Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Training Notes

This month my totals look like this

Swim24,900 yards6:10 hours
Bike339 miles19:40 hours
Run77 miles11:15 hours

I feel like I'm in the zone with training. Sometimes it feels almost like autopilot. Looking back I can see I took just about every Friday and Sunday off, but with the exception of swimming my total distance is up over last month. I did two races - Chain of Lakes which went great and the Fargo 1/2 marathon which also went great.

Swimming yards are down, there were about two weeks in there were I only got one swim in during the week. But I'm back at it full force and feeling good.

Biking is going well, summer group rides have started and I try to make at least one of them a week. The group is good at pushing me, even when I want to be taking it easier.

Running is going way better than I anticipated. Overall speed and endurance is way above where I would have expected. I'm by no means a threat to win any road races, but I'm making very steady gains which, of course, feels great. It's getting harder and harder to remember the days of of struggling through a 5k, but I do remember that I didn't finish a 3 mile run without stopping for almost three years.

This month's resolution was to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. I know this is recommended, many people say it's sort of an American epidemic that we don't ever get enough sleep. Well, all I can say about that is, I love staying up, and not getting up early is not an option. I tried for a couple of weeks, and did pretty well. But it got to the point where I would "go to bed" and just not sleep. And I started to resent this goal, I wasn't feeling any different, but I was loosing a good 1.5 to 2 hours of free time a day. My wife and I agree, I only need a solid night sleep every other day or so, otherwise it actually starts to mess up my life rhythm and I end up messing up a whole week of sleep.

Next month's goal is a month of journal writing. I promise not to spam with a short post every day, I'll probably just do a weekly roll-up that has day-to-day thoughts. It should actually be pretty interesting as I will be doing my first half-iron distance tri, and then transitioning into a 5 week bike strength plan in prep for the rest of the summer.

Friday, May 25, 2012

SILA : 9

What's more aero - new helmet or new wheels? There's a surprising lack of original information here, but I guess that doesn't really matter. The verdict, even the worst aero helmet provides more benefit than the best aero wheels, for about a millionth the cost. Of course your geek factor goes WAY up. In my opinion someone wearing an aero helmet is drawing a lot more attention to themselves than someone with a pair of new zipps, except maybe if you've got a disc wheel, then it's probably the same. And I'd go so far as to say, when you pass someone with that much attention grabbing power you're thinking to yourself... less money, more time.

Take your recovery -  Maybe I'm lazy but when I see recovery days I take them. I love them.

A guy does an entire sprint triathlon while juggling. Impressive.

Video's of Pros doing transition. They make it look so easy

Fast on a budget - Don't have money for a new set of wheels or a new bike. Here are some tips, though interestingly the first one requires a power meter, which is a pretty spendy proposition in itself.

Australian Olympic Selection - I skimmed most of it until the section labeled "Right now" which is where I think it got interesting.

Downhill Running Tips - Along with some interesting insight, this article is also full of funny phrases. "Engage your core" - as if it's some sort of warp drive and "eccentric contraction" - really odd negotiations?

While surfing is a sport, the cool thing about this video is the bullet time shots

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Slacking or Making it Look Easy

My wife told me a story today, she told me that the other day when I didn't go to my masters swimming practice that my sister-in-law and some of her swimming buddies were talking about how I don't work hard when at practice. Apparently I'm not out of breath enough at the end of a set, apparently I need to move up a lane. I guess they don't notice when I throw up a little in my mouth after a hard set - which now that I think about it is a good thing.

Surprisingly I get this a lot.

On a group ride on Monday a guy (who had been dropping me over every hill for about five miles) said I should be riding in the faster group. "You're just toying with us." Apparently he's not ready for the faster group, but he thinks I am.

At the end of my half marathon on Saturday I heard my mother-in-law told people I looked like I wasn't working at all, I was smiling, and ran over to the kids to say hi. She wasn't around when I was wandering around wondering how to get out of the finishing chute :)

It's been the fun way to tease me at the end of triathlons.
I tend to run "thumbs up" and when I see my family I am usually smiling. This is at the end of Trinona
So I guess it looks sort of like I'm having a great time, just out for a fun run. Don't get me wrong, I am usually having a good time, but I almost always have to keep moving at the end of race to avoid puking all over some other finisher or helper. The absolute worst part about a triathlon finish for me is when someone grabs my ankle to grab the chip...'must keep moving, barf imminent'

Last summer at the end of one the group rides, a guy and I had gone off the front of the group. I was working my tail off, and he says "are you even trying right now?" Seriously, I was having trouble talking I was breathing so hard.

I know its all in good fun. I think it's fun, I like joking about it, defending my hard working self. But it does make me think.

The standing joke about how I look at the end of a triathlon prompted my "go as hard as I can" goal. I will probably move up to the next lane before the end of the summer. I will probably move up to the next bike group before the end of summer.

You know what though? I probably will still look like I'm not working hard. What can I say, I make it look easy :) So if you see me at a race and it looks like I'm taking it easy, or we're out for a ride and I look like I'm coasting through, let me have it - I'll say I'm working hard (because I am) but it will probably motivate me a little, I'll take it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Race Review - Fargo 13.1

This was my third half marathon. I did the other two last year with my sister in FL, and the next one will be at the end of a triathlon. I signed up for this one because my wife and sister-in-law were going to be in it, and my wife's family would be there to watch the kids. This race is actually several races spread over two days 5k on Friday, 10k, half marathon and full marathon on Saturday.

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
Just got our packets, heading over to the expo
We went to packet pickup as soon as we got to Fargo on Friday night. It was at the Fargodome which was also the central site for the run, it would start and end there. Getting to the "dome" (because we didn't know we were there until we saw the sign, because it's not a dome ;) took some time due to traffic related to the 5k, and possibly some sort of meal. Once we were there we found our way down to main floor, picked up our packets and then headed over to the expo (also on the main floor.) The expo was pretty decent, we probably would have liked to stay longer, but we needed to get back to the hotel for dinner. I did manage to sneak away to get a car magnet for my wife that I would stick on her car after she finished, she loves that kind of stuff :)

After that we headed back to the hotel to hang at the pool and have some pizza.

Race Morning
Like every single race I've ever been in I had a terrible time sleeping. I tried to go to bed with my son at 8ish, but then woke up around 9 or 9:30 and ended up staying up till around midnight. After that I slept till 4, then got up to help with the crying baby, and ended up getting another cat nap before 5 when we were planning on getting up.

My wife and I got up, got dressed, and headed down to grab a bite to eat. My sister-in-law and uncle-in-law met us for breakfast. A funny thing happened at breakfast, everyone else we saw was from Canada. They had tattoos and thick Canadian accents and everything, it was pretty surreal.

We headed over to the dome, there was almost no traffic this time, we saw some thunderstorms brewing complete with lightening strikes in the distance. Based on what I thought the weather forecast was I was pretty sure the rain/storms would come and pass before the race started. But there was a small amount of talk about if we'd be allowed to run in a thunderstorm. We got to the dome with plenty of time to spare, took a bathroom break, and then just hung out chatting. I really like the pre-race hang out.
The three racers - nerves were a plenty
Pre-race, I did not wear that shirt during the run. And due to clouds I  didn't need the sunglasses either, but they did make the trip.

The Start
There were three races on Saturday morning. A 10k, our half-marathon, and a full marathon. The 10k went first, 15 minutes later the half marathon, and 15 minutes after that the full marathon. We found our way to the start area before the 10k start, they did a prayer, sung the Canadian national anthem and then the US national anthem. After that we lined up for the start. I thought it was pretty well organized. They had big signs with time ranges that you could use to sign up. So I went up to the area my pace was at it was something like 1:40 - 2:00. And I found a pacer who was advertising 8:23 miles. I figured I should set up a little in front of him, and if he passed me I would try to hang with him.

There was a funny little thing about the start, they did a prayer and sang the national anthems again. I did not expect that at all. After all that was done, we started, and the entire group of people moved along pretty good.

The Run
Some days before the race I told my wife that she could wear my Garmin watch during the race. I figured since I had run a race like this before that I would be able to use a pacer, or use the periodic time posts to gauge my progress. This was sort of double-edged sword, on the one hand it was sort of freeing to not being able to always know how fast you're running. On the other hand, if you're used to it, or have a specific pace in mind, it's not that comforting to not being able to check whenever you want.

At the first mile the group was still pretty close together, and I just asked someone how much time had passed. She said eight minutes, and then suggested that we may have started far apart. I thought, how much gap could have been created in the first mile? I smiled and said it was close enough. So far I was about 20 seconds ahead a my goal pace, but the first mile tends to be fast so I just kept going. At this point I started picking out people to target as people I wanted to stay with.

Around mile two the group had spread out a little more so I didn't see anyone checking a GPS watch, but I did hear two people behind me chatting about their pace. They said they were on 7:50 pace... if that's right I'm now just over a minute ahead of my goal. I was feeling just fine, so I just kept going. It wasn't too long after this that these people cruised past me down a hill, I though to myself, that's not going to happen again. Nobody passed me going down a hill again.

This course is described as fast and flat by the organizers, and it was pretty flat. The only times we came across hills it was to go over or under bridges.

Over the next couple of miles I kept passing my targets and it was making me feel pretty good so I just kept the strong pace. At this point I had no idea how fast I was going, but I didn't feel tired or feel like I was slowing so I just kept steady as what I thought was a pretty aggressive pace and tried not to think about what might happen eight or nine miles down the road.

Around mile five I guy I knew from the Alex triathlon passed me, it was the guy who swam in the same lane as me. I ran up next to him, got his attention and said hi. At the triathlon he ran faster than me, so I just assumed he'd continue to pull away. But I was feeling well, so I thought, I'll just keep up as long as I could, so I picked up the pace. Much to my surprise I passed him right around the 10k mark, and I didn't see him any after that. Speaking of the 10k mark, when I got there I was a surprising 5 minutes ahead of pace. This was, and would be, the only non-finish timer on the race course.

The next four miles went along pretty easy, though seriously mile seven seemed to go on forever, I literally thought they had misplaced the eight mile marker it went on so long. So it was a small blow to my ego when I was expecting to see the nine mile marker and it was an eight. At about mile 10 I was feeling pretty good and decided that I was going to start picking up the pace. There was a guy near me who was helping motivate me since he had caught me and passed me recently.

At about 11.5 we hit a segment of the course when there was a small loop, and you could see people who were about a mile ahead of a you. I was hoping to see Stu's daughter Sarah, originally I was thinking she would finish about 15 minutes ahead of me, but since I had been on pace to finish 10 minutes sooner I thought I might see her, which would have really made me feel good. I did not see her. Something that surprised me at this point was the number of walkers I was passing. From past races I know that most people finish between 2 hours and 2:10, people ahead of that are in the top 30%, so to see people walking was surprising.

The Finish
With about a mile to go I really stepped up the pace, I was feeling great and was excited to see what my time was. I had dropped the guy who passed me two miles previous, and was basically just passing people. I don't remember being passed by anyone at that time.

We ran around the Fargodome, I saw my mother-in-law and my two oldest kids. I ran over and said hi and then ran into the dome and across the finish line. The time on the clock was surprising. I didn't know exactly what it meant since I wasn't sure when I crossed the start line, but no matter what I had beat my goal.

I was a little out of sorts, someone handed me a water and put a medal around my neck. I grabbed some cookies, and then I back out to cheer on the the other two runners.

The finish line is inside in a arena. Since the weather (dry and mid-50s) was great running weather, its not great spectating weather this helps keep people warm

We're done!

Nice medal

The Results

Overall Place426 / 5,746
Division Place47 / 315

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.

It was a ton of fun racing with family, after I got done with my race I headed back out on the course and cheered my sister-in-law and wife toward the finish of their first half marathon. It is not a small accomplishment and I am very proud of them.

I also want to say thanks to all of the family that came out and shared the weekend with us. It, of course, it always better to have people you know at the end of the race to cheer you on.

Friday, May 18, 2012

SILA : 8

A guy's take on half iron pacing - Since I've got my first half iron distance coming up in a few weeks I am trying to figure out what the prevailing ideas are. I keep forgetting it's 5 or 6 straight hours.

Baseball team goofing off - It's been around the web, I'm about a week late, but it's still fun.

Early Jedi

Earth Time lapse

Race Preview - Fargo 13.1

I don't remember how we decided to do this race. I think my sister-in-law thought it would be a good idea. This is going to be my wife and sister-in-law's first half marathon. If I'm remembering correctly I wasn't going to run this race, as someone has to take care of the kids, but my mother-in-law is going to the race and will be watching the kids. I am really looking forward to running a race with my wife.

Race Info
The race is in Fargo ND, I've never been there so I don't know anything about that. The event is really a series of events. From a 5k the night before to a half marathon and full marathon run near the same time. They're also really good at building some hype. They have a cool video that goes over the entire course in a car in fast-forward.

They also suggest that they are just as cool as the rock-n-roll series and have bands at every mile.

Finally they say the course is super flat and therefore a good race for speed or accessibility. Overall I think it's going to be fun.

I've been going around in my head about how I should run this race. On the one hand I don't have a long run or race on the schedule, and my current focus in on the next big triathlon which is in three short weeks, and I didn't want to spend a few days recuperating from a hard run race. Then it occurred to me, in three weeks I will be running a half marathon at the END of a race. So I'm going to go for a new personal best because I don't think taking it easy is going to matter much. I did cut my long run this week a little short because of race. The current personal best is 1:57, that's a little under 9 minute miles. I am significantly faster this year than last year when I ran that race, so I'm going to make the goal 1:49 which puts the pace at 8:20. That's a cool 40 seconds per mile.

Closing Comments
I'm in a little bit of doubt that it's doable, I think the best I've run at for something close to that distance so far this year is not anywhere close to that, but it's a race, and it's easier to run faster during a race. So I'll be using the group to motivate me to meet my goals :)

I am looking forward to doing this race with my wife and her sister. It's no small accomplishment, and I'm very happy to be sharing it with them. My wife is turning into quite the runner. I've told her this before, but it bears writing. She looks like she was born to run, she looks like she's gliding along. The other day we caught up with her near the end of 11 miles, and she was cruising right along. She's going to do great, and I can't wait to see her cross the line!

Friday, May 11, 2012

SILA : 7

Are you over training? - Focuses on the symptoms of over training. Triathletes are notorious for overtraining because they are trying to excel in three sports at the same time. I suggest not trying to self-diagnose, but you could use this as a barometer.

ITU In San Diego - A sort of sentimental brief look at the history of Triathlon as this major Olympic qualifying event takes place very close to the birthplace of triathlon.

Simple Long Run Recovery Stretch - Apparently it comes from Yoga. It's not too often you see someone recommend just one stretch that will have significant impact, but here someone has done it. I've got a long run coming in a couple of weeks, I'll try it then.

Heart Rate vs. Perceived Exertion - Until the end of last year and in to this year I would not have been able to identify with the perceived exertion, but after 3 or 4 years of gradually building my base I think I can finally tell what pace I believe I can hold for a given amount of time. Of course now I'm reaching for the upper bound, because I want to be fast, but when doing that I am trying to trust the way it feels to gauge if I have more left.

Good Carbs - People who are working out on a regular basis need a good base of carbohydrates to fuel themselves. This is a small list of some carb packed foods that are also good for you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chewy Hills

I missed my long ride on Sunday so I did it last night. It probably worked out ok because I was supposed to be hitting as many hills as I could and I knew where I could find some sort of close to my house.

Here's the elevation profile from the hilly section
That represents about 15 miles, the distance between peaks is about two miles
I couldn't help but notice (and the stiff legs this morning might have helped my imagination) looks sort of like half a mouth
om nom nom

Monday, May 7, 2012

Race Review : Chain Of Lakes Triathlon

This was my first time at this race, and the first race of the season. The overall goal was to try to push myself out of my comfort zone and see how fast I could go.

The Training
The entire year has been leading up to do this. My primary training focus is on a half iron distance in June.

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup was the morning of, at the race site. I have mixed emotions about this. On the one hand it worked out just fine, on the other hand I didn't even look at the stuff they gave us till the next day, and usually I like to look at the pamphlets and gear the day before just for fun. Not a big deal, though I still prefer picking up my stuff early.

The process was painless, walk in the school, tell them your name, get marked and go.

Race Morning
The race started at 9, so there wasn't a terrible amount of getting up too early. I think my daughter was out of bed before me. I got my new tri-suit on, some sweats, racked the bikes, had some breakfast and off we went. I wasn't too concerned about when we got there, but we did get there a little later (by comparison to when others got there) than I usually do.

The transition area, as I expected, was a free-for-all. I found a spot, racked my bike and then went in to get my numbers and get marked.

My sister-in-law (Bethany). who was also racing. mentioned that transition area had changed a little, since I didn't have any idea what it looked like before I had trouble visualizing what she was trying to convey to me. Overall I thought the transition layout was good though.

After I played around with my setup for a while and got comfortable that it was fairly efficient I walked over to where Bethany was, she was chatting with some people and I realized I had forgotten to bring flip flops to wear. Parking lot transition areas always seem terrible before the race, and I don't even notice them during the race. Still though - note to myself, remember flip flops, the tiny rocks hurt so much! We headed in, did a very light warmup in the pool and then sort of sat around making small talk.

Eight lanes - 25 yards.

Talking to Uncle Stu before we got started- he's a great story teller. A lot of fun. He also was volunteering in transition, he did a great job

Note about the pre-race meeting: First it was very well done, but the guy called us "Traithloners." Nice. I did notice though he had corrected that by the time the awards ceremony came along.

The Swim
There were five waves before me. They had it setup so the all the women went (slowest to fastest) and then the relays, and then the men. I was in the second wave of men. The way they did it, and honestly I can't think of a better way, was to have the entire wave wait until 7 of 8 lanes were done before the next wave started. Inside a wave they ordered you by speed, so fast people in lane 8, slower in 7, etc. The, perhaps not so obvious, side effect of this? People in the first wave of swimmers are completely done with the race before the people in the 6th heat even start swimming - you can read that as: I sat there for 75 minutes watching people swim before I got to swim.

I had signed up for the 8 - 10 minute wave in January when I was swimming about 1:45 hundreds, as the even drew closer I figured I would be below 8, so I started to wonder if I'd get stuck with people who were shooting for 10 minute times. But they ask you for your seed time, I said 8 and I got put in lane 8 with another guy who was shooting for 7:28, so no worries there.

That guy took off fast, my first 100 split was somewhere around 1:11 and he was already about 10 yards up, but he never got much more than that ahead. I didn't see him after I said good luck in transition, till he finished, I apparently beat him through transition. He said, "you took off like a shot on your bike."
Leaving on the bike, I had a little trouble getting my bike off the rack, my seat doesn't fit under the bar anymore

About to "assume the position" You can also see my blue water bottle in my new favorite place for water bottles
The Bike

I had grabbed my watch during transition, but decided I didn't want to futz with it. So I glanced at the the time, figured I about what time I'd be finishing up the bike leg and just settled in. This played with my head a little, because I never ride without a speedometer, but now I was. I just focused on smooth consistent pressure on the pedals and "let the training take over."

The bike course was pretty lonely. Another side effect to putting the waves the way they did is that you are at best 7 minutes behind the heat in front of you, that's a lot of time to make up on someone in 13ish miles. I got passed once, and passed a few, but those are the only people I saw.

About two miles from the end it started to rain, or possibly sleet. It felt like ice, but that may have just been the feeling of cold rain pelting against you at 20 or so mph. I turned on my watch around this point because I had a second on a longer incline.

Overall the course is fine, I think it's funny that it crosses train tracks and the chance that a train comes by is high enough that they address what you should do if you get stuck when a train crosses in the pre-race meeting (there are people there who will time how long you waited.) I did not get stuck at a train crossing, although free rest probably would have positive impact on your time. It's fairly flat with some rollers, and a longer gradual downhill followed by a slightly and less gradual, but not steep, uphill.

Bike to run. This is by far the fastest transition I've ever done (49 seconds). I'm pretty sure I didn't sit down. The other person in that shot is on her way home I think

Sprinting out, snapping my belt and hat in my teeth.
The Run
A single loop run. I took the advice I got a month or so ago and ran out fast. I looked down at my watch and it said 10mph...still in bike mode. That's 6 minute miles, which is blazing for me. I backed off a little as I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. But the pro was right, I set the faster pace early and when I backed off I backed off to ... the fastest pace I've held in any race. I ran past a couple of people, then I could hear someone coming up from behind...and it took forever. When he finally passed me I thought, he's not going that fast, I can keep up. So I picked up the pace and we ran the rest of the way together.

The run is pretty flat, on bike trail and through neighborhoods. There is one little climb to get off the trail (40 feet total distance) and a longer relatively steep seeming climb right at the end.

Overall the run felt good, it wasn't till the very last little bit when there was that hill that I really was feeling out of steam. I didn't remember then, but I do now, hills feel terrible when they're going on, but almost as soon as you get to the top that feeling subsides.

I did eventually pull away from that guy who passed me, so I can now say that I wasn't passed by anyone on the run. Similar to the bike though, that doesn't mean a ton because we were spread so far out.

The Finish
Like I said the last part of the run is up a small hill and around a corner, then about 100 yards to the finish. Since I had just passed two people I was sure there was going to be a sprint to the end, and I was not sure I would have anything left. But I there was no sprint, or maybe there was and I just don't remember it :)

The finish itself is pretty uneventful, they call your name and ... nothing. It was cold and raining, many people had already left, and those that hadn't may have been done racing for an hour or more.

There was very loud cheering from the family, and my daughter jumped out to run "with" me, which really means beat me to the finish line, turn around and say "I WON!" My son was standing there staring at me, not running :) Apparently he thought it was too cold, and he was right :)
I think she's checking her finish time
Wider shot - the guy in blue (Matt) is the guy I ran with. The guy in the orange I had just passed at the bottom of the hill. He's 15 and won his age group.
Just finished. There's Matt again, we pushed each other pretty hard on the run
The Results

Goal Actual
Swim 8:00 7:31
Bike 37:00 36:25
Run 23:00 20:55
Total 1:11:00 1:07:31

The swim – That's about 5 seconds per hundred faster that goal pace. That's also good enough for 3rd overall for the swim. That time was fast enough to be able to beat Matt, we started in the same heat and he beat me in every other portion of the race except the swim.

The bike - Just a little faster, that pace is 21.4 miles per hour. Now, I'm pretty sure the course is actually shorter than 13 miles, I'm going to go out and say it's more like 12.3. That's what says, and I'm pretty sure that's what Bethany's watch says too. If that's the case that's only 20.3 miles per hour which is slower than my goal pace.

The run – The run went great, it was very helpful to have Matt come by and use that to push myself faster. That pace is 7:28, which is faster than the 5k PR I have.

Overall I feel good about this race, my first race of the year is faster than any race previous. I had a goal of push myself out of my comfort zone, and while I did accomplish speeds I haven't before, I'm not sure I can't push faster. We'll see. I finished 31/170 people, 12/33 in my age group (which was 30-40.)

Closing Comments
I feel good about the performance I turned in here, and the race in general is fine. I really don't know what they could do to make this event much better. I was frustrated to not see many people on such a short course, I was disappointed that I didn't get to see Bethany out there. But they have a pool swim in May which seems like a requirement, and I can't, off the top of my head, think of a way to move that along faster. So I besides maybe switching the heats up a little, and adding some perks like finishers medals the race will be the same. Perhaps I'll do it again, perhaps not. It's not like there are a ton of races in MN this time of year.

The entire Paradee family came out and cheered and that was awesome! They cheered at the top of their lungs and I heard them both times I went through transition. A race is much better when you know people racing, and way better when you have a cheering section!
Even our baby came out. This is probably during the early part of the bike. Bethany is done and it's not raining yet.
We brought our own cow-bells and the kids did great. They are super troopers and I think it's super cute that Ivy jumps out at the end of every race and wins for the family :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Race Preview - Chain Of Lakes Triathlon

Triathlon season is upon me once again. I've actually tried to get in this race twice before, but it always seems like it's sold out. This year they're closing registration about a week before the race. It seems like in previous years it was sold out weeks ahead of time. I guess that's the way it goes sometimes.

Race Info
The race in in Alexandria where my wife's family is, it's about two or so hours north of where we live. So we'll be making a weekend of it.

The swim is in a pool, which is good because I'm sure lakes around here aren't the most fun to swim in (temperatures are still dipping into the high 30s at night.) This is my first pool swim in a triathlon, they say we'll be circle swimming with people who say they are close to your speed. The speed rang is sort of interesting though, I put myself down for 8-10 minutes, and I'm on the low end of that for 600 yards. But two minutes is a very long time in a 25 yard pool. If someone who is an 8 minute swimmer gets in with someone who is a 10 minute swimmer, the faster guy will lap the slower guy 4 times, slowing both people down. Don't get me wrong, I'll take a pool over a lake in May in Minnesota any day :)

The bike is a conservative 13 mile loop over roads and bike trail. The course looks pretty flat.

The run is 2.8 mile out loop. At least I think it's a loop, check this picture and you can be the judge.


Swim 600 yards8:001:20 per 100 yards
Bike 13 miles37:0021 miles/hour
Run 2.8 miles23:008:15 mins/mile

I added three minutes for transition which is fast for me. If I can handle that pace and the field is roughly the same as last year that will put me top 50 overall and top 15 in my age group.

Closing Comments
So here's the deal. I think this is doable at my current conditioning and comfort level. But I promised myself this year that I would, at least once, try to get out of my comfort zone and see how hard I can go before I crash and burn or if I can even push myself that far. This is the time. The downside to this plan, is if it fails I will crash hard and miss my original goal. But no risk, no reward right?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

SILA : 6

Ironman St. George turning into a half. I just talked about this last week and then the announcement was made.

Tips on becoming a faster cyclist. I thought this was filled with very interesting information. But the most interesting thing in here for me are the descriptions of the hill workouts. That, and that if I could find time for 250 or 400 miles a week that would be helpful too.


Effects of Bike Cadence - This is a sort of interesting article on the benefits of a faster cadence compared to trying to power through.

Proper Bike Tire Inflation - I'll have to check my tires, but my first impression is ... uh-oh, I'm way too high :)

Drive a tank - The price seems ridiculous, but I'm sure it's fun.