Monday, September 22, 2008

Fast Weekend and Long Workouts

The weekend went by really fast and I had a couple of really long workouts.  Workouts where I learned a lot.  I admit, during the week I had my doubts and thought about cutting the workout short on Saturday and Sunday, I am glad I did not.  I got up at 6AM, had oatmeal and 2 bananas, one more banana than usual.  Got to Bally's by 8AM.  Swam 41 minutes straight, went at least 2000 yards, lose track with all the flip turns.  I went more if anything, when I thought I lost track I would go down a 50, assume I was short.  After that I stopped at a gas station and got coffee, a donut, water, and Gatorade.  I drove to Stillwater, on the way there had the coffee, donut, and a little water and gatorade.  
I had the training wheels on the Seduza, new tires, because the old one had been wore, especially the back one from the trainer.  Put on two bottle cages, one of them with Gatorade, the other one was a bottle with the top cutoff so I could put food in it.  A bag of Shot Bloks (I think Strawberry) and fig newtons.  I left Stillwater (Stillwater is a beautiful little town, that gets crowded with tourists on the weekend) north to Taylors Falls.  What a beautiful ride and beautiful day.  My coach suggested this ride.  It is pretty hilly, nice wide shoulder, which is good since the traffic did get heavy at times.  I must have seen 100s of motorcycles.  The ride was good until about the 40 mile mark when my back started acting up a little.  I went a total of 52 miles in 2 hours 46 minutes, longest ride of the year.  My goal for the Longhorn 70.3 is 2 hours 45 minutes (56 miles).  It looks like I am in good shape.  
Got off the bike and ran north out of Stillwater.  Maybe a bad idea for the hour run.  Going north out of Stillwater takes you out of the river valley.  Which is uphill.  The half hour out was almost all uphill.  On the way back, I had to walk at about the 4 mile mark and 5 mile mark.  I did go about 6.2 miles in the hour.  Good thing about the run was that the back pain from the bike was gone. 
Took awhile to cool down.  Then I went down the street to Whitey's Bar, thought I would eat in Stillwater since I was there.  Had a huge, and delicious club sandwich and mound of fries.  I think I was driving the bartender crazy with how fast I was downing water and Diet Coke.  On the way home I stopped at Dairy Queen for an Cherry Arctic Float (Soft Serve, Ice, and Cherry flavor mixed up, Yum).  Matt (him and his wife are my best friends all the way back from high school) called and told me that the family (Jen's parents also) were going to Pad Thai for Matt's Bday.  Pig out time.  In the span of about 3-4 hours I had the huge club and fries, the DQ float, roast duck curry (with rice) and a 22oz Kirin Ichban, along with all the water, diet coke, etc.  Not even that full.  
After dinner and going back to Matt and Jen's house for a bit, met Eric to see Burn After Reading.  Pretty good movie, you have to like the Coen brothers to like this movie.
On Sunday, up at 5AM to volunteer at the Iron Girl Duathlon in Bloomington.  I got to stand at the top of long steep hill and warn cyclists of the railroad tracks at the bottom on the first lap, second lap warn of tracks and the turn for transition, also a lot of cheering.  It was really fun.  I am going to volunteer more next year.  Watching people do triathlons and duathlons is amazing.  To see the looks on people faces, there reactions, just fascinating, fun, just a great experience, an experience you don't get to enjoy as much when racing.
In the afternoon I ran 2 hours (13.6  miles) longest run of the year.  Not too bad.  Ran down to the Mississippi, along the Mississippi on both sides and back home.  Hotter than I thought it was going to be.
I was tired today and sore, not too surprising.  Most soreness in quads and hamstrings behind the knees.  I felt dead, but kind of good, for the 3100 yard swim workout I had tonight.  
I can't believe that I am training like this near the end of the year.  I feel good, which is great.
Things are progressing well as this season comes to the end.  I feel good about doing my first 70.3.  The goal I set of 5 hours 5 minute seems possible.  40 minute swim, 2:45 on the bike, and 1:35 on the run.  I think the run is going to be really the only push.  It will be a learning experience, which will be great.  
This is the longest post I have written, I think.  Time to stop blathering.

Friday, September 19, 2008

3 Years of Duathlons

So, I am tired after racing last Sunday and working out everyday this week.  Work on Friday was frustrating.  I have mixed feelings about Saturday, which will be a simulated 70.3 (40 min swim, 3 hour bike, 1 hour run), which be my longest workout of the year, and a 2 hour run on Sunday.  No rest day until Friday Oct. 3. Not complaining, just saying.  I am very excited, and nervous, to be doing the Longhorn 70.3.
On to the point of this entry.  I ran cross country and swam 3 years in high school, plus a year of track my senior year.  Then I went to college, then I went to grad school, then I got my first "real" job and essentially stop exercising for 10-12 years.  I started running\jogging 5-6 years ago.  When I moved to Saint Paul 4+ years ago I got a little more serious about running, and then about 3 years ago I added some biking to my training.  I bought a new bike (Lemond Sarthe) in early April of 2006 and did my first duathlon (Gear West Duathlon) in May.  I was slow and it hurt.  I did 6 duathlons that year and a lot of 5Ks and a couple 10Ks, without a lot of training in between.  I was kind of winging the training.  In Oct of that year I bought my first tri-bike (QR Seduza) and did the Green Bay Duathlon with it, probably about 2 weeks after I bought the bike.  It was a painful summer, but I loved it, and it led me to start swimming so I could do triathlons in 2007, which lead me to spend more money on equipment, and eventually hire a coach this year.  In 2006 I weighed about 225, in January of 2008 I was about 205, and now I am currently about 185, sometimes a little closer to 180.  I have tried to change my diet over this time.  Cut out regular soda, drink barely any diet soda (trying to quit that also, get most of my much needed caffeine from coffee, yum), more fruits and vegetables, trying to cut back on the beef, eat a little more chicken, etc.  
Above to the right are the results for my duathlons for the last 3 years.  I think next year I will probably do the same 4 duathlons, I would like to do 12-14 triathlons next year.  After the Longhorn 70.3 I will post my triathlon results for the last 2 years, and my workout summary for the last 2 years.  Exciting!   

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dousman Duathlon

It was raining.  First it was sprinkling and then it picked up to a pretty good rain, not really a downpour, but a good solid rain.  It rained the whole race.  Sometimes sprinkling, sometimes pretty hard.  Thankfully it was not cold, it was actually pretty good race weather.  Probably slowed the bike down a little, for safety.  It was the first time in 3 years (37 races, duathlons and triathlons combined) that I had to race in the rain.  It was a very good race, almost 6 minutes faster than last year, and almost 17 minutes faster than 2006.  Fifth place in my age group, about 4 seconds out of fourth, and less than a minute out of 3rd.  Very happy with my run times.  The run is pretty flat, so that makes it fast.  No long hills, but some short steep hills.  Good road surface.  I think next year I am going to try to get in the Elite wave (fastest 20%), which puts you in the first 2-3 waves.  I started in the 9th wave (400-450) and I finished 34th overall out of 615.  I pick my way through a lot of riders.  Many of them were exhibiting some pretty bad riding etiquette.  Riding 2-3 across, not staying to the right, etc.  It would be nice to have a little less traffic.  
All in all, it was another great race.  I am kind of sad, in about 3 weeks, actually less, I will be done with this season.  It has been a lot of fun and very enriching.  I am also a little happy that soon I will have some time off.  
Below, a look at my results for the Dousman Duathlon for the last 3 years.  Nice to see improvement.  Always nice to see improvement.  Hooray!

2008 Results
Run (2mi) - 12:58 (6:29/mile)
T1 - 1:25
Bike (20mi) - 57:17 (20.9 MPH, always 1-2MPH slower in the duathlons, first run kills the legs more than the swim) 
T2 - 0:55
Run (2mi) - 14:06 (7:03/mile)
Total - 1:26:39
Overall - 34/615
Age - 5/54

2007 Results
Run (2mi) - 13:20 (6:40/mile)
T1 - 1:19
Bike (20mi) - 1:01:50 (19.7MPH)
T2 - 1:17
Run (2mi) - 14:40 (7:20/mile)
Total - 1:32:26
Overall - 111/797
Age - 21/55

2006 Results
Run (2mi) - 15:12 (7:36/mile) 
T1 - 1:48
Bike (20mi) - 1:07:48 (17.7MPH, did this on my Lemond Sarthe with bolt-on aerobars)
T2 - 1:44
Run (2mi) - 16:28 (8:14/mile)
Total - 1:43:00
Overall - 238/254
Age - 13/24


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday Night Time Trials - Done (A little late on my part)

So, I did the Tuesday Night Time Trials (Put on by Cadence Multisport and sponsored by Gear West Bike and Triathlon and Hammer Nutrition) for the 3rd year in a row.  This year I did 7 out of 8 races. It is an 11 mile, hilly, time trial that goes out and back on County Road 24 in Medina, MN.  It is very challenging, mainly because it is hilly, also because it is a time trial.  In my opinion, the time trial is the hardest bike race out there.  No drafting, against the clock, all out.  When you are done you should want to vomit.  The guys doing this are FAST.  As you can see from my placing in the races I am not the fastest, by far.  It was one of my hard training rides and I usually would get off the bike and run about 2.5 miles.  Turn it into a nice little brick.   
In previous years I had done the Black Dog Time Trial that is every other week than the T'N'T and is a 7.2 mile TT on a much flatter course.  This year I chose to do just T'N'T.
So I have exposed my results for the last 3 years here on the blog.  First year I did the TTs on my Lemond Sarthe with clip-on aero bars.  Last year I had my QR Seduza with Zipp Z6 and a drive train upgrade.  This year I added a new tri-seat, Easton Attack TT bars, and a RETUL bike fitting, done at Gear West.  I am very happy with my improvement over the last 3 years (Click on image of Excel spreadsheet to the right if you want to see the results).  It is good to see the the training, and equipment, paying off. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Square Lake Short Course

Weather was nearly perfect, nice sunny day, few clouds, perfect racing temperature. At the race start the air temp was probably about 55 and the water was close to 70, if not more. The water felt good, and the lack of humidity and the cool temp made the bike and run nice. I was out of the water in 8th place in my age group and I had the 6th fastest bike split in my age group. I had a little back and forth with a guy in my age group on the bike, which was nice for motivation. He beat me into transition in the end. I then had the 28th fastest run split in my age group. Not bad, would have liked better. The bike and run are both very challenging, very hilly. The run is probably one of the hilliest runs of the year. Maybe second to Escape from Alcatraz? In the end I was almost 5 minutes faster than last year, most of it due to the swim, bike, and transistions. Swim was almost a minute faster and I averaged about 1MPH faster than last year. I am sure the faster tranisitions this year is due to improved fitness. I am happy with the run because I was very consistent. I did not come out running a 6:45 mile pace and finish on a 9+ min mile pace. I ran 8 min miles for all five miles. I would prefer the consistency than coming out fast and dying.
I almost forgot, I don't know how I did that. Jen, Matt, Ben, Madigan, and Joe came to see me. They showed up just in time to see me finish. It was nice to have someone(s) come out for a race this year and cheer me on at the finish. It gives you a nice little umph at the end. My mom and Paul saw my first race this year, which was nice, especially for them since they had not seen a triathlon before.

2008 Results
Swim (880 yds) - 14:30 (1:39/100yds)
T1 - 2:16
Bike (18 mi) - 48:29 (22.3 MPH)
T2 - 1:26
Run (5 mi) - 40:09 (8:02 min/mi)
Total - 1:46:47
Age - 9/41
Overall - 70/433

2007 Results
Swim (880 yds) - 15:22 (1:45/100yds)
T1 - 2:42
Bike (18 mi) - 51:03 (21.2 MPH)
T2 - 1:54
Run (5 mi) - 40:40 (8:08 min/mi)
Total - 1:51:39
Age - 15/38
Overall - 124/420

This was race 16 of 18 for the year. Only two left. A duathlon and a half-ironman. I have mixed emotions about the end of this season. It has been long, and I feel like I need the rest, but it has been a lot of fun and very fullfilling.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another Wedding

This weekend I attended the wedding of a friend.  It was a beautiful wedding and reception.  The wedding was short and on the beach on Sea Island, GA.  The reception was on the the island in The Cloister.   
Sea Island is a gated community that is the island.  It is beautiful homes.  It is a place for the wealthy.  It is an amazing place.  The Cloister is a beautiful hotel inside and out. Something that needs to be seen to be appreciated.
If I were to get married, I would not mind having a wedding like this.  Less than 30 people, everyone sits at the same table, 5 courses, and then social time after the meal, no dance. 
I would like to say something more profound about marriage and weddings, but it isn't coming to me tonight.  The right man, meets the right woman, and they love each other forever. Ideally.