Friday, June 29, 2007

Just plodding through the week

UPDATE: Pics to be posted this weekend when I get some time to get my scanner working again. I am also going to order the race pics once they are posted from the race's official picture site.

My legs were sore until Tuesday. I went on my Tuesday night ride, but I had to cut it short (in half to be exact) so that I could get Jackie's camera back before she went on her business trip. It was about 12-13 miles in 54 minutes. Sandy Springs ride. I kept up with everyone past the golf course this time until I got about a mile or two after that, and then I got dropped. See I am getting a little further every time.

Swimming did not end up working out Wednesday morning for logistical reasons. Thursday either. I really need to take care of that situation. Especially on nights where I am able to go to bed at a decent hour.

Thursday night was an endurance ride for me, 2 hours in the saddle. I forgot to bring half my stuff to work with me, and I really, really needed to pick up my dry cleaning, so I went to the Silver Comet Trail. I got started about 6:40p in the evening, and it was getting really cloudy and dark outside. I kept getting hit with sprinkes, but nothing serious....... until I made the turn to come back. After my first hour, I turned around and it hit me. for 5 miles it was drenching rain. I was probably riding 1/2 inch deep in some places, and I had to move the cellphone to the front of my tri shirt to try and keep it dry. That did not help too much, but my phone still works today, so that is promising. I did about 37.3 miles in 2 hours, averaging 18.6 mph. I purposely tried to average 18mph at the beginning of the ride as it was a tempo ride, but once I got about 20 miles into the ride, my legs loosened up and my body wanted to go faster. My mind was thinking control, but that is not how it played out. There was one area of about 1/2 mile where i felt burnt out for a moment (it was a false flat incline), but I kicked it in gear again when it flattened out. Once I got back to the car it was light rain, and I headed home to wash up and then get some dinner (Taco Mac).

I am pretty open this weekend, so I am going to try and get 4 workouts in this weekend (especially swimming) to make up for the week. Most of them are interval/speed training, so there will not be heavy volume of workouts back to back. I am not worried.

In other news, I have kind of mapped out what I think I am going to do over the next 12-14 months. I am toying with the idea of doing IM Louisville. It does not interfere with the wedding, it is fairly close (I can get there in 6 hours), and it is not at the end of the year (like IMFL). The ONLY negative is that it is not as flat as IMFL, but I don't think I want it to be. I also want to get some key events in before hand (such as Half-Mary in Nov, Mary in March, Century ride sometime between April-June). I had no clue until I started writing everything down how much planning and time you need to look ahead to do an event such as this.

And the $$MONEY$$!!! Now I know why the average person only does 1 Ironman Event a year (whether or not they do one close to them or they make a vacation out of it). In theory, I would leave Thu night to louisville, and get there late. Then I would take Friday and Monday off of work, and then come back Monday afternoon. 4 nights hotel, gas, 4 days of food, spending money for entertainment/Ironman SWAG, etc. I think the budget, including entry fees is coming somewhere near $1500!!! Since this is not an event that is popular enough to sell out, I am not too worried about signing up for it the day after yet....however, I am probably not going to take a chance. We shall see, I need to check on a few other things before I make a final decision on this one.

I just found out my schedule for next week at my other job, I am going to have to do the majority of my workouts during the week, because I am working double Wed, Fri, Sat and then I am working sometime on Sunday, but I do not know when yet.


Monday, June 25, 2007

2007 Tri the Parks - Indian Springs State Park, June 23rd, 2007

Before we begin, I wanted to preview my race report with a little clarification on a definition.

BOMBED: (bombd) 1; v. the past tense of bomb, which is to cause a explosive device to detonate on a specified target. 2; adj. intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. 3; See Murtha's post below...

Lets begin the night before, where I worked both jobs on Friday, and the manager for the night was nice enough to let me off a bit early. I think I got home somewhere between 10 and 10:30, and by the time I got done packing everything up, I got in bed around midnight. However, I don't think I fell asleep until about 1am. I woke up at 3:30am, took a quick shower, and downed some Gu and Gatorade. Got in the car and over to Jackie's house at around 4:40am. We packed everything up and then stopped back by McDonald's around 5am, and I got a Southern style chicken biscuit and some water.

Flovilla, GA. Yes, about 45-50 minutes south of Atlanta. I have been close to there before cutting down Christmas trees, and I used to go camping at Indian Springs when I was younger with the family. There are some minor annoyances that I have with the race organizers of this "Tri the Parks" series, and I think most of it stems from the fact that they can get cheap venue setups by using the Georgia park system, and it benefits the park because we have to pay to get in the park (not included in race entry fee). I will state, however, that the park officials were "with it" this time (and the fact that we were not late due to freeway construction) and there were three guys moving cars through and taking money as fast as they could

It figures that my tri life is doomed. I don't know if I wrote about it on Thursday's post, but James told me that the best place to have my bike setup in transition is close to the bike exit, so that you run very little with your bike in T1 and T2. Of course my bike was at the very opposite end. I would not put too much emphasis on this, except that it was a parking area on a hill!!! Not a slight incline, but a hill!!! Again please see my aforementioned comment about the agreement between the organizers and the park system for this reasoning. I was at the end of the row, YES!!! extra room for my setup!

The only other issue I was worried about pre-race was my feet. For some reason they went to heck the last few days before the race, so I had to tape them up. Funny story, a lady, just before the race began, gave me a concerned look. I said hello, and then she asked me if I was racing with a broken foot. I was not paying attention when she told me that. Jackie then relayed the message to me, and I got a good chuckle out of it.

RACE TIME - SWIM (16:31.31, 24th/27 in AG)
I got in the water and swam about 100yds before the race began, and felt good. Gun went off, and I think I started the first 150M too fast because in the middle of the swim I had to breast stroke for about 50M to catch my breath. Otherwise, my breathing was good (bilateral) and I was breathing every 3 strokes. My sighting was also good, just that I purposely stayed wide of the bouys to avoid any hassles. The funny part was that slowed down once to sight, and I found someone drafting off my feet (i.e. running into me). I thought that funny seeing as how I finished almost last in my AG. I did get through it about 30 seconds faster than last race, but I felt like I did it 2 mins faster. Maybe because I was not swimming as hard as I needed to the last half.

MOUNT T1 (1:06.06 6th/27 in AG)
I had to run up sand and rocky forest area before I got to the top of the parking lot for T1. Forgot to have water up there, so I wiped my feet on the towel for a quick second and then planned what I practiced. Then I had to run my bike down the steep slope with my shoes undone, I was kind of paranoid, but made it out. I forgot to turn my Garmin on before the race began, so the satelittes did not pick up until 1 mile into the race.

BIKE - WHAT I THOUGHT WAS FAST REALLY WAS NOT (39:54.54 19th/ 27 in AG, 19.25mph)
Kind of worn out from the swim, and it took me longer than I needed to get velcro on shoes, since the velcro came out of the loops. Then the first thing I had to do was put up with the largest elevation climb of the ride (which would have normally not been that bad, but it was the first thing after the swim. Big geared it for most of the ride, and thought I did much better than my stats posted, since my Garmin was averaging 22-24mph. I guess I never looked down when I was going up those hills, and that first mile where my Garmin was down I was going pretty slow. I felt confident though, since I only had 4 females pass me this time, where I had probably a dozen catch me last time. Coming into T2, I took off my shoes and pedaled on top of them, and had no problems dismounting.

MOUNT T2 (1:30.30, 23rd/ 27 in AG)
Ok, so you ask, "how in the heck can you go from 6th in your AG to 23rd in your AG on T2?" Well, first off you have to have your rack position at the very top of the hill, such that you have to push your bike to the top. Then you have to have issues with your taped left foot and your running shoe, such that you lose 15 seconds playing with it. That would have put me down to 17th in my AG. I finally got out of there quickly after the tape debacule.

RUN - WHERE I "BOMBED" (30:00.00, 23rd/ 27 in AG, 9:40 min/mi pace)
I definately left the majority of the wad I wantd to blow on the bike portion of the course. Within the first half mile, my right hamstring locked up, and I had to stop for about 15 seconds and stretch it. I walked about 15-20 seconds, and then began jogging small strides. There was a female AG'er that was probably in the top 10 that I tried to stay with for about 100yds, but that was not happening. Hills were worse than John Tanner tri I did earlier this year. I got to about mile 1.5, when I had to walk part way up the hill because of my quads. the around mile 2.25 I had to do the same thing. With about .75 mile to go, my right hammie locked up again, and I walked it off for about 30 seconds, the jogged to the finish.

Total Time: 1:29:02.02, 21st/ 27 in AG

Thoughts... Well I missed my goal by just over 9 minutes. Do I care...? NO! I leared alot from this race, and also how my training has led up to the results of this race. I think the big problem is that I needt to figure how much letting off in one area will have an impact in another area. The problem therein lies that I don't think by letting off (for example) 1-2 min on the bike will significantly impact my run performance in a positive manner. I think I just need to up the volume a bit more OR change my training technique. I also did not taper for the event, as it is more of an event just to do leading up to my big race in the fall.

The biggest thing I have noticed is how I emotionally feel about my performance. I really don't care how I finished, just that I did finish (kinda the reason I got started in this whole tri thing three years ago). Even the fact that this was my slowest finish ever in a Sprint distance event does not seem to bother me.

I did not get to see Renee this weekend, mostly due to me having to cut out of the race as soon as I got finished to go up to Clayton (I did not get home until 1am Sunday morning, after being up for almost 24 hours). She got 7th in her AG! I am so proud of her! Totally kicked my butt by almost 4 minutes!!!

I will try and post pictures Tuesday if I have time, and get some of the other John Tanner pictures up as well.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Last workout pre-race

T-minus 15hours and 15 minutes (roughly) before Tri the Parks, Indian Springs State Park!!!!

Excited is the word I would use right now, not nervous. Ready to get this thing the hell on. Do I think I am going to best my fastest sprint time? I am not sure, but I am going to have a good time doing it.

Last night was my last workout this week before my race. Actually I really slacked this week, but it will turn out ok. Bike + Transition Practice (yes I will get more to this later) on Thursday, full tri on Saturday (so it picks up 3 workouts) and then an open water swim on Sunday. So my week will be lopsided, but that is ok.

So last night, James was to help me out with my transition times. My fastest times in a Sprint race have been a total of about 2:20-2:30. So last night we practiced in his cul-de-sac, and although the distance was shorter than my average run through transitions, we compensated for this by adding 10 seconds to T1 and 10 seconds to T2. I think the point I want to hammer home to everyone (and I am sure that I am preaching to the choir, save the people that have never actually practiced their transitions), IS TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A (SOME) SYSTEM IN PLACE, MEMORIZE THAT SYSTEM, AND THEN EXECUTE THAT SYSTEM!!! Other than that, you can skin the proverbial cat anyway you want (**Note** - no cats were injured in the creation of this post ;-)

Here is my break down: Total times for both T1 and T2 in practice (including the added 20 seconds) 1min 20 seconds!!!! An improvement of 1min 10sec-1min 20sec!!! Cutting my time in half! Here is what I did to achieve this

1) NO SOCKS!!! I have been told any race shorter than an Oly you do not need to wear socks, but take the appropriate precautions by a) training without socks and b) athletic tape, band-aids etc... or better yet band-aids and then tape over them so they do not fall off during the race.

2) Rack bike (within race regulations) so that your bike is facing the most efficient way towards the exit of transition. If you have the option of putting your bike wherever you want, put it close to the bike exit (this gets complicated when the bike and run exit are on the opposite sides, but getting there early can help you determine location).

3) Set up your system as efficiently as possible, and anything that is mandatory goes where I have to move something (i.e. sunglasses and helmet on aerobars, race number goes on top of running shoes). I also have my running shoes equipped with the slip on shoe laces (where you fix the elastic laces to how tight you want your shoes to your foot) and my bike shoes are already opened up as much as possible.

4) Do not clip/strap down shoes until you are on the bike (from t1)!!! What you say??? Won't they fly off! I thought so too, and then I went through three practice runs. The trick is to run and take smaller steps so that you are not flexing your foot as much with the possibility of it flying out. I have noticed people during races not locking down there shoes until they are a mile down a road once they have started.

5) Practice unstrapping your shoes before you get off and leave them on there (run barefoot to your spot in T2). My shoes scraped against the ground a few times, and once my rear wheel popped up because my right cleat got caught on the ground, but I just kept running with my bike. If you have a downhill, you can unstrap them earlier (1/4 mile left to go). If it is an uphill or turns you will have to wait later.

6) Do not be afraid to just throw the stuff you don't need anymore anywhere in your space.

7) Make sure you "run" through transition!!! This is an ok time to max out your heartrate. The shorter the race the more T1 and T2 count.

8) When you are coming into T1 or T2, then you need to be visualizing what you are going to be doing in transition.

After my transition practice, we went on an 18.5 mile bike ride through roswell on some fast flats and steep hills. He kicked my butt, but got me averaging 24mph on the flats (maxed out on 28.5 on flats) and then had to granny gear it on the hills, I could not handle it.

I'm ready...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Countdown.... (Yet again), And pro sightings in Atlanta!!!

I was a total slacker yesterday. It was one of those days where Jackie was allowed to call me out for being lazy. She even drove out of her way to go to my gym because they had a class later in the evening that she wanted to attend. No excuse. Oh well, you can't win them all, can you?

So I am participating in Tri the Parks, Indian Springs State Park this weekend. Renee is competing in the event as well, and I am kind of excited about that. Hopefully we can hook up.
This time there is no road construction that splits the freeway and makes the left lane an express one, so we should be ok on getting to the race site at a decent hour of the morning.

I will also once again be representing Team Javelin, so I will definately be visible (probably from space) with my highlighter yellow and green suit.

Tomorrow it is double duty on my workouts (that is what happens when you slack off), however, both of them are light workouts so as not to make me wake up Saturday morning sore as hell. James is going to help me with transitions tomorrow night, in the hopes that both my transition times will be sub 1 minute (forgoing any 50 mile treks from the water to t1). He told me straight up the other day that socks are not allowed. NO SOCKS!!! Oh well, I suppose Band-aids are cheap, as well as Neosporin. Who needs feet? At least I am not battling with plantar fasciitis again.... (boooo!!!). Maybe I will be worthy of a 2007 foot picture entry on Kahuna's blog.

I think the fastest transition time I have logged was just over 1 minute, and that was mostly due to the fact that I had to back track a bit in T2 during a sprint race because of where I was located. I need all the help I can get if I finally want to break 1hr 20 min... ;-)

Have I told you I am kind of excited? This is only my 2nd tri of the season (and 3rd event). I really need to log a few road races over the summer. They are low maintenance, and they are much cheaper than a triathlon (no $9 USAT one day fee!). I am still signed up for the Tri-PTC in September. I think I am going to make that a yearly event, unless some other tri event or lifestyle change prevents it.

I am also thinking about starting my own tri team... Wha? (like i need to add anything else to my plate!!!) I dunno... I think what I really need to do is join Tri-Atlanta or North Atlanta Multisport first, and then see where that leads me. What can I say, I am just a sociable person, and as well all know, this sport can be just downright lonely at times. For now I think this subject will be on the "back burner".

And guess who was in ATL last weekend??? I'll give you a hint, the winner of the 1st Ryka IronGirl Atlanta event (at Lake Lanier).

Michelle Jones!!!!!!!!

I had to work at Wolfgang Sunday morning, so I missed my opportunity! Oh well, I am sure once my "habit" takes me to some larger events, I will see many more tri-personalities. I was kinda suprised about her winning time, but I think a week or two before she had just competed in a major event and this was more of a recovery thing. Hey, she beat my best time in a sprint tri.... I think Wes went with his wife, and I told a couple other people about it who were interested, but I have not heard of anyone else who went.

If any of you ladies are participating in the Ryka IronGirl event this year, I (meaning Jackie) would love to hear about it.

Signing off for now,


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Awake Time (5:30a-12:30a) + 2 workouts = WORN OUT!!!

My body (and eyeballs) are composing this post under protest!

Tuesday was a good workout. I did not keep time, HRM, anything. I just let my body do the talking and completed a bike sprint workout (8x1 minute sprints), with what I thought was about a 5 minute rest in between each sprint. Legs were pretty torn up after that!

Wednesday morning I was in the pool by 5:45am and I did a straight 1/2 hour with no stopping. Again, just feeling, working on technique, and there were a couple of laps that were breast stroke and butterfly. I lost count of laps (what else is new), but I know for a fact that I completed somewhere close to 1500 M give or take a few hundred.

After work yesterday I went straight to Chastain park for a track(hill) workout. 8-10 minute warmup and then I found a good hill on the run where I did 5x1 minute hill sprints (actually it went 1:24, 1:11. 1:11, 1:10, 1:13). Notice the hill was a bit longer than 1 minute to complete, but I did not complain. I did not get in 8X1 min, but that is due to the fact I got tired out, and there were three more hills for me to jog up back to the car on my cooldown.

I met up with Jackie yesterday evening and we ate at Cheyenne Grill in Buckhead, and then went to the Landmark movie theatre in the Highlands where there was an independent film contest called the 48 hour special. All over the country are people who put together mini movie clips in 48hours or less, and then the audience in each city that they do the competition in votes on the best so they can go to the national competition.

It was supposed to start at 9:30, but did not get started until 10:00pm. I have to apologize to a couple of people who made a few of those movies, I fell asleep during two of them. I was really tired, and I was slumping in a comfy chair and it was dark. Most of them were pretty good, and there was one that was really funny because it had a fight scene and the sound effects were about 10 seconds behind the actual action sequence. Jackie's co-worker had a movie and it was pretty cool, I voted it number one for the night, and then we went home. Got in bed about 12:30am, and did not sleep well last night. I need to go next door and get a starbucks double shot.

I might scrap tonight's workout in favor of getting some rest, I am almost 100% from this sinus thing, but not quite yet. Also, Jackie has a small work shindig with her co-workers, and since I am an unofficial employee (for moral support) of her company, I feel only obliged to show up and partake in the ongoings of drunken debauchery that will ensue tonight :-)

I am going to try and post some more pictures from my tri at John Tanner State Park. I also have the Tri the Parks - Indian Springs state park next weekend!!! Wow, next weekend already?!?!?! Oh well, how time flies. My weekend is packed. I have a swim, endurance run, brick, and I should have one more workout in there somewhere, but I might scrap it. Next week is week 5 in my training plan, and I will make it light for a) reovery from weeks 1-4, and b) it is a race week, even though it is just a sprint. I do not need to be extra sore waking up Saturday morning for a race.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yeah!!! Its Here Finally!! And other things...

So Tuesday the joy of my month (other than my fiance, which is every month), came in the mail. I skimmed it real quick while doing the laundry (I got let go a bit early from work due to the sinus bug from lake Altoona, more on that later) and said I would wait until at least tomorrow to plow through the magaznine.

Today we were late at work, so I came home and put in a speed workout on the bike. 8 x1 minute sprints with 5 minutes of recovery/80% of race pace in between. I did not focus on distance or cadence. Just feeling. It felt good. I did it on the SCT of course to ensure fairness (oh I think I mean flatness).

Cutting down my hours for June was a great idea! I am getting to spend more time at home, working out, and of course with Jackie ;-). I am also getting in at minimum 85% of my workouts each week now, where as before it was more like 40-50%. I am on Tomorrow(2x), Thursday(2x), Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. Wes is getting out on the SCT with his wife Dee Dee early Saturday morning, but I cannot get out there because I will be at the bank. They also have me on the opening Sunday shift at Wolfgang Express, so I should be done about 2pm, and then it is soooo on!!!

So far I have made it through about 54 pages of my favorite magazine. I love this month's point-counter point! I kinda side with both people though on the issue.

Well as for last weekend, I put in a 2 hour ride on Saturday for about 32 miles (there was a 2 mile portion where I forgot to turn my watch back on. When Jackie bought me my newest tri gear for my birthday, the shirt is a bit narrower in the back than my others (Zoot is always a bit smaller than Sugoi), so I now have tan, burn, and white on my back. Sunday I swam about 1000-1200M and I got burned then too. It was in lake Altoona again solo, on the same route that Wes and I swam a few weeks ago, but in reverse. I also did not stop when I got to the other end, but immediately looped back and finished. I swallowed a bit of water due to boat wakes (there were a lot out) and I kinda got a light case of sinusitus. I am back at about 85% of normal now, I have been sucking down Sudafed like crazy!!! Odwalla C-Monster helps out as well.

Lastly, for the few of you who read my blog (just kidding, I look at the stats from time to time on who is reading), I want some advice (both generally and technically). I want to keep better track of my stats on a long term basis (i.e. my garming training center, Microsoft Excel, etc). I also want to post my weekly monthly stats on my blog, but I have not figured out how to do the table in the sidebar yet. Any thoughts or suggestions on how do to either or both? How do you keep track with you long term stats? Really with the table, I just need someone to give me some code and explain it to me so that I can manipulate it every week/month and post it to my blog.

I will hopefully be back again on Thursday, if not I will keep up with all of your blogs and get back to you this weekend. Jackie and I are going to watch some Independent film contest tomorrow night that one of her co-workers is involved in.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Getting Impaitent...

Boy, am I frustrated right now...


Ok, I know that they are already nice enough to send it out to customer's a month before the publication date on the magazine. I also know that you get it about 2 weeks or so sooner by subscribing rather than going to your local bookstore (However if you go to your local tri shop they have it at the beginning of the month).

But it is the expectation of receiving the magazine! I spend the rest of my monthing going through Bicycling Magazine, Runner's World, Running Times, Inside Triathlon, and the other triathlon publication (that I cannot remember). And let's not forget the quarterly publication for the USAT magazine.

How come there is not more quality content? I dunno, maybe what we (I) need to do is create some form of media for triathlons that has current daily content, and I can make money at it (I don't have time to do things for free right now, except charity and training).

I just feel that there is so much information and stories that the average triathlete is missing out on, and tri - geeks like myself seem always starved for more of it. I have links to all the major (and minor) tri websites and I am part of the Tri - Blogger Alliance. And while I do not read everyone's blog, I get to quite a few of them. Although the pro scene isn't even as large as some women's college sports, There is quite a more bit of depth I feel than some of the major sports.

I mean what other sport has three different types of races (now four with the tri One o One race series) and competes worldwide at all levels (pro, amateur, age group, clydesdale/athena, club teams, relays)? We've got the sponsors, and there is no shortage of sponsorship from private to club (ie team gu, javelin) to pro.

There are more races every year than hockey, baseball, football, and basketball combined (based off of number of games each team plays in a season, I think, don't quote me on that yet :-b) and let's not forget the training, and days leading up to and following major races. Expo after Expo, Interbike (need I say more), training camps both near and far(exotic), Team In training stories (and any other organization using triathlon for the bettement of community and society), and anything else that I could not think of goes here.

There are even podcasts with about 3-4 bloggers from the tri-blogger alliance who have weekly podcasts (You can probably guess that I am impatient with Iron Wil and the Kahuna right now, but I still love those guys!), not to mention that USAT now has a podcast and I think that ironman has live event podcasts and videos.

If I could figure out a way to put all of this together, have fun doing it and make money ($$$) at the same time (to support both my private and triathlon lifestyle), I would quit my jobs right now in a heartbeat!

Not that I need to add any more to this post, but I just went to Ironman Live's website, and there are 46 officially sanctioned Ironman events (both full-distance and 70.3). That's almost 4 per month, averaging almost 1 per week! Then you have the ITU series, USAT series, Escape from Alcatraz series, Lifetime fitness series (going to be the biggest prize purse yet), Xterra series, and I think there is one other major series as well. Please note that these are only series that are familiar to us in the North America and does not include any popular ones overseas.

Again my question from earlier arises yet again; how come it does not feel like there is enough content out there for the volume and depth that surrounds our sport? I don't know if there is enough ad revenue (actually there probably is I am just being pessimistic) for a TV channel, but there could be a supersite like where it would encompass all parts of the sport, and then have contributing reporters, video, podcasts, interviews, etc...

I am a tri-geek! So sue me! I want more! So who is going to help me launch this concept? My email is at the top of the page if you are interested...


Friday, June 01, 2007

Some much awaited pictures (and more to come)...

Hello All,

Here are a few pictures from my Tri the Parks - John Tanner State Park and a couple of pics from the NY bike tour. I have some more from the Tri (on the bike), but I have to scan the pictures in first. Funny how the swim cap matches the uniform. I think the color is growing on me.