Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is This Carbon Fiber?

A video I posted on my Facebook wall last Wednesday which I found from someone on dailymile.  I am putting this up because I will be giving my website out to a bunch of people in preparation for my upcoming trip to Bangkok, Thailand!  I plan to update this site with photos and dialog of the trip.

I'm just assuming many people will think I'm "one of those guys" with an athlete blog, so hopefully it will give them a little kick out of a video making fun of "one of those guys".

Monday, January 30, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Groundhog Run 5k

The goal of this race was to do the 3.1 mile run in under 20 minutes.  This necessitated running that distance around a 6:26 minute per mile pace.  My PR for this race is 20:02, which I did back in August.  It sure seems like an attainable goal.

Unfortunately, I came nowhere close to meeting that goal.  I completed the race in 22:13.  I knew even a month ago that it was going to be extremely difficult. Back in August I was in the midst of half-ironman training.  I was completing weeks of 110+ miles running/biking/swimming.  This last month and a half I was doing 20 mile weeks solely on running.  I managed to keep my weight throughout the holidays but I am still 10 pounds heavier than back in August.  While these may seem like excuses... well, they are.  I didn't train properly to achieve the goal.  While I was doing intervals at pace I never attempted a sub-20 5k during any of my training runs.

To be honest with myself, running a sub-20 5k doesn't meet my goal for this year: qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  To qualify for Boston, I have to run a 3:10 marathon, which is a 7:14 pace.  When you take that into consideration, I easily met my secondary goal of a 7:10 pace for the race!  I would love to get that sub-20 performance but right now I'm readjusting my expectations for this year to continue increasing my distance at the 7:14 or below pace.  So no sub-40 10k, but instead a sub-45 minute 10k. (that doesn't mean I won't gun for a sub-40!)

My running clothes mixed in with my packing clothes/supplies.

I love the Groundhog Run because the 5k starts at 9am and the 10k at 10am.  So no need to get up way early (or to bed way early!)  I can tell I didn't have my head/heart into this race because I almost left the house without my timing chip.  I did have everything set out the night before but that.  Breakfast was a bagel with PB and a banana.

We arrived a little after 8:00am.  This year the organizers had shuttles from Ameristar Casino.  I would recommend next year to take the spur through Randolph to avoid the traffic into the main casino entrance.  Well, that is if you don't have a VIP parking pass which parks you in front of the entrance to the cave.

Joe VI and I met at the entrance and we then walked over to the port-a-johns.  We finally took care of business there about 8:45, in which we jogged over to the start.  We wanted to start in the first 5 feet of the participants to make it easier for our goal by not having to weave through slower participants.  We got a warm-up run in to get the heart beating.  (NOTE: Next year, do the warm-up jog before hitting the port-a-johns.  There was one at the first aid station that would have saved some time).

It was a little weird starting so close but fun.  Once the race started, we took off.  I was working with my footpod for pace, but I knew wasn't properly calibrated but mostly accurate.  I hit around a 6:30 pace but soon I heard Joe say "run your pace", which I took as he was following my pace.  I later found out he was telling me I was going out too fast.  After about 1/2 of a mile, I could tell I was slowing down and couldn't do anything about it.

About this time I was having a problem with an extremely dry mouth.  I needed water but only to try to resolve that.  I hit the first mile marker and hit my lap button: 6:24.  Wow!  Right on target!  Granted, the first half of that mile was around 6:00 minute pace with the second half near 7:00 minute pace.

Mile 2 was a bit of a blur but the one thing I remember was Joe passing me.  I did grab a cup of water but only to get some water in the mouth, not for hydration reasonings.  I clicked off mile 2 at 7:35 pace.  Yeah, I was definitely going to fail at my sub-20.

Reality settled in and I just tried to do what I could.  I was breathing hard and my throat and lungs began to hurt and my stomach was beginning to give me the evil eye.  I was also getting that metallic/bloody taste in the back of my throat. At about the 18 minute mark I had a girl start chatting with me.  I can't exactly remember what she said.  Maybe she was asking for the time or maybe commenting on almost being done.  I just mumbled something about I've missed my goal and let's just get it over.  Mile 3 hit at 7:31.  I was speeding up!

I hit the boosters and started passing people again.  It felt good to get things moving faster.  I finished the last .1 miles in 43 seconds (or a pace of 7:10).

Finish 22:13
115th overall
11th in Age Group

I was somewhat disappointed with myself but I had been preparing myself for the reality during the previous week.  This has really been the first time I've setup a goal with racing events and failed.  I'm definitely learning from it. I knew my training wasn't good enough but I also need to make sure my short-term goals meeting my long-term goals.

After talking with co-workers who also participated this year, they had similar problems with dry mouth.  The caves are naturally warm (around mid-60s); however, they really is no ventilation system so the air is dry and stale.  This makes it difficult to breath in some moist air.  I don't remember having this issue last year but I wasn't running at the same level.

Joe VI, TKB, Lauren, Joe VII and I went to First Watch for breakfast and then we went home for a nap....  a nap that lasted 4 hours.  I couldn't believe it.  I was still having a hard time with my throat/lungs with some nasty coughing but managed to get some rest in.  A day later everything is back to normal but the whole event took a big toll on me.

Lessons Learned

  • Warm-up run before the race and use the port-a-john at the first aid station.
  • Calibrate the Footpod or use other means for pacing.  Joe listened to music that had an appropriate beats per minute.
  • Hydration is again key.  I'm not sure if having downed 2 gallons of water the few days before would have helped with the stale air, but maybe it would have done something.

Joe VI... aka  "The grey blur" crossing the finish line.

Joe VI getting some ITB treatment.

Maybe we should have taken this on the route instead of running.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Race Schedule & The Missing ScottyTris

Well, it's been about 3 weeks since my last blog post.  I never thought I'd go that long.  I have definitely not given up on this thing.  I've just been distracted by my upcoming trip to Bangkok and a large project at home that's been taking my time away from this, Twitter, Facebook, and any other distraction.  I think my Google Reader got up to 1,000+ articles before I finally got to it.  The fortunate thing is I'm still posting to Twitter and Facebook.... my Dailymile workouts!  So I'm still getting the training in but it's been mostly focused on running.

Tricia took me to a CrossFit class her trainer put on for YMCA members last Saturday.  It was definitely a challenge and I recognize the fact that I have neglected my strength training.  Since I've been focusing on running, I do have more days off and should take advantage of strength training opportunities.  Lately my workouts have been long runs (8 - 10 miles), intervals, or threshold runs (running at an elevated heart rate, near or over the anaerobic level).  I have been riding my bike and did get a swim in last week.  So I'm not completely neglecting the "Tris" portion of the site.

So here it is, my 2012 Race Schedule.  Joe and I started this back in October and this is the current state.

January 29 - Groundhog Run 5K
I return to the Hunt Midwest Subtropolis for a second year, but this time I'm running the 5k and I'm gunning for a sub-20 performance.  Why not?  No matter the temperature outside, the caves are in the 60° range and FLAT.  My 5K PR is 20:02 so I want to beat it.  The problem is I got that after 2 months of half-ironman training.  This time I'll be about 6 mostly-solid weeks of training in but without the additional cross-training.  Should be interesting.  The holidays didn't do me well either.  I'm about 7 pounds heavier than that race.

April 1 - Brew-to-Brew
The annual 44 mile relay race between Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City, MO to Free State Brewery in Lawrence, KS.  No time goals just planning to have a good time with friends and family since I will have just returned from Bangkok.

April 7 - Race for Mercy 10k
The goal for this race is to go sub-40 minutes.  I'm hoping to continue speed work while I'm in Bangkok, but to add distance.  This will require the same 6:25 pace performance as Groundhog Run... but twice the distance.  To be honest, I was hoping to do the Rock The Parkway 10k but they didn't plan one this year. Oh well, this race is for a good cause!

June 2 - Hospital Hill Half-Marathon
The goal for this race is to PR at 1:35.  I would put down 1:30 but I'm adding 5 minutes for hills. We'll just see what happens, won't we?  Looking forward to getting the second of three puzzle pieces that is the finishers medal.

Starting the sixth month of the year and I am still just scheduled for road races.  When I put it in that perspective, I may put KC Tri in May.  As you can tell I'm working on getting my pace down while adding distance throughout the year.  I really want to focus on running this year to BQ but I really do enjoy triathlons.

June 16 - Grandma's Marathon (Pending)
Within the last couple weeks, Joe VI and I have been discussing this race.  I know I won't be ready to BQ a marathon but it might be a good idea for Joe to get a marathon under his belt before trying to BQ.  I think the mental game of 26.2 miles is as much a challenge as the physical. We'll see if it sticks.

Other June Races:
Corporate Challenge Tri - If I get asked, I will do it this year.  It's likely the same weekend as Ironman KS again, so I'll have a chance to do well again this year!
Topeka Tinman - Maybe if Grandma's doesn't happen, I'll do Topeka.  I really did enjoy this race last year.

July - Shawnee Mission Triathlon Long Course
I really enjoyed this race last year and, frankly, I love the t-shirt.  So hoping they give out a similar designed and sized one.  I know it's dumb, but it's true.  It says 'TRIATHLETE' in big letters on the back and is long enough to cover my lanky torso.  It maybe my first time to compete against some of my twitter Tri peeps again.

August - Jackson County Tri
I know I ripped on this race last year but I'm hoping for another triathlon to keep the cross training up.

HOA Marathon - Sept 3rd
BQ Attempt #1.  This would be to BQ for 2013 Boston.  I was looking for a marathon near the beginning of September to make the cut-off and this one was close enough it didn't require a lot of travel (Columbia, MO).  I'm not sure if it will stay on the list but it's a good placeholder.  Just want something before the 20th of September (or so).

Chicago Marathon - October 7th
My "A" Race.  "A" also stands for Anniversary as it will be TKB and my 11 year anniversary!!  This is my target BQ race, unfortunately it's after the 2013 Boston cut-off so it will have to be for 2014.  I'm fine with that because pre-planning for 2013 season involves an ultra-marathon a few weeks before the 2013 Boston Marathon.

California International Marathon - December 2nd
Backup BQ race.  It's downhill, what more is there to say? We haven't really discussed this race much but it's near Joe VI's hometown, so seems to make sense.

As you can see, it's geared to getting fast in the first half of the year.  And then spending the following 3 - 4 months building distance upon that speed.  I have no clue if it will work.  I did zero research on whether that's a good plan.  My hope is to have 26.2 miles under my legs by mid-year and just practice running at pace for the entire distance.

I will likely be adding more races as I go but I will seriously consider its impact to my training for Chicago.  I took Ironman 70.3 Kansas off the list for that very reason.

Bangkok, Thailand
As I've mentioned before, my day job is sending me to Bangkok, Thailand for February and March.  This will present some challenges to my training.  Fortunately, the hotel will have a fitness center and there is a park with a 1.5 mile loop a few blocks away (maybe it's 1.5 kilometers).  I elected not to bring my bike because it will probably take two months to comfortable enough to take it out on the roads. The jammers and goggles will be packed for maybe some early morning swims in the hotel pool, we'll see.

I'm excited about this opportunity to see a new country and learn the culture but there is just the same amount of apprehension as TKB and I are not world travelers.  Going to Las Vegas last month was quite an experience in itself!

With the trip, I plan to use this blog as a way to keep everyone up on my travels.  I hope to take great pictures to post as well.  I hope you enjoy it!

New Member of the Family
And by that I mean my geek family.  I'm full on Apple now as I purchased an iPhone 4S to replace my HTC Evo.  I'm finally fully emerged in the Apple ecosystem. It's about time.  I'm just hoping Siri is a good travel guide and interpreter (without needing a cellular data plan)!