Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rev3 Quassy Time! 3TT

Are you doing Quassy this weekend? Either the Olympic or the full? I am racing the Olympic on Saturday, but I will be up spectating YOU on Sunday. Leave me a comment if you are racing either distance!

(I think most NYC-area triathletes are doing this race?)

This will be my first Olympic since 2009. Yikes! 3 years? REALLY!?!? The last one I did was the NYC Tri where I went a 2:31:51. This was 4 weeks after I PR-ed the distance by ~21 mins @ the Stamford Tri for a 2:31:57. My first ever Olympic was the Westchester Tri in 2008, where I went a 2:52:35 (swam a 36:53! Ha!).

I remember worrying about not coming in under 3 hours for that first Olympic. I also look back and remember how horrible of a runner and swimmer I was back then. Ok, so maybe my swimming has been off this season, but my run has never been faster!

This race is gonna HURT. Not just because of the hills, but mostly because an Olympic distance is a speed event. It's go fast, then go faster, then even faster! Three years ago I did two back to back Olympics in the 2:30-ish range. I am a LOT faster now. So for 2:30 or less of speedy efforts, this race is gonna hurt!

Because I haven't done this distance in such a long time, I have NO idea how I will do. I guess go faster than a 2:31:51? I have to remember how I "felt" during any stand alone 10K I have done. I recall breathing really hard and hating life and wanting to quit. I suppose this will be my effort level for the entire race. It will be over before I know it!!

The weather forecast calls for MUCH cooler temps than last weekend, so no excuses can be made there. Its my legs that will be doing all of the talking.

Good luck to my fellow Quassy racers!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memoral Day Weekend Efforts + Swim Race Report

This past weekend was a freaking scorcher! Hot HOT HOT!! was the theme! It is summer folks, weather (pun intended) you want to believe it or not. But! I got lots of good quality heat training in and continued to learn to go slower in the heat and to use lots of sunscreen (including on your chest) multiple times a day. (Sorry Kevin, didn't walk away with any "stupid" burns!)

2 hour run. We didn't start until 11:30, so we started at basically the hottest time of the day. Uhg. But! We took it easy the first hour, drank lots of water and just survived. Finally about an hour in my body flipped a switch and felt a LOT better for the 2nd half of the run.

Despite holding a 9 - 9:30 pace for the 2 hour run, my HR was VERY elevated @ 150-155 bpm. Over the winter I was holding an 8:00 pace with that HR in the cold. Quite the contrast!

Started the day off with a 2 mile OWS race, the Jim McDonnell Lake Swim. Because of the heat, no safety blankets wetsuits were allowed. This was fine, since I didn't want to wear one to begin with!

Talk about feeling QUITE inferior to my "competition." Most people at this race were life long swimmers, and it showed. While some of these people went in the 56 min range for 2 miles, I went an EXTREMELY slow 1:08:22. Ouch! (But I still PR'ed the distance by 6 seconds!! Woo hoo!) Just shows I swim a LOT faster with my safety blanket wetsuit on. I was averaging 34 mins per mile. I did 34 mins for 1.2 @ MonticelloMan not even a month ago. Sigh....(Also shows I REALLY need to get going in the pool....)

At least I got a cool finish photo!
My fellow swimmers are F.A.S.T FAST!

Then it was onto the bike for 4 hours. And it was already a billion degrees. Just look at the temperature graphs from my two rides on Sunday and Monday:

I think I drank over 100 ounces of liquids on my ride on Sunday over 4 hours. I just couldn't get enough liquid in! I was using EFS liquid shots (Kona Mocha flavor) and by the end of the ride when that stuff was kicking in, I felt my best. I REALLY recommend EFS liquid shots. Really good stuff and LOADED with electrolytes. I use em more for the electrolytes rather than the calories.. Thanks to Jeff and Jason for pointing me in the right direction!

Just rode 2 hours. My legs were pissed off at me from the start, but after three hills they woke up. I guess overall I felt BETTER on the bike on Monday, even though my average speed was lower, yet my watts were higher? Guess it was a hillier course, yet I had more flats. Who knows. I was hauling on MacArthur on the way back. And wound up with a flat 3 blocks from the finish. Timed that right! It was just plain old hot out....

So overall the weekend was a reminder that it is hot out, and here to stay till IMMT at the end of August. I am really enjoying the EFS and will continue to use it to keep my electrolytes up DURING my long rides, which was the ticking time bomb I created at Placid last year.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Foto Friday: It's Gross Out There

90 mins this morning. Wasn't even raining, it was just the crud from wet roads getting kicked up. I guess I am lucky to be alive, visibility from the fog was like 500 feet or less. Why do we do this again?!?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bunker Bombing Mental Barriers

Yesterday I did a track workout, which included 4 x 1 mile repeats. I HATE doing mile repeats. I think they are the worst form of torture. I was to aim for a 6:15 - 6:30 pace for each. My coach sent me the workout @ 5AM, so I didn't even see it until 6:30 right before I was heading out the door for my run. I had planned to do 45 mins of easy easy running, since the night before I held 2 x 20 mins @ 260 watts. My legs were already pretty beat up!

So as I was doing my 15 min warmup, I thought of EVERY single way I could sandbag this run and come up with a validating excuse for why "my poor wittle legs were tiiiiired this morning. BOO HOO. WAAAAHHHH."

The excuses ranged from:

  • "I held 2 x 20 mins @ 260 watts last night. My legs are tired."
  • "I wasn't mentally prepared for this run."
  • "It is really soupy out, I always run poorly in fumidity."
  • "My stomach is upset. I might shit my pants." (There is a porto potty @ the track)
  • "I don't want to aggravate another blister. They show up when I run this fast."
  • "I haven't ran this fast in a long time. I don't want to injure myself."
  • "Maybe I run the first two well, then sandbag the 3rd and 4th."
  • "I am not sure I will have enough time to stretch, foam roll, eat, and get ready for work."
  • "I don't want to tire myself too much for this weekend."
  • "Running fast hurts."
  • "I would rather be a gigantic pussy."
It was ALL mental. Sure, my legs were a little cranky to begin with, but tell me about ONE run that you have done 12 weeks out from your Ironman that your legs were NOT cranky at the start of a run, especially when you just woke up less than 30 mins before?

So I finish my warmup, and hit the gas. First mile: 6:39. WOAH! Where did that just come from?!?! Maybe physically I CAN do this!

Then I remembered a story my coach told us on our group brick run last Saturday:

"Back in the 90's, there was this Connecticut tri series where you built up points. It was really great! Well, I was young and there were these 4 older veterans who ALWAYS took places one through four. They would always smoke me, and I became used to it. This group included a former college runner who would run a sub 30 min 10K. Fast guys!

Well at this one race, I came out of the water with them and took the lead on the bike and held it. Coming into the run I thought I had enough of a lead to hold them off. Well sure enough with about two miles left, this super fast runner was gaining on me. So I figured, well, this is when he will win as usual, but maybe I can take second place.

But wait a minute! Why does he HAVE to win? Why can't I? I have been busting my ass and leading this race the entire time. Why should HE have to win? FUCK THIS!!!

So when the fast runner caught up to me I immediately caught onto his shoulder and held. But coming into the final stretch, I knew he was gonna outkick me again and take the win. But again, FUCK THIS!!! Right before the finish, I kicked it fast and crossed the line in front of him. My first overall win!

And then do you know what happened? Those four fast guys NEVER beat me in another race ever again. I had mentally given into them so many times that I figured I could NEVER beat them. This one race broke down that mental barrier."
So after remembering that story and instead of taking that first mile as a fluke and giving up right there and sandbagging the rest of the mile repeats, I did my best to hold steady. I was in for a surprise!

2nd Mile: 6:27
3rd Mile: 6:24
4th Mile: 6:37

Again, it was ALL mental. Yes, my 4th mile was slower, but it was still faster than my first! I think I was starting to physically break down on that mile (my HR was the highest of all 4!)

So battered and broken I did a 12 min cooldown back home and felt totally guilt free about NOT sandbagging a key workout.

Tonight? 10 x (2.5 mins @ 300 watts, 2.5 mins easy) as part of a 90 min ride. *GULP!!!* This will be ANOTHER tough one where already the lame excuses have to started to flood: "But I don't have the gearing to hold 300 watts for 2.5 mins."

It's complete bullshit, and I know it, and the world already knows it:

Thanks for the motivation, my enabler. I will send you the power file to show you I DID IT!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Week of "Freedom"

This Sunday, May 27th, marks exactly 12 weeks out from Ironman Mont Tremblant 140.6. This day marks "GO TIME!!!" aka Ironman Specific training.

Fortunately its not going to be a huge shock. I will NOT be riding 100 miles every weekend out of the gate just because it is "Ironman specific." Like anything, there needs to be a build up. In fact, this weekend might look almost exactly like last weekend's efforts, except for a 2 mile swim race added on.

But mostly, I see the 12 week out mark as getting mentally ready for the race. What is the course like? What courses in my area are suitable for replicating the terrain up there? What will the on course nutrition be? Can I replicate it myself, and if so, will it work for me? What will be the best days to recover? How will I schedule these longer workouts in with travel and work? When will I balance this all with family? Why can't my entire family and friends train for Mont Tremblant as well? I mean, why can't they just stop everything and hold my hand through the entire process? I mean, how will I find the balance between life and training?

The past two weeks have been bringing everything together. My run is finally shaping back up. My bike fitness is hitting all new highs. The last three weeks especially my bike fitness decided to truly show up for the season. And! The swim is finally, FINALLY shaping up! OMG I have been SO frustrated with my swim form this season. It just doesn't want to show up! The other night I did a 4 x 500 set and actually had some decent results. Amazing how 1-3 seconds faster per 100 can yield some faster times, especially over a longer distance. And what is even stranger, is that I go EVEN faster if I breath exclusively to my left. I am a always breaths to the right swimmer, but yet doing what is uncomfortable makes me go WAY faster. 3 secs/100 in a 5x100 set. WTF?!?

What I am trying to get at, is that my "base" fitness is where it is supposed to be leading into "pure" Ironman training. I feel like everything is well rounded and there is still only one way to go, and that is up!

I am also happy that I haven't peaked yet. Last season I sort of peaked in early April, and another in early June, and then I basically went flat till Placid, other than building up incredible endurance. I am mostly speaking of raw speed here. This season I am not worrying about hitting top speed in May/June and trying to hold it till August. It is just NOT possible! I want to have a mini peak at the end of June, and a LARGER peak at the end of August for the 140.6, then my body can give me the middle finger all it wants in September.

But first!, this weekend I am doing a 2 mile swim race in a lake in Reston, VA. After being labeled as being in the "safety blanket" division, aka, the wetsuit division, I wonder if I should shed this "safety blanket" and just swim for the sake of pure swimming?

The following weekend is Rev3 Quassy Olympic. That might be a nice contrast to go 2 miles sans wetsuit, then 0.9 miles with a wetsuit and see if I go super fast at the Olympic.

Hope you have a great long Memorial Day Weekend and get lots of miles and yards or kilometers and meters in!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finally, Getting Consistent Again

This past spring, compared to past seasons, has been a disaster for training. For the last 6 weeks I have been struggling to get consistent with training because either I am slipping in the shower and bruising ribs, then getting monster sized blisters, then from all of the recovery time, I am losing that little bit of fitness that prevents me from hitting it hard day after day after day like I am used to!

Jon wants to repeatedly win The Jon World Championships, every day! Totally stole this line from her and her.

I even stopped logging my workouts because I couldn't face looking at empty row after empty row of missing data with comments saying, "Blister" or "Still can't breath, OMG."

Finally, I swallowed my pride, filled in a month's worth of crap workouts, looked past the blank spots, and concentrated on the past three weekends of race efforts.

Essentially I tapered for three weeks straight for a HIM. And now I am still in that post-taper race phase of fitness. All of this happening by accident. Funny how this shit works out, right?

So now? I am getting back into it.

I finally, FINALLY!! had a non race weekend filled with proper volume efforts that makes me feel like I AM BACK BABY!!!!

Saturday was the 2:50 race pace ride of Rev3 Quassy Half followed by a 10K beat down run by my coach. Sunday I ran almost 15.5 miles on the trails of Rockefeller and the Old Croton Aquaduct trail in some pretty warm temps.

FINALLY!!!! My legs were hurting.

And moving forward, I am doing a 2 mile swim "race" this weekend, with Rev3 Quassy Olympic the following weekend, with then IMMT 70.3 in a month from now.

The most important part? I am finally starting to feel ready for these races.

This race season has started to hit fast forward, BIG TIME. IMMT 140.6 is gonna be here before we know it!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rev3 Quassy Bike Course Preview

On Saturday I met my coach and some of his other athletes for a bike course recon of the Rev3 Quassy Half course. Other than getting pulled along by a super fast young 21 year old dude heading for Vegas in Sept, I had a good ride, with my legs finally opening up during the last 90 mins.

My overall thoughts of the course? Its pretty dang hilly!

Even though I am only doing the Olympic distance, it shares some of the same roads, but I got the "gist" of the terrain in that area: HILLY. You are either going up, or you are going down, with only a handful of flat spots.

What stood out the most on the Half course was this awesome 7 mile downhill + fast flat section immediately followed by this 5 mile climb from Route 6 up to Route 118 along 254. We ended up big ringing 95% of the course (including that 5 mile climb! (I DONT RECOMMEND THIS!!!))

But what a day for the ride! It was barely 50 degrees when we started, but within an hour we were stripping clothing off because it warmed up so rapidly. But it was that awesome dry heat. Can't everyday be like this? Oh wait, I could move to San Diego....

Then we put on our running shoes and bricked it for 45 mins. And when I mean brick, practically raced 45 mins. I ended up popping at mile 2 then hanging on for dear life before running basically a 10K in 48 mins and change. OUCH! That hurt....I think the run course is tougher than the bike, IMO.

After the ride, I drove the missing parts of the Olympic bike course. Yes, you have to go up that stupid little wall of a hill right before Rt 63. Then I drove the run course. There is this winding right hill that looks like a total POS and will HURT on race day, followed by a pretty steep downhill. The brick run we did included the last mile or so, which is ALL uphill.

Glad I previewed all of it, since doing that course (especially on the bike) would be downright dangerous. There are a few intersections on the bike that have some blind stops (they will be open and police controlled on race day) but you don't want to be bombing through them regardless!

Finally, I must have driven across half of CT, because I wound up down in Norwalk @ Calf Pasture Beach for a picnic, which also happens to be the venue for a future race in July, the Sobe Mossman Sprint. Talk about a day of race previewing!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Being Owned By Training

I am typing this at 10:42 PM (last night). Waaaaaay past my bedtime.

Wait a second! Why is 10:42 PM way past the bedtime of a 29 year old fully functioning (well I like to think so) adult? That isn't right! Oh right, I am training for an Ironman.

And! Tomorrow morning (hello past tense in the future?) I AM SLEEPING IN!!!

Wait a second?!? How is 7:30AM sleeping in?!? Oh right, I am training for an Ironman.

I read a blog post tonight (last night) that mentioned the person was sleeping in. Why did this thought quickly fill my brain?


But wait.a.fucking.second. I can sleep in ANYTIME I WANT!!! But I don't. Why? Oh right, I am training for an Ironman.

Saturday morning I am meeting my coach on the Quassy course @ Hodska o'clock, aka, 6:45 AM for the ride followed by a brick. This venue is 60 mins away. Do the math. This isn't a race morning, and yet it will be treated as such considering the early time. I will NOT give up a chance to train with my coach. In fact, we will be holding quite the pace for this ride and brick run.

But back to the whole "sleeping in" issue. Remember when you were a kid and you just couldn't sleep in on a Saturday because there was cereal and cartoons to eaten and watched? Then you got older, and sleeping in became a luxury (or a necessity)?

Then you got REALLY old and found triathlon, which demanded you waking up at O'Stupid o'clock every morning and going to bed at the latest, 10PM. What happened?

Then!!! And this is the worst part, waking up this early and going to bed this early becomes part of your routine. And then suddenly you DO sleep in on one of those rare occasions and you feel guilty because you feel like you should be doing something to earn that breakfast.

If you hit this point, and you know you have or will again, please please please please, take a reality check and realize that training DOES NOT OWN YOU!!!!

Sleep in.

Go to bed late.

Remember YOU are paying for this hobby, not someone paying you to do this hobby. Drink a beer and eat a fricking burger.


Have a Happy Friday :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kinetic Half Bike Relay Race Report

On Saturday I did a new to me race, a 56 mile time trial on a wicked fast course at The Kinetic Half as part of a 70.3 relay team. This was the first time that I just raced 56 miles on my bike, all out. It was awesome!.....and I was happy I did NOT have to run 13.1 afterwards :)

I was down in the area for Liz's weekend birthday bash at an AMAZING lake house on Lake Anna with a huge group of friends. The weather all weekend was spectacular with zero humidity and sunshine into the high 70's. Perfect weather!

As for race morning? It was COLD. 41 degrees when we left the house. Luckily I had packed arm warmers, vest, knee warmers, and long fingered gloves for the bike just in case. Turns out I didn't need them (it warmed up quickly!), but they were nice while waiting around in transition.

I was paired up with some CAR runners, Jessica for the swim, and Crystal for the run. Jessica has a swimming background, I have a cycling background, and Crystal is a runner, so we were ready to kick some relay butt!

And our team name?

don't ask how we came up with the name....
Overall there were 38 relay teams, with three of them coming from our group. Our swimmers were all pure swimmers back in the day, so it ended up being a close battle, with all three finishing within a minute of each other in 30-31 mins. These ladies were fast!


Then it was my turn :)

As I was exiting transition, one of the announcer guys was running up and down the rows yelling out bib numbers for the other announcer guy to say who the person was and where they were from. He found us, relayed our number, and I waited for it....

"Number 608, a relay team! Name.......(pause)......Tom (pause) Selleck's MUSTACHE!!!"

Basically, his train of thought was, "Hhhhhmmm, number 608: I have to say this? Sigh....."

I BURST out laughing as I was running out of transition. We TOTALLY got the win for MOST creative relay team name!!

Based upon the course profile and my successful 70.3 the weekend before, I was aiming for a 2:30:00 or faster time.

I came in at 2:30:39. Right on the mark!! 22.3 mph average, and by far the fastest average I have ever ridden for that long. The ride hurt the entire time, but that was the point. Hold nothing back!

The ride was also a great confirmation of my bike fitness and really gave me a lot more confidence in it, since I feel like I have constantly been struggling to get faster this season after a few stupid injuries.

HR was high!
The course itself was flat, with just over 1000 feet of climbing in it. I just hammered and hammered and hammered. With only two "climbs" in the entire course, those were the only moments I had to ever get out of aero, other than when cornering at turns. It was a nice course to stay consistent and (almost the fastest) course I have ever ridden, besides down in Galveston, TX.

When I finished and was running through transition, our runner, Crystal, was easy to spot with her not only waving, but wearing a bright red CAR top. We quickly exchanged the timing chip and she was off!

She, by far, had the toughest job of the day. Jessica was done in 30 minutes. I had the longest part of the day, but I was sitting down and it wasn't that hot. But poor Crystal. By the time she started it was getting HOT and there were a ton of exposed areas on a 3 loop course.

She did great though! She ran a 1:52 that put our team into 7th place out of 39th for a finish time of 4:55:xx. It was a GREAT day for our team!

Our "sign" of awesomeness :)
I spent the rest of the afternoon cheering in our other two teams, including Amy who was already running a half marathon less than a week after running a 3:36 marathon!

After the race, it was beer and relaxing time down on the boat dock, staying out of the sun.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MonticelloMan Half Race Report

After the last 3 weeks of inconsistent training and disasters, I was thrilled just to make it to the start line, let alone do the run AND! run my 2nd fastest half marathon on a challenging run course.

Ever since I slipped in the shower three weeks ago, Sunday was the first 100% pain free day. Ever since I ripped a gigantic blister on my foot a week ago, Sunday was the first time I ran in a week.

So dropping my first sub 5 hour 70.3 after all of this was wonderful! This is a 3.5 min PR for the distance on a hillier course than my previous PR set on pancake flat (but windy on the bike) Galveston, TX. I'm still holding up the bargain with myself to PR every distance I attempt this season!

That being said, here is the race report:

Total Time: 4:59:49
Age Group Placing: 3/19 (bumped up to 2nd after 1st took overall)
Gender Placing: 14/114
Overall Placing: 15/167

Swim: 34:17
The day before, I did a quick 10 min swim in my wetsuit just to get used to it again. The last time I swam in it was Placid! Everything felt like it should, and it would be a matter of how fast I go.

Nothing too crazy to report about the swim itself. The last race I did was with 3000 of my newest and closest friends, so starting with only about 50 people was totally relaxing. I felt great the entire time and just got into a rhythm and kept at it.

I made sure to lube up the usual rub spots with plenty of Tri Slide.

Had no idea what my time was until after the race. There was no race clock at the swim exit.

Lake Monticello is a GREAT body of water. Clean and was 68 degrees. PERFECT conditions!

T1: 1:54
One of the biggest issues I had to deal with that day was the blister on my foot. I had to keep it covered for the run. So when would I cover it for the run during the race? The night before I put on a generic CVS brand "heavy duty water proof bandage." Before the swim it was firmly on there, so I just left it on.

I also used Tri Slide in the interior of my shoe as an extra insurance policy. Love Tri Slide!

During T1 as I was getting my bike stuff on, that bandage was STILL firmly on there. So I left it to T2 to see if would need to be changed....

Bike: 2:39:10
Like most early season triathlons, my inner quads (the VMO muscles) love to cramp at the very start of the bike. After 5-10 mins, the cramping usually goes away. This time, the cramping not only DIDN'T go away, but it got worse throughout the entire ride! Eeeks!

But what is strange, is that it didn't slow me down. I still felt fluid and strong, just in pain. Strange...

The course is a 2 looper, which mentally breaks it up. I loved the course! It is mostly flat (it seems) but still had over 2000 ft of elevation over the 56 miles. We drove the course the day before, which was a good idea to get an idea for where any of the hills were. Fortunately the hills were short (and not quite steep enough) that I could stay in the big ring the entire time. Long live that compact crank!

Other than the first loop, I was riding mostly alone for the entire ride, which was fine.

Also, my powerTap on my rear Zipp 808 isn't reporting any power data or cadence, so I just went off of feel and monitored my heart rate. It felt like riding naked but felt VERY liberating! I had my 2nd fastest personal HIM split for the distance.

Lap #1: 1:18:09
Lap #2: 1:20:43

Boy was I revved at the start!

T2: 1:60 (yes, that is the official time! haha!)
Got off the bike shoes, looked at the bandage and it was still firmly on there. Why mess with it? So I put on the socks and shoes and went! No blister rubbing issues. I think the new Wave Rider 15's did the trick!

Run: 1:42:29
Of course the start of the run hurt. It was uphill for the first 1/4 mile, but I kept it as smooth as I could and held back a bit. That helped settle my legs.

By about mile 5 I was starting to feel pretty good and was running VERY consistently. NO blister issues. No breathing issues. It was the legs doing the talking at this point.

Armed with my Nathan's bottle filled with my "Waterade" (half gatorade/half water) I settled in.

Beth found me around mile 7-8-ish and gave me a nice motivational slap on the ass (literal! not figurative...) and I was on my way for the 2nd out and back portion of the run.

Here are my splits
Mile 01: 7:36
Mile 02: 7:36
Mile 03: 7:45
Mile 04: 7:42
Mile 05: 7:44
Mile 06: 7:33
Mile 07: 7:34
Mile 08: 7:49
Mile 09: 8:09
Mile 10: 8:06
Mile 11: 8:12
Mile 12: 8:11
Mile 13: 8:41
Last 0.1: 0:57

As you can see, around mile 9 is when I went into survival mode and just hung on for dear life. I was ready to be done by then.

HR kept creaping up!
The entire course was marked very well, except for the final turn. I had to ask one of the volunteers if this is where I turned to finish. Even she was slightly confused? Oh well. Turned the corner, went up a hill, there was Beth cheering me on and taking pictures, and the finish!

As I was running into the finish chute I saw the race clock and it ready 5:00:xx. So close to sub 5!

Or so I thought....

When they posted the results on the wall, I quickly learned that the race clock at the finish was slow. YES!!! I squeeked in under 5 hours by 11 seconds, and it said I took 3rd in my age group. But! The overall winner was in my age group too, so they took him out of the age group awards which meant I got bumped up a slot to 2nd. BAM! Out of 19 folks, I will take 2nd for sure!

I wasn't the only victor of the day. Beth also kicked some major butt and won the OVERALL in the aqua bike division by over 9 minutes!!! Woo hoo!! You can read her report HERE.

Friday, May 4, 2012

About as ready as I can get

It's funny, I am totally relaxed and NOT freaking out over this 70.3 on Sunday. I am not exactly in the best swimming shape of my life right now, and with that monster blister sore on my foot, its gonna be an interesting race :)

I am taking the "no pressure" approach with this race. The Mont Tremblant races are my A races this season, and this race this weekend is just a season opener. Time to break off the tri rust!

My goal is to survive the swim, enjoy the bike, and hope to God I don't have any blister issues on the run.

My finish time goals? I really don't care. I just want to finish knowing I had a solid race and chalk it up as a benchmark test to see where my fitness is so far this season. There is no reason to kill myself completely at this race. I still have 4 months of racing left!!!

As for my blister, it has been healing well. On Tuesday after that botched run and when the dead skin came off, revealing raw hamburger, I took some Ibuprofen to knock down the inflammation, and used a combination of neosporin and "heavy duty water proof bandages" from CVS to protect it. It has healed enough that pressing down hard on the new skin doesn't hurt.

And with new shoes (Wave Rider 15's) that offer WAY more support in my blister prone area, I am going to in T2 take a bit more time and dry the skin as best as I can and apply one of these super bandages to it. What other choice do I have? Otherwise, I will have duct tape as a backup.

I just hope when I finish, I go, "That was it?" (Ironman DOES warp you...)

Good luck to everyone else racing this weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Blister From Hell

Ready for some more gore?

Sorry for the lack of warning, but this is my latest "stupid" injury. I classify a "stupid" injury as one that is just frustrating while preventing you from your full potential even though your joints and muscles are 100%.

This blister came from that amazing 14 mile trail run last Sunday. I knew that I was getting either a hot spot or a small blister, but I didn't realize how bad it was until I tried to run yesterday. I made it 6 mins before it was just too painful to continue. Now, whats left of that blister is raw hamburger.

I blame my shoes, the New Balance Baddeley 890's . I think they just fell apart a lot quicker than they should have. My previous pair lasted almost 300 miles and I kept them as a back up just in case because they were such a great pair, and I never got a blister in them. This pair must have been just bad luck. They barely lasted 8 weeks.

So I am switching back to the Mizuno Wave Rider 15's. While it is a slightly heavier shoe, the amount of foot support in my blister area is 10x's that of the New Balance. I used the Mizuno 13's and 14's all last season and NEVER got a blister. This latest pair of New Balance just wreaked havoc on my poor feet. Oh well. It was worth a shot to try the new shoes!

Fortunately I can bike all I want! And after basically a 2+ week taper from the ribs "stupid" injury, I am finally finding that speed on the bike again that I so covet. I put the Zipps on my bike last night and I flew! I love those wheels. So smoooooooth.

But! I have that 70.3 this Sunday! GAH! What do I do? After consulting some important people, I am going to see how well this blister heals by Saturday, do a 15 min test run, and go from there. My coach has suggested Newskin to protect it in the meantime and neosporin and a bandage.

I just don't want to destroy my foot anymore with a 13.1 mile run/race effort that will set me back further. If I do run, I will be using trislide galore on the spot to prevent as much chafing as possible.

So! Dear Blister: HEAL!!!!

Otherwise, there is always an aquavelo option. This is NOT an A race, and I don't want to increase an injury that will screw up more of my season. I just want to get in a good swim, and hammer the bike. The run will take care of itself I hope, if it happens.

Either way, I won't know more until Saturday.

Stupid "stupid" injuries!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Snot Rocket Barometer

Hi there! Whats new?

I went silent over the last week because quite frankly I was fed up with my body from slipping in the shower that I needed a nice mental break from blogging. There was really nothing new to report other than, "Yep! My ribs still hurt...."

But! Now that my ribs don't hurt as much, I can finally report that I am rallying and coming back a tad stronger.

Swimming was the hardest to return to. Something about arm movement and breathing that gave me an awful stabbing pain in my side. Fortunately that went away after two weeks and I can now swim 2200 yards before that stabbing pain comes back. Fortunately! My swimming endurance didn't take much of a hit. Phew!

A week ago I did a short 40 min ride (because 20 mins out I didn't think I was gonna make it back) and got back to my car and was wheezing thinking I was going to suffocate. That subsided and I saw day after day improvement. I was able to knock out a pretty decent 3 hour ride + 30 min brick last Saturday. That settled some worries.

I can now run up hills without running out of oxygen! Same thing was occuring a week ago where I would run to the top of the hill and just slowly run out of gas (oxygen) and would be gasping for air on the way down the hill. This past Sunday I did an AMAZING 2 hour run on the trails of Rockefeller State Park (where I only got lost 4 times...) and knocked off 2400 feet of elevation over 14 miles all while holding an 8:33 pace. BAM! Happy to see that some of my long run speed is still there.

Oh! And the title of this post: So I have been gauging my long term pain threshold by how little pain I get by blowing snockets (like that one?) off the bike or while running. Its gross, I know, but to do a successful snot rocket, you gotta blow out of your nose really hard and that really uses your rib muscles. The less sharp pain, the better, hence, The Snot Rocket Barometer.

And OH! I am doing a 70.3 this Sunday. Happy Tuesday!