Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Nerd Report: Compact Crank vs Standard Crank

So when I first learned about a compact crank and its smaller size front rings, my ego-o-meter immediately went into biketard mode and I scoffed with, "Why would I want smaller gears? That would make me only go slower and spin more!"


Ok, yes, but! You are really only losing two top end gear ratios. How do I know? Well let's do some math!

First, what is a "standard" crank and what is a "compact crank"? A "standard" crank is usually a double ring with the big ring @ 53 teeth and the smaller ring @ 39 teeth. The "compact" crank comes out @ 50 & 34.

In the rear, I ride an 11x25 cassette. Below is a chart showing the different gearing ratios between a "standard" crank with an 11x25 rear cassette and a "compact" crank with an 11x25 rear cassette.

Holy Numbers, Batman!
What do these numbers mean? Note that the higher the ratio, the more you are using a "larger" gear. I.E. you are going downhill and need to push a bigger gear to maintain some torque on the pedals.

On the opposite end, the lower the ratio, the more you will be spinning. I.E. you are climbing a steep hill and you need a smaller gear.

Now compare the 53x11 (4.818 ratio) to the 50x11 (4.545 ratio). Yeah, if you are in your hardest gear heading down a hill, you are more likely to spin out faster using the compact than the standard, but how many times do you get into this gear and how long do you stay in it and how long does it take before you spin out where it doesn't matter what kind of gearing you are using since gravity is doing all of the work for you? By switching to a compact, consider that losing 1 to 2 top end gears is really not much of a sacrifice since you hardly ever use em anyways!

But now compare the 39x25 (1.560 ratio) to the 35x25 (1.36 ratio). Quite a difference and these are gears that you WILL use on a hilly course. With a compact, you are gaining 2 extra climbing gears.

Well, why would I want two extra climbing gears when the 39x25 is good enough? Its all about keeping your efforts steady. Yes, a 39x25 is a pretty good climbing gear, but consider the Lake Placid bike course. If you had to do only one loop of those hills, a 39x25 is fine. But since it is a two loop course, being able to spin up those hills in an easier gear will help preserve your run.

What? I am confused!

The more spikes in efforts (due to too hard of a gearing choice on hills) will come back to bite you on the run. You want your effort to to be as sustained consistently as possible. If you train with power, this is your VI, or Variable Index. Basically it takes your power profile and takes into account how all over the place your wattages are.

Here are two examples. The first is a ride with a high VI because the wattages are all over the place.

The second is a ride with a much lower VI because the wattage was much more consistent.

Generally a hilly course will have a higher VI, because of spikes of climbing to low numbers from downhills. A flatter course will generally have a lower VI because the lack of uphills and downhills will allow the rider to stay much more consistent with effort.

So, REALLY, what do all of these crazy nerdy numbers mean? Well, it depends on the terrain that you will be riding. How flat is your race course? How hilly is your race course? Think of the crank and your gearing as merely the right tool for the job at hand.

Why did I switch to a compact suddenly? Easy: Lake Placid. As described above, the hilly terrain will cause my VI to rise. By choosing gears that allow me to spin more, I will have more control over power spikes on the hills (lowering my VI), which in the LONG TERM will help save my legs for the run.

So why not just get a rear cassette with some larger gears? Like a 27 or 28? I didn't like the jump in gears. The larger gears in an 11x25 go from a 19-21-23-25. Nice and smooth. An 11x28 goes 19-21-24-28. Those are some HUGE jumps in gearing! Also! A 34x25 (1.360 ratio) is a lower gear ratio than a 39x28 (1.3928 ratio). How bout that! I think of switching to a compact as getting a more dynamic range of gearing with smoother transitions.

I just did the 70.3 down in Galveston. That bike course was as flat as a pancake. A standard crank was perfect for that course since I never needed to spin easy gears. I never got out of the big ring the whole time! In fact, I used the 53x12 and 53x11 enough to justify having them. I would have missed them had I had a compact on that day.

So when looking at your "A" race, consider the terrain, consider your cycling ability, then consider if a standard or compact crank is right for you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Going for a restart in May. This is a post filled with random gibberish

Wow, signing up for Twitter basically ruined me on blogging. Actually, getting my first smart phone has basically ruined me. How impatient have I now become? Very..."HHhhhhhmmmmm, I wonder what X means? Let me grab my phone and find it now..."

Robo Defense was like crack for a few days.

I no longer fall asleep during meetings!

The camera on this phone freaking rocks. Anytime I cook something of interest, taking a photo and immediately plugging it onto twitter or the blog is literally the touch of the button.

I discovered 40 miles of trails 20 mins away from me

This is the even better groomed trail!

Made more peanut butter. 15 mins total time to make!

Muddy shoes from my trail run this AM

First attempt at rice, oatmeal, and white flour pitas

I am a sucker for adding peanut butter and banana to any bread product
The bike has been going really well. I wish I were speedier on my road bike, but I am feeling that "in shape" power once again. I did around 3,000 feet of climbing over @ Harriman last Friday, then dropped a 14 miler on Saturday.

Sunday I did a 3 mile "recovery" run and it actually worked! It blew all of the junk out of my legs.

I have swam 3 times since my race two weeks ago, with the longest swim at only 2,000 yards. Yikes! If you find my swimming mojo, please return!

I am waaaaaaay behind on reading people's blogs. WAY behind.

And this is why I am calling May as my "restart". May 1st is roughly 12 weeks out from Lake Placid, so its time to get REALLY busy. Basically this is the time where every workout counts. No more skimping!

I feel good right now. I feel like I am in a middle place where I am not tired yet I don't feel super human. I think my base is established and it is time to ramp it up!

Happy Training!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Introducing The Ego-O-Meter

My coach has a good saying: "Check your ego at the door." Also known as swallow your pride and be humble! Especially in big groups, he especially believes in this saying. You don't want to be "that guy" who runs his mouth about how awesome he is, and then gets dropped or lapped, do you? That would be, um, quite embarrassing!

But sometimes I think letting your ego out is a good thing, especially on race day. But PLEASE DON'T VOCALIZE IT! Keep it to yourself. Trust in your confidence in your own abilities and think that you are 10% better than you really are. That little bit of "mojo" will go far.

But then there is that inner ego that you need to quell during training, especially on easy days. If the goal is to go easy, GO EASY! Think about how much recovery time you will need if you go too hard during a recovery workout? I am a big believer in active recovery. I think taking days off makes you flat, whereas an easy swim or an easy 5K or 45 min bike does wonders in keep you loose and getting the junk out of the legs.

But then let out that ego on hard training days. That hill that you are always scared of tackling? Puff up your chest and think you are all that and ATTACK that hill! Think you can't hit an aggressive split @ the track?  Think you are Usain Bolt and hit the gas

Let your ego do the talking. But keep it to yourself :) Happy Training!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Going the Twitter Way

Don't worry! I will keep blogging as usual. :)

I started this blog to journal my daily workouts. Well, then the blog morphed into what it is now and the daily "I did this, then that" disappeared. Since Twitter is WAY more informal, I see it as a perfect venue to drop the "did 12 x (30 secs hard, 90 secs easy) on the track this AM."


Straight to the point.

Less than 140 characters :)

And I have a brand spanking new 4G Droid Thunderbolt. Checking my email @ a red light just made my day! (don't worry, it was a one time only thing....)

Soooooo, now that I have internet 24/7 (why don't they just implant it into me already?) I can tweet to my heart's desire!

Wanna follow me?

Have fun! Send me a comment if you are on twitter as well.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Three (Face Palms) in My Life

Ok, I guess its my turn to gripe. Actually, I will call this funny griping since I know what people really mean when they say the following three things to me. Basically these are the three most commonly mistaken things said to me, sometimes on a daily basis:

#1: WOW! You have ran a lot of marathons!

My Cube @ Work

Translation: To the non-runner, any running race equals a marathon. Hence, every race bib hung in my cube equals a "marathon".

In Reality: I have yet to run a marathon. In fact, I have yet to run more than 15.5 miles in one go. My first Marathon will be at Lake Placid in July. Bring it!

#2: Hey! Congrats on your new 3D Pixar Movie!

(source)...I'd say that this is a fitting image!

Translation: 3D Pixar movie equals any 3D animated movie or "cartoon". Basically Pixar is the "Band-Aid" of adhesive bandages, to put it bluntly.

In Reality: I don't work for Pixar. I work for Blue Sky Studios. Pixar is our competition. We (Blue Sky Studios) just released "Rio". I did the feather work on the two main characters shown above, Blu and Jewel. We make the "Ice Age" movies. We are a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, the folks who brought you "Titanic" and "Avatar". 20th Century Fox is a subsidiary of Newscorp. Rupert Murdoch is ultimately my boss. Pixar is owned by Disney. Different companies!

#3: So you just did another Ironman but it wasn't a triathlon, right?

Translation: Like the "marathon equals any running race" issue above, most folks think that the Ironman equals "that race in Hawaii" or any triathlon. Then there are the folks who think that an Ironman is totally different from a triathlon. I still don't get that one!

In Reality: Ironman is a brand. It is owned by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). A triathlon is a race where you swim, then bike, then run, or whatever order you want to do them in. So if you just did an Ironman, or a Half Ironman, you either did a triathlon that was 140.6 miles or 70.3 miles, and it happened to be owned by the WTC. Heck, if you ate a hot dog, drank a beer, then scarfed down a apple pie, you too could call yourself a triathlete!

I feel better to have that off my chest! Have a good one!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ironman Texas 70.3 Official Race Report

Sorry this took so long to get up! I haven't had a minute to think since I arrived back in NY. I finally got a chance to go through all of the race photos. Phew!

This was an early season race for a New Yorker. Galveston, TX in early April is nice, not too hot for the locals, but HOT for a visiting New Yorker. I knew this going into the race and that was the gamble I was going to make, especially for another hot 13.1 mile run. Heat, by the way, is my Achilles Heal on the run. So training in cooler temps for a hot weather race is a tough thing to do. This past winter especially was a pretty brutal winter with LOTS of snow. Trust me, every time it snowed, I reminded myself of this race down in Galveston. BUT! I made sure to not let it get the best of me.

Ok, serious crap over with.

It was an AWESOME weekend down in Galveston! I met up with Jeff @ DangleTheCarrot and his wife, Annie @ RetailRunner, and they were VERY kind and generous to include my girlfriend, Kelly, and I into food plans and showing us the ropes of the good places of Galveston. Meeting other bloggers in the flesh is always cool. Its strange, you already know them by the time you meet them because how they present themselves online is usually how they present themselves in person. It is just great to have other people you know right there with you at a race. Totally takes a lot of the pressure off!

Me, Kelly, Annie, Jeff

Down in Jamaica Beach! We stayed in town.
 Jeff did the 70.3 (you can read his awesome race report HERE). Annie did her first triathlon at the sprint the day before. She did great and is hooked to do another! (her race report is HERE)

Pre Swim:
So when we landed, we literally got the rental car, and headed straight to a great lake 15 mins from the airport, Lake 288, and Jeff and I did a quick 1000 meter swim. We didn't even use our wetsuits the lake was so clean and warm. It was great! My arms felt FRESH. It was scary looking down and there were boats down there. I HATE being able to see anything in the water.

"Which way?"

Comparing tan lines....I have none!

Spectating the Sprint Tri:
On Saturday morning we spectated and volunteered at the sprint Tri. Annie did a wonderful job! It is so cool to see someone do their first attempt at the distance going into it a bit timid, and coming out of it totally confident in their abilities!

Way to go Annie!
We  handed out water at the first aid station coming out of transition on the run so it is always cool to be on the other side of things watching others race. It was pretty warm, but overcast, but I made sure to stay hydrated. This was a perfect opportunity to dehydrate yourself and kill your race even before it begins.

Stole this from Jeff! Thanks!
Pre Bike:
So other than the heat on the run, the other thing I was worried about was the wind on the bike. It was basically a sustained 20 mph southern wind during our entire stay here. THAT is a lot of wind! And because the bike course went east to west, it was a straight cross wind. With a ZIPP 808 rear and 404 front, that meant some possible handling issues. So I headed out to where Jeff was staying and we did a quick 25 min ride in both directions to test this wind out. It wasn't bad! So I decided to keep the ZIPPs on.

The night before the race we all headed to the Mosquito Cafe for dinner. Yummy place! I had my (now) usual glass of Malbec (hey! it has given me 2 PR's this season so far!)

Future superstars? I think so!!!

Pre Race:
Nothing too exciting race morning. Got the usual breakfast down and did the usual routine. It was just dark? Sorry! I got nothing!

Total Time: 5:03:26 (~5 min PR!)
Overall Placing: 222/2200 (top 10%)
Age Group Placing: 18/143 (top 12.5%)

Swim: 33:49 (1:36/100 yard pace)
This was an in water start. I have NEVER done an in water start. Ok, I lied, NYC was an in water, but all other races have been a run in or you are standing in the water. This was a fun start! You got to jump off a dock! But! Before I jumped in, I accidentally dropped my goggles on the dock. No big deal, I will just pick them up. Except! My goggles broke! CRAP! Um, its 2 mins before I jump in. Uuuhhhhhhh. PANIC! Fortunately the rubber gasket that lines the google popped off. Getting it back on was a bitch, but holy crap I thought this was going to be a painful swim only being able to see with one eye! Crisis averted!

After jumping in I felt the extra buoyancy from the salt water. Not only is the wetsuit buoyant, but the salt adds that much extra.

I'm somewhere in that mix...
Overall, this was a good swim. The chop out in the middle got a bit rough at times and I thought I was going to put in a slow swim, but I actually PR'ed the swim for the distance by breaking 34 mins finally. The long stretch of course went forever but after making the final turn it was 3 buoys and I was DONE.

OMG my legs hurt so bad to run!
T1: Running up the swim exit my legs hurt SO BAD. There was just no blood in my legs to run. Fortunately there were wet suit strippers.

Bike: 2:36:39 (21.45 mph avg)
This was an easy course. Flat, and 28 miles out, 28 miles back. Ok, it wasn't "easy" as that cross wind turned into a headwind on the way out, but an AWESOME tail wind on the way back.

Based upon the training leading up to this race, my wattage to hold would be 200 watts from beginning to end. This worked out perfectly. Riding with wattage helps hold you back, especially when riding into the wind where you can easily nuke your legs without knowing it.

After the right hand turn onto the sea wall I felt the brunt of the cross wind. I felt like I was leaning to a 45 degree angle to stay up! I was like, "Ok, if I have to concentrate this hard to stay up for the next 56 miles, I'm not sure how this is going to go!"

Fortunately after I got out of town the wind changed into a headwind and leaning to the side wasn't as bad. I was holding 22mph at this point and was figuring this was going to be an easy ride. WRONG! The headwind got worse and worse as the ride progressed. Mentally I couldn't wait for the turnaround. When I finally saw it had gotten myself all worked up to believing that there was going to be this AMAZING tailwind as a reward. Then I saw the looks on the faces of the folks who had already made the turn. They were still grimassing! CRAP! Another headwind?!?!?

When I finally made the turn, I was at 1:25:34 for 28 miles @ a 19.63 mph average and had held 213 watts. So not only was I pushing too hard, but I was going pretty slow for such flat terrain. All hopes of a PR faded.

Of course after the turn that loud scratching sound in the ears that you get from a headwind disappeared. Right there and then I said to myself, "TIME TO GET GREEDY!"

So I got back up to 200 watts and was doing 25+ mph!!! TAILWIND BABY!!!

So what took me 1:25+ to get out there only took 1:11:05 to get back @ a 23.63 mph average. THAT WAS FAST! And I was pushing 30 watts less with a lower heart rate. At one point I ran out of gears to push, even with a 53 x 11. Crazy!

My nutrition was a solid A+ for the day on the bike. Drink every 5 mins and eat a Gu every 30 mins. Ok, don't burn me at the stake for what I am about to write: I consumed a total of 40 oz of liquid total on the bike. Sorry! There were 300 calories of infinit mixed in with it! Prolly a stupid idea to not stop and get liquid.

T2: Ok this is kinda funny. I get my CYCLING shoes off and socks on. The right RUNNING shoe goes on, then I proceed to put my left CYCLING shoe on. Uuuuhhhhhh?!?!?!?.........yeah......

Run: 1:47:37 (8:12/mile pace)
The good thing about running into a headwind is that it keeps you cool. Unfortunately there wasn't enough of it during the run. So coming off the bike I held my usual pace effort. It was hot. I could feel it. The pressure in my head from the heat was already building. I knew I'd only be able to hold this pace for a few miles before that "switch" goes off and my body starts shutting down. I had a chat with my coach before the race and I told him about my troubles with heat and running. I suffer! He mentioned that better fitness is the best offense against the heat.

Well, I suffered a slow painful death and my splits show. There weren't mile markers for all miles, so I had to average some 3 mile splits.

Mile 1: 7:16
Mile 2: 7:48
Mile 3: 7:18
Mile 4: 8:17
Mile 5: 8:17
Mile 6: 8:17
Mile 7: 9:17
Mile 8: 8:37
Mile 9: 8:37
Mile 10: 8:37
Mile 11: 8:31
Mile 12: 8:02
Mile 13: 8:02

As you can see, I had had enough with the run and hit the gas as best I could for the final 2 miles. I paid for it in the last mile! I had 3 left calf muscle spasms. I was crossing my fingers it didn't turn into a bad cramp spasm that would totally lock my leg up. It never happened. I had never felt SO happy to cross that finish line. A four loop course in that heat just SUCKED!

Elated to have finished!
Had it been 10 degrees cooler, this run would have been a MUCH different story. Remember my last running race was in 40 degrees where it was impossible to overheat?

Overall, this run was a HUGE success. Heck, this ENTIRE race was a HUGE success! For it being my first triathlon this season and I shaved another 5 mins off in hot conditions is a milestone considering almost a year ago I went a 5:32:xx @ New Orleans in VERY similar conditions. 30 min time difference in one year? I can't even compare the fitness I have now compared to then!

Post Race:
Because I was on the earlier end of finishers, the massage tent was wide open. I wanted my left calf worked out. The nice massuese said she could feel the muscles still going nuts even as I was laying on my stomach. Then I went in search for food. I found it and no one was around except for a few workers. I had to ask, "Is this the food tent? Wasn't sure if it was for the pros or not?" It was and I grabbed 4 slices of pizza! haha!

I stumbled over to the first aid station where Kelly and Annie were handing out water. Jeff was still out on the course so I sat down and ate. After I ate they were short handed handing out water so I started handing out water to everyone! Beats sitting in a chair and getting all tight. It was pretty cool seeing these people duking it out in this nasty heat so late in the day. Fortunately the sky hazed up so they got some relief.

It was a good day :)

Congrats to Jeff and Annie for their finishes over the weekend. Also congrats to Shannon @ IronTexasMommy for her faster finish. She took off 1 whole hour from her time last year! Go Shannon!!!

So on the bike course we went past this place called Michael Burger, known for, what else? their burgers! Guess where we went for dinner that night? OH YEAH!!!

I got the deluxe burger with a beer and some sweet potato fries. The wind was HOWLING on us as we ate outside, but it was great swapping war stories with Jeff, Mike, and Bobby. Perfect ending to a perfect day :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Playing Catch Up; Race Report is on its way

We left Galveston yesterday, or rather, we left Paradise yesterday and landed into the gigantic flushing toilet bowl of NYC. Why did we leave TX?

Driving over the Whitestone bridge there were literally sheets of water shooting over the car and then we proceeded to drive 35 mph through some SERIOUS rain all the way home. It was gross...

This was of course after enduring 4 hours of the screaming kid behind us with the totally oblivious mother who wanted to play patty cake more than the kid!


I am wanting to catch up on everyone's recent posts, and I will get there eventually, but the craziness is only getting crazier around here.

Today is a half day @ work because we are celebrating with the opening of "Rio" (coming out this Friday, btw) tonight in NYC with the wrap party @ the Hard Rock Cafe. Should be fun!

The race report is mostly written, I just need photos, which are going to take a few days to collect and go through. The race photos were done by ASI Orders, and they always take forever, so hopefully by early next week (or sooner!) I will have the full race report up.

Otherwise the legs are healing. My sunburns are healing.

I guess I am just going through the shock of being back in the office after 5 days in Paradise.

Happy Training!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Prelim 70.3 Race Results: Quick Post

Just finished Ironman Texas 70.3. Prelim Results:
Total Time: 5:03:26 (~5 min PR for distance)
Swim: 33:49
Bike: 2:36:39 on bike (1:25:34 @ 19.63 avg on way out (headwind),((1:11:05 @ 23.63 mph avg on way back (TAILWIND!!!))
Run: ‎1:47:37 for 13.1 mile run @ 8:12 pace (HOT HOT HOT!!!!)

More to follow! Galveston, TX is AMAZING! and we hung out with super celebrity blogger, Jeff @ DangleTheCarrot, and his wife, Annie, (who did her first triathlon this weekend!!!) all weekend.

I am well done with a side of crispy thighs. :)

Will catch up with EVERYONE this week. My mind is spinning right now!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Knowing My Strengths and Knowing My Weaknesses and Being Realistic

There is a reason why I keep meticulous logs of my workouts: So that I can look back and gain a perspective on where I was and where I am now. This has really helped me gain confidence in what I am capable of right now, but also in the future.

I think going into a major race, like a Half Ironman for example, it is a good thing that you know your weaknesses, so that you have a backup plan is X happens followed by Y. Here are my strengths and weaknesses for the following 4 major aspects of a Half Ironman. I have done 5 so far to iron out the kinks!

Strength: I have put up a LOT of yardage. Over 100,000 yards so far this season. That shear volume right there is enough to get me through any swim.
Weakness: Lack of Open Water Swimming. Can't really help it. The lakes up here only unfroze 3 weeks ago!
Strength: Intensity in the pool. Big check next to this one! I made sure to keep hammering out the sets of 100's, 200's, and 300's.
Weakness: Not staying on anyone's feet during a race. I always struggle with this and find myself in no-man's land. Finding feet can not only speed you up, but save LOTS of energy!
Being realistic: If conditions are good, based upon my training, holding a 1:30-1:33 pace in the water is realistic. If I can find some feet and hold onto em, this can improve the pace. Being in a wet-suit always helps :)

Strength: I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of this time last year. This time last year my fastest long training ride leading up to New Orleans was a 17.75 mph average over 57 miles. I wound up with a 20mph avg on race day on flat and windy conditions. In comparison, this past weekend was 65.91 miles @ 19.97 mph on rolly and some hilly terrain with some wind. Galveston is flat as a pancake with few turns.
Weakness: Galveston is going to be in the 70's, humid, and windier. I haven't ridden or ran in anything north of 50 degrees...
Strength: I can stay in the aero position for the entire ride. Last year, I couldn't!
Weakness: The wind. I am not as worried about heat on the bike (knocks on wood!). I wish I had more time practicing with my ZIPP wheels. I have an 808 rear and 404 front. I have done two long rides on them and have hit some serious cross winds. I am still here in one piece blogging about the experience so that means something. Except I have a feeling the winds down there might be a tad "different." Hoping to go out into the middle of the course on Saturday and test out the ZIPP's in said wind.
Being Realistic: As long as the wind's aren't too brutal and my ZIPP's don't turn me into a sail boat, based upon my training, anything north of a 20 mph avg is totally realistic. I will be holding 200 watts from soup to nuts, so 200 watts is 200 watts regardless of the wind. If it is a headwind and I am going 14 mph and I am pushing 200 watts, then so be it. If I have a tailwind and I am going 28 mph and pushing 200 watts, then WOO HOO!!!

Strength: I drop kicked a 15K the other weekend @ a 7:06 pace not rested the day after a 58 mile race pace ride.
Weakness: It was 40 degrees that day....did I mention its going to be 30-40 degrees warmer down in Galveston?
Strength: I am a good 12 pounds lighter than this time least year. Less Kryptonite anyone?
Weakness: Heat and Humidity ARE my Kryptonite.
Strength: I now run WAY faster off the bike than starting out running cold.
Weakness: Have I mentioned the heat factor? Oh wait....
Being Realistic: I'd say this is the biggest unknown factor of all. In cool temperatures, I fly. In heat and humidity, its game over. Basically as long as I stick to the plan of holding the correct wattage and getting the appropriate nutrition down on the bike, it won't be a legs issue on the run; it will be a "staying cool" issue on the run. Based upon training, I have been holding a 7:30 pace for the 4 mile brick runs after all of my long rides. Again, this is in cooler temps where overheating is not possible. I guess by Sunday afternoon we will all find out how this run goes!

Strength: Last year I dialed in my nutrition. And it worked (I just have to remember to eat while waiting for the swim). Fortunately I have one of the first swim waves @ 7:15, so this won't be as big of an issue.
Weakness: Because of the mild temperatures I have been riding and running in, I haven't needed to drink every 5 mins to keep up with my sweat rate. Hoping my body can handle the shock of more liquid on race day. With the heat and wind, I might not have a choice.
Being Realistic: Stick to the plan Jon. Stick to the plan! You have done this with success SO MANY TIMES. Just stick to the plan....

So there you have it! My legs are 75% recovered from the weekend and this morning's short run was WAY better than yesterday's run. I have been hitting the track and just doing 4-5 laps with a bunch of 100 meter pickups thrown in to get some speed work. I mailed off the ZIPP's via FedEx yesterday and picked up my bike case from storage.

I think the anticipation is what is killing me the most! I'll prolly check in with y'all on Friday in Texas ;)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Commence T-T-T-T-TAPER TIME!!!!

I am starring in a movie! Its called "License to Eat." Its going to be the most boring movie ever. A video camera following me doing nothing but swimming, biking, and running, and then eating obscene amounts of food. For example, once sequence will show me burning 4000+ calories in 2 two days.

I wrapped up my biggest weekend so far this year which puts me within one week from race day. After a few days of snow, sleet, and yuckiness, the weekend shaped up with some absolutely beautiful weather. 50+ degrees and some  brilliant sun shine. Sorry to those of you in the mid-west area!

My coach sent me my training plan late last week and when I looked at it my heart sank. 3.5-4 hour ride on Saturday followed by a 30 min brick run. Sunday: Run for 2 hours, then hit the trainer for one hour, easy, in the afternoon. YIKES! Last season, the weekend prior to all of my Half Ironman races was always a fast 40 mile ride on Saturday, with a 10K fast run on Sunday. I kept it short, but fast. It was all quality and just enough that I didn't nuke my legs a week out. What my coach prescribed is totally different!

And this now brings up the point of "letting go." This is why I hired my coach. Over the past 12-13 weeks he has pushed me to another level, and now to another level. Why would I stop trusting him now and go back to my old habits? Hasn't what he already given me worked? Shouldn't it continue to work? I question a lot of the stuff he throws my way, and I resist at first, but always follow through in the end. What and where has this gotten me? A LOT further than if I had done my own thing! Yeah, I am one stubborn guy, but I have learned a lot by "letting go" and trusting my coach.

I am sure he knows what he is doing, after all he has been doing this for a long time AND he has an incredible race resume to back it up.

Two years ago, heck a year ago, I would have laughed if someone had a crystal ball and told me that I would be riding 65 miles @ race pace, then dropping a speedy 4 mile run, THEN running 14 miles the next day and still feel like I had some left over.

It was a good weekend of efforts and a total confidence boost leading up to next weekend. I am seeing this past weekend as almost a transition point leading away from Half Ironman training into Ironman training. I am sure that by the end of June I will be looking back at this weekend and saying, "Wow, what a cute easy weekend of efforts that was!"

Coach just sent me my plan for the rest of the week and it screams one thing: Keep it cool, but keep it fast! Aka, keep those knives, aka legs, SHARP! But don't go cutting up rib bones!

So far the coaching thing is paying dividends beyond my wildest dreams!

Sooooooo, if you wanna follow me, (or stalk me) this coming Sunday, simply log onto, click the "Athlete Tracker" button, and enter bib #234

My race name will come up as Leonard Campbell. Yes, I know, my name is JON, but my legal name is Leonard. Don't like it? Blame my parents! ;)

6 DAYS!!!