Might I intrude on myself before I begin my own post, and let everyone know that I am jealous of Steven's ride through the Columbia River Gorge this weekend! If you have not seen his post or the pictures you should check it out here. I have only driven through there, and it has been almost 10 years since I have been through there last.
Now onto my weekend. There was no swimming on Friday (booooo, what the hell is your problem Andy, you slacker!), but Saturday and Sunday were productive. I competed a 5K around Chastain Park in Atlanta, time 23min 2 sec. This is ONLY 11 seconds better than my race time last year!!! I need to pick up the pace a bit, especially if I am gunning for 1st place in my age group!
Sunday was better. I went out riding with Jackie, Kevin, and Kelly. It was only Kelly's 2nd or 3rd time riding out any decent distance on a road bike, and so Jackie was nice enough to hang back with her while Kevin and I would go on ahead for awhile and return. We did more intervals than anything, consisting of 1 2 min high intensity, and lots of just high paced stuff 5+ minutes of 19-21mph clips. Total Distance = ~25 miles, I will have to get the exact data from Kevin when he downloads it from his Polar 720i tonight. This workout might have not seemed productive on the surface, but if you look closer you see that my average speed on intervals was between 19-21mph and our average non-intervals speed was 16-18mph. I think this is GREAT, since that is what I need to accomplish to get faster, is increase my average speed over longer periods of time.
Tomorrow is technically my day off, but I might hit the pool a bit before workout, since I did not do ANY this weekend. I hope that all of you had a great and productive weekend (or lazy, if that is what you needed). In Atlanta it was really humid all weekend, but it was also overcast with a few storms on Saturday, so it kept the temps under 90 degrees, which I was happy with. For some reason I have not been a morning person in quite sometime, so it puts the kibash on trying to work out first thing in the morning like most of you do. Fortunately, the payoff is that on raceday, I usually have been training in weather that is on average 15-20 degrees hotter than race conditions, so I feel that gives me a bit of an advantage.
If you have not read August's issue of Triathlete Magazine yet, you should go and get it, and read the point-counterpoint article on littering during races. I find it really interesting, and I feel that I fit somewhere in the middle of the equation. For me it has to do with a) the distance of the race (i.e. sprint vs. Ironman) and b) where you are at during the race when the time comes where you feel the need you might want to dump something. With point A, the shorter the distance, normally means less stuff that you carry with you. For me a Sprint Tri is 2 bottles that are mine (not dumping) and MAYBE, MAYBE a pack of GU (I have pocket at the back of my tri jersey I put it back there). During the run portion I pick up at aid stations and try to throw back as close to them as possible. I feel in races that short it is the race director and his volunteers who should take the brunt. At ironman, I feel that we should take more responsibility. Your clif wrapper is smaller empty than when it was full, so put it in your bento box. Transfer bottles they give you into yours, or throw yours away and put theirs on your bike at aid stations.
With point B, it depends on where you are during the race. If you are within 100-200yds of aid station, TOSS IT!!! If you get a penalty, then cuss the begeesus out of the race director, and tell him that is what the volunteers are for. If you are out in the middle of nowhere (i.e. no aid station around) take assessment of situation. Sure that bottle is empty and weighs 8-10 ozs, but it weighed about 20-30 ozs more when it was full, so suck it up... Most of us who wear full length tri tops have pockets, put your gel and bar wrappers in there if there is no place to dispose of them. Same with belts (if they have pouches).