Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Triple T - Race #2

Saturday May 23, 2009

Race #2 – Olympic Distance
1500m swim – 24.8 mile bike – 6.55 mile run

Race number two started at 7:30AM. We went to bed Friday night by 9PM. We both crashed hard to sleep from the long day of traveling to the race and spending time at the race site. I was feeling good for the first race of Saturday. The alarm went off at 5AM. We ate and prepped the gear for the race.

The swim start was another time trail run from the beach, two people at a time. I managed to get into a good grove pretty early. I found myself on the inside of the course and didn’t like having people on my right side. Kind of weird to discover this in the middle of a race, but I didn’t want to deal with the crowds at the turns either. Once I started swimming to the right of the other swimmers I was doing much better.

The swim involved two loops. The final buoy marker was very close to the beach and hence very shallow. I really didn’t want to stand up and jack my heart rate. I was in a good grove so I continued to swim around the people who were walking. I was shallow enough that I was grabbing sand with my hand during my stroke. The second lap went very well again. No issues and I felt very relaxed and strong at the same time. I swam all the way to the beach before standing up.

I stepped through the rinse buckets heading to transition and got ready for the bike.

Swim time 24:05

In T1 I peel off my wetsuit and put on my race number, sunglasses, helmet, socks and shoes. The longest part was getting my wetsuit off. I grabbed my bike and activated the computer. Running out of transition there wasn’t much traffic to deal with so the running mount was easy to execute.

T1 time 1:52

The RD provided us with some very stern warnings about the bike course. Some of the downhill’s are very dangerous. The RD warned that if you didn’t pay attention to the slow markings on the road you would pay for it.

The course is on some very beautiful fire and county roads. Not a lot of traffic, in fact I maybe saw 10 cars, and great scenery. A couple of the downhill’s you could bomb nicely because they are long sweeping turns. Of course once we made it to the bottom on one hill we had to climb another. At the bottom of the steepest climb we made a hard left turn and up we went. As soon as I saw the hill I commented, “AWW COME ON!!!” I’m sure the volunteer and sheriff’s deputy heard me. What I meant to say was “AWW SWEET!!!”

It wasn’t that bad. Not really harder than anything on the Death Ride, especially Oak Hill or Boston Mills Road.

At the beginning of a not very steep roller I hit a hole in the road. I'm not sure how I didn’t see it but I sure felt it. My rear bottle ejected at the top of the hill. I also started to hear some rattling and was worried something happened to my front tire. I stopped and did a quick look around. The rear bottle cage that was holding my bottle BROKE. It’s a plastic wrap-around design and a plastic piece snapped off. It was rattling around behind me….very annoying. I managed to position it so the rattle was gone. The bottle only had Gatorade in it and I still had my bottle with Perpetuem so I was good for the rest of the ride. It was essentially a backup bottle.

I passed people, people passed me. I wasn’t worried about it because of the start format. I rode how I wanted and didn’t over-exert myself. Several times I followed someone in front of me staying 5 bike lengths back. I let the person dictate the pace, often easy for me but it helped keep myself in check and not push too hard.

Coming down the final hill back to the park I was averaging 30 MPH without much effort. It was nice to have the speed without straining the legs. Reviewing my computer I did hit a max speed of 41 MPH on one of the downhill’s. Overall my average speed was 19.4 MPH.

As we entered the park I pulled loose my shoe straps and placed my feet on the shoes. Heading towards a much less congested transition area I hopped off at the dismount line and headed towards my rack.

Bike time 1:18:17

T2 is always a fast one. Take off the helmet, put on shoes and hat. I didn’t need anything else.

T2 time 35 seconds.

Exiting T2 Aimee and Linda were there cheering for me. The race announcer also called off my name after I crossed the timing mat.

The run is the same for races 2, 3 and 4. On Sunday we run it twice for the 13.1 miles, so we will get to know this part of the park very well. I tried to start very conservatively. At all of my races, Ironman and half iron, I always started the run way too fast. I made a conscious effort to keep the pace down. Again I didn’t worry about those that were passing me. I was holding a very nice pace and was talking with a couple of people. Mile one was 8:42 and that included a pee break which was a great relief. Mile two 8:17, okay cool…closer to the pace I wanted. Between mile 2 and 3 is where the long uphill climb is. I just kept myself in check and stayed steady. It was at this point that Big Country finally caught up with me.

We chatted for a bit and he pulled ahead of me a little until the top and I picked up the pace to run with him again. Mile 3 finished with an 8:09 split. We continued to run together and chat. Talking smack to each other and commenting on the guys passing us. It was all in good fun and there was nothing to take offense about.

We noticed several of our friends heading out to the turn around and cheered them on. Mile 4 was 8:19 because we had to run back up the long hill. Mile 5 was 7:37 which I felt was too fast but Big Country accredited the speed to the downhill we were just on. Once we hit the asphalt path Big Country said this was a good sign, only about a half mile to go. We kept a good pace through mile 6 which came out at 6:57. I didn’t think we were running that fast. The last .55 mile to the finish line came out to be 3:41.

Run time 51:43

Overall time 2:36:27.

Big County and I finished together and met with Linda and Aimee. I went to the lake to cool down my legs and then get a 15 minute massage. A little bit of food and we headed back to the campsite. Shower and rest before race #3, second for the day.

Mile Splits

Triple T - Race #1

Friday May 22, 2009

Arrival and Race #1 – Prologue Sprint

250m swim – 5 mile bike – 1 mile run

Aimee and I left the house by 8AM Friday morning. We had my mom and dad’s trailer for camping at the state park where the races would be staged from, in and around. I knew this would be a great weekend because we were having fun driving down hauling this big trailer behind us.

The drive would normally take 4 hours but it took us 5 with the trailer. By the end of the weekend I knew that Aimee would be number one. Each time I tried to make a serious comment she was cracking herself up and responded with some sarcastic remark. Yes, I would be showing her that she is number one all weekend.

My mantra for this race was “Feel It”. Only after I chose this mantra did I realize it was the same at the Factory Riders saying on his blog. I wanted Aimee to remind me to “feel it”. Feel the race. Feel how my body was doing. Find and feel the zone for having a good race.

We arrived at the camp ground and got settled into our spot. I had reserved the spot in January and it was everything I had expected. It was easy to back the trailer in. Plenty of shade. Close to the bathrooms and a short walk to the shower house.

At packet pickup we saw Mark “Big Country” Misencik and his wife Linda. Aimee and Linda would be spending lots of time together watching us through transition. I walked around and made sure I said hi to the other Cleveland triathletes; Tony, Ben, Kaylyn, Mirena and Jodi.

We went back to the campsite and settled in a little more. I cleaned my bike and lubed the chain. I prepared my race gear and we headed to the race site around 4PM for the 5PM start.

At this race they provide a jersey that everyone MUST wear. The Red, White and Blue jersey is actually pretty nice. Seeing them all together was pretty neat, both in transition and on the beach.

The start of the swim is a 2 person send off. Every 5 seconds two people cross the timing mat to start their race. You just can’t do a mass start with over 400 people, it’s not an Ironman and the traffic jam would be crazy.

The swim was a 250m out and back. The lake we were in was shallow and had floating grass and was rather murky. On the way back into the beach the mud being stirred up by the previous swimmers was really gross. Each time I turned my head back into the water I was staring at a dark cloud of dirt. The water was warm enough to skip the wetsuits and the mud was all over the jerseys.

My swim time was 5:11.

T1 was a short run from the beach and onto the 5 mile bike course. In and out of transition in 1:08.

The five mile loop is just a warm-up for the weekend. Part of the course climbs up to the park lodge and cabins. Everyone just geared down and spun up the road. The leaders were starting to zoom down the other side of the road. It was definitely a fast downhill. I took a clue from the previous riders and started undoing my shoe straps on the downhill.

5 mile bike time 11:38

T2….Into transition, rack my bike, on with the shoes and out to the run course. Another uneventful transition. 45 seconds.

The run is a 1 mile out and back. This prologue is just a warm-up for the rest of the weekend. I tried to take it easy. There was no point in wasting too much energy on day one. Despite what I thought was an easy pace I did the one mile in 6:53. I will have to make sure I am much slower than that on the other runs.

Total time for the Prologue Race: 25:35.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's Go Time

I have alluded to it. I haven't talk much about it. I have left links to it. It is on my schedule in the side bar. It is finally here.

It is....The American Triple-T.

In case you haven't been to the website here is a summary of what my Memorial Day weekend will be like.

Race #1: Prologue
Friday, May 22, 5:00 PM
250m Swim - 5 mi Bike - 1 mi Run

Race #2: Individual Time Trial
Saturday, May 23, 7:30 AM
1500m Swim - 24.8 mi Bike - 6.55 mi Run

Race #3: Team Triathlon
Saturday, May 23, 3:00pm Start
24.8 mi Bike - 1500m Swim - 6.55 mi Run

Race #4: Team Time Trial
Sunday, May 24, 7:00am Start
1.2 mi Swim - 55.5 mi Bike - 13.1 mi Run

Uummmmm yeah. Four triathlons in three days.

3.1 miles of swimming
110.1 miles of biking
27.2 miles of swimming

A constant theme for each tri is hills. On the bike and on the run. Knowing the RD I'm sure he has figured out a way to add a hill during the swim.

Aimee and I will be camping in the state park for this event. Aimee is a real trooper for this one because of the camper. She's going to feel like Clark Griswold's cousin Eddie......"shitter's full".

She will be my support for the weekend. She's always there to take care of me.

I'll have my laptop and will be writing my race report(s) during the weekend. I'll post them next week when we return.

I'm ready for this. A little undertrained, but still ready for it.

My Game will need to be On more for this than either of my Ironman finishes.

Here's wishing everyone a pleasant Memorial Day weekend.

Game On, On, On.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What does your fortune cookie tell you?

Aimee sent this to me today. She found this fortune cookie saying on her desk.

Success comes in cans, not in cannots.

How do you see this applying to your life? Work, marriage, triathlon, parenting, running, cooking, get the picture.

Speaking of pictures. Do you know what the back of a traveling triathletes vehicle looks like during the taper period before the American Triple T?

It may look something like this.......

The black bag and brown box are the only things work related. My laptop bag is in the front seat. I'm out of town for a bit so I need to be able to train, taper effort, while out of town. Hey, a triathlete has gotta do what a triathlete has gotta do.

Game On.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another Weekend Update

I knew it. I absolutely knew it. There was no way I would be able to recap the weekend on Monday. Way too much stuff going on. It hurts just thinking about everything I had to do on Monday much less the weekend. Fortunately I took notes at my brothers house during our Mother's Day dinner.

Yes I took notes. I had to since I didn't want to forget key points of another epic weekend with awesome results. So let's get at it. Oh.....and you better have a cup of coffee and a bagel...or better yet read this during lunch. It may get long.

Thursday and Friday last week turned into rest days. At least I think they were. I haven't been keeping track on my workouts but I definitely remember the key ones. Yeah......they were both rest days. I'm sure of it.

So Saturday would be the day to run. Our friend Jane told us about the SMILE WITH ME! 5K Run and 1M Walk to support Heart Arrhythmia Research & Community Scholarships. We arranged to meet before the race so we could get in some additional mileage. Aimee and Jane put in about 7 miles and I managed around 10. It was a pretty good warm-up for the 5k.

We drove to the race and got signed up and waited for the start. We were starting to cool-down so I went for a short run to get the muscles warm again. There weren't too many people at the race but when I lined up at the front I could tell who would be leading.

Originally I was going to run a progressively faster pace starting around 7/mile and go faster from there. Well as soon as the bell was rung that went out the window. The adrenaline pumped through my body and I was off to the races.

Now I wasn't going to try and stay with the front runners. I would have blown up after mile one. I sat back and ran on the shoulder of two others I was with in positions 5 - 7. There were two guys in front of us that I kept in check.

As we turned off the main street into a neighborhood I surged around the corner to try and break the spirit of the two guys with me. The first mile marker was 75 yards from the corner. As I passed through the first mile they called out 6:11 as my first split. DAMN. I wasn't expecting that. Now I had to hold on for two more miles.

During the second mile there is a significant downhill/uphill combination. I used the downhill to create a gap between me and the guys behind me. I could hear the footsteps growing fainter and I let loose down the hill. The flat before the uphill lasted for about 100 yards. I tried to maintain a good pace going up the hill and focus only on the 10 feet in front of me trying not to think about getting to the top. I knew I would get there eventually.

But then I started to hear footsteps behind me again. Crap he was catching up to me going up the hill. Don't worry, stay steady, keep it moving forward. He never did pass me. I wasn't going to let him.

Once I reached the top of the the hill I saw that the two guys ahead of me had split. One was starting to fade and I was reeling him in. I passed him running strong to let him know he was owned. See ya at the finish line.

The winds from the south were evident at this point during the final mile. I also knew that once I hit the main street heading back to the finish line there would be an even stronger wind coming from the west. I reminded myself that everyone would have to face the wind as well. One more mile. Only one more mile. Keep pushing it hard to the finish. The mind was definitely in control and helped keep the legs moving.

I crossed the finish line in 19:32. Not a PR but I wanted to be below 20. I did manage a fourth overall which guaranteed first place in my age group. We sat around with friend and waited for the award ceremony. Aimee's co-worker Dan Van, actually he is more friend than co-worker, took second in the my age group so we were able to have out picture taken together for the Smile with Me website.

And this was just the beginning of the weekend. We also had a wedding to attend for one of Aimee's co-workers and of course that includes a reception. But before that I cut the grass, first because it needed it and second I wanted to keep the legs loose.

We did our bricks Sunday morning since time with our mothers would be in the afternoon. I wanted to get in one more round of hills. Yes....this means the Death Ride hills again, but on very tired legs. Aimee and I both woke up with unsettled stomachs. Maybe it was the food and alcohol from the reception. Maybe it was lack of sleep and the bodies needed more rest.

I knew this would be an important training day. Not physically but mentally. In addition to the iffy stomach the temperature wasn't going to be very high, overcast and winds from the west. I pulled Aimee aside and made sure she understood the purpose of the days training. Tough it out and be strong mentally.

Over the course of the next four hours I would climb the hills to warm up and bomb the descents loosing the warmth I had created. I would see the standard dead animals in the road. But this time I was saddened by the sight of a baby red fox and intrigued by a buzzard feasting on the carcass of a raccoon.

My mental battle was Boston Mills Road. The legs were tired from the 5k on Saturday and the hills leading up to the steep road. For an hour leading up to the hill I went back and forth trying to decide if I was going to ride it. As I approached the intersection of Riverview and Boston Mills I turned without hesitation toward the hill and told myself, "Harden up F@cker".

I may be this tired at the end of Triple T and I would have to suck it up during the race. Train like you race....right? Suck it up and do it.

After a couple more hills, including the 3 mile Snowville Road, I made it back to the parking lot. I slipped on my running shoes and headed out for a 30 minute run. What struggle. I settled into a steady pace and chugged it out. It wasn't pretty but it was helpful to remember how much of a struggle the transition from bike to run can be.

When I was all done with the run....I was all done for the day. Stick a fork in me and ring the bell for dinner. I packed up and headed over to my brothers house to shower and get ready for our Mother's Day dinner. I'm glad my brother cooked because I was worthless after my brick.

We had a good dinner with mom and Aimee had a nice brunch with her mom. Aimee's brick went well despite the cold. Her feet didn't warm up until AFTER she was done with her run. But her toughness is building for the upcoming tri season and the Half IM we are doing in July.

Monday I had an accupunture session with the witch doctor and boy did it help revitalize the body. All the trapped heat and stress from training was released during the session. It was almost like another training session.

That's about all I got for now. Time to get to bed and rest up.

Time to taper for Triple T. With rest and preparation it will definitely be Game On in two weeks.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

What Am I Doing?!?!?!?!?

Obviously not posting on the old bloggie thing. I don't like it when the blog gets ignored and I don't post for over a week. I mean it's not like I'm working and training enough as it is.

But I will admit that work has thankfully been busy lately, next two weeks will be worse, and I am getting in the last of my big training for the Triple T. So of course my blogging suffers. My reading of other peoples blogs is still on par, but my writing it suffering. Quality over quantity, right.

Moving forward I'll give a brief recap of training.

Last weekend I decided to overload the running. I was working out of town Friday to Saturday and taking your running shoes is so easy when traveling.

  • I ran Wednesday, don't remember where or how far.
  • Thursday was a rest day, floating rest days have been popular this year.
  • Friday I wanted to run long after I was done with my customer. I had found a route that was going to be awesome. I drove the route earlier in the day and I liked what I saw. Unfortunately the early evening rain came through and put a kabosh on that idea. The rain was falling at a 45 degree angle, can you say windy? I wound up running 70 minutes on a treadmill at the local Y....on a Friday 7PM. How exciting.
  • Saturday I worked in the morning and drove home. I ran our 6.5 mile loop in about 51 minutes, 8/min pace. I kept it easy since my long slow run wasn't going to happen.
  • Sunday Aimee and I rode for 2.5 hours together. I did several strong intervals just to test out the bike legs. I hopped off the bike and ran the 6.5 mile loop again, reverse this time, at a much higher intensity. Finished the loop in 45 minutes this time, roughly a 7/min pace. Wicky Wicky What What! Boy did that feel good.

The final run of the weekend was the high point of training last weekend. I felt great and had a blast pushing the pace and keeping it fast.

This past week I had two good swims. Great intensity and yardage. I think both were around 4000 yards. On Wednesday I did some short hill repeats in the rain. That was a good workout. The rain wasn't coming down too hard and the temp was warm enough for shorts and a shirt. My warmup and 2 miles between repeats was at a strong pace. The hill repeats were "hill bounding". Short strength repeats lasting 10 - 20 seconds. Not the long 90 second repeats or run to the top type of repeats. I also read an article about hill sprints in Running Times that I will have to try, but I digress.

The one thing I really liked about that run was being free. I didn't have my watch with me. I had forgotten to pack it in my bag. So......
  • I don't know how far I ran.
  • I don't know how long I ran, time wise.
  • I don't know how long each hill repeat was.

And I really didn't care. I went by feel and it felt great. Finishing the workout I felt good. These types of repeats aren't supposed to drain you. I came away feeling like I could do more, but I also knew that what I had done was enough. There would be benefit from what I accomplished.

So leading up to this morning.......I woke up at 4AM to pee and have been up since. Early to bed on another exciting Friday night has me ready to go for the weekend. We have to manage our training around a wedding today and Mother's Day tomorrow. I still think it will be quality. At least I hope so. This is the last opportunity for "big" training for Triple T. It's coming up fast.

I will be back sooner than later for another post. Sunday night. I will post by Sunday night. I will. Really. Must.FOCUS.

Game On people. Get that damn Game On.