Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Race Report: Head for the Cure 5K

We did this race to support brain cancer research and to support our friend, Mark Helm, who was diagnosed with brain cancer years ago and is in full remission.  Mark is the younger brother of my friend Heather.  I've known Heather since kindergarten (we went through 17 years of schooling together.  3rd grade was REALLY hard) and I also did Tinman and last weekend's Jackson County Triathlon with her husband, Shane.

We haven't had an opportunity to participate in this race before so this was a first.  Subsequently, it was also the first time I really raced a 5k.  It wasn't on my race schedule originally but we finally got registered a few weeks ago.  My intention wasn't to really race it as I was doing the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay the day before and I had a 50 mile training ride schedule the same day.

I decided to race but decided to do a test, which was to run by perceived effort instead of the objective readout of my Garmin.

So instead of doing a full on race report, I'm just going to do a "5K" version, as in make it short.

We got to the site around 7:00am and eventually met up with the Helm/Mecham clan.  About 10 minutes prior to the 8:00am start, Shane and I did a half mile jog along the course to warm up the running sticks and then lined up.  I guess I was still hemming and hawing about fully racing because we lined up about 30 feet behind the start.

So once we crossed the timing mat I did some shuffle jogging until I saw an opening.  BAM!  I kicked it up in high gear.  For the next 3.09 miles I just tried to not scare people with my hard breathing as I passed.  Now they called out 4,500 participants (another record... Go Brain Cancer Nay Sayers!!), so this isn't Komen-like but it's large.  Given that, I was quite surprised to see timing clocks at mile 1 & 2.  That was awesome!  So mile one was in 6:38 clock time.  I had no clue when I crossed the timing mat, so that was my marker.   Two miles said 13:28.  I knew I was going to be slowing down due to my poor planning, so the 6:50 split was not a surprised.  As it turned out my first split was 6:21.  Pretty fly for this white guy!  That makes the last 1.1 in 6:51.  Due to my starting position, I didn't get passed until the last quarter mile!  Doh!  Lets recap:

Mile 1: 6:21
Mile 2: 6:50
Mile 3.1: 6:51
Total: 20:02

Ugh.. I just missed sub-20 by 2 seconds!! Going out too fast?  Not lined up correctly?  Yeah... probably both because if I was lined up correctly I wouldn't have done those unnecessary sprints to get open.  The course itself was pretty flat.  An uphill at the start and during mile 2 but it's really nothing.

Now some funky math later and you get 6:27 pace!  Whoa!  That was good enough for 8th out of 104 or 34th overall.

Post-race food grub was good.  G3 Recovery Gatorade, Water, G2 Gatorade, Pop, Granola Bar, Fruit, Sheridan's, Krispy Kremes (yeah, I replenished those 600 calories in no time... but that was by design with the 50 mile ride looming).  I will say I was quite surprised and pleased with the G3 Recovery  (Yes... I've gotten over the nasty taste). I'm sure they didn't have 4,500 of them but at least the first few hundred got one.

Good, Bad, Ugly, The Standard
I'm not going to get into it.  This is for a good cause.  If you are trying to decide to do this race based off of my race report... well, don't be dumb and just register.

Enough of all that. The really AWESOME part of this race was TKB also ran and she KICKED BUTT!  She doesn't fancy those boring longer distance runs and enjoys to dabble in the 5k market a few times a year.  She was able to do this race without walking!  Thanks to her time with the personal trainer, she no longer needs to run with the knee brace.  I'm so proud of her!

Dang #1681 is speedy cute!
I'll see if I can convince her to do a guest race report for you!

The Proof

Holy crap!  A race photo of me that actually looks decent!

Holy Crap!  Or rather, it looks like I'm going to take one.  This one isn't quite so flattering.
Shane flying in for a 5K PR! 
Photo of Heather (behind the grey shirt... thanks for ruining my shot, grey), Valerie, TKB, and Karen.  And some happy guy.

The girls again.  TKB, Heather, Valerie, and Karen.

Mark with Alex in arm and Heather & Shane's 2 year old cruising to the finish in the 50 meter dash! 

Little Lucas running from the scary Sporting KC mascot.

Two Words: Own It.

Post-Race Shot.  The Racin' Bowlings.  I love this photo!

Sorry.. per usually this is much longer than normal.  Race Report of Saturday's North Face Endurance Challenge coming in the next few days!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Race Report: Jackson County Triathlon Long Course

Pre-Race routine is pretty... well... routine.  Wake up at 4:30am, toasted bagel with peanut butter, banana, sunblock up, and tri clothes on.... and try to remember to suck down water.  I had my transition bag packed with confidence due to my trusty checklist:

Thanks to the anality of my day job, I document everything.
Yes.  I have each one for each race.  I will blog about this some day soon.
We left our house and picked up Heather and Shane around 5:30am.  On the way there we saw a couple cars with bikes on their racks.  We followed one closely all the way to the race site (drafting is only illegal during the bike course!).  After arriving we parked next to that same car and found out one of the riders/triathletes works at Cycle City.  Between Shane and I, our car had a few thousand dollars worth of bikes and equipment that came from CC.  Needless to say, she recognized us (regardless if she ACTUALLY did or not).  Irony... she had to borrow my air pump.  As it turns out this was Tarah from the shop and my understanding is she is the sister of the owner, Joe.  She kicked butt and got third in her age group.

Thanks to a text from Joe VI the day before, I was not surprised to see the racking system used.  Instead of having the typical bar to prop your bike on, it was essentially a box with slits on it to put the tires into.  I didn't have very many issues with this but it was different.  It was just a little nerve racking placing your bike into something that pinches the wheel to keep the bike from starting a domino track. After setup, we had about 45 minutes to get settled.  By settled I mean hanging out in the port-a-john line.  It was quite long (about the length of the transition area) but it went quickly. 

A photo of the transition area while we were on the bike course.  Here is an example of these tray bike holders.

About this time they announced that the water was just under the 78 degree temp to make the race wetsuit legal.  I DID actually bring my wetsuit in the event it would be allowed but elected not to wear it.  It probably would have been smart to get another swim in with the suit before Beach2Battleship 70.3.  I would probably benefit from the speed for the 1000 meters we were about to cover versus the time to take it off.

The remainder of the 45 minutes went quickly as I bumped into a bunch of peeps, including Travis (and his friend Michael who just completed his first triathlon!) and Mark from Twitter.  Mark has a blog I follow as well.  No.. not that Mark.  While we were setting up our transition area, I recognized a guy from work a few slots away.  He was the guy who bowed out of the corporate challenge triathlon that took me out of backup role to participant role.  Austin had elected to do Ironman Kansas instead.

On the way down to the beach I finally ran into Ryan from Twitter and of his many b l ogs.  Last October after finishing the KC Marathon I did a search for #kcmarathon and found a few Twitter users who had ran the marathon.  Ryan was one of them.  So nearly 10 months after the KC Marathon, I finally met up with him.

Shane,  Joe VI, and I continued over to the swim start.  Mark joined up with us and listened to the pre-race meeting.  A lot of information given and not the easily to follow.  I knew I wouldn't be in front for the swim, so I decided to follow the leader (Ryan being one of them). 

Swim - 1000 Meters
My goals for the swim was less than 20 minutes.  I was disappointed with the Shawnee Mission Park Tri swim time of 22 minutes so this was a chance to fix that.

I'm the the only one hip enough to have color matching tri tank and swim cap.
I quickly learned that the swim was very odd.  I have read a few posts about it and I've seen other races do it too but to see it in person was quite interesting.  Basically, you start at one end of the beach and swim out about 25 - 50 meters.  Turn left and swim ~400 meters.  Turn left again and swim towards the beach.  Once you hit ground, get out of the water and run back to the start to do it again.  

So at 7:30am we were released like a bucket full of carp.  I lined up on the inside and ran as far as I could before jumping into the water.  The first turn came quickly and "time to sharpen the elbows".  It was bit nasty.  Similar to Tinman, I never really got into the groove before we had to turn back to the beach.  I touched ground and start running.  I decided to take a different route back than most people and stayed as close to the water as possible where the ground was more compact.  It allowed me to pass a few people.  I'll take whatever advantage I can get.

Time to dive back in.  At this point I heard the Race Director (RD for short, I will probably refer to him a lot.. yeah, not a good sign) count down for the third wave.. "10... 9... 8...".  HOLY CRAP!  I dove in and sprinted as hard as I could.  I was about to get nailed and, boy, did I. I thought about treading water off to the side to allow the more capable swimmers pass but I kept with it... even though I was being boxed in.

I got out of the water and trotted to the transition area, extremely glad to have that over.

I'm going to jump a few sections here.  After I got settled on the bike for a mile or so, I looked at my 310xt to gage my overall time.  It read 16 minutes.  What?  Something's not right?  

Time: 9:57 / 1:00 (?!?!?!)
Rank: 16 Age Group / 102 Overall

Yeah.  Something was SERIOUSLY screwed up here.  The total swim distance was less than 500 meters.  At least everyone swam the same route.  And it wasn't the third wave the beat me up, it was the second wave. Now if I had chosen to wear the wetsuit, it would have most certainly slowed me down.

Transition 1

Nothing special here.  Everything went as planned.  My mount was less than spectacular.  I'll work on that next year or two.

Exiting the swim.  I'm not holding my arms close to the body because I'm cold, that's just how I run --- like a turkey ready to be cooked for Thanksgiving
Time: 1:39
Rank: 9 AG

Bike - 25.5 Miles

Long distance participants do two loops of the course.  Since I rode the course on the previous Wednesday with Shane, Joe VI, and Lauren, I felt comfortable with my race plan.  Get up the first hill and plow through the next 7 miles until I meet the hill again.

As you may notice with the swim photos, it was foggy.  I could barely see 300 feet in front of me  for most of the first lap.  I kept my sunglasses on as I am blind as a bat without them but they were fogging up as well.  It was really pretty, actually, I wish I had one of those bike mounted video cameras.

As I turned off of Raytown Road onto High Grove Road, I caught up with Ryan on the bike.  He nailed the swim but with the shorter distance swim, I happened to catch up on the bike.  I figured the only time I'd see Ryan again was during the post-race "party".  I passed him just ahead of the hill and asked him if he was on his second lap. Now looking ahead my immediate thought was doubt.  Crap.  What am I doing wrong?  Ryan will probably blow by me in the next 30 minutes as I push hard too early.  I decided to stick with my plan and race my own race.

The hill was nasty but I kept the bike in double digits.  Being as foggy as it was, I couldn't see where it crested but since I entered the course in my Edge 800, I just waited until it told me the turn a was .15 miles ahead and sprinted the rest of the way up the hill to the turn.  It didn't take too long until Mark blew by me on Hook Road.  He said something to me but it just sounded like a sonic boom as he passed.

This race has its own little "Warrior Dash"-esque obstacle.  There is a wood bridge on Sampson Road. They've tried multiple ways in the past to make it safe for participants but this time it was "at your own risk".  You basically have to ride the tire tracks or it will be a very bumpy ride.  When you consider the recent rains, the wooden boards were slick but I took it 'safely' at 25 mph.  Both times after the bridge I took in a Gu packet.

I was happy to see all my splits at 20+.  It was a good feeling considering you effectively have to hit that hill four times (two loops and you hit it on both sides).  Of course, what goes up must come down, so there was plenty of time to pick the speed back up.

My only gripe about this is they did a great job marking the turns except the most important one: the turn around. Now it is the participant's responsibility to know the course; however, I was concerned I missed it back on High Grove Road. It was actually just before the turn into the beach on Raytown Road.  Everyone in front of me were short distance participants or other people who were confused.  After I turned around, I saw other people follow.  Heather and Tricia did mention they saw some riders take the turn towards the beach and then back out.

Time: 1:07:32 / 22.7 mph average
Rank: 11 AG / 60 OA

As I already mentioned, I am very happy with this bike.  There is definitely some room for improvement but I'll take this any race right now.

NOTE:  The 22.7 mph average is on the race results.  If I look at my Garmin, I see a distance of 23.03 and not 25.53 miles as the 22.7 is based.  My Garmin showed an average of 20.7 mph.  I wonder where that 2.5 miles went?  Maybe I turned around WAY to soon!?  Hmm.

Transition 2
Flying dismount.  Rack the bike.  Struggle with my socks AGAIN. Need to man-up and go sockless.

I blew a kiss to TKB and off!

Check this out, ladies!             I can run with a cup of water.
Photo Credit: Heather

Time: 1:22
Rank: 5 AG

Run - 5 Miles
As I mentioned earlier, I rode the bike course Wednesday night. I followed that up with a brick run.  That run gave me a ton of confidence as I was hitting some 8:00 minute splits with my heart rate in check.  So I was planning to dig a little deeper on race day.  I had a impromptu target of trying to eek out a 7:00 minute mile on the last mile. 

For the second race in a row, one of the guys I follow posted a quote that stuck in my mind during the race.  It was:

If you don't follow @SteveInASpeedo or read his blog, http://iwannagetphysical.blogspot.com/, then you need to reevaluate your priorities in life.
This was my mantra for the run.  I decided to visualize it... almost cartoon-like.  The pain was in the legs.  I wouldn't let that pain go above the waist.  As long as I did that, I kept suffering at bay and just cruised.  This is purely mental.  It was easier than I thought but the legs did yell the entire time.  I'm sure as I try to go faster, it will be more difficult until my body acclimates to the speed.

My first two miles were 7:35 and 7:29 respectively.  I saw Mark on his way back to the finish.  That guy is speedy. My third mile was 7:30.  It should have been about 5 - 10 seconds faster though.  Since this was a 5 mile out and back, there would be a turn around at mile marker 2.5.  I was fast approaching two other runners as my Garmin clicked past 2.5 miles.  I noticed some guy about 10 feet off the path and there was a bucket on the side of the path.  I thought maybe it was some guy with fishing gear.  The two guys in front of me kept going so I passed the bucket but then the fisherman yelled at me.  I stopped and then finally realized he was telling me it was the turn around.  Seriously?  A guy and a bucket?  Come on RD!  You've got to be kidding me!  Joe VI did say that by the time he got to the turn-around, the guy had pulled a dead tree limb onto the path to block people.  That makes sense but wouldn't it be easier to bark at people to turn around or maybe a sign?

I turned around and took off in disbelief.  I immediately knew to settle my nerves so I could focus on my mantra.  I decided to ease the nerves by telling the next 30 or so participants that the turn around was at the bucket.  For one thing the race map indicated the run would cross underneath High Grove Road but it didn't.  So I wasn't expecting the turn-around until after the underpass.  My mistake for trying to know the course ahead of time.

Once I heard the beep that mile 4 was completed in 7:40 minutes, it was time to kick it up!  For the first 1/2 mile I was getting close to 7:00 minutes but then it trailed off.  Dang it!  I had one guy pass me at this point who was in my age group around 4.25 miles but just couldn't muster the extra speed.

Time: 38:20 / 7:40
Rank: 10 AG / 63 OA


Time: 1:58:48
Rank: 10 of 34 Age Group / 51 of 253 Overall

My goal splits for this race were 20 minutes for the swim, 1 hour 25 minutes for the bike (18 mph), and 40 minutes (8 min miles) for the run.  Considering transitions, this put me at 2:30. Given the shortened swim and bike distances, that changes to 10 min / 1:17 / 40 min / +4 min for transitions = a new goal time of 2:11 hours.  I beat that by 13 minutes!  Love it!

This was triathlon number five for me.  Not just this year but ever.  I think back to the first one I did in May which I showed up by myself, not knowing anyone or what to do when I got there. I remember seeing other triathletes doing their setup and chatting with others.  I don't try to size myself up to others like this but finally had my own group of folks to chat things up from Twitter and Dailymile and work or other races.  Don't get me wrong, I love my friends and having them compete with me.  In fact, I thought it was awesome to be there with Heather and Shane, who I have connections with going back to 6 years of age and getting to race in a triathlon with Joe VI for the first time.  He made his comeback at this race after being out for two years.  I also enjoyed meeting for the first time or seeing again athletes like Travis, Ryan, Mark (who got first in our age group!), Lori, Ashley (first in her age group!), Mark from the YMCA, and others (I may have forgotten one or two!)... both during the pre/post-race but also on the course.  It really did add to the experience.  I'm glad to have cracked my introverted shell a bit.  

The Breakdown
  • The Good
    • Packet Pickup:  Love having packet pickup 5 minutes from my house.
    • Weather:  The fog really didn't hamper my race any and the overall temps were perfect.  Maybe a bit warmer on the run.
    • Water/Pop/Beer immediately available in the finishers area.
    • Informative website.
    • I was able to make up the word "anality" for use in this post.
  • The Bad
    • Let's just say the overall execution of this race was sub-standard.  Sure, it started on time but it kind of went downhill from there.  Screwed-up swim distance, lack of signage for the turn-around on the bike and run.  According to Ryan, the RD blamed the swim problems on the overnight wind and lifeguards who directed swimmers to turn to the beach too early.  I've talked about this enough already, so I won't dig anymore. I promise.  
    • They did have fruit for finishers to eat but I didn't find it until well after I completed.  It was off to the side.
    • No gatorade/yogurt/chocolate milk post-race.  I consider these a staple at events that take 2+ hours for most participants.  Maybe I shouldn't.
    • If I hadn't waited in the 10 minute line to get my time I wouldn't care about my time being screwed up.  It said my swim was actually 39:57.  I went back right before I left and it was corrected.
  • The Standard
    • Packet Pickup. Fast and efficient. 
    • Goodie bag.  Chomps, discount to Cycle City, T-shirt, Bib, Lava magazine
    • Communication.  Web site was informative.  I don't think I got a single e-mail communication.
    • Aid Stations: One every mile on the run, including mile 0.  A couple stations were doing made to order water/gatorade, which I thought was odd.  Whatever, I got what I wanted.
    • Post-Race.  I touched on that above.  Mixed bag.
    • Parking.  Good.
    • Porties.  10 - 15 holes.  Long line but it went quickly.  Wish I had.
    • Volunteers.  Nice and friendly.  Could have used one more on the bike turn-around (sorry, I'll stop now).
Considering this race is in it's 29th year, I would think some of these issues wouldn't be showing up.  I will probably reconsider doing this race or any KLM races in the future.  Considering that I love doing triathlons now, I will probably conveniently forget that comment when deciding on races for next year.  This is truly one of the last large tri's in the area, so it's hard not to do it.

The Proof
Reflecting on the fun that is about to begin.
While some people might not care for the yellow tri top, I think it made it much easier for people to recognize me from the twitter and dailymile universe.

Shane, Me, and Joe VI about to get beat up in the swim.

A photo of Shane running to start the second lap.  Let's just title this one "First Place".
Photo Credit: Heather

Joe is on my tail... 5 seconds behind me.

Shane exiting the swim.  He always gets to the picturesque photos.
Joe VI starting lap two.  Hopping out of the saddle to blast past that Explorer. YOU GET IT JOE!!
Looks like Shane is about to get smacked in the butt by the spectator.  Watch it!
2/3's done Joe!  Way to celebrate!
Shane also gets the great action shots.
Post-race... Travis joined us for the photo!
People may also recognize me because I'm so freakishly tall.

I found a new use for the pocket on my tri tank.  Going to use this for hydration at Beach2Battleship 70.3.

Chatting it up with the Godfather of the local Twitter triathlon scene, Ryan, and his wife Emily. 
Time to go home, clean up, eat some brunch, and nap.

Forget Photo finishes... CHECK OUT THESE VIDOES!  Thanks Heather!  Great idea!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 8

Weekly Training
  • Swim: 4200 meters (3500 meters planned)
  • Bike: 64.88 miles (80 miles planned)
  • Run: 15.65 miles / 2:09 hours (2:35 hours planned)
  • Weights: 0 
  • Volleyball:  0-3.  At least we are consistent
  • Overall: 83.24 miles in 7:07 hours
This was recovery week #2 and before you think that I fell off my training plan, it was because I participated in the Jackson County Triathlon on Sunday.  I wasn't able to get in the full 70 minute run and 35 mile bike ride over the weekend.  If I had met the training plan, it means that I really missed the turn around on the run and got lost on the bike course.  Thankfully neither of those happened, but close.  More on that in the race report I plan to type up soon.

On Wednesday Joe VI, Lauren, Shane, and I met up at Longview Lake to ride the bike course.  I am very glad I did because it give me confidence on that 1/2 mile long hill that I effectively had to ride four times.  I also stayed back and did a brick run.  This run gave me even MORE confidence as I felt great!  The heart rate was in check and I was clocking 7:30 minute miles.  I decided to bring it back to an 8:00 minute pace just to make sure I did't overdo it.  

Last week turned out to be fairly busy, so I wasn't able to give the blog as much attention as I had hoped.  I generally try to get in a couple posts a week, considering that I have a tendency to write novels.  No guarantees on this week either, but I will get the race report out.

  • The North Face Endurance Challenge is this weekend.  I am doing a marathon relay race with Joe VI, Kristen, and Mike.
  • In addition, I am running the Head for The Cure 5K this year with Shane, Heather (Shane's wife and a friend of mine since kindergarten), and family.  Heather's brother is in remission from brain cancer and so we are participating to help support brain cancer research.  Mark is one tough man and I am happy to be out there to support him!
  • Because of the TWO races, I will probably struggle to meet my training goals this weekend but I am planning a 50 mile bike ride Sunday afternoon.  I'll probably get 80 minutes of running in, I just won't do it at one time.
  • Still have some blog posts brewing that I've been wanting to work on.  (Yes, this is almost the exact same comment from last week.. I should probably always leave it in my upcoming section)
Race Photos
To wet your appetite, I've included a couple photos from Sunday.  The fog was beautiful for pictures but a bit of pain to race in.

Pretty... the fog, not me (in yellow)
Trying a new aero position.  I think it needs some work. 
For the record, the guy in blue was doing the short course.

Joe VI skipping his way to the finish.

Shane keeping the competition behind him!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 7

I interrupt this blog post!
After my workouts from the weekend prior, I was tired of feeling... tired.  So I left a message on our local resource for triathlon training information, Falkee Triathlon's I Tri Because I Can.  Ryan is known for doing 50 mile rides before work, so I knew he had some experience in rebounding from hard workouts.  I left a comment on one of Ryan's posts where he reviewed a recovery drink.  He was nice enough to give me a full post response.

I think I will try a couple things, such as better ride nutrition.  While I have improved consuming solids, I think there are more nutrient opportunities in my water bottles.  Ryan also has some post-recovery drink options I may try out as well.  Overall I think I do OK with my day-to-day nutrition -- if anything it probably lacks protein and healthy fats.  I could always drink more water on a day-to-day basis.

Weekly Training
  • Swim: 4500 meters (4500 meters planned)
  • Bike: 103.24 miles (100 miles planned)
  • Run: 20.06 miles / 3:06 hours (3:05 hours planned)
  • Weights: 0 
  • Volleyball:  1-2... I think.  
  • Overall: 126 miles in 10:40 hours
BAM!  10 hours in the books!  I almost didn't get it done.  Starting Wednesday night I've been having trouble sleeping and it kept being a problem to the point that I was just too tired on Saturday morning.  We were about to head out to Des Moines for the day on Saturday when TKB said she was going to go for a run so I went with.  Even though I had given up on the run for the day, I strapped on the shoes.  As TKB was turning back to the house, I decided to add a few more miles.  I then ended up going the full 80 minutes.  Throw on a trip to Des Moines, IA and back on Saturday and I was sure to sleep well!

I have always been a fidgety sleeper but it was really bad this past week.  My legs were sore and the only way to soothe them was to move them.  Even my arms and back had a similar "itch".  Thursday it got so bad that I actually hopped in a warm shower around midnight to calm the muscles (plus to clean of some sand left over from volleyball earlier that evening).  So on Friday I looked up information on Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).  As a kid I had "growing pains" quite a bit, so I wasn't surprised that RLS is the adult label for it.

I may have mentioned before that at my physical last year that the doctor informed me that I have an iron deficiency and he asked me to take a multi-vitamin with iron.  In researching RLS I discovered that it can manifest in people with iron deficiency.  While in Des Moines I picked up an iron supplement to add to my diet of vitamins.  In the two days of taking the supplement, I have not had any sleeping issues but I think that is a huge coincidence.  Let's give it a week or two before I call it good.

If anything, taking the iron supplements may actually help my training.  Iron is a critical mineral in helping your blood carry oxygen throughout the body.  More oxygen means more efficient aerobic exercising.  I hope USAT doesn't test for high levels of iron.  I'm going to be an Ironman somehow!

  • Jackson County Triathlon is this weekend.  Thanks to Mark for the heads up on the bike course based on his experience last year.  I think I'm going to ride the course on Wednesday.  Anyone with me?
  • Still have some blog posts brewing that I've been wanting to work on, maybe they will have a chance to fully perk since this is recovery week.
  • TKB registered us for a 5K race in a couple weeks.  Working on the announcement.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Snooze and lose.

I think 6 straight days of training that equates to 10 hours of sweating (seriously, 10 hours... or 10 hours, 00 minutes, and 53 seconds) finally made my body say "WTF!!"  When I turned off the alarm this morning, I apparently hit the snooze 5 times and was late to the gym.  Prior to having a training plan, I would have just said "screw it" and went into work.  But I hopped out of the bed and into the car in record time.

I prefer to get to the gym as it opens so I get a choice of lane and not have to deal with bugging people to share lanes, especially if there are already two people in every lane.  This is irrational, I know.  I rarely even ask people. If they are already swimming in half of the lane it's an open invite to split.  Thursdays do tend to be busier than my other two swim days.  I guess it's because people realize the week is almost over and try to eek in a workout before the weekend?

Without a Plan, You May Fail
I've tried holding off on saying this in order to not jinx myself… but here we go:  I have yet to truly miss a training day.  While I haven't necessarily done my workout on the prescribed day, I did get it in either day before/after OR flip flopped workout days.  In order to avoid the heat, I've shifted workouts from after work to 4:00am or 9:00pm. I've also been blessed with a relatively accommodating work schedule this summer (Thank you, clients!).

The only time I have missed the planned mileage/time was the one weekend I had a triathlon scheduled.  Fortunately, the triathlon distances were relatively close to what I was suppose to do that weekend anyway.  Right now, I only have 3 events on the books leading up to Beach2Battleship: Jackson County Triathlon Olympic on August 20, The North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay on August 27, and Kansas City Half-Marathon on October 15.  I still plan to work with them and get close to my distances anyway.  The running races may turn into a nice brick session!

Yesterday I decided to get up at 3:45am (or so) and get my 30 mile bike ride in as the weather was looking to be stormy in the evening.  I got it in and was to work on time!  Talk about being lucky though. I had a meeting that evening that I totally forgot about.  If I had not gotten my ride in that morning, it likely would have been my first workout I would have missed.  Whew!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 6

Weekly Training
  • Swim: 4250 meters (4250 meters planned)
  • Bike: 96.15 miles (95 miles planned)
  • Run: 18.64 miles / 2:40 hours (2:40 hours planned)
  • Weights: 0 
  • Volleyball:  1-2
  • Overall: 117 miles in 9:51 hours
I didn't get outside until Thursday at 4:30am this training week.  It was just simply too hot to go outside with Tuesday being the hottest day in about a decade.  I did two trainer rides of 25 miles each and treadmill run at the YMCA.  This weekend, fortunately, fully redeemed itself.  I enjoyed a great 46 mile ride on Saturday with some peeps from Dailymile and this mornings's run was in the 70s.  

This weekend I have just been worn out from all the training.  I took a 2 hour nap yesterday and pretty much the same thing today.  In my post yesterday I commented about recovery drinks but I also wonder if I am getting enough carbs in preparation for the weekend's training.  Maybe Friday night I'll fix a pasta dinner and see.  I have a similar workout schedule next weekend with 45 miles on the bike and an 80 minute run.  We have a family reunion in Des Moines, IA so it's especially important because I'll have a long drive ahead of me.

I've been debating about skipping a workout just to get some extra rest in but right now the midweek workouts haven't been an issue.  Since my evening workouts generally finish about an hour before bed, I may be getting the necessary sleep in (but maybe not enough of sleep!).  I have not included the strength training like I've wanted to just make sure I get enough sleep in.

  • One more week of training before my recovery week. Looking forward to it!
  • Two weeks until my next triathlon, the Jackson Country Triathlon.
  • I've been meaning to post about my training plan, so I'll try to get that in this week.
  • In addition, I had something funny happen during my ride back home that I meant to include yesterday.  Maybe it deserves it's own post. Yes... there is a very slight possibility that it was only funny to me.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

4 Cyclist In The Road and Another One Said "Keeping Rolling"....

I may have mentioned in the past that I typically train alone.  There is something to be said about being lost in your thoughts... I mean, uh.. focused on heart rate zone, form, nutrition, yada yada yada.  I have very much expanded my horizons by doing training swims/rides/runs with Joe, open water swims with Ashley, and this year I've further expanded that into the realm of social media.  If you are reading this, then you are likely participating in that.  I started a special twitter account and have started to log my training on DailyMile.

From twitter I have met up with Mark (found here and here) and today I met up with Lori from DailyMile, along with a couple of her friends.  They are great people, but I must say, I still get a Lifetime Movie Network feeling that I'm not going to make it home... just for a brief second.  I left the house at 6:30am so I would hit the Embassy Suites at 7:00am.  On the ride to Embassy Suites, I chatted with another cyclist who was just getting started with triathlons.  At first I thought maybe it was another YMCA member who I've been chatting with that is also starting out with triathlons and just didn't recognize him.  It's definitely easy to make friends when you are riding bikes just like when you were 10 but this time you are wearing lycra.

I gave Lori a heads up about what I was wearing but thought that was silly.  Uh.. I'll be the only guy riding a bike into Embassy Suites parking lot, likely to the only person unloading her bike.  Boy was I wrong.  There were about 5 cars there with people unloading bikes but by the time we left, the parking lot was full of cyclists!  That theme continued for the entire ride.  We passed or were passed by probably 100+ cyclists, including a couple group rides.  It was as if the road was blocked off for a bike race.

Lori and her friends finished the Interurban route to Dearborn but I split off a few miles before and turned around.  We averaged 15mph heading out there but I got about 12 miles at 20mph+ on the way back.  Interurban has some good terrain for higher speed rides if you are willing to push it.  Having a tailwind helped.

Today was another day of training distance firsts.  I passed last week's cycling distance record of 40 miles by 6 to hit 46 miles.  The next three weekends present a slight challenge getting the distances in.  We have family reunions scheduled as well as two races within that timeframe.

This is leading me to my next big question of training.  It was actually something I was focusing on near the end of my marathon training last year, recovery nutrition.  These long training rides/runs are very physically taxing as I push my distance records.  I'm trying to find a good mix of protein and carbs for my body to use to aid and speed healing.  When I got home I immediately cooked a couple eggs, ate some greek yogurt and drank a G2 Gatorade.  I did not drink the G3 (Gatorade's Recovery drink) since I was getting plenty of protein from the eggs and yogurt.

I realize I'm still going to need a nap,t he nutrients alone aren't going to be enough.  I laid down for 2 - 3 hours of snoozing was still zapped.  I do truly believe that if you are going to nap, you probably shouldn't do it for more than 30 minutes to an hour.  I normally set an egg timer but didn't this time, so maybe that's why I still felt like a zombie this evening.  We'll see how well I sleep tonight.

I'm researching recovery drinks, so if you have one that you think does the job, let me know.  I've been using Gatorade G3 Recovery and I also have some Chocolate Coconut Water, which is rumored to help.   I'm looking for something that I can probably take to the YMCA with me and drink while heading into work after a workout.

Oh.. and by researching recovery drinks, I mean asking the resident triathlon expert, Ryan.  He's racing in the Ironman Boulder 70.3 tomorrow... good luck!