Monthly Archives: June 2008

Closing In

I was going to blog about my two races the week before last, but then I remembered that road races and tris are generally boring to blog about.  I went to Cyclonauts Road Race, road around in a pack for about 45 miles, went up and down hills, started launching attacks out of boredom, was fifth wheel on the finishing climb, flatted 800 meters from the finish, and rolled in something like 25th riding the final climb on a flat back tire.

The next day I went to the Ashland Triathlon, swam (and got kicked and hit), road my bike hard in the rain for 26 miles, ran hard for 6.5 miles, and finished 5th overall (and 1st in my age group).  Then I sat around in the damp weather and drank beer.  And that’s about it.

Onto this last weekend, only about 1 month till Lake Placid.  Got 93-ish miles riding to Mount Wachusett.  The GPS said I did a lot of climbing (11,000 feet).  Might be off, but there was a lot of climbing.  Followed it up with a 4 mile run, and was pleased that I could get into 7:40s and then go down to a 7:20 mile after 5 hours of riding.  The next day did a 17 mile trail run.  So, things are coming together.  A few more weeks on the bike would be very helpful, but I’ll have to make due with what I have left.  2 more big weeks, and then taper.  The body is actually feeling pretty good considering I put in close to 18 hours of training last week.  Trying to up that a little bit this week. The plan is 3 days of swimming, 4 days of biking, and 5 days of running (with two brick workouts).

Figuring out that you just have to set your body to automatic and not think too much about the time or the distance.  Once you start clock-watching, you are screwed.  It’s too long of a race to think about the time or the distance.  You just have to be in the moment to get through.  Looking forward to closing this thing out.

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Burn Baby Burn

From the National Weather Service:

AVOID PROLONGED WORK IN THE SUN OR POORLY VENTILATED AREAS. SUNBURN MAKES THE JOB OF HEAT DISSIPATION THAT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. ALSO…DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND TRY TO STAY IN AN AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENT. AVOID ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. HEAT CRAMPS…IF NOT ACTED UPON… CAN LEAD TO HEAT EXHAUSTION OR POSSIBLY HEAT STROKE…WHICH IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Sounds likes a perfect day for a 1/2 Ironman Race.

I idea was to try to have a solid race to get a fitness gauge for my training.  The revised plan was to survive and not end up with an IV in my arm.  SUCCESS!

A lot to say about this race and not much to say.  The swim went fairly well, as I got out of the water in 27:55.  Not great, but for the first race swim of the year, it was okay.  I got sidetracked a few times and lost the buoys, but I felt very comfortable in the water, which is a major accomplishment over last year.  Bike went fairly well also.  This was the first time I took my tri bike outside this year.  56 miles in the aero positions thus presented some challenges. Back didn’t hurt and I was able to stay consistent. I did the bike in 2:39:17.  Not stellar, but I was trying to save something for the run, as the heat was starting to set in.

Now for the run.  Started out very well, with 7:00/miles right out of the gate.  The heart rate was where it was supposed to be, and the legs felt pretty good.  This lasted until about mile 5, when things started to fall apart.  The heat was just killing me as i was trying to run.  Then my head started to hurt.  Then I started to get some chills. Then I just wanted to crawl into the shade and hide. I ceased caring whatsoever about anything but getting to the next water stop to dump water on my head. I thought I was going to have to walk the entire way in, but somehow willed myself to keep moving forward, and actually ran the last mile in around 7:00/mile pace.  Probably to get to the cooler of beer in my car.  Finished the 1/2 marathon in 1:50!

So, total time of 5:02:39.  That’s fine, as it gives me something to build on.  About 4 or 5 people after the race was over had to receive medical attention. More people dropped out (wisely).  it was an absolutely crazy day, that I am glad to get over.

The good: Got a 5 hour workout! Had a decent swim and bike. The run started out well.
The bad: The heat.
The ugly: The guy puking on himself after the race was over.

More racing ahead, with Ashland on Sunday.  Another hard race, although it won’t seem NEARLY as bad after this mess.

Boooyaaa!

What have I gotten myself into?

That was the question buzzing through my mind when I got off the bike today and started my run. Not typically an unusual event, except it was following an 83 miles bike with 7000ft of climbing for 4 1/2 hours. I guess this is Ironman training, or some kind of training. All I know was my ass was kicked on the bike, and I still have to run.

The key here is not to think; just do. I know it sounds like a commercial phrase, but it is true. If you ponder the absurdity of it all, you will be bound to skip the run and go inside for a nap. The best thing that you can do is just put that out of your head and automatically put on the shoes and go. The more you think and start to rationalize, the more corners you cut.  Raises the issue of training smart versus stupid. It’s ‘easy’ to do more and more, which starts to be junk.  Find a plan, and outside of any major extenuating circumstances, follow it.

The ride overall was great.  I was pretty happy with how I felt and how it went.  The run was new territory in terms of riding that long on the bike. I was able to clip off 3 miles in about 21:45, which is a 7:13/mile pace.  Not bad considering I was trashed.  Kept things under control in Zone 3 and was more than happy to be done.

The day before, did a 16+ mile trail run in 7:07/mile pace, for a total time of 1:56:21.  I’m planning on one or two 20 mile runs, but we’ll see how that plays out.  Maybe just one with some 18s.  I don’t know how much more I am going to gain from running long given the previous marathon training.  Probably not much. The energy expended on that run, coupled with the long bikes, could take away from the week’s training.

Next week, we have my first tri of the year: Lancaster 1/2 Ironman.  Should be an interesting test to see how things come together and get a gauge of fitness.  Thankfully it is only a little bit from my house, which means I can sleep in my bed and go through my own routine, and routine is key.