Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let's get this party started already!!!!

Oh man oh man oh man I am chomping at the bit to get started next year! For the last two weeks I have been in this weird limbo stage just trying to do something to stay active so as to not fall flat on my face when training "officially" starts next week.

I am currently waiting for an email from my coach for the first installment of my training plan. I guess this sense of anticipation is killing me right now because it will be interested to see how he concocts his training plans and how difficult they will be to execute. I am REALLY looking forward to getting started!

We had an early release day from work today, so @ 3PM I was outside running in 40 degree temps in shorts! It was wonderful! I don't know why, but I keep visualizing the Lake Placid running course. I have only ran the loop once, but I feel like I know the thing backwards and forwards. I really like the course, if you can't tell.

So I finally decided on what I will be doing next year. The racing will be kept to a minimum:
  • Ironman Texas 70.3, April 10th
  • Tri Ridgefield Sprint, June 5th
  • Ironman Lake Placid, July 24th
  • edit: POSSIBLE REV 3, Cedar Point, Sept 11th: either cheerleading/beer parade leader, or racing the half.
  • and if my body doesn't self destruct, NYC Marathon, November 6th.
So I am either going REALLY long, or really short.

Have a great New Year's!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Holiday Race Report

Yes, I call I am calling this a RACE REPORT because sometimes fitting everything in on the Holidays feels like a race. Fortunately the "Aid" stations are pretty yummy, if you know what I mean. Further more, with Christmas (for those of you who celebrate it) falling on a Saturday, it really eats into the free time off from the factory.

Here is how my "race" turned out:

Drove up Thursday night to NH to visit the family. It was an easy 5 hour drive. Little traffic once I got north of Hartford. The family dog, Aachen the German Shorthaired Pointer, LOVES to make his bed. I witnessed him many times making it and finally my brother filmed him:



Friday AM was a nice morning. A bit chilly and windy, but I headed over to the Timberman run course and did one loop. My face was frozen for the first two miles (running into a headwind) but I was really warmed up by the time the run ended. It was SO clear that I could see Mt. Washington 47 miles away! Unfortunately my camera phone is unable to capture that wonderfullness. I did get a photo of the Timberman race site! haha!


Saturday was a wonderful day of opening presents, food, and family, and Aachen making his bed numerous times. I got some tri related gifts. Mom got me some awesome Pearl Izumi gloves. You can never have too many pairs of gloves! Got some more Gu and a Honey Stinger packet. I know Lancey boy likes em, so it will be good to give that a try.

My sister got me an AWESOME gift from customsportsproducts.com, a custom water bottle. She stole photos off of this blog and uploaded em and had em print RIGHT onto the water bottle. Perfect!!!

this will NOT be going through a bottle exchange
Sunday is when the "race" REALLY started. You probably heard about the blizzard that socked the east coast all weekend long?


I had to get the heck out of Dodge by 8AM to return back to White Plains before I got stuck on the roads. We got DUMPED on! Look @ this radar image!


I think we got a foot or more.

This doesn't tell the whole story. My place has GOOD plowers and shovelers
This meant that work was canceled for today. With crazy high winds and the pools closed, it was trainer city. I popped in the Lake Placid course and video for the first time on the CompuTrainer, got as far as to the top of the first set of hills before the descent into Keene, and my computer died. Doh! Its old.
 
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and Happy Almost New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Calling it a year

The last few mornings have been VERY hard to get outside to run. Its not the cold, its the dark. Light @ 7:15 am? My apartment is FILLED to the brim with Christmas presents and there is NO room to get the trainer out.

Yeah, yeah, send me a box of Kleenex and a broken violin and order me the whaaaaaaaaaambulance.

Motivation to bike and run is at an all time low right now. Work has been piling it on me more and more and more and that is exhausting me more than anything lately.

The only silver lining is that I AM motivated to hit the pool as much as I can. Been totally riding that high this past fall!

But basically structured training until January 1 is going bye bye. My right leg has been giving me the middle finger for a few weeks now with a sore hamstring, sore knee, and blisters on the right foot. I am NOT feeling as "sharp" as I should be for this time of year.

With structured training with my coach starting up in the beginning of January, I think I am going to rest the legs as much as I can and just alternate days between riding and running, doing little volume and little intensity. No sense starting the season already burned out and beat up, right?

Besides, I think I have done enough this year.

Wanna hear some totals?

Swim: around 250,000 yards
Bike: just shy of 3,500 miles (will hit this next week)
Run: around 925 miles


Race totals:
  • Half Ironman: 4
  • Sprimpics: 1
  • 25K: 1
  • Half Marathons: 2 (well, 6 if you count the ones from the HIM)
  • 15K: 1
  • 10K: 1
  • 5 Milers: 2
  • 4 Miler: 1
  • Slept in: Twice I think?
  • Races in 4 different states
  • and a BUNCH of PR's!!!
Like I said in my last post, this was a season of growth. I have NEVER swam, biked, or ran that much EVER in a year's time. Looking at my logs, ~3,000 of those bike miles were from from January to August. This past fall was a "fun" period of riding for pastries.

Now I must do one final transition of the year from large volumes of swim, bike, and run to large volumes of food and wine.

I shall call this, T3.

Have a wonderful Holiday and New Year's everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010, the Year in Review!

I did this post last year and it was a great reminder of if you put in the work, you will get the results. It also helped me learn my strengths, weaknesses, and mistakes that I made during the year.

Because the first half of this year was SO race heavy, I ended up doing a January to July 1st year in review post so as to not make this post UBER long!

So here is the last half of my year, from July 1 to now.

Starting July I was on target for Timberman (my A+++++ race for the year), but I was getting bored with the training. Since Mooseman, the training was so monotonous. I needed a break and spice it up! Fortunately in the schedule, another somewhat local HIM fit smack in the middle between Mooseman 70.3 and Timberman 70.3, Ironman Rhode Island 70.3.

The race did NOT turn out to be a success. I had a great bike split, but the swim, and especially the run, were HORRIBLE! The swim was rough and by the time I hit the run, it was pushing 90 with little shade.

I felt sea sick!
Felt @ home on the bike

I think my face tells of the misery!

Smiling just to be done. That sucked! Actual finish time: 5:41:11
I look back now on that Rhode Island race as a good ass kicking. It wasn't a race meant for a PR. It was meant for another HIM experience to go through the motions of that distance. This race was just money in the bank.

But the biggest thing to happen in July was volunteering and signing up for Lake Placid. Yes, THE Ironman! What a weekend this was! Perfect weather and an incredible atmosphere of energy.


I worked the transition area as a volunteer


I immediately fell in love with the town and it was a no brainer to sign up for 2011's race!

From Lake Placid onwards I noticed that my body was starting to peak. I was knocking off 56 mile hard rides followed by super fast 5K runs. I felt like superman!

Then I didn't feel like superman anymore. I wasn't recovering properly anymore. I didn't feel "sharp" anymore.

Fortunately though my body held out just long enough for my A+++++ race of the season, Ironman Timberman 70.3 on August 22nd.

The goal of this race was to seek revenge upon the distance. I did this race as my first HIM in 2009 and had never been so humbled in my life!

This time though, I think I humbled the race. I blew 47 minutes off my time and finished with a 5:08:20 and finished in the top 1/3 of my age group. This was my first race where EVERYTHING came together. I PR'ed the swim, T1, the bike, T2, and the run. It was a good day!

Me and the family

Almost there!

Me and the Queen of Triathlon!
Like I wrote above, my body held out until that day @ Timberman, then it broke! haha! It saved the best for last.

My calve muscles were unusually tight after that race, especially the left calve. In fact it was so tight that it pulled on my plantar and and some other tendons in my left foot and knocked me out of running for almost 4 weeks.

I had planned on running the NYC Marathon in November, but it was a no brainer that due to this injury that running a marathon was suicide, especially since I am doing an Ironman next year.

I did however, regroup and get my run back in shape for a late season 10K in Central Park on December 5th. 104 miles of running in November lead to my first sub 45 minute 10K, and a new PR by almost 2.5 minutes. The finish line to that race was the same spot of the start line of my first race back in January. Symbolic?

I guess I could describe the 2010 season as a season of huge gains and growing up. I now understand what is like to put up large volume and sustain it for 4 months. I know what it takes my body to recover from long distances. I know my body doesn't do well in the heat and fumidity! I learned that I run faster out of the gate after a swim or a run.

Looking forward to next year, I am going back to being coached. I probably won't race as much or as far other than Placid. I know that the more I race, the less hungry I get to race. Its a supply and demand kind of thing. With fewer races next year, hopefully I will be hungrier on July 24th.

See ya @ the finish line!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nuts!!!!

Yes, I like Almonds and Pecans. They are my two favorite nuts to eat and I usually eat them both on a daily basis. Note: Healthy fats!!! Pecans also make an AMAZING topping to Sweet Potato Casserole.

Aside from the edible nuts, life has been NUTS!!!

Sorry I haven't been commenting very much lately. I feel really bad!

Work has been INSANE. Everyone @ work is sick or is getting sicker except for me (I owe it to living this active lifestyle AND eating an insane amount of oranges, grapefruit, and clementines. Anyone else notice this year has some AMAZING citrus so far?) so I have been picking up the slack. Movies don't make themselves! Picking up the slack means less downtime to read all of your blogs and comment during the day.

Outside of work, whether I want to believe it or not, Ironman training HAS BEGUN! I am just telling myself I am in an accelerated prep program priming myself for the onslaught that will be next year. I have been looking at my numbers for November and Decemeber, and they reflect mid season Half Ironman training minus the bike.

Its going to get harder than this?!??!?! YEP!

Already I feel a level above where I finished up last season. I guess its mostly a confidence thing. I finished another brutal run this morning with my coach after a 3000+ yard swim. Yes, I got dropped on the run again, but hey, I have to remind myself that these guys are Kona qualifiers, sub 18 min 5K'ers, 70.3 World Championship Qualifiers, multiple Ironman finishers. The fact that I hung with them for MOST of the run means that I am doing my homework. They are probably at an easy pace the entire time! haha!

Its a good group that I have found. I am leaching off of their extensive knowledge. Been thinking of switching to a compact crank for Placid and after talking it over with a few guys, it's the right choice. Anyone happen to have a Shimano Ultegra 6750 170mm Compact Crank that you want to offload?

Finally, I finally pulled the trigger and signed up for the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas (long name, eh?), formally known as Ironman Lonestar. This will take place on April 10th and will be my first Triathlon of the year.


Other than this and Placid in July, most of my season schedule is still up in the air. I did NOT get into the NYC Half Marathon, which is a bummer because that is a FAST course. Then the Manhattan Half Marathon on January 22nd is the same day as one of my swim workshops with my coach, so that is out. Doh! Fortunately there are a few other races on those same weekends or on surrounding weekends that can fill the void.

I may just not do a lot of supporting races this season and just stick to the big guns for 2011. I do want to do a triathlon the weekend of June 5th-ish. I have three options, a Sprint, an Olympic, or a Half Ironman and they are all within an hour of my house. Decisions Decisions Decisions.....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SPAM recipe

This is actually pretty tasty:
Sauteed Spam covered with couscous and maple syrup!

The back story to this (oh, there has to be a back story to a recipe like this!) is that I was out camping for 10 days in early march in the snow up in the White Moutains of NH. This was our last morning and we were out of food, except for SPAM, couscous, and maple syrup. Hey, it worked! The previous morning we tried to make pancakes out of powdered milk (powdered milk looked the pancake mix). THAT didn't work so well! haha!

But back to that SPAM. SPAMmers are getting through this blog again :( Boooooooo! I HATE CAPTCHAs (the word verification thing when you make a comment). I really hope the SPAM dies down, or else I will have to put that back up. Boo!

Now to swimming. Despite my monday night swim class being more chill, this coach still knows how to drop the HURT. We basically did 2400 yards of drills, including a 500 yard set where you pull AS HARD AS YOU CAN. OUCHY!!!

Amputation might be the only remedy to my sore shoulders. Holy crapola if I can just endure this swimming abuse for a few more weeks, hopefully my body will adjust to this added work load.

Then it snowed last night.

Our first snow of the season.
So this morning I hopped onto the trainer for 45 minutes then went outside into the 20 degrees and snow for a 3 miler.

THIS IS THE OFF SEASON?!??!?!!?

P.S. I am REALLY behind on reading everyone's blogs. I hope to catch up with you all ASAP! I love reading about all of your experiences.

Monday, December 13, 2010

28 and beyond

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! Wow, turning 28 was great, but I will be 29 in 2 weeks already! (Thank you USAT and you race your age as of December 31st)

Turns out December 12th was also a birthday for two other bloggers. Small world, eh?

Kristin @ Triathlon Dreams celebrated her birthday.
Jason @ Life of an Aspiring Triathlete also celebrated his birthday. And want to see how even smaller the world is? Jason used to live RIGHT down the street from me. He now lives in Texas.

I attempted to run yesterday morning, but up in Northern CT @ my brother's house everything had a thin layer of ice on it and it was POURING rain, so I opted to take it easy instead and eat pancakes and bacon.

This morning I did get out for a 4 miler. It was a balmy 43 degrees so I wore shorts! So great! My legs were still a bit sore from Saturday's beat down.

Tonight I am off to my other swim class. Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Finishing up 27 years with a BANG!

I will never forget the last day of my 27th year on this planet. My coach whooped my boo-tay this morning!!! haha! This morning was week #2 of his swim workshop. He really knows how to drop the hammer on us!

Swim:
100 WU
5 x 100 (25 right, 25 left, 50 @ 3 stroke drill)
100, count strokes per 25
5 x 100 (50 shark, 50 swim)
5 x 100 (50 paddle, 50 swim)
5 x 100 (50 fins, 50 swim)
5 x 100 (hard on 1:45, held 1:25's)
400 CD (50 paddles, 4 x 50 hard,  50 REALLY hard (35.5), 100 easy)
-----------------
3100 yards

My coach loves my stroke. I learned today that I am in the "fast" lane in the group of 16 folks (Sweet!) and that I have a very efficient stroke. We counted how many times we stroked with our right arm per 25, and my count came to be 8, as in I take 15-16 strokes per 25. The other two in my lane were @ 11 or around 22 strokes per 25. One guy is much faster than me, the other is slightly slower. So even though the one guy is faster, he uses up more energy to go faster. I feel good about this!

The big thing pointed out to me this week is that I need to work on my "catch." If I "catch" the water sooner, I will be pulling more water sooner, meaning propelling myself sooner and farther. One final thing that I am proud of is holding those 1:25's on 1:45 so late in the workout. There is one thing about hitting a 5 x 100 set in the beginning of a swim workout, but doing this at the end really skyrocketed my confidence in the pool, and its only December!!!

Sorry if I am gloating too much, but this was a REAL breakthrough swim for me!

Then we ran. 10.16 miles in 1:20:25 / 7:55 pace

Let me first mention that the group was small, only 6 of us. These guys include multiple Ironman finishers, first place podium finishers, a 9 time Kona qualifier (my coach), 17:xx 5K timers...........and me. You always hear that if you want to go faster, train with faster people. Yeah I totally signed up for the "fast" and "experienced" group. You don't get this kind of training experience by reading a book!

This run was humbling not only because of the pace, but also the freaking terrain!!! Look @ this course!

Multiple Slices of Humble Pie were eaten on those giant uphills.

And my resulting run splits:
Mile 1: 8:30
Mile 2: 7:33
Mile 3: 7:26
Mile 4: 8:36 (first big uphill)
Mile 5: 7:43
Mile 6: 7:14 (yay downhill!)
Mile 7: 7:14 (yay downhill!)
Mile 8: 9:26 (grumble grumble GIANT uphill!)
Mile 9: 7:48
Mile 10: 7:34

I needed this run. After last weekends 10K PR, this was a good eye awakening that last weekend was good, but its time (already) to step IT UP!


My poor right foot though, has taken a beating with the blisters lately. Time to bust out the moleskin and tape!

Sorry, its kinda gross....

That is all for me this weekend. Tonight I celebrate my brother turning 30 and me turning 28! Our birthdays are only 4 days apart. I am taking tomorrow OFF!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It is getting colder!

16 degrees this morning! I had a good 10 minute back and forth with myself over whether or not to run this morning or at lunch today. Since running at lunch SUCKS, it was best to HTFU and get out there and get the run done. See, I do my killing BEFORE breakfast!

Just like age, temperature is just a number, especially when you have the proper clothing.

I basically put on every piece of cold weather gear that I own.

I had on as base layers:
  • tri shorts
  • jersey
  • socks
2nd layer:
  • arms warmers
  • cycling tights
3rd layer:
  • running pants
  • running jacket
  • ski gloves
  • balaclava
  • headband
Other than my face being cold for the first mile or so, I was COMFY. I think because there was no wind that it was a very tolerable run. I could have gone down to probably 10 degrees in this outfit. Any colder and it would be time to invest in a facemask, I think.

What is the coldest you have ever ran in?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Triathlon crime!

From the Associated Press

Authorities today seized more than 196 packets of "Gu", also known on the street as "Triathlon Junk," from a small 1 bedroom apartment 30 miles north of New York City in posh Westchester County. Gu is highly addictive and is found to greatly enhance one's ability to run further and faster.

A 28 year old man has been identified as Jon Campbell, a 3 year "Triathlon Junkie". Mr. Campbell was arrested in his apartment after a tip by neighbors complaining of a constant "whirring noise" heard for approximately 1.5 hours three times during the week, and up to 4 hours on the weekends. Police surveillance observed the suspect leaving his apartment before sunrise 5 times a week and returning anywhere between 30 mins and 90 minutes later. Chocolate Gu stains were noticed on the suspect's clothes and lead to the warrant for house inspection.

Upon questioning the suspect, the suspect fled the scene and was clocked going 8.5 mph, or approximately a 7 min per mile pace. A police blockade and pepper spray was used to apprehend Mr. Campbell after officers on foot became too winded to capture the suspect.

After searching the suspect's home, Police found other illegal substances, including Infinit, known as "Triathlon Fairy dust," 100's of Amino Acid Pills, and multiple large volumes of Protein powders. The shear volume found will also give Mr. Campbell another charge of "intent to sell."

Weapons charges may be considered by the DA's office when officers discovered a large box of C02 cartridges.

A hair sample was taken and confirmation of the chemicals chlorine and saline were found in large concentrations.

Mr. Campbell will be arraigned in Westchester County Court on Friday. When questioned about his involvement in a "performance enhancement ring" Mr. Campbell responded with "no comment." He will be represented by the law offices of Friel Wellington & Potts.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Swim, Swim, Swim your arms off

December is all about the swim! But it is so early, you ask? Not for refining swim technique its not!!

Last Saturday AM, @ 6:15 in the pitch black, I did my first of six swim workshops with my coach over in Monroe, CT. Yes, the 1 hour drive is worth it. I-95 @ 5AM is awesome to drive on since there is NO traffic!

16 of us signed up for this workshop, and it is awesome to know that most, if not all of us, are coached by this one guy. AND! I think we are mostly Ironman distance focused. It is a good group I can tell, and hopefully NO egos, since were required to leave them in the car.

Session #1:
400WU
One arm drill, 8 x 25, alternating between left and right arms
Shark Drill, 3 x 50 (will explain below)
Fists, 3x 50, 25 fist, 25 swim normal (will explain below)
10 x 25
5 x 100 (50 shark, 50 swim)
9 x 50 ((2 50's with paddles, one 50 without) x 3)
150 video

Shark drill: Helps for rotation and following through with the catch. Stick a kickboard between your thighs like a pull buoy and swim. Work the rotation so that you can reach back and touch the top of the board to finish your pull, aka following through with it. GREAT DRILL!

Fists: Obvious drill. Make your hands into a fist and swim. I have always done this drill, but sucked at it. Why? NO ROTATION!!! Add proper rotation, and your core is doing most of the work to propel you forward. This drill is great because when you open your hands back up, they feel like the size of tennis rackets pulling you through the water.

I am glad that I put in some swim volume this fall. It really paid off for this workout since what I wrote above isn't that bad speed related, but those are the kind of drills that will hammer you when you have no swimming base.

Coach did some above water video of us and of the many things wrong, the most glaring thing to fix is that I am opening my kick up (scissor kicking) when breathing. I am compensating for balance to breath. I have overall good balance in the water since I am not sinking, but my balance goes to crap when I breath. A good challenge to fix!

Coach also asked me if I have a "competitive" swim background. Haha! Nope! But it was a nice compliment and I am trying really hard not to let this go to my head ;) I am neither the fastest nor the slowest out of the group, which is fine. Speed doesn't matter in this workout anyways, at least not yet. ;)

--------------------

Now last night I started my 2nd workshop. This one lasts for 10 weeks. I would say that the workshop with my coach is for a much more advanced group, since most of his athletes are Ironman focused. This 2nd group with the local tri club is not as gung-ho, but is a really fun group. NO egos in this group and it is the kind of group which will work hard and have a ton of fun in the process.

The guy who leads the class is a really nice guy, but not a swim coach. That is ok though! The way he structures the workouts makes sense and the drills he had us do are right down to the fundamentals of swimming and are just what I need.

So last night the theme was GET LOOOOOOOOONG. Just look @ my AWESOME diagram for visual stimulation. What out Da Vinci!

This is what 4 years of art school gets ya! haha!

So if you look at the above masterpiece, which stick figure do you think is going to go faster? Well, that depends on the density of the wood of the sticks, right? (ok, lame joke)

But really, I had been swimming more like the stick man on the left, which creates a LOT of drag in the shoulder areas. These following drills had me swimming like the stick man on the right by the end of the night:

Thumb to thigh: Swim like normal, but brush your thumb along your thigh for a full pull, then bring your thumb along the side of your body on recovery. Teaches you to be more streamlined.
Catchup: Both hands touch before the pull.
Catchup with Board: Same as above, but use a kickboard
Catchup with pull buoy: Same as above, but use a pullbuoy.
One arm with board: Swim one armed at a time. DONT let your pulling arm tough the board. Let your arm extend past and under the board for proper rotation!

By the end of the night, I felt like a 50 foot sailboat: Loooooooong in the water with the MOST effortless glide I have ever felt.

Both classes have their strengths and weaknesses, but I have a feeling both with compensate for the other. I feel progress is ahead in my swim!

In fact, we had to do a 500 yard TT for a base time last night. I bested my previous time for a 7:30 flat @ 1:30 pace! Boo ya!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

New 10K PR!!!!

I just got back from the NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K in Central Park. I busted up my old stand alone 10K PR by 2:28 for a new time of 44:54. I wanted to break 45 mins today and I GOT IT!


Splits:
Mile 1: 7:23
Mile 2: 7:12
Mile 3: 7:02
Mile 4: 7:15
Mile 5: 7:25 (that mile HURT!)
Mile 6: 7:04
Last .2: 1:30

Course:

The course was one full lap of the park in the counter clockwise direction plus a bit extra. Mile 1 was on top of the Harlem Hills, so getting in a good warm up was key. I ran from 83 & Lex all the way to the park and around the top of the park and a bit extra to the start. I guess I did a broken 30 minute warm up with one good hill. I am glad I did this hill at the beginning of the race instead of the end (a bit of foreshadowing here...)

After mile 1 I was on cruise control until about mile 3 when I didn't feel so great anymore. The effects of going hard were catching up with me. It was mostly mental now. I just tried to put my mind elsewhere. Hitting the mile 4 marker helped me fantasize about PR'ing every distance from 10K and shorter. (which I think I did for the 4 and 5 mile distances).

Unfortunately mile 5 just killed me. There is this hill just past 72nd street & The Boathouse that is one of those hills that isn't steep, it isn't short but it also isn't long. It is just at that right pitch and length that it doesn't let up. I could hardly breath by the top and I knew my pace for this mile was shot. The 7:25, the slowest mile of the race, showed it.

Fortunately after this hill it is basically flat to the finish. I was able to recompose and redeem myself with that 7:04 mile 6 split. At mile 6, I looked at my watch and saw something like 43:3X. I knew it was going to be a close call if I wanted to hit my goal of breaking 45 mins in the 10K. I honestly think I wasn't going to do it. When I turned the corner onto the transverse, the finish was right there and I had a few extra seconds to spare.

Overall the race sucked! haha! No no no, the time was awesome, but 10K's just suck in general because they HURT! They are the most F-ing painful distance in my opinion, or else I need to run some more 5K's. With a 10K you just gun it from the start and hold on for dear life to the finish, since its going to be over before you know it. THAT is why it hurts because it is a redlining paced race that you wish would end about 10 mins sooner.

But 10K's are also a good measure of fitness, in my opinion. It shows how much volume you have, BUT also your speed work, since it is basically a 45 min sprint, in my case.

I think this is why I prefer the Half Marathon distance the most. You don't have to be breathing hard, but yet you can still hit the gas.

The 2010 Season is officially over for me. Kinda symbolic that it ended in the SAME EXACT place is started @ East 96th Street in the park last January 9th. After becoming injured after Timberman and scrapping the NYC Marathon, I wanted one last hurrah! before 2011 started. This was it, and it was a good one. I feel like 2010 was a complete season.

Now let the DOMS show up in 36 hours! haha!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How Triathlon Habits Have Bled Into Every Day Life

The other day at work while I was walking to the bathroom there were a few folks in front of me who were walking a bit slower but in the same direction in the hallway. Because I was walking faster, I came up upon them, settled into their pace for a brief second, looked over my left shoulder and then proceeded to make the pass.

Waaaaaaait a second! Did I just do this in the OFFICE?!?!?!?

Where else in my life do I do such a thing?

You get one guess. *hint* its in the title of this blog.

Then I thought about it a bit more as I came to a urinal at the same time as another coworker, finished my business, washed my hands and was out the bathroom door before he even zipped up his pants.

Yep, triathlon has made a full fledged weld into every day life.

You should time me when I get dressed in the morning. I can change into a new pair of clothes in the blink of an eye!

When I sit down to eat breakfast, I look @ the clock, inhale my food, take a sip of OJ, look at the clock again, and I am off to my next task. Why do I look @ the clock? Oh right.....

Coffee in the morning? That is for amateurs. I just shoot a Chocolate Gu.

Every time I walk up to a wall, I feel this urge to do a Parkour forward flip off of it...

I sometimes think about how many watts I produce while typing. I don't type 95 words per minute; I generate 95 watts per minute!

When shopping for formal shoes, I ask the salesman how many miles I should expect to get out of them.

When shopping for formal clothes, I make sure they can breath and are flexible and will endure many wash cycles.

I don't shop for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I shop for recovery meal #1, #2, and #3.

There is no such thing as "patience". It is actually called "urgency".

One time I was in a deadline @ work. I had to ship my character within the next hour because I was leaving for vacation for a week and this was the only time I could get it done.

I had to pee. I also had to hit the finish line with this character. What do I do? Easy! Waaaaaaaaiiiiiit, none of my other coworkers go right then and there to hit their finish lines.

Maybe I should just walk to the bathroom. Maybe if I draft off a few folks I will get there faster ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Running from November; Swimming to December

November was a great running month for me @ 104 miles, my highest ever run volume month and 2nd 100+ mile month ever.

This was also a huge confidence boosting month. After my foot injury at the end of August and all through September, my running confidence broke. I dreaded rebuilding my way back.

Well, I did it by following the 10% rule and stayed injury free. It took a solid 6 weeks, but it worked and I am ready to knock a 10K literally out of the park (Central Park) this weekend.

What helped was I am running 5 times a week and keeping the long runs down. My longest run since August 22nd was a 10 miler done only this past weekend. Frequency, I have found, has been paying bigger dividends than shear volume. I added a speed workout on the track once a week for some variety.

December will be a swimming month. I am taking two swim workshops that will go into January. One will be with my coach, the other with a tri club over in Greenwich, CT. The cool thing about the tri club workshop is that we will do a 500 yard TT the first week, then repeat it the last week to show if we progressed, and if so, by how much.

Today I did one for practice with my super swimming buddy, Bob, who back in the day once went 4:50 for the 500 @ a meet. He gave me a good strategy for the 500: Cruise the first 200, build the middle 100, then gun it for the last 200.

I did just that today and wound up with a 7:38 for a just-under 1:32 pace. Considering I went a 8:47 18 months ago, I am going to take this as a HUGE improvement considering I am not in the best swimming shape right now.

Looking forward to the swim workshops ahead and hopefully I can get my long distance pace down.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why do you buy product "X"?

"X" as in fill-in-the-blank product.

So I received the 3rd edition of Lava Magazine in the mail. Other than being a complete ZIPP advertisment edition (nothing wrong with this! just noting the obvious), they did write an article on the most widely used equipment @ Kona (page 38).

Some of the winners?

Cervelo held the title for most widely used frame @ 468. Runner up was Specialized @ 113 frames
Zipp wheels DOMINATED the field with 1910 wheels to HED @ 255 as the runner up.
Continental Tires was another big winner @ 704 tires vs runner up Vittoria @ 193 tires.

So why were these frames, wheels, and tires used more than other companies?

Is it marketing? (plain old advertisement?)
Word of mouth?
Are these products actually more superior to their competitors?

Regardless of your sport, why do you choose the fitness products that you use the most?

Let's do a quick poll:
What kind of bike frame do you use if you ride a bike?
What kind of running shoe do you use?
What kind of workout clothes do you use? (tri, running, cycling, swimming, weigh lifting, etc)
What kind of nutrition do you use?


Do you choose your items because everyone else uses em?
Are you a person who tries out everything but then will settle on the best item?
Does cost affect your item's purchase?

For me, I ride a Cervelo because, yes, I am a lemming and the price can't be beat, and the bike fit me, the price still couldn't be beat, and the frame looks F-ing cool and doesn't scream that I am a fatass tool riding a superior bike frame that I shouldn't be riding.

I use Mizuno shoes because they were the first I tried on, they fit, and I haven't had any issues with them in the 3 years that I have been seriously running.

I use Pearl Izumi cycling and tri clothing because I have always used them. I guess it is a legacy thing?

I have used Zipp wheels before because they were the easiest to get ahold of. I think they are a great product and if I am the limitation, then the wheels clearly win, no matter what brand I use.

I use Gu exclusively and sometimes gatorade. I use Gu because I love the flavor (Chocolate Outrage baby!) and it gives me just enough energy without spiking my blood sugar.

What about you?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Solid Run in Central Park

I had a great run this morning in Central Park. The 40 degrees and sunny temps made this ideal running weather. I mostly had the park to myself this morning! Is everyone still away?

I am racing a 10K in 7 days in Central Park, so this morning's 10 miler in Central Park was the last long run leading up the race, and also more course recon. I have ran around that park so many times, but I rarely visit the top of the park where the good hills are. It is always a good reminder how that one hill going counter clockwise up towards Harlem can really bite you. I did the top loop 3 times to reacquaint myself with that hill. I felt the best and fastest towards the top, so the amount of running that I have put in over the past 5-6 weeks is really starting to pay off. I am feeling more and more myself again!

Here is this morning's run:



I was proud of my splits. I stayed pretty consistent.
10 miles in 1:20:00 (flat!) for an 8:00 min/mile pace:
Mile 1: 7:59
Mile 2: 8:06
Mile 3: 8:05
Mile 4: 7:59
Mile 5: 7:53
Mile 6: 7:54
Mile 7: 8:19
Mile 8: 7:59
Mile 9: 7:44
Mile 10: 8:01

My current stand alone 10K PR is 47:22 for a 7:38 pace that I set just over a year ago. I think with the "Herd" effect from these Central Park NYRR races, that I am hoping to set a new PR next Sunday.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving and you were able to get outside for a Turkey Trot or long run to burn off those excess calories!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

6:44 to "Bad Romance"

Whenever I am in the "this sucks big time" zone, aka I am going REALLY fast or just pushing it because my body is about to crap-out, a Lady Gaga song ALWAYS pops into my head.

Why Lady Gaga?

Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps because her tunes are uber catchy? I don't hate Lady Gaga's music, nor do I go scrambling for her new songs. They just love to pop into my head.

But it's not like the entire song goes through my head. NOPE! Just a main verse becomes a broken record. Like for example this morning @ the track when I did my stand alone mile, during the first two laps all I heard was:


"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"
"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"
"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"
"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"
"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"
"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"
"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"
"I am bad romance, oooohhhhhhhaaaaooooohhhhh"

That would drive you insane, right? RIGHT!?!?!

When starting the third lap my breathing got really heavy. So I concentrated on my breathing. Sorry Ms. Gaga, but you got the boot. So instead what I heard?

"Hee Hee, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
"Hee Hee, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
"Hee Hee, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
"Hee Hee, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
"Hee Hee, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
"Hee Hee, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
"Hee Hee, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"

Everytime I did a "Negative Ghostrider" tower flyby of some unfortunate "track walker" I could just hear their thoughts, "WTF is this kid doing this early in the morning and WHY THE F is he making such funny noises!"

The best noise of the day?

The signature Garmin "BEEP!" that said you are DONE!

And a 6:44 showed

:)

Have a good GOBBLER GOBBLER day everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What do you think are the biggest issues in amatuer endurance sports?

With the Boston Marathon filling up in record time, WTC constantly sticking its corporate foot in its mouth, and us regular folks almost needing to volunteer to volunteer to volunteer to sign up for an Ironman branded race, I am really curious about what you all think are the biggest issues affecting us mere amateur endurance athlete mortals?

Let me state some obvious ones here lately in the "endurance world news"
  • Boston Marathon Filling up in record time
  • Should the standards for BQ-ing be raised to make it harder to BQ?
  • WTC creating a deluxe/entitled club, then killing it
  • Cost of races
  • Signing up to volunteer for an Ironman 18 months in advance
  • Signing up for an Ironman 12 months in advance
  • Is triathlon only for the rich?
  • Does the average triathlete really spend $22,000 a year on this sport?
  • Is the boom of triathlon a mere fad (the new golf)? Or something here to stay?
  • Are running races getting too big? (NYC Marathon) 
  • Is the marathon just a bucket list item nowadays?
  • Are slow marathoners athletes? (I think yes....)
  • Are there too many unqualified coaches out there?
  • Are you purchasing flashy equipment to go faster (aka buying speed)? Or is it really for the ego boost to look cool?
  • Do people train with too many "gadgets?"
I can't list everything here because not everything affects me. What else do you think should go onto this list?

Do you have any reactions to a topic listed above? If so, I wanna hear it! (leave a comment)

*DISCLAIMER!* I am a very unbiased person. The above list in my opinion is just a mere current events list of mainstream amateur endurance sports. I may or may not have a position on each topic and I am neither saying anything is "bad" or "good."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The "Off" Season has been renamed to be "Eat A TON Of Pastries" Season

This weekend marks the 4th weekend in a row that a yummy pastry has been somehow been involved in/during/after a weekend run or ride.

This is also the 4th weekend in a row in what is called the "off season."

Off season?

Pastries?

Are you following my logic here?

PASTRY SEASON!!!


Out of these four weekends, three of them I have gone to the Pleasantville, NY farmers market where there is this bakery that shows up that sells these incredible apple tarts. They also make blueberry pie! I love me anything blueberry so I finally broke down and bought a blueberry pie. Oh so good!

Taste Tests have been positive. More might be needed ;)

I met up Kristin @ The Lazy Marathoner again for another ride in her territory. This time she introduced me to another bakery up along the Hudson, this time in Nyack, NY @ The Runcible Spoon.

I walked in craving something blueberry, took one look in the first case of goodies that I saw, and found this:

Will it pass my taste test?
I think so!
They called it the Berry Berry tart. AMAZING! It had cranberries and cherries as well as blueberries. Oh thank you Triathlon Gods! haha!

I told Kristin we should do the trifecta: Fort Lee to Bunbury's to The Runcible Spoon back to Bunbury's and back. I think I would die from shear happiness!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Posting this because...

It has amazing cinematography...
Amazing scenery...
Amazing music....
But most importantly, AMAZING bike skillz!



Danny is no man, he is a bicycle GOD!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Going Camping and Speed^Squared

Thanks to the 201Ironman blog, I was informed of some Lake Placid Ironman training camps next May and June, done through FiremanIronman.com. I am going for the May camp since I will be doing a June camp up there with my coach. It will be a small camp with only 50 people, but I am already excited for it!

Its gonna be quite the weekend! 112 miles of biking + a 10K run on Saturday and a 20 mile run on Sunday, with a possible swim of the course thrown in if the water temps are high enough. Broken Ironman anyone 8 weeks out from race day? Yowza....I guess that is why there is the suggestion of large amounts of alcohol to numb the pain? haha!

But before I keep going on and on about next May, I should mention my day so far. It involves lots of speed.

I have been hitting the track 1X a week for the past three weeks. I like the track! It is a great break from running on the streets and you can see finite distances in front of you.

This morning I did a 2 mile warmup, then a 5K on the track followed by a 1  mile cool down. I have ZERO track lingo knowledge, so bear with me here with my archaic lingo. I did 4 laps of taking it easy on the "curved parts" and hit the gas on the two straight away sections. Is there a proper name for these parts of the track?

Then I alternated between doing an easy lap of the track followed by hitting the gas for half the distance of the track for 4 laps.

For the last mile, I hit the gas for 4 laps straight and wound up with a 7:07 min mile. Was hoping for a faster time, but I will take it!

Good run!

Then at lunch I hit up the pool and did a quality speed workout:

500 WU
2 x 100
4 x 50
8 x 25
300 EZ
2 x 100
4 x 50
8 x 25
100 CD
-----------
arms fall OFF! hehe

For this swim, it wasn't the speed that got me, it was the super short rest that I got between intervals. So the building fatigue finally did me in.

Good swim!

I am starting to see glimpses of my Summer form once again. Looking forward to next season!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Riding for Blueberry Croissants

Met up with fellow blogger Kristin @ The Lazy Marathoner again for a ride, but this time on one of her routes, to a destination that Lance Armstrong tweeted about @ a place called Bunbury's Coffee Shop, located in Piermont, NY.


OMG! They make the BEST Blueberry Croissants! Sorry I didn't get a picture, as I ate both of them waaaay too fast! haha! Anything blueberry is a friend of mine. Stick a slice of blueberry cheesecake in front of me? You have just made yourself a new life long friend! :)

We are smiling because we just stuffed ourselves with yummy pastries AND its 60 degrees out in November!

What I didn't know and soon found out is that this route that we took is cycling Mecca for NYC riders.

So we started out from Strictly Bicycles in Fort Lee, NJ which is just across the GW bridge. From there, you head north to either Piermont or Nyack or even Bear Mountain and back.

When we arrived at Bunbury's, the secret was totally out. For a 60 degree day in the middle of November, EVERY cyclist from NYC was heading to this place, as evidenced in this picture.

There were even more cyclists and bikes behind me, across the street, AND down the street @ another place.

There was no room on the two bike racks supplied, so I left mine propped up against another store front. More and more cyclists showed up and soon found my bike buried. haha!

My bike is the white one in the back with the yellow computer and red saddle

Upon leaving we had to get my bike un-buried, so we gently moved some bikes out of the way. Kristin said that we didn't want to commit a "Pee Wee Herman"....I responded with, "Good idea. I can't dance!"

So I now declare the phrase "Dangling the carrot out in front" distasteful. Sorry Jeff! It is hereby renamed to be:

"Dangling the pastry out in front."

Jeff, Good news! DanglingThePastry.com is still available! ;)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Running for Apple Tarts. The run through the "Rockies"

So for the 2nd weekend in a row I have discovered some new running terrain. AKA another:

"WHY HAS EVERYONE BEEN KEEPING THIS RUNNING SECRET FROM ME!!!!!!"

I present to you Exhibit A: The Rockefeller Park Preserve.

Look at that network of trails!!!!

I met up with fellow blogger, Regina @ Chiu On This, and my super runner buddy, Belden, and we knocked off an 8 mile run through the MANY trails that make up this gorgeous park! We had one deer encounter, and saw many LARGE cows that are served up across the street at Blue Hill @ Stone Barns, a very tony restaurant which I sat a few tables away from Jon Stewart. Still one of the best meals I have ever eaten.

And speaking of food! After the run we headed into Pleasantville for their weekly Farmer's Market. This bakery from upstate always shows up and they make these Paris Apple Tarts. So good! Sorry, I don't have a picture of one because I ate two of those too fast AND a cinnamon swirl Danish. I was bonking towards the end of the run so I deserved those pastries! haha!

Finally, here is what we ran inside the park. I barely scratched the surface!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The What are you Watching post?

Happy Friday!

Getting too cold out to ride during the week now and with work heating up as much as it is getting out for a lunch time ride is no longer possible.

Sooooooo, time to break the trainer out (more on this later, I am no longer using the Kurt Kinetic. I "upgraded").

Don't know about you, but I can't ride the trainer unless I have something good to watch. This is what will be getting me through this winter:

The Walking Dead, AMC
I loved the movie "28 Days Later" and this is basically a slower paced version of it with its own twist. Been reading that this show is based upon a comic book that is still on going, so I can cheat and read ahead (I won't) but it shows that this show could be around for a few seasons.



Conan! , TBS
Conan is back! He is feeling a bit rusty in his first few shows but I am sure he will find his old rhythm from the old "Late Night" days. I did get the opportunity to see him live in NYC before he moved out west. My stomach got a workout from laughing so hard!!! Too bad that Max Weinberg is no longer with the band. Bummer!



What shows/movies have you discovered that help you get through a trainer or dreadmill session?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Swimming & Coaching

This "off" season has turned into quite the swim season. I haven't been putting up huge yardage at all, but my swimming motivation has never been higher! Weird, right? I guess testing out all of those pool toys finally paid off?

Last night I did a decent swim. Nothing too crazy, but I hit some consistent times that made me happy:
500 WU
200 Kick
2 x (4 x 25 EZ, 50 HARD)
100 EZ
5 x 200 on 3:45
100CD
------------
2200 yards

I was coming in on the 200's anywhere between 3:00 & 3:05, so I was liking my pace AND! I wasn't going full gas for any of them. I will say this again (I probably sound like a broken record), but using that Hydro Hip is paying off HUGE dividends! Being able to rotate properly feels OH SO GOOD in the water.

And now for some cool news. I will be doing a 6 week swim clinic with my coach during December and January. A brick run will follow the swim. I jumped on this opportunity because not only is it a swim clinic during the winter, which is a hard time to maintain motivation in the pool, but working one on one with my coach just helps build that relationship.

My last coaching experience went sour but I am ready to get back with a coach since I am attempting a distance that is a WHOLE new ball game.

Speaking of this coach. Who is he? His name is Eric Hodska, a bunch-of-times Kona qualifer & finisher. I say bunch-of-times because he has been more times than I can figure out! haha! But more than being a Kona qualifier and finisher, he has an educational background in exercise science and has been coaching for the past 20 years. So not only does he preach the good athletic word, but he backs up his preaching with incredible results. He won his age at Lake Placid in the ultra competitive 30-34 men's division with a time of 9:24:XX. Talk about fast!

Eric has also coached a number of his athletes to qualify for Kona. My goal for Placid is NOT to KQ, but because he has gotten others to Kona shows that he can push me up to the next level.

One thing that is going to be hard for me is "letting go" and allowing someone else to make my workout decisions for me. I have no doubt that Eric will do a great job for me.

Now I just have to do the work!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Nerd Report: Heart Rate Monitor

Nerd: "an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits <computer nerds>"

Wow, I never actually knew the correct definition of what a nerd is. For my own sanity and self preservation, I am going to go with the 2nd half the definition,  "one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits <computer nerds>"

Can I help that?!?!? Not really, after all I do computer graphics for a living.

Did you know that Dr. Suess created the word "nerd" from one of his children's books, "If I Ran the Zoo?" (source)

ANYWAYS! (huge tangent anyone?)


I need to "nerd" out on the Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) for a bit. So my coach has me running 5 times a week right now to accomplish two things: Get one speed run a week and to progressively build back up to the 90 min run. The other three runs are for volume and should be done without killing myself for the speed run and long run.


What have I been doing? Going too hard on the three easy and shorter runs. What has this been accomplishing? Making me NOT recover in time and properly for my speed run and for my long run. What did I just do to combat this? Break out the HRM to slooooooooow me down.


I use power on the bike, and I especially use it to slow me down on long rides so as to not burn my legs for the run. This method works PERFECTLY.


Can't use power on the run, so what other tool can I use to slow me down? The annoying heart rate alarm on my Garmin. Boy is that thing annoying! But it works! So this morning on my easy 4 mile run, I set the heart rate max and off I went. Going up hills is where I set the alarm off the most, which meant I had to run up them painfully slow.


This was ok though! It was a nice and relaxing 4 miles and I don't feel beat up like I always do from running too hard on an easy day. I felt smoother and learned that the hills do more damage than the flats. Fortunately I only need to wear this thing on those easy runs since on the speed and long run days, I can just run for running sake.


Nerd report over and out!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekend of cold, but fun!

Yeah, fall has arrived, especially fall temperatures. But I didn't let it keep me from getting outside.

Yesterday I did the abreviated version of The Ride for the Donuts, riding only 40 miles this time.

I ate 4 this time :)

After the 40 miler, I needed to get into a quick 3 mile run. Quick it was! Dropped a 3 miler in 22:35 for a 7:32 pace. I felt Pure.Awsome. after that run.

But I wasn't done yet with the running for the weekend.

This morning I headed up with my super running buddy, Belden, to the Croton Aqueduct Trailway at the Croton Gorge Dam. Regina @ Chiu on this posted about this place last week. Since it is nearby for me I figured I should give it a try.

WHY HAS EVERYONE BEEN KEEPING THIS SECRET FROM ME?

haha!

This is not only a SUPER incredible place, but also there is a trail here that I could run all the way down to NYC and back! This also makes three good running trails available to me in my area.

To get from the parking lot to the top of the dam, it is a .9 mile switch back uphill run. Talk about super hill climbing intervals! The run down makes you feel like an animal cuz you can haul @$$ down it.

After 8 miles, including two switchback climbs, I called it a day.

Since it was a such a beautiful (but cold) morning, I figured I should take some pictures of this place with my crappy cellphone camera. Enjoy! The light was incredible this morning!








Saturday, November 6, 2010

Your hips drive your swim; Finish Hydro Hip product review

I am going to do another product review for the Finis Hydro Hip.



Why two reviews?

I knew that this thing helped right off the bat of using it, but I had NO idea that it would make me faster while working MUCH less hard.

I was always told that you swim from your hips and that your hips drive your rotation and keep you balanced. See, I didn't know what it meant to rotate from the hips. I had never felt the sensation and feeling of rotating from the hips. I thought body rotation was rotating your upping body to get your arms out of the water. WRONG!

You rotate from the hips and not only does that get your arms out of the water stress free (no load on the shoulders), but it also adds propulsion because you are getting full body anticipation and movement in your pull. Pull = propulsion.

Think of it this way:

Take a ball, and without rotating your body and ONLY using your arm, throw the ball. How far did it go? Probably not far.

Now try throwing that ball again but ONLY with your arms and your upper body. Keep your hips square and stationary. How far did the ball go this time? Probably a bit further.

Now throw the ball a third time and get your hip rotation into it. How far did the ball go this time? The furthest most likely.

This same concept is true with swimming. The more body/hip rotation you get into that pull, the more "OOMPH" you are going to get = more propulsion. Your pull is not just your arm, it is your whole body pulling your arm through the water.

So the Hydro Hip gave me that sensation of what it meant to rotate from the hips. I am swimming only 1500-1750 yards a workout right now (yay offseason!) and I am noticing that I am hitting faster times without working as hard for them. What did I change in my stroke? My hip rotation. Or rather I added proper hip rotation to my stroke.

My super swimmer buddy, Bob, said it best, you never want to swim flat, you always want your body to be rotating\ through the water.

If you don't know what it means to have that sensation of proper hip rotation, give the Hydro Hip a try.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The 20 Most Brutally Honest Realizations of Race Day

Happy Friday!

Gonna be brutally honest here about what occurs on race day:

#1: You never sleep the night before your A++++ race
#2: Taking a dump prior to the race start is a necessity (why do you think the porto-potty line is so long...)
#3: Timing that dump is critical to race day success
#4: You always see two types of people in transition: The overconfident type and the scared shitless type
#5: Peeing in your wetsuit is a necessity (why do you think everyone is just standing around in the water?)
#6: When lining up at the start line, all you want to do is quit the sport
#7: When lining up at the start line, all of the tall people intimidate you (I am a short guy @ 5'7")
#8: Coming out of the swim basically completes the day; that hard part is over with
#9: Your legs feel like utter crap starting the bike; why are they iced?
#10: Passing the dude with the full aero diskwheel/helmet setup is awesome
#11: Farting on the bike happens. EVERYONE farts!
#12: You feel like a rockstar hitting the dismount line off the bike. You have the look of a rockstar.
#13: Spectators think you are a rockstar
#14: The first mile of the run SUCKS
#15: Seeing a fast mile 1 run split completes the day
#16: The nervous talker on the run REALLY is annoying
#17 The last 100 yards staring at the finish line feels like it takes an hour
#18: Crossing that finish line is the best thing in the world
#19: You always think you just won your age group
#20: The next morning's soreness is worse than any hangover

So there you have it. Observations of three complete seasons of racing. Feel free to add any of yours!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

this blog is now its own domain! http://www.swicyclorun.com

I am jumping on the bandwagon like a few other bloggers (The Daily Sweat) and making this blog into its own domain:

http://www.swicyclorun.com

Don't worry! The switch should be seamless. Anyone still going to http://swicyclorun.blogspot.com will automagically redirected or will see the same exact content.

Important!!!
If you are NOT a follower through the "Follow" gadget on the right side of this blog, but you follow me through google reader or some other reader, either click that "Follow" button and become a follower (I will give you a prize if you are my 100th follower!!!...its like caller # 9)...or! update your reader to follow http://www.swicyclorun.com

No worries if you are already a follower. But let me know if something goes wonky!

Apparently in the switch I lost my "Triathlon and Running blogs that I follow" lists. This is easy to replace, but annoying.

So google has really stepped it up over the last few months with better spam control and now this. I turned off my CAPTCHA (the word verification) when you post a comment to this blog. I have had ZERO spam since the new spam controls were put in place. Have you? If not, I would turn off your word verification as *I think* it is no longer necessary!

Also, I am seeing some kickass traffic tracking features under "Stats". Tells me my page hits and where people are being directed from as well as other traffic features.

If you want to go from yourblog.blogspot.com to yourblog.com, do this:
After logging in via http://www.blogger.com
- click on settings
- click on Publishing
- look for custom domain info. Should be right there @ the top

It is $10 but super quick and easy. Doing this gives you access to Google Apps and a whole slew of other things that I am discovering.

Let me know if anything is wonky by either visiting http://www.swicyclorun.com/ or http://swicyclorun.blogspot.com/

I can use the feedback!

P.S. I finally finished up my Race History page. Takes awhile to do all of those links! LOL! Recipes are next....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Looking towards 2011

Through meeting with my coach and thinking 2011 over and over and over again, the good old brain finally settled on a plan for 2011.

2011 will be broken into 3 parts:
  1. January 1 to May 1
  2. May 1 to Lake Placid on July 24th
  3. Post Lake Placid
The reason for May 1st as a date for the monumental split? It is roughly 12 weeks out from Lake Placid. And what is so important about this 12 weeks? It is the Ironman specific training block...aka the 100 mile training rides, the 18 mile runs, etc. I don't want any major racing to impede these efforts during this period.

Before May 1, I can race my heart out. I can do lots of short running races up to the half marathon distance. I can do a Half Ironman during this period if I want to. Speaking of which, I will be signing up for Ironman 70.3 Texas soon. Is this formally called Lonestar? This race takes place in flat-as-a-pancake Galveston, Texas on April 10th. I hear there is some wind on the bike to keep the course honest. I have also heard that the same folks who put on Timberman and Mooseman also put this race on. Yay for Keith Jordan @ Endorfunsports!



I plan to keep the racing down next year. I did a lot this year and it took its toll on me by Timberman. I want to enter Placid feeling totally fresh. I don't want to put anything written in stone for next year (other than Placid and this Texas race) but if all of the stars align, we are looking at this:

End of January: Manhattan Half Marathon
Mid February: Silvermine 25K in CT
March 21st-ish: NYC Half Marathon (If I get picked in the lottery again)
April 10th: Ironman 70.3 Texas
June 4th: Mooseman International or Tri Ridgefield sprint
June 22nd-27th-ish: Lake Placid Training Camp
July 24th: Ironman Lake Placid

And that is it. I am sure a bunch of the 4 and 5 mile NYRR races will get filled in there in various places, but they are like "F" level races and more like speed workouts in a super cool venue.

When signing up for the lottery for the NYC Half Marathon, it asked me my expected finishing time. I went bold and put down 1:35:00. I did a 1:47:xx @ Timberman this past year and with some Ironman training, I am going to make this 1:35:00 a goal!!!....oorrrrr a goal to shoot for :).....7:15 average to do that. Dang!!! haha!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Success in the pool and the Giveaway winner!!!

Before I announce the winner of the Finis Forearm Fulcrum, I should share some pool adventures. Well, adventures is hardly what occured more rather just a good short quality workout.

I am finding my speed from this past season is staying put, even though my overall endurance is shot. I am VERY happy about this. So tonight I did:

500 WU
200 Kick
300 Pull
2 x 50 EZ
5 x 100 on 2:00, Main Set
3 x 50 CD

The 5 x 100 on 2:00 was where that speed was showing up. I am NOT a fast swimmer, but I AM proud of holding a sub 1:30/100 pace for each of the 5 100's. Considering 18 months ago anything faster than a 2:00/100 pace was a victory, I never dreamed of sub 1:30. I think I am getting too much rest now on the 2:00 interval. I am scared, but excited to lop 10 seconds off of my base interval.

Good swim tonight.

So now for the winner of my latest blog giveaway!

Congrats to Luke @ The Super Fatlete. You were randomly chosen via random.org since you were entry #3 out of 40.


I don't have your email address, but I left a comment on your blog to shoot me an email with your mailing address. Congrats and enjoy the Fulcrums!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ride for the Donuts, Take 1

Homer Simpson would be proud of me. Today's mission? Ride to the donut stand. It was our 25 mile reward.

I met up with fellow blogger Kristin @ The Lazy Marathoner today (she ain't a lazy rider! she pushed me both up the hills and on the flats) and we knocked off a 50 miler, including knocking off three donuts each up @ Outhouse Orchards. We both agreed this was possibly the last day of good riding this fall before the inevitable happens. There were SO many other cyclists out this morning. I have never seen that many before and I would ride this same route every weekend! We also saw tons of hordes of motorcycle peletons and tons of Ferrari's (new and old) and other classic cars.

I think everyone was on the same wavelength: It is getting colder outside and now is one of those last chance days to get that last ride or drive in before hibernation occurs :(

But man oh man lemme tell you that those donuts were totally worth the trip up there! :) I am convinced those are the best cider donuts in my area.

For those of you who don't know or follow Kristin, she is a three time Ironman finisher, including doing two (yes two!) Ironman this year, Lake Placid and Wisconsin. It is always great to ride with an Ironman finisher especially when you are an Ironman virgin. I still haven't wrapped my brain around what it takes to do an Ironman yet, so getting answers & suggestions from an experienced Ironman finisher is totally invaluable.

Some of her recommendations? Stop and smell the roses...aka stop and great your family on the course. For being out there for 12 hours, is stopping for 30 seconds really going to hurt your day? Probably not. She kept mentioning the energy you receive from the crowd and your family that gets you through the race. I was at mile 56 of the Lake Placid course seeing folks hit the halfway mark on the bike. One guy stopped, got off of his bike, and greeted and hugged every member of his family who there waiting for him. The surrounding crowd went WILD! He probably wasted a minute, but was probably 10X happier with his day.

She also recommended that you try to enter the finish shoot alone, else Mike Reilly doesn't mention you specifically or your finish line photo is of you and others.

Drinking liquids? If it is going to be liquid, at least let it have some calories in it. (this is of course personal per person). I was only doing water by the end of the season. Gonna rethink water only and experiment with this as 12 Gu's & water is going to make me gag on the bike @ Placid. I also have to rethink Gu. It will remain in the regimen, but I need to find something to supplement the Gu, something more solid. Bananas agree with me well.

So thanks Kristin for the ride and sharing your experiences with me!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Triathoween! Volunteering is a good thing

Took me all of 2 seconds to figure out what kind of pumpkin design I was carving this year.
 

Now, mind you this was carved before The People went all 18th Century French Revolution style on the Monarchy. Not gonna go into that topic....

Ok, I will. It is getting increasingly harder and harder to sign up for an Ironman. If I were to do 3 different Ironman races in a given year that were spread all across the world and they usually were to sell out onsite, I would have spent the $1000 to get first dibs in signing up for any race I wanted a week before it went on sale to the general public.

But then again, there is that "giveback" side of me. The traditional way to get into an MDot branded Ironman is to pay your dues and volunteer the year before (unless you are racing the race that year). Doing this builds a sense of comraderie and you  and everybody else who volunteers knows that they helped out a bunch of other athletes at a race.

Now lets jump forward to race day. Who are those volunteers who are helping YOU out on YOUR race day? They are in the same shoes you were in the previous year.

What else does volunteering do for you? It fires you up!!! When I volunteered at Placid this past July, I was soooo revved that weekend. I wanted to do that race THAT day. In fact, the broken HIM that I did that weekend was soooooo easy because I had that inner fire within me burning bright.

Volunteering is a good thing and a positive way to sign up for an MDot branded Ironman.

Wow, didn't mean to turn this post into a PSA. haha!