Monday, October 31, 2011

I have awesome friends (and an awesome weekend)

Sometimes it's easy to take people for granted, especially people in your life you don't see every day. I know I'm guilty of this as much or more than anyone. That's why I was happily reminded this weekend just how great the people in my life are not only to me. but to others and just in general.

First of all, thanks to all of you who read Friday's entry and helped John Young win a free entry into the 2012 NYC Triathlon. John won going away, and deservedly so. You won't find a tougher or more optimistic triathlete out there, and if by clicking "like"a few times we were able to help make next season more affordable for him, so much the better. Triathlon is an expensive sport, I wish I could help more of my friends make their racing less expensive.

Next up is Derek, who I mentioned is doing a fundraiser. As all around good guy and friend of the blog, Derek is working to help Habitat for Humanity raise the $75,000 they need in order to build a house. His personal goal is to make a $5,000 donation through sales of the Habitat Calendar he created with the help of a terrific nature photographer. They're $20 each, and the proceeds go towards making the donation. Plus, everyone who purchases a calendar before 1/1/12 gets entered into a raffle to win their choice of a Kindle Fire, or a $200 Apple Gift card!

Then there's our teammate Jordan, who ran the Marine Corps Marathon yesterday in 3:00:40, which if you're unfamiliar with my personal race experience is about 15 minutes faster than my fastest HALF marathon. He made sure to let me know how much work it was to get there; which serves a reminder that the suffering I do right now when I run is and will be worth it, even if I may never be nearly that fast. He's one of the nicest people we met in Boston, and he just happened to be on our Tri team. So nice, when he has a great race, he gives to other peoples charities, having them guess what his time will be, and the closest folks win. The better he does against his goals, the more people's charities he donates to. Next time, he'll be sub-3 hours, I'm sure of it.

Closer to home, ok actually at home, Rachelle and I raced a local race on Saturday, the Healthy Harvest 5k. It was the centerpiece of a day long town festival in a small town near our house. Rach kicked butt and won her AG, and I did pretty well, especially considering where I am in my running training. I was last in my AG, but not last in the race. I kept to my 1:30/3:30 splits, and I was able to run the last 3:38 continuously. More progress to be made, but I'm getting there. There will be a 30 minute 5k in my future. Not sure if it will be 2011, but definite 2012.

Aside from the race, I got in a nice 10 mile ride yesterday, further improving my Strava KOM on the 2.7 mile climb to our house from Rach's work. As I'm the Strava user riding this segment it's a bit of a false positive, but it lets me track my progress, so I'll take it. If you're on Strava follow me, and I'll follow back. I love looking at other peoples rides. Today I've got a run and a swim, as the Shipwreck Tri gets closer. I've been having problems with the registration process, so hopefully I can get that fixed today.

Finally, on the dog front, he's officially been renamed! His name is Stanley (as in Cup), and he's growing so fast! Thanks to the assists from my twitter friends Stephanie and Lesli, we learned the proper way to get Stanley to sleep at night, and he's been doing much better in his crate, and we've mostly been able to avoid potty accidents with him so far. He's also found his big boy voice barking a couple of times while playing this weekend. To say it's adorable watching our little dog bark loud doesn't do it justice. Tonight is his first bath, and that will be fun to see Rachelle try to do. I will definitely post pictures tomorrow!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Help me help a triathlete friend (it's free and easy!)

My friend John Young, who is a Little Person superhuman triathlete, is in a Facebook contest for a free entry to the 2012 NYC Triathlon. The voting closes today at 5 PM, and he's trailing another entry by about 40 votes for first place. All you have to do is "Like" this photo in the NYC Triathlon photo album.  John has always been extra supportive of my efforts, and I hope to goodness he is able to win this contest. John is a teacher, which as you know is the best paid  profession in America.  Thanks for helping someone out who is truly worthy of it!

I'll have more updates tomorrow as today is really busy (payday plus learning new work project), but as you can see above, my weigh in this morning went a little bit in the wrong direction. I haven't made a good adjustment yet to the changes the puppy has brought. Not enough sleep is the biggest thing, but I've also been cutting corners on diet in order to save time. That is getting corrected this weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 miles, a cow, and a dog...

Yesterday was one of those perfect days when everything just goes exactly as it should, and there are even some good surprises along the way that remind you that the bad day the day before is nothing more than a blip on the radar.

My work life has been a little slow lately; the company brought me on right as my group was reorganizing, so they only had one short assignment for me with the rest of my time spent working in training classes, or worse; onboarding. Yesterdays onboarding session was due to last 5 hours, but they gave us a lunch hour I wasn't expecting. On top of that, Rach forgot her run clothes, so she came home for lunch and we got in a 30 minute run together at the same time. We took a different hillier route, and it was at least 15 degrees hotter than when I ran on Tuesday, so I was just a hair slower yesterday, but was pretty happy with it. Not quite 2.1 miles in 30 minutes.

After the onboarding session ended, I got an assignment that will keep me busy most of the rest of the year. I think this is important because I really need work during the day to help me set and keep a schedule. Having something to make me be at my desk and active first thing in the morning will keep me from staying up too late, not getting enough sleep, and being less likely to make healthy choices.

Another plus was getting the new project and talking to my boss had me done for the day at 4 so I could get in the bike ride I hadnt had a chance to do Tuesday. Unfortunately, I realized I had left my bike shoes in the truck so I couldn't ride my road bike. This meant a trip out on the MTB, which would be more fun if I had any place to ride it but the road. To take some of the blase feeling that comes from riding the MTB on the road, I try to take new routes.

Yesterdays new route took me past a field of cows. I'm not sure how it started, but Rachelle and I have some sort of travel related in-joke where we roll down the window and "moo" at the cows we drive by. As I passed the cows on the way back on my ride, I mooed at the cows as I rode by. Evidently, cows are ok with cars mooing at them (probably because they know they can't catch them), but take umbrage with cyclists mooing at them, because the nearest cow to me turned his head looked at me, and then start trotting after me as I continued on by. Being on my MTB, I was only going around 9 MPH uphill and the cow was gaining on me right quick. There was a small fence, which I'm guessing was electrified, but being chased by a cow was enough to get me up that hill quite a bit faster. I wound up doing 7 3/4 mi on the MTB and a decent amount of climbing thrown in.

So, we've covered the 10 miles (2+ running, 7+ biking), the cow, so now we've come to the dog. As I mentioned yesterday (and you may have already seen on my twitter or facebook), Rachelle and I became the owners of a dog last night. He's a 6 week old Chihuahua / Rat Terrier mix that we've named El Papa Grande. In an amusing twist to the day, the dog looks like a very small cow with his white coat and black spots. He's adorable, but also already affecting our lives in a big way; he couldn't handle being in the bathroom alone all night so I slept on the couch. 2 years of marriage, 18 months of dating before that and I've never been made to sleep on the couch. One night of puppy ownership and I'm on the couch. (To be fair, Rach had to be up at 6 this morning for work, so she needed her sleep). Papa Grande work up once at 4 AM, but otherwise snuggled in my robe, which he has now claimed as his own, and slept most of the night. Considering the whining he was doing when we tried putting him in the bathroom, one night on the couch was probably worth it.

This picture was taken less than an hour after we got Papa Grande. I'm pretty sure she didn't have that same look on her face when she was picking up his poos this morning at 6:30 AM.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It wasn't my fault!

Our plumber a nice guy named Steve, who was kind enough to come over last night and install our toilet on short notice, told me the toilet breaking had very little to do with my weight. It was balancing on the rough in, and was not level with the floor, so each time someone got on and off it, the toilet would rock, and eventually was going to shift enough to cause stress on the porcelain where it was bolted in. Of course that did nothing to allay the $80 spent on the toilet, but at least it's comfort that I suddenly didn't become one of those fat people who breaks toilets because of their weight. There are limits to what I can emotionally handle. (And for the reader who suggested the taller toilet, I did pick up the chair height toilet, it was the same price as the regular one, thanks!) I know this was a lot of talk about bathroom time over the past two days, but if you've ever read Steve In a Speedo's twitter, you'll know that I'm not even close to oversharing about bathroom happenings.

Because of the broken toilet and the Dr's visit, my day got thrown into a jumble but I did manage to get a run in, and I was pretty happy with my progress. I ran/walked 1:30/3:30 splits, and managed a 14:14 average, which is faster than I've been lately. The running really is faster than the walking, it's just getting the stamina to be able to run the whole time. I hit an 11:30 average for a couple of the run splits, so that's definitely good progress. But I'm definitely back on the right path. I'm going to get to where I can run a 5k, and do it in 30 minutes. It's going to happen.

I also had a really good day food wise; 3 meals all very good choices, all the correct sized portions even when I had a whole container of leftovers I could have eaten at lunch. Further, I've replaced chips with yogurt, so the calories are about the same, or maybe just slightly lower, but they're a whole lot healthier. Excited to keep that progress going forward. 

Because of the insanity going on yesterday, I only had time for the run, so I'm down a bike and a swim. I can definitely get the swim in today, but the bike will have to be added to the weekend. My work schedule doesn't actually give me a lunch today, but I started early so I can get in my run today after work, but might not have time to bike or swim before the big event of the day: We're getting a puppy tonight! More on that tomorrow.

Oh, and lastly, we switched this weekends race. There's a small local 5k being run for the first time on Saturday. The Benson Healthy Harvest 5k is a new 5k being tied to a walk initiative in a small town nearby that aims to get people walking the downtown area for both the physical and fiscal health of the town. It's a nice area, and a shorter drive so we switched to that race. It is one day closer, and rather than lose a run, I'm just adding a run tomorrow to make up for the change in running days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Accomplishing new things

We all judge success in different ways. Last night, I judged success based on the fact that I passed not one, but TWO McDonald's on my way home from covering a late night game launch, and I was really hungry. What was even more impressive is that I had coupons for free McDonald's in the car, so it would have been super easy to go on the way home from the late night video game launch I was covering. I know for some people resisting junk food is easy, but for me this was good progress.

On the down side, I missed a workout yesterday waiting on a delivery. If the delivery had been on time or I had known it would be late I would have been able to get my run in. Instead, I'll have to get a run in today after my doctors appointment and I'll be following it up with a bike this afternoon. If time allows I'll get in a swim this evening. 

And the new thing I accomplished? I broke a toilet this morning. Based on the fact that it was a cheap toilet installed extremely poorly (it rocked under Rachs weight even), and it cracked at the base, when I was pushing against it to stand, I'm not taking this to be a huge indictment on my weight, as I don't have issues with other furniture, but I do know Rachelle wouldn't have broken it.  

I also visited the doctor today for the first part of my annual checkup. My blood pressure was excellent, and my resting HR was 66. Next up is my blood work, scheduled for a week after Shipwreck tri so I can flush the protein breakdown out of my system before the test. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Facts

Fridays are going to be a big deal around here from now on. First, it's going to be weigh in day. When I did Weight Watchers back in Columbus, we weighed in before lunch on Fridays, and it worked out great for me. I don't know why specifically, I think it's because you have 5 workdays to stay on plan after you use your weekly bonus points on Friday or Saturday.

So, this morning I weighed in, and I was happy to see that I had maintained the weight loss from last week. With the way my week started out with food (too much) and continued with exercise (too little), I'm very happy with that. What's important is that my food and exercise willpower are on the upswing. I can't claim full credit for the Friday Weigh-in idea, that credit has to go to Derek H. Long time reader and friend of the blog, who I now live close enough to that we need to get together and go for a ride in the near future.

Speaking of Derek, He and some of my other friends have some important stuff going on, and these are just the kinds of things that will go in Friday Facts each week.

- Derek is raising money for something. I know these seems lame, but I don't know what it is yet, because the link he sent me is broken. But be sure if it's Derek doing it, it's important and in need of being done. When I have the info, so will you :D

- Jason, who at Cook Train Eat Race is writing to make people one meal at a time, is now raising funds to support Shape Up America!; an organization with a healthy weight initiative. As someone who struggles with that exact goal, I think it's important to support Jason in this work. His goal is $20,000 so as someone who had to work hard to raise less than 1/10th of that, so I know he's got an uphill fight on his hands.

- I'll be doing fundraising for Team Fight again this year for Rev 3 Cedar Point, but I have a head start, and I'll be paying most of my own way. I'll have an awesome contest sometime in the summer to make up the small amount I might be short. Doing this lets me help support other folks fundraising efforts as well.

- I've started the search for the triathlon coach. We're still in the early stages, but I expect we'll have a coach by late November.

- North Carolina definitely is going to be a lot more enjoyable to train in over the winter. It's in the 70s and sunny again today, which seems like pretty much the regular weather report this month.

- I ran today. Get used to hearing that a lot, because I know that's the only way it's going to get better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

struggling with self image

It's been a challenge these past two days getting back on the wagon. I have realistic plans, a strong support system, and I know the right things to do to get where I need to go. The hard part is actually doing it.

Monday, I was supposed to run, and I didn't do anything.and while I made mostly healthy food choices, I had entirely too many calories. Tuesday, I finally got off my but and did a 2 mile run/walk, though I still had too many calories. Running doesn't matter much if the calories aren't under control. Progress though I guess because I went from doing nothing right on Monday to getting things half right on Tuesday.

I've also been having some issues with my body image for a while. When I train in my tri top, every time a car or cyclist passes I have the urge to check and make sure it's in place because it rides up a little. And being that very few people work out around here, my concerns about what people are thinking when they see me training, especially running have intensified. I know this is all me, and not other people, but the insecurity sometimes causes me to feel uncomfortable exercising publicly. It's not a good excuse, and it's too hot to wear loose fitting clothes, so I'll have to over come it.

One of the other issues I think that's really been holding me back for quite a while, is the inability to picture myself as a thinner man. When I first lost the weight from my highest point, I could remember what it was to be 325ish. But now I have very little idea of what I looked like at 280 or even less than that. I have very few photos from the early 2000s. 

To fix this problem, I found a website called It lets you upload a picture, enter your current height and weight, and then select how much you want to lose. The site adjusts the picture proportionally to the amount of weight you want to lose. I now have a pretty good idea what I might look like around 75 pounds thinner.

Now I've got something to look whenever I have a doubt about what I'm headed towards.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Offseason is here... and almost over!

In the five days since Rev 3 Anderson ended, A few folks noticed the change in my twitter updates with a sudden focus on food instead of training. This was a result of 3 factors:

1. I haven't done a damn thing since the race in terms of exercise.
2. I've been doing more of the cooking duties working from home and with Rach working a lot more hours
3. From about an hour after Anderson ended, I've been STARVING. I mean like continually hungry!

I took some additional time to think about what I want to work on during the off-season, with a focus on areas where I can just improve my overall health, and where I can get faster for races. Being that I can improve in almost every area of the races, I wanted to focus on the portions that I think will do "double duty" in terms of improving my health and my speed.

After some careful thought on the matter, I reaffirmed some earlier ideas and came up with a couple other areas of focus, whittling the winter focus down to 4 things:

1. Weight loss. As has really been the overarching reason why I got into triathlon in the first place, this is goal #1 over the winter. While I've mostly plateaued over the past 2 years, I've also kept off the 56 pounds I lost in 2007-08, which is something I'm really proud of. My new employers offers discounted Weight Watchers membership which I can take advantage of in just a couple weeks. Between that and making this my heavy focus this winter, I'm going to hit the weight goals I set in the post a few weeks ago. The goals and progress against them will be prominently displayed on the blog starting on Sunday.

2. Running. Every time I've put emphasis on running I've made progress, but I've always given that progress back because I didn't stick with it. Because running is such a challenge for me, and I don't enjoy it, running is the first workout I've been willing was happy to drop when time crunches came up. But the more I've thought about it, the more I realize how closely this is tied to both my overall health improvement and reducing my race time. Just by getting my run time down to what the average healthy person can do (6 MPH) would drop my 10k time by 30 minutes. It's just plain stupid that haven't made this a big focus in my training considering it's both my biggest weakness and the easiest way for me to make major racing gains.

3. Swimming. It hit me after this last race that I've been thinking about my swim all wrong. Here I've been thinking that because I've gotten to the point that I can get through the water without feeling gassed in the middle that I had been in a good place. I hadn't really thought about how much energy I was exerting on the swim until Anderson, when halfway up the steep hill coming out of the park I had to stop. I knew it was a bit steep, but it wasn't that steep. In the end, I was only 10 minutes off my goal time for the bike over 25 miles, but I need to get my swimming to the point where any swim distance up through Ironman feels comfortable. Maybe 2.4 miles won't ever feel "easy" but it can and should feel like I'm not going all out just to make it under the time limit. Having nearly unfettered access to a pool that isn't constantly busy will be a big part of that this winter.

4. Bike climbing. The flattest triathlon I've ever done was Club Nationals in South Carolina. It was pancake flat. I averaged almost 20 MPH, which is at least 4 MPH higher than I've averaged in any other race. Other than that, no race I've ever done is truly flat, and the majority of the time I've lost on the bike is from climbing. Living in Boston, to find hills, I had to basically bike out of town or do repeats on a couple of highway overpasses. Where we are in NC, there isn't a local ride yet longer than 3 miles that I can find that doesn't have at least rollers. I've created some segments in Strava for the local climbs that should help a lot with tracking this progress.

So now that I've talked about what training will be like this "winter" (seriously, what I'm hearing about winter here isn't winter to me. It'll be like spring training all winter long), what are the races that will keep me motivated in doing all that training? I'm still working on the 2012 schedule, but here's what I know about the rest of 2011:

Oct 30th - Monster Dash 5k, Raleigh, NC
Nov 5th - Shipwreck Sprinternational Triathlon (1k swim, 30k bike, 8k run), Holden Beach, NC
Nov 24th - Smoke the Turkey 5k, Toledo, OH
December 3rd - Reindeer Romp 5k, Cary, NC

It's enough of a fall season with easy targets to train towards that it should give me plenty of motivation. Now I've got one last day of off-season, and I get to spend it at the ultimate off-season spot: The North Carolina State Fair. They fry things there that most people don't even know you can eat.

PS. The best news is that I've lost weight during the week, another 2 whole pounds! Don't tell my brain though, it'll think I can eat like this all the time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Race Report: Rev 3 Anderson Olympic

Standing by the lake at the Rev 3 Anderson swim felt really weird, but at first I couldn't place why. Then I realized; it's because Rachelle wasn't there with me. This is only the second race since we've been married that I've done without her. We may never see each other on the course, but I like knowing she's out there suffering along with me. This time, instead of racing she came to be my support crew and wound up volunteering so that she'd have something to do and give back a little.

Rev 3 Anderson Swim start the day before
The Swim: One of my fellow racers mentioned how odd it was to be starting a race at 9:25. I will say when you're used to getting up at 4 AM (or earlier) to get ready, getting up at 6:45 is welcome change. The swim itself wasn't too bad, other than I didn't sleep great the night before, so I was more tired that I'd have preferred even after drinking a 5 hour energy pre-race. I probably started out a little too fast and paid for it later in the swim. My sighting was better, but I was swimming a bit left as usual so I had to fight to keep my line. I was pretty happy with how I felt finishing up, was able to dig a little deeper than I expected.
The Goal: 40:00
The Result: 44:16
What to work on: I only got about a weeks worth of swims in for this race between Cedar Point recovery and getting signed up for the pool. In general more swimming, and more distance, but I was in the range of an aggressive goal, so I was pretty happy with that.

Transition 1: Why does this always suck? It doesn't take me that long to get my wetsuit off, quickly dry, throw on clothes and get on the bike. Or at least it shouldn't. But it did. I think it's got something to do with the fact that I'm basically going full gas in the water 100% of the race, and I need to get to a point where 90% will get me the times I want. I was tired in transition and it took me time to get myself recovered.
The Goal: 6:00
The Result: 8:16
What to work on: There are some minor equipment changes (like better bike shoes) that would make this faster, but it's mostly a factor of recovering enough from the swim to get ready and get on the bike. More swimming and some transition practice (something I've never down) will help.

The Bike:  Coming out on the bike, I knew I wasn't feeling quite right. The bike starts with a short descent followed by a short but pretty steep climb. About two-thirds of the way up, I had to stop to catch my breath. I was still a little winded from the swim. After that hill I got things back under control for a while. I did stop on hills two more times, and walked a very small section of the hardest hill. I was surprised by the fact that there was no aid station on the bike, as I thought I read there would be. About 10 miles in, my stomach got pretty upset, and I decided even if I wasn't going to have much to drink the rest of the way, I was at least going to try and eat my way through the stomach problems so I might feel better for the run.
Course marshall and photographer; my wife is one talented lady
A couple miles later just as I was starting to feel better, I saw Rachelle, got to talk to her for a few seconds as I cruised by. Seeing her was a real pickup, and started making up time from there on in. The last half of the bike seemed to go surprisingly fast, and I hit 40 MPH on one of the last downhills.

The Goal: 1:40
The Result: 1:50:21
What to improve on: I'm not kidding when I say I'm overall really happy with how this bike went. I missed my goal by 10 minutes, but on a course with 400 more feet of climbing than advertised on the elevation chart, I was pretty happy with my effort, especially considering how weak of a climber I am. Some of this was also the overhang from the swim. More swim to bike bricks next season for sure, but in general I was very happy 

Transition 2: Finally after a whole season of racing, I got a transition right. Off the bike, helmet and gloves off, shoes and race belt on, and head out.
The Goal: 4:00
The Result: 2:58
What to improve on: I should have bought some racing laces for my shoes to save maybe another minute of tying shoes.

The Run: This sucker was hilly. The first 3 miles felt like they were entirely uphill, but there were aid stations about every mile. I made sure to get and stay hydrated on the run after the bike. I was afraid if I ran I was going to make things harder on myself for the finish, so I just walked as fast as I could. The rest stops were well manned and well stocked.

So there I was walking as fast as I could, with about 1 1/2 miles left in the run portion of Rev 3 Anderson. I was finally headed back towards the finish line. I had 2 cups of Gatorade in one hand, and a cup of water and a cup of pretzels in the other hand as I left the last aid station. That's when I saw a Rev 3 golf cart headed up the hill on the path in my direction. I knew I was going to be close to the course cutoff, and for a second I panicked "Oh man, what do I say if they're coming for my chip", I thought. I wanted to start running to show them I was going as fast as I could, but my legs didn't have it in them, and I was doing my best to keep my breathing under control with all the hills. As the cart got closer, another, stronger voice in my head answered "Here's what you'll say: You can take my chip and my number, but you can't make me stop walking. I'm going to finish this race whether I get a shirt and medal or not."

As soon as that thought finished going through my head, the cart turned and headed towards one of the aid stations. I hurried as fast as I could, and while I worried they might pull my chip, they didn't.
The Goal: 1:30
The Result: 1:36:19
What to improve on: This should be obvious.

Total Time: 4:22:12

I can't tell you how much of a joy it was to actually finish this race, and how much I enjoyed competing again in a Rev 3 event. I'm really proud of how I've grown this season, tackling new distances and learning from my failures without getting discouraged (other than a couple hours at Cedar Point). I'm still looking for a local sprint triathlon to get in one more race before the end of the season so I can get my USAT rankings. Plans for next season and the fall road races will be forthcoming. But for now I'm savoring my efforts from yesterday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

This weekend is gonna be AWESOME!

If Rev 3 Anderson were any other October weekend, it would be the entire focal point of the whole weekend. But because it is this specific weekend, it's actually in a battle for the best thing happening this weekend.

First, my beloved Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees in the American League Divisional Series in dramatic fashion last night, and now go on to play the Texas Rangers for a chance to play in the World Series. The first game is Saturday night, so I'll get to watch maybe an hour or so before I get some sleep for race day. The time hasn't been set yet, but knowing MLB, it'll be 8 PM. I usually go to bed between 9 and 10 on race night.

Today, I'm working a half day. Legendary actress Ava Gardner is from a small town near where we live and they have an annual festival in her honor. The focus of the festival this year is on the relationship between Ava and Frank Sinatra who she considered the love of her life. At 4 PM they're showing From Here to Eternity to kick off the film festival associated with the event. Ava isn't actually in the film, but it's the role that validated Frank as an actor (he won the Oscar) and won 7 other Oscars that year. As Rach and I are both Sinatra fans, we're looking forward to seeing the film, and wandering around the Smithfield outlet mall beforehand.

I also picked the 4 PM film because it should let us get home before hockey starts tonight! My Blue Jackets start their season at 7 PM against Nashville. Lot's of great positive changes for the team (better players and a more certain future in Columbus) so I'm really stoked for the season. Normally this would be the biggest event of the weekend in any normal year, but this is evidently not a normal year.

Saturday, morning we drive out to Anderson, SC for the race. A couple hours after we get in the car, the Ironman World Championships start. In the past year, I've been fortunate enough to meet Pros and Age Groupers good enough to participate in this race. In fact, Marc Saucier, one of our WWMS teammates is participating, along side Cait Snow, Ange, Mirinda Carfrae and a host of others. We won't get to watch most of it, but Rach can follow along on her phone while we drive, and we can catch the end at the Rev 3 event Expo.

Tomorrow night, after check-in, there's a "Taste of Anderson" food event which we might go to before turning in for the night and if there's time meet up with friend and cycling journalist Neil Brown

Finally, there's that little thing called the race! I start Rev3 Anderson at the unusually late time of 9:25ish AM, so we don't have to be up super early for once. We'll probably get up at 7, eat, get ready, and head down to do final bike prep as transition closes at 8:15. Bike check-in is Saturday, so it should be a pretty simple final setup on Sunday.

As for race prep, I really feel ready for this race. I'm doing a final swim after work today before we head to the outlet mall, but other than that I'm ready. I've gotten in some decent runs and good swims, but most importantly, I've done a good bit of biking this week, up to and including last night when I got in my long ride for race prep:

According to the Rev 3 site, I did more riding and more climbing yesterday than I will in the race, and I missed averaging 3 MPH by just over 3 minutes. I set up some segments (portions of a ride you can compare your performance over multiple rides) and got King of the Mountain for those climbs, which is a bit funny as I'm evidently the only Strava user who rides these roads, and at just 10 MPH average on those climbs it won't take much for someone to claim them from me. Mostly I wanted to be able to isolate on my climbing to try to track my performance as I ride more of the roads in the area multiple times. We're blessed to have quite a bit of good riding without a ton of stop signs.

My goals for the race:
  • I haven't officially finished a race since May. So, my number 1 goal is to finish under 4:15 which is the course cutoff.
  • Swim: .9 miles in 40 minutes. I could potentially do this in the 35-38 minute range if I'm feeling really good.
  • Bike: 24.8 miles in 1 hour, 40 minutes. That puts me at 15 MPH Avg. There climbing looks to be mostly slow extended climbing with one segment that's a little steeper right at the beginning, when my legs should be nice and fresh. 
  • Run: 1 hour, 30 minutes. I'm still going to be mostly walking, but I actually got in some good run/walks this time. Most of the past week it was at Campbell's track because I was walking too late to safely be on the road, but I did some running on the hilly roads around our house as well.
  • Transitions: No more than 10 minutes in transitions combined, but I'm seriously looking to cut down these transition times by quite a bit. Other than the wetsuit take off, I think I'm really ready for some quick transitions!
  • Total Time Goal: 3:59:59 or less
Have a great weekend, I'll be doing some quick posts from the phone over the next couple days to help share in the fun.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cook Train Eat... Clean?

My apologies to my twitter friend Cook Train Eat Race for bludgeoning his twitter handle for my post title.

It's definitely taken some effort to adapt to our new lifestyle. Because they're shorthanded, Rach is putting in a ton of hours at work. This puts me in charge of the house, which if you know me you'd probably guess to be trouble. Truth be told, I'm kind of enjoying carrying some of the extra load in terms of cooking and cleaning. Considering I'm home all day working, it's pretty easy to do some cleaning on lunch, or start dinner right after I finish working.

Training has been going well; 2 mile run on Sunday, 19 good bike miles with a good amount of climbing on Sunday, 2 running miles and .5 swim miles yesterday, 8 miles on the bike today at high tempo (17 MPH Avg), with a .75 mile swim. Tomorrow is the long ride, 26 miles, then I'll back off mileage a little the following two days to ramp up the run and the swim. The climbing on the bike is the only thing I'm worried about for this race, so I've spent as much time as I could on the bike in the time since recovering from the Cedar Point effort.

Finally, It took a little while but I've shaken off the disappointment from Cedar Point. It's pretty hard to be in the dumps very long when you live with this every day!