I basically had to sprint for (I used to hit 3:35 200's without blinking @ my peak). And my slowest one? 3:55. OUCH!

Hey, at least I will be able to see improvement this winter! :)

psycho doggies!

Planned on a 4 mile run this morning, but my mind was elsewhere when I realized I took the wrong turn and ended up going longer, which was ok.

The funny part about that was I came upon a woman walking her tiny pomeranian and she saw me first, and suddenly got into the defensive position and put a death grip upon the dog leash. Thats usually a sign that the dog was about to FLIP OUT! And flip out he did!

Pomeranian's are tiny dogs and that dog was a like a fly attached to a string anchored to a pole where the dog just flew around in circles around owner barking and just wanting to rip my head off! I pretended I didn't see anything and tried not to laugh! Fortunately they were on the other side of the road.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Finally my taste buds are accepting hommus! I have been really enjoying Cedar's Vegetable Hommus. I dip baby carrots into it. A really filling snack for me is about 24 baby carrots and 4 tablespoons of the hommus. Only comes out to be 200 measly calories!

Also, that tabbouleh knockoff that I made last nite is REALLY filling as well. I had some more for lunch today and I couldn't finish off my bowl.

I knocked off 5 more easy miles this morning. Held a super slow 9:36 average and just cruised. Felt good and I totally could have kept going for another 5. I am liking this easy running thing :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

yet another 18 miler, and a yummy greek-ish dinner

I hit up the same old same old 18 miler @ lunch. A bit colder today @ 53 degrees, but sunny and not a cloud in the sky = PERFECT RIDING WEATHER!

And I went a bit more adventurous for dinner tonight. I made a shrimp and feta tabbouleh knockoff. Instead of using bulger I used couscous instead, cuz you can cook it in about 5 mins. I boiled the shrimp. Here is the recipe. Warning: it has an explosion of flavor! (and its healthy :) )

Monday, November 16, 2009

May the Gu be with you

And on the 8th day, God said, "Let there be Chocolate Gu!" And there was Chocolate Gu.

Aaaaaaah, I bought a brand spankin new box of Chocolate Gu tonight. I wish I kept track of how many Chocolate Gu's I have eaten over the past 2-3 years. It probably amounts to, well, a LOT of calories! At least they were yummy calories :) Maybe for 2010 I'll keep track.

I like Chocolate Gu so much, that I have thought about substituting chocolate frosting on my birthday cake next month for Chocolate Gu. I still remember the first time I ate one. I cried! I was at the bottom of route 118 up in Northern NH about to climb Gonzo Pass, which is a pretty serious hill. I wasn't crying cuz of the hurt that I was about to endure, but rather because I had never eaten something so sweet and intense! It took me awhile to be able to eat another one. Eventually I got used to the sweetness and it has been a love affair ever since. Fon-Gu anyone?
It almost hit 60 @ lunch today so I went out for an 18 miler. Is it really November 16th? Feels more like April 16th. Legs felt a bit crispy, but they were loosend up by the end. Good recovery ride.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a nice route discovery

This ride has been in my backyard for almost 4 years, and my stubborness of not looking for new areas to ride kept me from riding some roads that I rode 3 seasons ago that are more appropriate to time trialing than where I ride in Greenwich, CT. Gaaarrr!!!!

But now I have found it:

And the cool thing is that I can tag on another 5 miles of perfect time trial riding at the start, to add 10 more miles total of staying in the aero position. The amount of R&D that I am doing now BETTER pay off next season! haha!

As for today's ride, it was just what I expected. Lots of staying in the aero position and boy oh boy is my Cervelo P2 a missile! Kudos go out again to Ed, my bike fitter for making my ride super comfy. Just gotta keep working on the engine!

So we did 29 miles, I pulled for most of it and on certain sections I could just haul ass! I wasn't incredibly consistent from start to finish, but there were about 3 sections of road where I was able to get comfy and go consistent. Looking at those sections from my computer, I was holding in the low 20-25 mph range. Not bad! No way I can hold that in the long term, but its always fun to do some intervals of that effort. The biggest thing that I am proud of though is that my cadence work was between 90 and 100 for most of the ride, which is right on target.

I will be visiting these roads often next season.

And finally, to finish my infinite ramblings, I have come to the conclusion that my riding style needs to change, and is already starting to change. Up to the end of this season, I have been more of an explosive rider where I would climb standing up and could always hit the gas climbing up a hill if I needed to. Well this meant that I was sacrificing those long haul muscles and no wonder I was not doing so well on the flat stretches @ Timberman. I of course flew up the 2 climbs at that race, but those savings were very short term vs the long term savings that I could have gotten by training on the flats more and would have helped my run.

Ok, I am done vomiting all of this post. Over and out!

The influence and results of using a heart rate monitor while running

Ran 5 miles on a totally flat trail this morning. I ran a 9:16 pace and what a difference from Friday's run! I split my time evenly between zones 2 and 3. Check out the run and splits, etc over @ Garmin Connect. HERE!

My heart rate never crept above 162. This is signifigant becauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse, I looked at Friday's run and I was completely in zone 3 from start to finish. No wonder I felt like crap! I basically started out too hard and maintained, whereas today, I started in zone 2 and finished in zone 3. I felt great by the finish and could have easily gone longer (those days are coming SOON).

This was a great test and is really going to influence the way I train next season, especially during my 12 week base period. When I hit those 14 hour peak weeks, there is NO WAY that I will be able to go hard every workout (or any workout). The game will be played at an easy intensity, but with lots of volume.

I am in a good place right now. I am craving putting in the work and putting up the #'s, except for in the pool :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

2010 Race Schedule

I think I am narrowing down my 2010 Race Schedule some more. The additions are mostly B and C races:

1/25/10: NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon / C
2/7/10: NYRR Bronx Half Marathon / C
3/21/10: NYC Half Marathon / B
4/26/10: Bronx Biathlon / C
5/23/10: Dutchess Triathlon / B
6/6/10: Mooseman 70.3 / A
8/7/10: Fronhofer Tool Triathlon / B
8/22/10: Timberman 70.3 / A
11/07/10: NYC Marathon / A+

I have noticed over the past two seasons that I usually have a peak 2 weeks after a shorter but more intense race, and this is why I am doing a sprint 2 weeks before Mooseman and an Olympic 2 weeks before Timberman. Plus, the Fronhofer course just looks incredible (on paper).

So it looks like I will have a nice 8 week gap between Mooseman and the Fronhofer Olympic. Plenty of time to recover and rebuild in time for the end of Tri season.

Then there will be a 10+ week gap between Timberman and the NYC Marathon to drop EVERYTHING and become a pure runner.

And since I am going coachless next year, its all going to be about following the plan.

running too hard

I ran 3 miles this morning in 27 mins flat for a 9:00 pace. Whatever, its my usual run pace.

But I felt like I was working really hard for that 9:00 pace. My legs are probably still not fully recovered from last Sunday, but I looked at my heart rate data after the run, and sure enough I was in zone 3 the entire time. I ran too hard!

For this type of run, which was a "go easy" run, I should have been in zone 2 or lower if I could have helped it. That means slowing down. I'm gonna do some tests with my garmin and try to do similar 3 mile runs @ a constant 9:15 and 9:30 paces to see what results I get. Hopefully the weather conditions will be similar and I hadn't chugged a bunch of caffeine the night before to get similar results, since so many factors can throw off your heart rate.

I tried looking for my last running heart rate test from last February, but its lost in some folder. Regardless, it should be fun discovering these zones this way. This is NOT scientific, but it gives me mini goals to accomplish which ALWAYS help out with the motivation factor.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

another easy run

Did a 4 miler this morning holding a 9:41 pace. Super easy and slow. I can still feel it a bit in my quads, but nothing like 2 days ago.

Had no idea what I was thinking as I was leaving the door I wore my heart rate monitor, but NO WATCH. haha! fortunately my running partner had a watch on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Last night my quads hurt SO bad that putting any pressure on them made me squirm.

Woke up this morning and hopped onto the trainer for 45 minutes pushing under 100 watts to go nice and easy and now my legs feel like a new pair.

Its funny, people at work yesterday were asking me if I was limping. No I was not limping; I could just barely move my legs. There is a difference! :)p

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

half marathon-ing!

This post is mostly for recording my current thoughts, but I thought I'd share :)

Starting to do research into pacing strategies for the half marathon in January. I feel like I am gonna graduate in 11 weeks by REALLY preparing myself for this half. So here are some decent articles that I found on the subject:

Gordo Byrn Half Ironman thread

The common theme that I got was that you should start out slow and ramp it up to mile 10, then hit the gas. Going out to hard is gonna burn you. This isnt a 5K or 10K! Also, trust your pacing from the McMillan Running Pace Calculator.

One of these Sunday's Im gonna run laps around the top of Central Park to get to know that section. I don't know how many times I have ran the loop from the transverse around 100th street and down. The only time I have ever raced above that was in the NYC Triathlon and I went into that totally blind (bad idea, btw).

If you have any half marathon racing suggestions, lets hear em!

another reset

I walked into work yesterday feeling VERY victorious after my successful 10K performance on Sunday.

I also walked into work VERY sore :) man oh man I am sure you know the feeling: your quads ache when you move slightly while seated in a chair!

The 10K run was also the end of one training cycle and now this morning I began the next training cycle which is an 11 week build up to the NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon on January 24th (if they hold the race on the same weekend as last year).

This is also my formal bid to FINALLY go sub 2 hours in a half marathon. No excuses this time! I can already see a storm dumping a foot of snow in Central Park that morning. haha!

Finally, I'd like to share how NOT to do a recovery workout. DO NOT sprint up hills on your bike for 18 miles the day after a 10K PR. So it was 70 degrees yesterday and probably the last nicest day of the year so we took advantage of the weather and headed out for a lunch time ride. We had a tail wind on the way out. Well that got our speed perspective out of whack to only going fast and on the way back it was hillier so we started hammering it up every hill we hit.

I got to the top of every hill wanting to die....but alas I hit another hill and then another hill and each time just hammered up it. stupid stupid stupid!!!

And as for my 3 mile run this morning?: 10 min mile pace!!! haha!.....seriously, my legs would go NO faster.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

new 5k/10k personal records!

I had a good day today in my running shoes by setting new 5K and 10K personal records during a 10K race. 22:56 5K split, 47:22 total for a 7:38 pace.

I did a totally random race out in Lindenhurst, NY on Long Island for the Hope for the Warriors run. I did the race merely as a motivational race to keep some sort of goal ahead of me so that I don't completely go flat during this off season. I was quite surprised at the turnout and support. It was a well run closed course race. I HIGHLY recommend this race.

My mile splits came out as:
7:10 (last .2 miles)

My 5K split was first EVER sub 23 min 5K. I actually felt good at the half way point and had this been a 5K, I woulda gone even harder. Things started to not go so well (as you can see in my splits) from this point onwards. Between mile 4 and 5 I was hurting pretty bad and was wanting the race to end already. Fortunately between 5 and the end, the terrain changed (we went up a bridge and down an off ramp) so that little bit of different terrain broke that last 1.2 miles up and it "felt" shorter. The final 200 yards were excruciating with the anticipation of finishing.

I used my heart rate monitor and I was in the high zone 4 for most of the definately way up there in threshold. I even stayed in zone 5 for 6:19 of the race.

I haven't gone this hard since the end of August. Good to know that my legs still have some speed left in them from this past season!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


So this indoor power training program is just the motivation that I need get the biking volume back up. This morning I headed outdoors for a 24 miler to round out 3 bike sessions for the week.

The leaves are mostly down so riding through the countryside of Greenwich, CT was pretty cool today:

Friday, November 6, 2009

week 1, Q2 session

I completed the week 1, Q2 session this morning. Looks like this:

10' @ 125 watts
5 x (20" @ 215 watts / 40" @ 125 watts)
Main Set:
5 x (1' @ 180 watts / 1' @ 125 watts)
15' @ 150 watts
5' @ 120 watts

Averaged 144 watts.

This was another "get reaquainted" with the trainer session. Sorta looking forward to the harder sessions....just sorta. haha!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

winter cycling power plan

I started a 10 week winter cycling power plan this morning. The goal of this is to improve your threshold power. A coach over @ is using his own program which looks really good and is made specifically for those with a power meter. He also has a HRM/RPE plan as well.

So today was workout #1. It looked like this via power (unfortunately my HRM didnt work):

And transcribed into human language, I did this:
Warm up:
10' @ 120 watts
5' (@ 15" @ 214 watts / 45" @ 120 watts)
Main Set:
10 x 30" @ 200 watts / 30" @ 120 watts
15' @ 150 watts
Cool down:
5' @ 120 watts

I'd say this workout was medium intensity. It felt strange spinning my legs fast on the trainer again and I believe this workout was meant to reacclimate yourself back on the trainer.

This is just the beginning, and its gonna get HARD starting next week when we do our first 20 min test.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

rockin' lunchtime run

50 degrees, sunny, and a slight breeze. Perfect 4.27 miles. Good run and I feel ready for Sunday's 10K.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

back on bike, super 7 miler, NYC marathon!

Biked 26 miles yesterday 1:55:00 easy. haha!!!

Then this morning I knocked out a super solid 7 miles in 1:00:54. My legs felt so good. I took the easy way and did 2 x 3.5 mile loops. Mentally, I just couldn't do a 7 mile loop. Plus, I negative split it. 30:43 for the first loop. 30:11 for the 2nd. And I could have kept going. Ah, it feels good to have some running form back again.

Finally I hopped onto the train and saw the NYC Marathon. This is to make sure that I am in fact AM going to run this thing next year. We first went to the finish @ central park and parked ourselves 600 meters from the finish. Saw Ryan Hall and Paula Radcliff win 4th. Absolutely amazing to see these elite runners come in so fast!

Then we headed up to 116th and 1st (mile 19) and saw the masses of people stream through. We found a good spot by the open door @ a bar called Orbit and had a nice brunch and mimosas as we watched the pace of thousands of people slowly slow. I went out and watched by the barriers a few times and studied the faces of everyone. They ranged from pure agony to just having a good time.

I hope I remember this spot next year and I wonder how I will feel. I honestly have NO IDEA how I am going to do. I guess it all depends on if I meet my goal of upping my run volume up enough over the course of next season. I think this next year is gonna fly by!

Friday, October 30, 2009

self restraint

Sometimes when my legs feel super good at the beginning of a run my brain thinks that I can just go hard from the start and maintain it through the entire run. Unfortunately my brain can be very short sighted and will not see the long term.

Take for example this morning, when I went a bit faster from the start and ate it @ mile 2. Fortunately by mile 3.75/4 my legs came back to life.

And I guess that its for early morning dark runs? Daylight savings time ends this weekend. Good thing, because my runs are going to start getting longer in a couple of weeks.

Today's route:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

involuntary sleep

So say you go for a 6 mile run @ lunch in some awesome weather. You get back, shower, eat, then you have a meeting @ 3 in a dark room with a bright projection screen in front of you.

What do you think is gonna happen! haha!

I was looking at one character, closed my eyes, opened em back up and suddenly there was a different character up there. Oops! Good thing they weren't mine :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pitch black run

I have only ran once in the dark before. I thought I was going to trip on every step. Fortunately I didn't.

Yesterday morning I headed out for a run @ 6:30 in the dark, but I came prepared with an LED headlight. Aaaaah, I can see! Did an easy 4 miles. Upon finishing the run, the natural light started to arrive and the atmosphere was pink! It was totally surreal!

Then this morning I hopped onto the trainer @ 7AM and spun for an hour. It was easier this time than Saturday.

Finally I went to the pool @ lunch today. We did:

400 WU
10 x 150 on 3:00
4 x 50

The 10 x 150 was harder than it looks since I haven't been putting up much yardage lately. I will probably end up with a whopping 10K yards this entire month. Still, I am in MUCH better swimming shape now than I was this time last year.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

just going going going

So on Friday I did 3 miles in 27:00 flat. Just took it easy and felt REALLY good after my hilly-ish 5 miler the day before.

Yesterday it poured all day long, so I spun my legs out for an hour on the trainer. I think that did the trick, because....

this morning I just got back from a 6 miler in some perfect perfect PERFECT fall running weather. I ran up this short but really steep hill around mile 5 and my breathing was perfectly under control. That is one of those hills that totally takes you above and beyond threshold. So in other words, it was a good run. I did it in 54:28 for a 9:05 pace. Perfect.

I have really been trying to go slower on my runs. I realized the other week that running sub 9 min miles right now day after day on short distances makes me feel so much more tired than running a 9:00 min pace and doing more volume. Its all about load.

Load = volume * intensity.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 mile lunch time run and yummy sandwich

Another gorgeous day in fall paradise. Fall is really making up for lost time. I did 5 miles @ lunch today (my longest run since Timberman, I believe) and finished up that gigantic .5 mile hill. Been awhile since I have gone up that thing in running shoes. A good run. I hurt @ the beginning but the legs opened up around mile 3.

But I made a yummy sandwich for lunch today:
Grilled chicken and roasted red pepper on a kaiser roll with balsamic vinegar and mixed spring greens, with provolone cheese

So you grill the chicken with salt and pepper. I have stove top grill pan that makes those nice grill marks.

Roast the red pepper in the oven under the broiler. Once out of the oven, toss the pepper into a container where it can steam. This allows the skin to come right off. Slice into thin strips.

Sprinkle an appropriate amount of balsamic vinegar on one side of the roll, or mix it in with the mixed spring greens.

Assemble and enjoy! If you are making it for immediate eating, you can melt the cheese on the chicken.