Monday, April 30, 2012

April Training Notes

This month my totals look like this

Swim39,400 yards11:50 hours
Bike270 miles15:30 hours
Run69 miles10:20 hours

This month started off pretty bike heavy with some long bike rides in the first two weeks. The third week we had some schedule conflicts and poor weather so that week was pretty light. Last week was pretty decent with a long run and the first ride of the year with the bike group. I finished off the month with a 10k race which was a great way to check where I am.

Swimming is still going well, I've settled into my new spot and there have been small rumblings of moving up a lane, I'd guess that's still a ways off. I have short bursts of speed that make people in my lane want me to lead, but don't always have the endurance to do super awesome one long sets, but I am doing the entire workout these days with a less overwhelming desire to sleep for an hour as soon as it's done.

The bike mileage is way up this month from last which is good. I only did one really long ride instead of two due to the scheduling conflicts we had. I'm not terribly torn up about it, it's sort of boring riding 40 or 50 miles by yourself :)

Running is going well, while there are some sprints built into the workouts lately, not I'm getting into longer runs. One thing I have noticed is that it's difficult for me to really push myself fast on a run that is fairly long. For instance I had an 11 mile run last week which was basically two intervals of 10k pace with a small rest between and it was very hard to push those mentally. I didn't want to self destruct 5 miles from home :)

This month's resolution was to eat lunch every day. I'm doing that, the eating resolutions were good for me to get a feel for how much I'm eating (at least meal wise) and they were pretty easy to hit. I may not make those goals again unless I look down at the scale one day and have lost of ton of weight :)

Next month's goal is to get 7 or more hours of sleep a day. This one is going to be a good one, there are many days I'm under 5. I can definitely feel the difference the next day if I am low on sleep.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Race Review - Get In Gear 10k

Technically this was my second stand-alone 10k. I did one last year in FL with my sister, and I've done two at the end of triathlons. I signed up for this one on a whim because a guy at work suggested it. This race is actually several races at the same time. 2k, 5k, 10k, half marathon. There might also be a fun run in there too.

The Training
I am not specifically training for any running races. Having said that it seems like the bulk of my training for the last four months has been pretty run focused, and it's definitely had a positive impact on running speed and confidence. It also helps to have this distance and further under by belt a few times.

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup was in my living room the morning of the race. My wife and I were both signed up and we had enlisted my sister-in-law to watch the kids at the race. So my wife went to the day before and picked up both of our packets. Running races seem a lot more comfortable letting just anyone pick up race numbers and stuff. The only restrictions at this race was that people were restricted to picking up 10 people's stuff at a time.

Race Morning
The 10k and half marathon start time was at 9, the last email we got from the race director said to be there 45-60 minutes early to be able to deal with lines. So my wife planned on getting up pretty early, which she did. And then she woke me up to tell me it was pouring down rain. We could hear it pelting our house, and it was only 40 degrees. I immediately decided I wasn't going.  It's not that I don't want to run in the rain, but I don't want to stand around in the rain before and after the run.

After a few minutes I started to second guess the knee jerk reaction to the bad weather. I started reasoning that we should at least go to the event, who knows if the rain was going to let up. Around that time I could not longer hear the rain from inside, and when I looked outside I realized that it must not have been raining long. We talked about it a bit, my wife had no desire to be outside, and we for sure didn't want to subject the kids to standing outside, maybe in the rain, definitely in the cold, for two hours or more. Eventually I decided I just go and everyone else would stay home.

So I scarfed some breakfast, got my running tights, long sleeve shirt, hat and gloves and headed out. I got to the designated parking area with about an hour to spare, headed to the shuttle, got in the longest line I've seen in a while and waited about 20 minutes to get on a bus. The bus dropped us off and I headed to the start area with about 7 minutes to spare.

The Start
I think the total size of the event was something like eight thousand people. The 10k had, according to the results, 3,600 people. Unfortunately the start area is a free for all, and by the time I got there I was far enough from the start that I didn't even know where it was. I just knew I was in line for it. I learned the hard way from the ING Miami race that if you get stuck behind a bunch of slow people it can be really frustrating. According to the results I started about 2,000 people back, it took me about 1:50 to get to the start line.

Much to my surprise the pace picked up pretty quickly, and while I spent a good amount of time hunting for a clear path to run for the first two miles I wasn't actually that bad.

The Run
I didn't do a preview for this race, but I did have a goal in mind, under 50 minutes which would mean averaging 8 minute miles. Besides the 5k from last year that would be my fasted sustained speed for any distance, but I've been able to hold low to mid-8s for shorter runs and mid to high-8s for longer runs.

So I took it out at a comfortable pace, ran around people pretty much constantly for the first two miles and then just settled in. I had my watch on, and I glanced down once or twice to see what pace I was doing, but mostly I was just checking distances and time. For most the race I figured I was on pace, I hit the half way point and did the math real quick and figured I was pretty much exactly on pace.

The course is pretty flat, not south Florida flat, but flat for Minnesota, one or two gentle climbs with matching downhill sections.

When I got to about 1.5 miles to go I checked the time again and this time I was pretty sure I was way off pace. I figured to get in under 50 minutes I'd need to run at 7 minute pace the rest of the way. Then again my brain doesn't always want to function fully during races so I put that math out of my head and tried to pick up the pace.

Race Highlight - I knew there were a bunch of people I knew at this race, and I saw one of them on the run. That was cool! I also heard the announcer say his name as he was crossing the finish line.

The Finish
I had starting putting more effort in near the end like I said above. Of course, this is the same time everyone who has anything left starts putting in more effort so, while I was feeling pretty happy with my effort, I wasn't really passing people.

At the very end though the 10k and the 5k races converge on the same finish line and so I was passing people again, it was pretty busy but it does make me feel better to be passing people.

I was feeling pretty junky at the end of the race, I mean there was a fairly good chance I was going to lose my lunch. I just pushed to the end and did lot loose my lunch. I grabbed some water some chocolate milk, milled around for a bit looking for people I knew and then headed home.

The Results

Overall Place651 / 3,649
Division Place74 / 232

Mile Splits
7:47 - Had this been a 5k, this is almost a PR for me.
7:03 for the last .2

Closing Comments
So I'm very happy with this. It's a personal best and it means that the effort I've been putting is paying off.

I don't know what to think about this race as an event, it's large and has lots of history and the course is fine which are good things. But I've heard that it rains every year, and there wasn't actually anything particularly special about it. Who knows, maybe I'll do it again maybe not.

Friday, April 27, 2012

SILA : 5

The Lance effect - Someone's take on Lance Armstrong's effect on triathlon. It seems like some people are upset with the circus, I guess because I'm not a pro I'm not bothered by him causing a sudden frenzy. If all my favorite triathlons suddenly become overrun and no fun that'd suck, but that doesn't seem likely.

Iron Man St. George Fading Away? - I have to admit the only time people talk about this race they are saying how much it isn't awesome. It's not like I follow it or anything, but if all you ever hear is bad either they have terrible public relations, or it's bad.

Duathlon Pacing - Two thoughts on this, I have no idea how much is in my fitness bank - that seems like a detail that was sort of glossed over. And they should give awards for leg winners :)

Endurance Training - The bit on consistency yields results is interesting.

One legged Cyclist - I'm not sure I could go more than a few yards using just one leg

Bike Gear Info - Sort of interesting. A few weeks ago someone asked me what my gear ratio was, and honestly I had no idea. She did suggest though that the reason I had trouble with the hill at Trinona was that the ratio wasn't good for climbing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

SILA : 4

NAPALM - I have to admit, with a million different "fueling" options out there I sometimes wonder if it's actually good to be putting all this stuff in your body. Who knows though, maybe it's like high-test gas for a car. If you have a decently conditioned body it's actually better to fuel like that in high intensity workouts. I actually don't mind gels, though I stick to Hammer because I have yet to find one I don't like with Apple Cinnamon being my go-to flavor for the last two years.

Hug a coke machine - get a free coke. I find the banter annoying, but this came up recently in conversation around our house. When I think of coke I think of a company trying to spread a positive message.

Bike hit and run. This one has been making the rounds. I cannot imagine how shaken that guy is, I ran into the side of a car who turned on me and i thought that was bad, at least that guy stopped.

Friday, April 13, 2012

SILA : 3

Specialized Shiv - My sister is thinking about getting this bike...nice.

Evil Racing Cult - It might be a stretch to call this triathlon, but it's a smaller bike and wheel shop. I like the style in general, so I'll be following them to see what they come up with.

Math - Something to think about next time your out for a run or bike
Caine's Arcade

Thursday, April 5, 2012

SILA : 2

Vibram Lawsuit - It looks silly to me. Although if you agree that you bought some due to false advertising that somehow a shoe could make you a better person, they are trying for a class action suit.

Lance Armstrong being passed at Galveston 70.3. This was the topic of some discussion this week. It's sort of interesting to think about what I might be thinking in both of those guy's shoes.

Leadman Epic 125 in Las Vegas - They say this race is run focused, but it seems bike focused. I've always wondered why the sports aren't more evenly split from a time perspective. Probably because the swim would destroy people.

Mt. Dew & Doritos Cupcakes - From a place in Orlando - but the Discovery site has recipe suggestions on how to maybe actually make them.

Yes please, and my birthday is coming up if that's any incentive.

Flying car - it seems like this comes up every once and a while. This video doesn't touch on the requirements of flying said car. The website doesn't either though I think it's safe to say you need to be a pilot and it's probably not super easy to fly.

Opower - their goal is to use people's own competitive nature to try to get people to lower their power consumption. Would turn off some lights if you knew all your friends were using less power than you? I might, probably not our 3 year old though :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

March Training Notes

This month my totals look like this

Swim40,650 yards12:45 hours
Bike121 miles7:45 hours
Run53 miles8 hours

The first week went well, I finished up a hard week and finished up with the beginning of the illness. The second week was mostly taking time off to give my body a chance to deal with aforementioned illness. The third week was a scheduled recovery week, that felt awesome. The fourth week has been almost entirely running. The weather is getting to be nice up here, I've taken the trainer wheel off my bike and am planning on doing all my non-swimming out doors for the rest of the season.

Illness update - I'm still convinced it's allergies. Nobody in my family seems to have gotten sick, and it's just hanging in there. I don't feel worn down or anything, just a mild cough every once and a while to clear my throat.

Swimming is going well, it's dominating the time because it's set and is the easiest to make sure I get in. I've leveled up and that means that usually after a swim workout I am SUPER SLEEPY.

I only did six bike rides this month, and I only skipped on when I wasn't sick. Next week though is primarily bike, so hopefully that will start to balance out. Otherwise I'll have to re-evaluate a little.

Running is going well, I did a set of intervals the other day where I got down in the 4 minute pace during the sprints. Granted it's only 20 seconds, but that is by far the fastest I've ever run. That whole thing was only 30 minutes long. I did a longer interval set the this week where I held sub-8 for the five six-minute intervals over the course of an hour. That also felt fast and made me very tired. But these are big milestones for me.

This month's resolution was to drink the "recommended" amount of water every day. After some reading and chatting with my wife it was determined that I should try to drink about three liters a day, consisting primarily of water. The distinction that basically drinking anything should count as part of the fluid intake was a good one to learn about.

A couple of notes about this - first I was already very close to hitting this number except on the weekends. I, much to my surprise, already drink a  lot during the day at work. Second, having a goal in this area freaked me out, I found myself obsessing over it, I started over drinking. Finally, this naturally brought on the frequent pee effect, where I was constantly looking for the bathroom.  After about two and a half weeks I feel off the wagon due to all three of these factors. It was reassuring to know though that I'm with in a half a liter most days.

Next month's resolution is lunch every day. It's tempting to change it because I've been pretty vigilant about making sure I get enough food in my body to maintain the level of activity and health I'm at, so lunch has already been made the plan. On the other hand, it's hard coming up with twelve goals for the year, so I'll take the easy one.