Thursday, March 29, 2012

Refinding My Cycling Legs

After the half marathon the other weekend, I felt like that closed a chapter on one part of my season (and FOR REALZ THIS TIME) closed the chapter on that knee injury I had.



But! OMG, there is yet ANOTHER running race coming up. Sigh. When will this whole running "thing" ever end? Oh wait, never.

So this 10K on April 7th in Central Park will be my last stand alone running race until next Fall. Yeah yeah yeah, another running goal has hit the brain, and once it hits the brain, there is NO saying NO to that.

Wow, wasn't the title of this post supposed to be about cycling?


I have started to do lots of it, and will continue to do lots of it. My coach and I are on the same wavelength.

"In regards to bike strength – you are reading my mind Jon. My goal was to build up your run volume and pace through the winter, which we did, and then to focus more on your cycling through April and May. You will begin to see some changes in your plan weekly which should be fun for you."

Oh I asked for it! For this week's long ride:

"Sat: ride 4 hrs steady Jon, HR 125-140 on flats and 155-165 on hills, run 20 min brick HR 145-155"

And just like that, its time to start riding LONG.

And! I got me a new cycling gadget, since we ALL know that more gadgets = more speed.

Between my powerTap wheel, TT bike, and now Garmin Edge 800, I should be averaging, AT LEAST 50 mph on the bike now. Once my matching tri kit and matching aero helmet and matching calf AND! arm compression sleeves arrive, you will be looking at the first man to ever break 1 hour in the bike portion of a 70.3.

You should stick with me folks. I know what it takes! Besides, who needs to train when you can just buy all of the speed! Leg strength and endurance? PSsSSShhhh. That is sooooooooo 2011.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ok, time to start training.

I have ran 45 mins and swam for 10 mins total in the last 5 days!!!!


Ok, panic button pushed.

We are now sane.

Actually, this was the best thing I could have done. After the half marathon the other weekend and that 3 hour ride I did 3 days later, my legs were shot shot shot, like KABOOM ZOMBIE GIT ITS HEAD BLOWEDED OFF SHAWT.

I attempted a run last Wednesday and it was as if I had never ran a mile in my life. Cue: Legs are NOT recovered!

So I went to Florida for 4 days.


We Grilled....


Got Sunburned


But mostly rested MENTALLY.

I knew this was happening but tried to ignore it. I was starting to feel some burnout and lack of desire as of late.

Don't worry, this happens after every big race, especially when I shatter a PR. The thought of "doing it all over again" is just too daunting sometime.

My solution? Go short, but FAST!

Next up is a 10K. I am aiming for another PR. Hell, I just missed this one by 21 seconds during the half, so I think I can go 4/4 so far this season.

But now that daylight savings has kicked in and it is warm enough to ride outside full time, I feel like the real training this season is about to begin. I feel like the trainer does a decent job, but it will NEVER replace outdoor riding for me.

I am calling April my "monk month" meaning its putting my head down and training hard, especially on the bike. Last season was a breakthrough running season; this season is turning out to be an even greater running season; however I feel like my routes of cycling have plateaued a tad in comparison to the gains I have made through running.

I want this to change. I WANT to ride faster.

So, hello pavement, ain't no more bombs gonna slow me down!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Mach 5 to Minus 5 to Nearly Getting Blown Up

Between a short run yesterday and a short run today, I apparently have never ran a mile in my life?

Or, maybe I need to learn how to recover better? (maybe that 3 hour ride yesterday @ 19.2 mph wasn't such a bright idea followed by a 3 mile brick run done @ an 8:11 pace even though it felt slow?)

No, its not maybe, it IS I need to learn how to recover SMARTER, like GO SLOW FOR ONCE!!!

But it's so fun to go fast!!!


But in other news! HUGE thanks to a good samaritan who called in a suspicious object on the North County Trailway and more thanks to the Westchester County Police Department for rendering useless an ACTUAL bomb that was placed on the trail.

Read the article HERE.

So the first two hours of my ride were going splendidly. I was pushing big watts and going fast, then.......BLAH. My legs just gave out. Oh well, not the first time.

But! There is a good sized and steep hill (that goes by Bacon Hill Road) at the very end of the ride that I was dreading because my legs were shot. So I decided to ride the last two miles on the trail, because it's flat. Well, one mile from finishing, I suddenly see the trail blocked off by police vehicles and there is a news camera and reporter standing by.


So I had to get off the trail, and onto the road that leads directly up to the big steep hill past Bacon Hill Road. Stupid hill...

But as I was getting off my bike to get to the road, the news reporter immediately came up to me and ushered the news camera guy over and said, "They found a bomb on the trail, what do you think?"

Me: "Not today....I need to finish my ride."

Yes, I have my priorities! This is like when I got bit by the dog two years ago and the police asked me why I didn't stop at the next house to call the police. I said the same thing (without even thinking about it): "I needed to finish my ride."

I am gonna get shot in the leg sometime, and when I make it to the ER bleeding to death, they are gonna ask me, "Why didn't you stop?"

Heh, new definition of shot legs! Womp Womp

Anyways, I am taking it easy for 4 days to let the legs heal and recover. This upcoming 10K on April 7th ain't gonna run itself!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

National Half Marathon Race Report

"We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" 
- Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) from "Ghostbusters"

"We came...."
For some reason, I had a score to settle with the half marathon distance, mostly because I have been stuck with a 5 min time window with it for exactly two years. Ever since my 1:45:19 at the NYC Half in March 2010, the only half marathons ran since then were in Half Ironman races and the runs were mostly in the 1:47-1:50 range (besides a few).

"We saw...."
So other than the blizzard that turned the Manhattan Half back in January from a PR attempt to a 16.5 mile fun run in the snow followed by bagels and the MOST amazing shower ever, THIS was my first opportunity in two years to finally put some damage into this ancient PR.

"We kicked its ass!"
I ANNIHILATED that poor poor 1:45:19. Turned it into a....



Hello almost 13 min PR!

My race strategy was this: Run by feel, and use my mile splits to gauge how I was doing. I basically was shooting for a 7 min/mile pace so anything faster than that was gravy and anything slower meant I had to pick it up, but mostly I went off of perceived effort. And this worked perfectly! I ran a VERY consistent race. Here are the nitty gritty details: Pace + (HR)

Mile 01: 6:56 (169)
Mile 02: 6:53 (174)
Mile 03: 6:55 (175)
Mile 04: 6:55 (176)
Mile 05: 7:13 (176)
Mile 06: 7:10 (177)
Mile 07: 7:27 (178)
Mile 08: 7:03 (175)
Mile 09: 6:56 (174)
Mile 10: 6:52 (171)
Mile 11: 7:02 (173)
Mile 12: 7:18 (175)
Mile 13: 7:00 (173)

The course was not flat, and you can see this from miles 5-8 when my pace dropped a tad while my HR rose slightly. I basically "kept it under control" during the climbs, yet tried not to sprint the massive downhills from mile 8 to 11-ish.

Mile 12 SUCKED so bad! That was by far the most painful mile of the entire race. And yet I rallied for the final mile. That last mile was the actually the most enjoyable of them all, surprisingly. Wasn't a huge fan of the uphill finish, but was glad to finish the race before it started to really really hot and sunny out.

This PR was a long time coming. It just shows how a year of Ironman training really bumps you up a few notches and then with only really 3 months of actual hard run training, I have faaaarrrr exceeded anything I thought I was capable of only two years ago. Not even three years ago could I break 2 hours! Just shows that hard work pays off. Not much else to it, besides a love of pain ;)

Gonna put this (stand alone) distance down for awhile again. Will be doing two more this season, but as part of half ironman races again. Its now all about the bike and how that fitness will show how well I can run off the bike. My goals for those two runs will be to get as close as possible to this new PR.

Congrats and high fives to everyone who attempted, finished, and PR-ed their half and full marathons this past weekend at National. Was great seeing everyone before during or after the race! There were a lot of you out there!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mentally Preparing Myself for the Next PR

Back in early January I made a bet with myself this season after PR-ing my 10K time basically untrained:

W) I have made a bet with myself to PR all distances this season (* gulp! *)

I have only raced twice this season, and have so far held up my end of the bargain of this bet. I have no idea the stakes, and if I am holding up my end of the bargain, who is holding up the other end of the bargain? The other side of myself?


Next up is the National Half Marathon Rock N' Roll USA Nation's Capital Half Marathon this Saturday. This will be the first stand alone half marathon race that I will be running in exactly two years. My current 13.1 PR was made at the NYC Half Marathon with a time of 1:45:19.

Let's cut to the chase here and drop this bomb: I ran the first 13.1 miles of Saturday's training run in 1:35:24, and continued on for another 3 miles for over 16 total in two hours flat.

I am gonna PR this sucker.

By how much? We shall see.

I see no pressure with this race and it is wonderful! Basically the time that I achieve will all be gravy! Now, I am NOT gonna sandbag it and finish in 1:45:18 for a 1 second PR. I am gonna run hard and run fast until my legs give out at the end. I wanna drop my PR to such a low time that its gonna take awhile to shatter this thing. THAT is my goal. I want to finish this race knowing that I ran it well and put in that amount of effort that makes this race satisfying. I didn't do this at the 10K in January, and while it was a PR, I know that I left too much on the course. At the 4 miler in February, I left it all out there.

Basically if I am not hating life by the end of this race, I didn't go hard enough.

You have been warned, Rock N' Roll USA Nation's Capital Half Marathon, aka, your race name is WAY too fucking long that I am gonna shorten it for you!!!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Had My First Ironman "Nightmare" of the Season

And it begins...

Like most of my Ironman "nightmares" from last season, this one was another T1 dream. Why do they always take place in T1? I think it has to do with my fear of forgetting something important, like my bike, which is ridiculous, because it is the largest piece of equipment needed for a triathlon.

So I finished the swim, I am guessing pretty fast, because I had the T1 area to myself. In fact, the tent wasn't a tent, it was like the changing hut on a beach like out on Greenwich Island where I did that two mile swim the other summer. For some reason I was waiting for my Ironman friend, Jill, whom I did Lake Placid with.

What does that mean? She isn't doing Ironman Mont Tremblant, but brief discussions of Lake Placid 2013 have been floating around. Was this a nightmare of my T1 for a 2013 Ironman back up in Lake Placid? Whoa...

But I was waiting for her because I must have swam faster than her (were we gonna do the rest of the race together? We did a 16.5 mile training run on the course together last May and were matched up so perfectly in terms of pace that we thought about ways we could run the actual run together come race day), (btw, Jill is NOT a slow swimmer!) so I found a bench and started reading a book (who reads a book during T1 of an Ironman?!?!).

Eventually she showed up, so I hit one of the changing rooms, only I couldn't figure out what to wear. My T1 bag was my pool swimming bag and I must have stuffed every article of triathlon/cycling/running gear that I owned into the bag. There was so much stuff in there that I just dumped it all out. I was overwhelmed!

Meanwhile....tick tock tick tock, right?

I remember grabbing the green top that I wore for Lake Placid, putting it on, then taking it off thinking, "I can't wear this. I already wore this in an Ironman. I need something new!"

Like, don't wear the same outfit twice to a party? Huh?

I think I settled on some god awful gray/black top that I actually don't own. FYI: I should never be a triathlon clothing designer.

Then the dream ended.

I only call it a "nightmare" because of this sense of panic once I got into the changing room. I was super calm just reading a book on the bench until I actually started changing. Then once I realized I either forgot something or couldn't decide what to wear is when the panic set in.

I had a T1 nightmare last season where the race organizers lost my T1 bag. Once I learned of this I went to the "officials" in some control room (do Ironman races even have "control rooms" ??) and they just didn't care that they lost it and offered to give me someone else's T1 bag. That works, right?

So between these two dreams I guess my biggest fear is showing up to a race and forgetting something important.

Anyone have any good T1 reading suggestions?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Three Things Thursday: F-YEAH!


#2: MORE ZOMBIE STUFF!!!! (my buddy Jonathan has these on his car.) I should put these on my bikes.

#3: The elevation profile from yesterday's run. I have this awesome hill that is the driveway to my office building. Its a nice 0.5 mile hill of pain. I did 4 x 15 min loops of my office park. Its a tough workout! For those of you who have done The Westchester Tri, this hill is Claire's climb.

Have a good thursday! Its gonna be in the mid 60's today!!!! Helllooooooo lunch time ride in short sleeves!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Bruce Lee Plays Ping Pong With Nunchucks

I don't care if this is real or fake, its fucking amazing!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Totes Amazeballz Batter Blaster

I am calling this an "evolutionary" post. Basically how this post "came to be" was both a game of telephone and batting ideas around with fellow bloggers.

In November I wrote a RFF post where I exclaimed that the word "Totes" drives me insane! Then in January I went on a rant about the "E" word. A fellow blogger suggested that AMAZEBALLS should be the new "E" word for 2012.

Well guess what happened? A one box cereal was created by Kellogs called "Totes AMAZEBALLS!"


From the ridiculousness of this, I thought I had seen it all. Oh no, I was WRONG! It gets worse....


Its pancake mix in an aerosol can, and sprays out just like whipped cream. After all of the technological advancements our species has made, has something finally epitomized the Snuggy? If our species were to die off today, would pancake mix in an a spray can be remembered as our greatest technological achievement?

When I was down in DC this past weekend, I tried to find some, but struck out. We were searching in the powdered pancake section, where it actually lives in....


The dairy section next to the ricotta cheese. Obvious place, right?

So I tried some this morning after my run.....

I know how to flip pancakes. I know how much butter is needed and usually when it is time to flip.

Batter Blaster left much to be desired. Then again, what was I expecting out of a spray can full of pancake mix?

At least I didn't buy a 10 pack case of it off And FYI, Whole Foods apparently sells the organic version of this stuff. Organic spray can pancake mix? Doesn't that scream WRONG WRONG WRONG?!?!?!?!

Save your pennies and make your own from scratch. It ain't worth the $$$!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Amping Up the Volume

Oooohhhhhh, let's start out Monday with some classic OMD:

I had another good weekend of training. The weather did a total flip flop for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was supposed to pour all day, but wound up in the low 60's, clear (in the afternoon) and PERFECT for running two hours with 3 x 15 mins @ 7:30 pace thrown in. Actually, it did rain earlier that morning turning the running trail into a bit of a muddy mess.

My hairy legs didn't get as muddy ;)

Sunday was supposed to be high of 57, but never got out of the 40's, AND got windy and cloudy. I still got in 3.5 hours of (cold) riding (plus rebroke my front derailleur) then got in a 30 min brick for a 4 hour workout. I'll take the 6 total hours of volume! (I even hit 17 hours for the week. Woah!)

WTF is up with my front derailleur?!?! The same thing happened at Lake Placid. I suddenly became unable to shift into the big ring. Fortunately I figured out how to coerce it by getting the rear derailleur into the largest rear cog to put the most amount of tension on the chain. But still!! GGGgrrrrr....

Finally, HUGE congrats to Kevin @ Ironman by Thirty and Jeff @ Dangle the Carrot. Both competed in the Woodlands Marathon down in the Country of Texas over the weekend and Kevin dropped a 3:05:12 and Jeff dropped a 3:06:25. Both HUGE PR's!!!

And finally finally, congrats to Victora @  Victoria's Obligatory Triathlon Blog, she broke 2 hours for the first time in a half marathon!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thoughtless and Random Facts I Might Write on a Friday

I love dark chocolate. I love bacon. But together? WHAT THE FUCK!!!!! Why do they taste SOOOOOO TERRIBLE?!?!?!?

Last year was the year of the avocado.

This year is the year of the sweet potato

It is also the year of the omelette

And the year of the Poutine

And the year of the avocado, again.

Oh! And the year of the waffle.

What is it the year of, really?

I make taco style omeletes.

Hungry yet?

I cannot spell definitely correct. I always spell it as definately, and use spell check.

One time I accidentally wrote "tomarrow" (instead of the correct tomorrow"  in an email. I was then publicly corrected. That person later wrote in an email, "....please see myself if you need any help." ONLY YOU CAN YOURSELF!!! Oh boy! I chastised his little punk grammar ass back to the stone age with that one!!!!

(this post is probably littered with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes...)

This Saturday I am running for 2 hours with a bunch of speed mixed in. Its gonna hurt so good! (what am I training for a half marathon?)

This Sunday I am riding OUTSIDE for 3.5 hours (what am I training for a 70.3 in a few months?)


I have the most interesting characters at my pool
  • I always break the age curve by 30+ years
  • On Friday mornings from 5:30-6:15 AM  the pool is absolutely PACKED. At precisely 6:15, the pool empties. I have an empty pool from 6:15 onwards :)
  • Everyone is too afraid to ask to split a lane
  • There is one old lady who I swear "owns" a lane. One time I got in "her" lane before she showed up, so she got into the lane next to me. As soon as I finished my workout, BAM! She jumped over into "her" lane. So strange!!!
  • I have noticed a guy wait for literally 45 mins at the end of the pool to wait for an entire lane to open up.
  • Once there were 4 lanes with 1 person in each. There was a person for every lane waiting on the deck for a lane to open up. For 15 mins I waited for someone to ask to split. Normally I ask a waiting person if they want to join me and split, but this time I just waited. Why can't people be ruder? THIS IS NEW YORK MOTHER FUCKER!!!

I think this why I felt sooooo uncomfortable in Chicago the first two days I was there. People were WAY too nice to me!!

Oh god.....I have become a New Yorker!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!


(I am actually a very nice person)

Did you know? That AM = ante meridiem, and PM = post meridiem.Thought you just took that one for granted, DIDN'T YA?!?!

I heard a rumor that Gu might become the new on course beverage and gel sponsor for Ironman. How awesome would that be? "Why YES! I WOULD like a peanut butter AND chocolate Gu at mile 18.Thank you!"


Whenever I am full and either have food in front of me or start thinking about food, I suddenly become starving. My stomach is stupid sometimes.


Have a good weekend everyone!!!