Sunday, July 31, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 5

Weekly Training
  • Swim: 3750 meters (3750 meters planned)
  • Bike: 85.68 miles (85 miles planned)
  • Run: 16.98 miles / 2:27 hours (2:25 hours planned)
  • Weights: 0 
  • Volleyball:  0-3 again.  Back to normal.
  • Overall: 105 miles in 8:50 hours
Decided to not #BeatTheHeat at 4:00am but rather 8:00pm.  Only Thursday did I get up at 4am to get my run in before the swim, due to volleyball.  I had hoped to get back in the weight room this week but decided to get the extra rest instead.  So if I'm not willing to do it on Wednesday morning when I don't have an AM workout planned, I'm going to need to find another time to work it in.

  • I fully entered 100+ miles in my weekly training.  In a few weeks I will probably hit 10+ hours.  
  • I hit 1000 page views for the month for the first time too. Someone was really busy this month reading and re-reading my site.  Thank you!
  • I got close to 100 followers on twitter.  I don't follow a lot of people so I don't expect a lot of people to follow me, so I guess it's my own fault.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

If At First You Don't Succeed...

As I mentioned earlier, I figured out my issues with my Garmin Edge and Forerunner dropping speed and distance mid-ride.  When either device's GPS accuracy drops below a certain threshold, it switches to the cadence/speed sensor for distance/speed; however, if the speed sensor isn't working then the Edge/FR thinks you aren't either.

If you have the GSC 10, then you'll know that you can test the magnet location by pressing on a little white button and it will flash red/green for a second.  You then turn the pedals/wheel it will flash red as the cadence sensor is tripped and green when the wheel speed sensor is tripped.  Mine?  Well, it would only flash red when pressed.  Then as I turned the wheel, it wouldn't turn either.  I could take the wheel magnet in my hand and pass it up and down the sensor with the magnet... nothing.  I could hear it tripping something in the unit but no green light.

When I ordered my new tri tank and shorts from Amazon, I threw in a cadence/speed sensor into the digital shopping cart.  The box arrived just in time for my trainer ride Wednesday. I pulled off the old GSC 10, got everything out of the box with the new one, and placed it on the bike with loosely tightened zip ties.  I carefully lined up the wheel magnet and started turning the wheel.


What the heck!  Are the wheels on my bike some magical demagnetizer?  I took put the magnet in hand and waved it over the sensor.


Am I crazy?  Well, maybe I am.  So I do something a crazy person would do.  I grabbed the old sensor laying on my floor.  Hit the button and waved the magnet over it.  GREEN!

Yep.  Take off the old sensor and put it right back on.  I don't think that is in the directions.  Fortunately, there were enough zip ties in the package that I was able to get the NEW sensor attached.

Good thing I took better care of laying out the parts when I replaced the garbage disposal today. (However, next time I replace a garbage disposal I will make sure I tighten it to the flange under the sink better so it won't FALL OFF while I'm testing it).

Speaking of the new tri clothes.  I worked hard trying to find a tri tank that would fit me in length and had my favorite color orange.  I even recruited Joe VI and he found an Orca Core Tri Tank that had orange in the shoulders AND was listed as being longer in the torso; however, this was a 2010 model and the only place I found one in stock was at a shady e-tailer.  So I went with my backup color, yellow.  Here is a photo of me wearing the new kit:

I think it fits me quite well, don't you?

OK Ok...

... and the new shades!!
I wore the tank today on my 40 mile ride with Joe VI and it worked pretty well.  The back is much longer than my red tri jersey (so no funky looking sunburn tramp stamp).  The material is much tighter so I don't expect it to ride up too much but I guess I don't care.  It's what comes with the territory of being a tall tri guy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Race Announcement: Jackson County Triathlon

Jackson County Triathlon, August 21, 2011

I have registered to participate in the Long Course of the Jackson County Triathlon.  This takes me back to where the place of my very first triathlon, Longview Lake with the Kansas City Triathlon back in May.

1000 Meter Swim (2 Loops of Short Course)
25.53 Mile Bike (out and back-ish)
5 Mile Run (out and back)

While it's the same location as KC Tri, the routes are completely different.

This puts triathlon #5 on the schedule with a total of 6.  There is a debate of putting another triathlon on the books in September but I need to make sure I'm doing the appropriate amount of race/training schedule for Beach2Battleship.

I LOVE racing.  Love it, love it, love it; however, I've taken advantage of this being my first year to do as much as I could just to fully immerse myself in triathlon. I've tried to "slow my roll" a bit in the second half of the season but more races keep popping up that I want to participate in.  Next year I have to be more methodological in my approach with leaving plenty of room for one-off races.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 4

Weekly Training
  • Swim: 3100 meters (3000 meters planned)
  • Bike: 70.24 miles (70 miles planned)
  • Run: 11.90 miles / 1:54 hours (2:00 hours planned)
  • Weights: 0 
  • Volleyball: We won the match! 
  • Overall: 84 miles in 7:18 hours
4 weeks down and 14 to go! 

Recovery week!  Only logged 84 miles this week and I tried to get 8 hours of sleep every night.  I was successfully 3 times.  I tried to get a couple naps in Saturday (not too successful) and will plan on one today.  Sleeping was hampered by the hot temps. We hit 100 degrees every day this week and so I left the alarm to go off at 4am.

Update on Garmin Issue
I think I figured out my issues with my Garmin devices losing distance/speed while on a ride.  On Saturday's 30 minute ride this happened on me while on a long downhill.  This means I was in the aero position which puts my physical body over the Edge 800, likely reducing its ability to "see" the satellites.  With reduced visibility it switched to the speed/cadence sensor.  I've noticed that the speed/cadence sensor hasn't been working correctly in not picking up the wheel magnet; therefore, not recording speed. I don't know if it is broken or the battery is on its way out.

Considering the speed I'm traveling, I think the Edge 800 has trouble reacquiring satellites.  I turned off the the speed/cadence sensor and it started working.  So I'm going replace the battery and, if that doesn't help, I'll replace the speed/cadence sensor. 

Now, I started having a second issue though.  On this mornings run, I hit "start" on the 310xt and it didn't do anything.  The display was stuck and I couldn't turn it off.  So that's interesting....

Other Things
Went to the doctor this week and got the thumbs up on another year of living.  Last year he was concerned about high blood pressure but this year he said it was fine. Sweet!

I've been wanting to get back to the weight room, at least for some core workouts.  Week 5 is when I had planned to do that.  We'll see if that happens.

I've been looking at buying another tri top and tri shorts to have on hand.  I've been using Pearl Izumi but think I'm going to give Orca or Zoot a try.  Orca has a line that is longer in the torso, which is what I need.  The Zoot's that I tried yesterday had good length, so I may give them a shot.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mid-Week Mind Stream

*BEEP BEEP BEEP*  4:00am....  time to get moving.  Out of bed at 4:04am.  I had planned a 40 minute run this morning plus 1000 meters at the gym.  This is a very doable distance in both regards, partly because of it being a recovery week.

Started my run right out the door.  The legs complained so I complied, no big hills this morning.  They still didn't want to move.  They gave in but only to the point of a "Scotty Shuffle" but, frankly, my mind didn't want to push them either.  The first ten minutes clicked off without my auto-lap notifying me that I've reached one mile.  Awesome.... 10:32.  My heart rate was in the zone so I didn't want to push it.  What happened?  Am I losing my aerobic base?  Is my heart rate elevated with overtraining... but it's recovery week!  By the looks of it, I was going to hit 4 miles in 40 minutes.  Hmm. remember when I ran 4 miles in 26:51?

The second mile wasn't much better....10:13.  I guess it means I need more sleep.  I got a good 8 hours Tuesday nigth but only 5.5 Wednesday. I probably average 5.5.  Not good.  If I'm going to survive this thing, I need to try to get 8 hours if possible.

The third mile had me thinking that this is probably likely because I rode 20 miles at 8pm the night before.  Maybe I shouldn't stack the workouts together like that... but trying to #BeatTheHeat.  Hmm... starting to get some length in the stride.  9:47... better.

Finally getting back into the groove for mile 4: 9:10 but that included 500 feet of sprinting.  At least I got some sprints in.  I ought to be doing this in 8:00 - 8:30 pace.  Oh well.

Back home for about 5 minutes before heading to the gym. It's nice living 2 miles from the YMCA.  Hopped in the shower to cleanse off (cold) but into the pool (warm.. mmmmm).  Went horizontal and started the human-arm-propeller.  Hmm... guess I'll hit another 22+ minute swim based on my run.  Checked my watch halfway through... hmmm... 9:30.  At about 750 meters, I was 14:20.  I might do this.  Finished my 1000 meters in 18 minutes 59 seconds.  This might be the best swim time ever.

Things sure can turn around through the course of a brick but I'm glad to have tomorrow as a rest day.  Hopefully I can hit 8 hours of sleep tonight and Friday night, assuming my work pager doesn't go off at 1:00am.... again.  Planning a 30 miler for Saturday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 3

This week added more base miles to the training plan and I hit a new record, 3 digits.  Now I'm not talking the outside temps but rather 100 miles.  I'm cruising past the miles that gave me overtraining concerns back in March, so I must be doing things "right" this time.

Since this week was crazy busy, I got up at 4:00am each day to get my training in.  Not only did this help complete the training goals, it helped me finish my training before the heat of the day.  On Thursday I skipped volleyball to meet up with Ashley at Shawnee Mission Park where they organized open water swims.  I had a great time and plan to take advantage of this as much as possible.  I wish more lakes did this around here, and maybe they do.  With the nasty heat lately, the water was extremely warm.  I felt like I could cook pasta out there.

Saturday was a great training day as Joe VI and I headed out to The Legends and kicked off a long bike session.  We took off on State Avenue and road for 50 - 55 minutes and turned around.  I was trying to get in 35 miles so I went ahead a bit longer than Joe.  The weather started in the low 80's and finished in the 90's.  The was a nice breeze though and kept me cool enough

Sunday was a 60 minute long run and I slept a few hours past when I was hoping to get in the run.  I slept in a bit to get in more sleep.  The 35 miles on Saturday really wore me down.   Nothing very interesting on the run except that I almost ran into a car.  A brand new red Ford Explorer wasn't paying much attention pulling out of a church and I almost made a dent into the fancy new passenger side front door.  I could have smacked the car with my hand and/or yelled at the driver but just kept going.  I'll forgive the sinners. 

Weekly Training
  • Swim: 3375 meters (3500 meters planned - OWS was shorter than expected)
  • Bike: 82.29 miles (80 miles planned)
  • Run: 15.59 miles / 2:31 hours (2:25 hours planned)
  • Weights: 0 
  • Volleyball: Skipped but I heard we want the match!  Go Team Far From Spiken
  • Overall: 100 miles in 8:34 hours
3 weeks down and 18 to go! 

Week 4 is a recovery week for me.  Not as busy as last week but I am planning another OWS at Shawnee Mission Park, so feel free to come out and join in the fun.  I am planning to do a bike ride after if the temps aren't too bad.  Getting that annual physical on Wednesday, so hopefully the doc will approve with all my training.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Race Report: Shawnee Mission Triathlon 2011 - Long Distance

I've gotten into a pretty good routine now that I'm at triathlon #4.  I have my transition bag packed the day before and just before bed time I get my bike on the rack and on the truck.  The only thing to do is take the water bottles out of the fridge and throw everything, including myself, in the truck.

The one difference was that this race used TriTats for the race number body markings.  So TKB helped me put these on the night before.  We decided to have a little fun and used some knuckle temp tats that sister-in-law Rebecca had given us for Christmas a few years back.

TriTat... leg hair sold separately.

I'm a bad ass.  Ok... maybe not.  Fun though, right?!
I got up around 4:00am to have my pre-race banana and bagel w/ PB.  We were out the door just before 5:00am.  Aside from a detour, we got to the race site around 5:45am.  I knew this day was going to be hot so I tried to drink a full water bottle from home to the parking lot.  It definitely contributed to my need to relieve prior to the race.

A happy breakfast makes for a happy Scotty!

This race was at Shawnee Mission Park, the same location as Kansas City Corporate Challenge Triathlon.  It appears to be put on by the exact same organization as everything was pretty much the same.  I parked at Theatre In The Park and rode the bike to the transition area.  TKB took the shuttle bus, while she was waiting on transportation, I got marked up for my age group and picked up the timing chip.  Not sure what the thought process was to only have two people handing out chips and then you get body marked by 1 of 10 volunteers.  Seems to be a little bottle neck there.

Look at that clean transition area.  Notice all the room with no other bikes....

My brother Mike was awesome to come out and cheer me on.  It was also convenient since I accidentally left my new visor with his wife, Amanda, the day prior.  He was able to bring it to me with plenty of time.  Once I saw him, I headed over to the transition area and said Hi to Mark who was racing the sprint.  Then it was time to head down to the boat launch for the required warm up swim over to the beach.

Swim - 1000 Meters
My wave was the third wave and started at 7:10am.  It's a water start where you wade 20 feet into the water until the horn blows.  I lined up pretty much in the second row but the area was wide enough for everyone to get a good position.

Once going I was immediately in open space.  I never really had to fight through anyone, which allowed me to get in a comfortable pace on the swim.  You swim about 200 meters before you get to any buoys as you swim past the boat dock first.   I was able to easily find TKB and Mike watching on the dock.  I even tried an extended stroke to wave at them.  That was really neat!  It definitely helped that Mike wore his construction worker orange shirt so I could see them!

Once to the buoys I was able to pretty much stay in line with them the entire way with only really having to swim around one guy.  I kept trying to stick with a good groove and not go overly crazy.  One of the guys that I follow on twitter, Steve In A Speedo, posted this quote recently:
First half of the race, don't be an idiot.  Second half of the race, don't be a wimp. -- Scott Douglas
That quote kept entering my mind the entire race and especially during the swim.  The last two races I did the swims were 500 and 400 meters, this was the first time entering 1000 meters since KC Tri back in May but I had a wetsuit on for that 1500 meters.  I tried to conserve.

One thing I noted during the swim was that I need new goggles.  Mine were fogging up pretty bad and it was hard seeing the exit as I was swimming towards the sun (Yes, I do have tinted goggles).

Time: 22:27 / 2:22
Rank: 15 Age Group / 98 Overall

I was actually a little frustrated with this time.  I conserved too much apparently.  Since I was able to stay inline with the buoys, I wasn't wasting time/effort zig-zagging around the course.

Transition 1
Me in red.  Note to self: Exit swim on the camera side.
I was definitely feeling a bit wobbly coming out of the water and took advantage of the water station they setup 100 feet out of the water.  I heard cheers from both sides this time, TKB and Mike on the left and Mark on the right as he waited for his wave to start about 30 minutes later.  I think I said something to the effect of "good luck Mark" but it probably sounded like "...g...l....M..".

This transition was quick, partially because I practiced putting on my race belt at home.  Because I like to do the GPS tracking, I put my cell phone in my race belt and this adds some heft to it.  The last three triathlons I would lose grip on it and fumble around.  This time it was quick and easy.  So sunglasses, helmet, shoes on and off we go!

Time: 1:50
Rank: 10 AG / 58 OA

Bike - 18 Miles
I hopped on the bike without any issues.  I think I'm going to put on the wish list for next year to get some shoes that do not have the buckle as I'd like to try leaving them on the bike. I guess I could still try truly jumping on the bike with my existing shoes.

The route was 4 loops on a 4.5 mile closed road around the lake.  This course is very hilly for the first 1/3 of the loop, then throw in heat and humidity.  I was planning to ease into the hilly sections and hammer them on the third and fourth loops.  Like at Tinman, I did have one guy that I leap-frogged for most of the course.  I might have with other riders but this guy had a red and white checkered tri suit on so it was easy to spot.  I finally caught and left him during the last two miles.  By the third loop the course had gotten pretty crowded as most of the waves had started the bike.

I definitely felt like I was doing more of the passing than being passed.  Those passing me had fancy Tri bikes and race wheels.  (hmm... also on the wish list for next year?)

Action Shot!

I broke the cardinal rule of events... again.  Nothing new on race day.  I put a gel packet on my bike and held it down with tape.  It was setup so I could just rip it off the tape and part of it would stay under the tape revealing an opening to consume the gel.  It worked perfectly except that when I would get out of the saddle my legs would rub against the packet, hence scraping up my leg.  Nothing major but a slight annoyance.

Something happened to my Garmin Edge 800 AND Garmin Forerunner 310xt while on the bike.  When starting the third loop my Edge stopped showing speed and distance traveled.  On the fourth lap it picked back up (almost at the exact same spot where it stopped).  I also noticed the Forerunner was having similar troubles.  I thought that maybe the Edge lost satellite lock but it showed a good reception.

Here's the really interesting thing, both devices stopped recording distance traveled and speed at the same spot.  They both regained that function at nearly the same time too.  Want to read something even MORE interesting?  If I look at the plotted route on Garmin Connect, it shows me traveling four full laps.  What I'm wondering is if distance and speed is being picked up from my speed/candence sensor on the bike instead of GPS.  Need to research that.

Time: 57:47 / 18.7
Rank: 16 AG / 97 OA

Right now I can only compare this time to KC Corporate Challenge, in which I did two loops on the same course and averaged 17.8 mph.  Looks like I'm building strength to be consistently faster with four total loops.  Nice!

Transition 2
I did my flying dismount again with success!  Hustled the bike over to my transition area.

Notice the look on my face?  It's not me squinting to find my transition area...

Normal photo of me racking my bike.  Still don't see anything?  Let's look at another photo of me reaching for my shoes.

Notice something now?  There's a bike laying on my transition area!  WTF!  The racks were pre-marked by bib so I have no clue what was going on here.  I can't remember the bib number but I'm pretty sure it wasn't 202.  It flustered me a bit.  Instead of turning my bike around and mounting seat on the rack I pushed it through and mounted it going out the other way, which caused me to lift the rack over my aero-bars.  It was just a cluster. I probably only lost a few seconds doing this and it quickly left my mind as I left for the run but seriously?

Very graceful drinking pose.

Time: 1:08
Rank: 12 AG / 73 OA

Run - 4.5 Miles
I had the Scotty shuffle going out for the run.  Once I finally hit the road I was able to stretch out.  I was bracing for that Dam(n) Hill that I had previously ridden on four times prior.  I just tried to get my groove going and then take the hill at a comfortable pace.  I was passed by one guy in my age group before the hill and he was booking it.  In fact, he was pretty much the only person to pass me for quite a while on the run (that I remember).  I just kept picking off other triathletes out there.  I was really happy with my pace once I was over the hill.  I kept trying to cool myself down at the aid stations with water as half of the run was in the sun and in an area with very little wind.  My second split was 7:37 pace but that was aided by a couple big downhills.  I just wish I could have kept that going but I still felt strong on the run.

The one motivating factor was trying to push hard so you could get to the shaded areas of the trail faster. It did make a difference!  There is also a couple other annoying hills in the last half mile of the race and I even, *gulp*, walked for a bit up one of them.  I figured I was doing OK seeing that while walking I passed two guys in my age group.  Stupid justification but still....  I was able to push it strong for the last hill that holds the finish line at its top.

I heard multiple cheers there as well.  Just before the finish line I saw Ashley, who paced me during the KC Marathon and is starting to get into triathlons herself.  Mike and TKB were waiting for me after the finish line to take this great photo!

I extremely appreciate the guy directing me towards the finish line.  I was totally lost up to that point.

Time: 38:11 / 8:29
Rank: 11 AG / 73 OA


Time: 2:01:21
Rank: 13 of 28 Age Group / 76 of 188 Overall

I was hoping to break 2 hours on this race and I think what hurt me was the swim.  I was really surprised to see the 100 meter pace in the 2:20's.  All previous races have been sub-2 minutes and during those I was fighting the crowds.  Maybe I conserved a little too much.

I'm happy with my transitions now and content with my bike for now.  I have plenty of work to do on the run.  I just want to get FASTER.  I want to see times sub-8 minutes for these distances.   Right now my training is focusing on building my base for the half-ironman but weeks 13 - 16 will have speedwork included.  I will plan to fully utilize those workouts.  For my swim, I'm already trying to push myself in the pool and I definitely see myself doing some masters swim classes over the winter.

As I mentioned previously, I have mixed feelings about the results.  I was within 2 minutes of my goal time, so I shouldn't be down on myself.  I think I've enjoyed those single digit finishes with the sprint distance a bit too much and -- with all things being equal -- I probably would have finished in the top 5 of the sprint distance athletes had my pacing been the same for the sprint (which they would have been faster).

I keep telling myself though, I want to be a long distance athlete.  I enjoy all the planning and care that goes into it and I know it takes time to put the body through all that work.  The one thing I see is I've improved over Kansas City Triathlon over a month ago and that's what is important.

The Breakdown

  • The Good
    • The triathlon actually took place.  The last few years it had been cancelled due to rain.  This time the only issue was the heat and humidity.
    • Post race grub.  For some reason I like it when events feed you a meal.  Not that I was hungry for it, but I at part of a burger.  Unfortunately, I left the supersized cookie at the food pavilion.  Doh! The food/drinks at the finish line were good with Chocolate Milk, Gatorade, Pop, and Yogurt.
    • Massage - They had free massages if someone wanted one.
    • Organized.  You could tell they had done this before.  No chance of getting lost on the course.
    • Tech T-shirt - The color was a blah grey but it fit really well.  I really like it.  

  • The Bad
    • It's hard to rip on a race for weather but it was HOT and Humid out there.  When packing up my transition area I felt feint and we sat down in the shade for about 10 - 15 minutes.  My heart rate couldn't stay below 90 bpm and this was close to 30 minutes after finishing.  Once shuttle service started, TKB left to cool down the truck and I walked around a bit to get some wind moving.  I ended up walking down to the hamburgers and grabbed a plate.
    • Post-race Meal - Yes, I said this was good but the burger was pretty hard and overcooked.  
    • I'm still a little irked about the bike laying on my transition area.  Nothing the race organizers could do.  Next time I'll get his license plate number!
  • The Standard
    • Packet Pickup. Besides being 45 minutes from my house, it was quick.
    • Goodie bag.  Hammer Gel, Pop Corn, and Tech T-Shirt.  Nothing special.
    • Communication.  Web site seemed a little out of date as I kept going to the wrong website for race results.  E-mail was OK but I had a hard time finding a timeline of when the park would open and when transition area would be available.  Since it was a pre-assigned transition spot, it wasn't a big deal.
    • Aid Stations: I lost count on the run, so I guess that's a good thing.
    • Post-Race.  I touched on that above.  Mixed bag.
    • Parking.  Good but we got a surface lot spot since we got there early enough.
    • Porties.  I honestly didn't notice but I believe there was a line.  I learned from Corporate Challenge to go to the marina and there was no line.
    • Volunteers.  Nice and friendly.  I actually shared a lane at the YMCA on Monday with one of the volunteers and had a chance to chat with him and thank him personally.  He was working on doing his first triathlon this year and had hopped to get placed in the transition area.  Maybe next time!  I hope to see him at the Y again to chat with him about his training.

Other Things To Note
I use the GPS tracking so TKB knows when I'll be coming around but that doesn't help when someone minutes in front of me looks just like me.  Apparently I found my tri-doppelgänger and he was always a step infront of me:

I wouldn't mind having his bike.  Dean Feuerborn, I'm watching out for you now.  TKB said that there are two many guys wearing red tri-tops, so I guess that's permission to buy another one!

The Proof

It's time to start putting some muscle on that chest... the "ribs" look is getting old.

Tip-tappity on my cell phone performing my self-imposed social media responsibilities.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 2

This week was going to be another big week and it was great to have Monday off to celebrate the Fourth of July by doing a Swim/Bike brick.

I finalized the travel, hotel, and registration plans for the Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Marathon.  This is going to be extremely fun as we are meeting up with Rebecca and Jake for the race.  Rebecca is running the half-marathon.  I'm hesitant that I'll be able to ramp up my base to do a 26.2 after my Half Ironman but we'll see.  If I decide to knock it down to a half, I'm only out $15.

The week ended with triathlon #4 with Shawnee Mission Triathlon Long Course.  I'm working on the race report but to give some initial thoughts:

  • Hot
  • Humid
  • Hot
  • Finished 76 overall and 13th in my Age Group with a 2:01:21 (official) time.  I have very mixed thoughts about that.
  • Hot

Weekly Training

  • Swim: 4250 meters (3250 meters planned)
  • Bike: 78.11 miles (70 miles planned -- commuting to work on Wednesday made up for the fewer miles on the weekend)
  • Run: 13.59 miles / 2:02 hours (2:15 hours planned)
  • Weights: 0 
  • Volleyball: Lost all three games.  Need to start stepping up our game or hydrate less with beer.
  • Overall: 93.7 miles in 8:40 hours

I dropped my training plans for Saturday and Sunday due to the triathlon on Sunday.  I knew I wouldn't be getting in my full scheduled training for those days but I also was planning to push a little harder on Sunday, so that made up for the lost training... at least in my mind.

One more week of base building and then a recovery week.  This week is going to be trying my training moxy as we are extremely busy this week.  I have a KC Stage staff meeting tonight so I got my training in this morning.  I just left my alarm set at 4:00am as it was yesterday for the race, so I was able to get in my 45 minute run and 1000 meter swim.  Tomorrow I will be working late but I will be going in later as well, so I plan to get both my swim/ride in tomorrow morning.  Wednesday Tricia is working late so I should just have to fight the temps to get in my bike ride.

Normally I move Thursday's run to Wednesday because of volleyball on Thursday; however, I'm skipping out to meet up with Ashley (who paced me during the KC Marathon last October) at Shawnee Mission Park to do a swim/ride brick session.  Time will be TIGHT since swim doesn't open until 6 and I am going to a Harry Potter double header that night.  As I mentioned above, I normally do a run on Thursday, so I might do that in the morning with the added training in the evening.

I'm debating about asking the boss for Friday off because there is so much stuff I've been putting off due to how busy things have been the last few weeks -- on top of all the training.  With any luck I will mow the yard after the meeting tonight.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Race Announcement: Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Marathon

With 2011 being my year of Triathlon, I had decided that I would not have the time to train for a marathon, both mentally and physically.  Well, that was until my sister-in-law, Rebecca, talked about doing the Las Vegas Half-Marathon on December 4, 2011.  Hmmm.... participate in the world's largest night time marathon?  Yeah, we'll make it happen.  Since all our money has been sunk into triathlon gear, I don't have to worry about losing it on the poker table.

In less than two weeks we had gone from having a free December to having the entire trip (registration, plane, hotel) paid for.  I like how Rebecca rolls!

So the training?  Well, Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas (RnRLV) is five weeks after my half-ironman.  I know I can handle a marathon with my cardio system but physically pounding out the 26.2 miles on the legs might be a little more challenging.  I decided to take Hal Higdon's marathon plan and compare the long runs to my Half-Ironman plan.  They actually matched up pretty well except for about four of the weekends in which I'll need to add another 30 - 60 minutes.  I'm not concerned about the midweek runs on the marathon plan until after October 29.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 1

First week of Half-Ironman Training is in the books!  It went very well and I'm excited to see things progress into week two.

The end of Week 1 was completed while on vacation at Pomona Lake and I was just as excited to continue my training there due to the history I have with that lake.  I had planned a bike ride around the lake for Sunday but ended up seeking a route that kept me on paved roads.  The weather was nice due to the oncoming rain showers, but I kept dry (at least from external factors).  On Saturday my brother and I went for a run to satisfy the 50 minutes I had planned.  We took a stroll through the old campground where I learned to ride a bike (Thanks Uncle Roger!).

It's an old boat but it's in great shape.  Love it!

On my way back to the campground on the bike I did a flying dismount and now realize there is an unsafe dismount speed.  While I stayed on my feet, my bike wanted to take off on me and I practically crashed it.  Oops.  Need to learn more control there.

A few weeks ago I lost my sunglasses.  I was kind of bummed out because they are prescription, so I can't just pickup a new pair easily.  I took my lunch on the road Monday and ordered a new pair at the eye doctor. I like these because they should work better during training/racing as they wrap around my head a little closer to cut out the wind.  I hope to have them before the Shawnee Mission Triathlon on July 10.
These might not be the exact same pair.  They are actual for motorcycle riders.  The foam "seal" around the inside can be removed.  

Had a great time with Mark on Wednesday doing some bike training at Shawnee Mission Park.  We are both participating on the Triathlon on July 10, so it was good to get some time on the actual course.

Swim: 3400 meters (3000 meters planned)
Bike: 67.7 miles (65 miles planned)
Run: 13.24 miles (2 hours planned, 2:05 completed)
Weights: 0
Volleyball: Won 1 game
Totals: 83.06 miles in 7:17hours

I'm a little shocked at my mileage.  This is the most miles I've ever done and it's only week 1!  I am keeping track of my blood pressure to make sure I don't see any spikes to help determine overtraining (and to be a good patient since that's what my doctor has asked me to do).

I have another race added to my schedule!  I'll announce it here this week but if you follow me on twitter, you already know!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pomona Lake -- Where It All Began

Ah Yes.  The Fourth of July is here.  Time to remember and thank those that gave us the freedom to swim in goose-poop filled lakes, bike in pot-hole ridden streets, and run our toenails black.  For the Bowling family (and by this I mean going back to the days of baby-dom for me), this means our annual trek to Pomona Lake, KS.  While I grew up in Smithville, MO, we traveled about an hour and a half away to Pomona in order to avoid the “city folk” traffic on Smithville Lake.

The Best Boat! At Pomona Lake.
My brother in red and I'm in blue.  I apparently have yet to discover the color orange

Pomona often enters my mind when I’m standing on the shores of a lake about to venture into a swim, bike, run event.  You see… water and I had a rough going for the first ump-teen years of my life. When my sense of fear kicked in as a toddler, I really started to resent the water.  I sickened at the thought of entering water in which I couldn’t see the bottom.  Even in my more “mature” years, I am often the last to jump into the water. 

It wasn’t until I was probably 15 or 16 (maybe even older) that I finally strapped on a pair of skis.  I did go tubing a few times but I’m not really a fan of a water-sports toy in which the goal is for the driver to whip the rider off.  I have mostly come to peace with my fear but there is very much a hesitation (aka, a split second of total freak-out) when I am mid-air, jumping into the lake. However, standing on the shore lines with a timing chip strapped to my ankle and a wetsuit strangling my body, I am able to overcome this fear.  Most likely that’s due to having more pressing concerns, such as the being whacked in the head by the size 16 feet on the dude standing in front of me.

So I return to Pomona this weekend, the place where I learned to enjoy the water and truly experience my first open water swims.

Just as I was about to finish up this post, I realized Pomona has also had other impacts that have later translated into my triathlon journey.  I remember riding a bike for the first time at Pomona.  Now, I may not have that entirely correct.  I know it was a big biking “first” for me.  It may have just been riding a big kids bike for the first (which happened to be my cousin Lisa’s bike). (UPDATE 7/4/11: I confirmed that I did learn to ride a bike at Pomona.  Thanks Uncle Roger!)

The campground we stayed at was a loop.  It was maybe a quarter mile loop with a hill on one end of it.  Of course, being a kid it felt like 5 miles with Pike’s Peak on one side. I didn’t have my Garmin on when I was 8, so I don’t know for sure.  It might have been good for hill workouts. 

Oh yes, those precious first steps when I was a baby.  Ok.. just kidding.  I don’t remember when that took place.  Maybe it was at Pomona Lake, but I doubt it.  Either way, I didn’t have my footpod on so why does it matter?

So my experience at Pomona Lake hasn’t changed too much.  There is still the same boat (yes… the same boat as from the picture above.. still looks the same excepted I’m a wee bit bigger), we have tons of family come out, campfires, tents (well, when there isn’t room in my parents' RV mansion), and the same low-budget firework show. 

What has changed is now my brother and I plan running routes to plod through in the morning instead of ripping through the campground on our dirt bikes.  This will be the first time I add a training ride to the mix.   I happily routed a 26 mile journey around the entire lake of Pomona. Now the only thing left to do is to make sure that route doesn’t contain any nasty gravel roads.

I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend (Or First of July weekend to my friends to the North)!  Don’t drink & ride and be careful with the fireworks.  You might lose a few seconds on your swim time with fewer digits on your hand!