"I like you. I'll gladly sit down and have dinner with you after the race. But when the gun goes off, I pretty much hate you, and I want to stomp your guts out. That's racing." -J Rapp

"the best night of my life.....
...in the most beautiful place on earth"

"It's just one, long, tedious conversation with yourself" -Paula Newby Fraser

"Have faith- trust in the plan - the breakthrough will come. I promise. " Woo

"You can keep going and your legs might hurt for a week or you can quit and your mind will hurt for a lifetime.” -Mark Allen

“The only time you can be brave is when you’re afraid.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

Here's the lake as of this past saturday!

T Minus 5 Weeks!

Time for another check in on here!  Things have been going well, and the body is becoming an "engine."  This past week was 22+ hours of training, and rather than go through every day, I'll just review the highlights!  Totals:  8250 yards in the pool (2 workouts), 296 miles on the bike, 29.9 miles running.  Totals for September were: swim: 44875 yards,  bike: 1002 miles, run: 83.8 miles.

So the highlights of last week---swimming:  I had a great workout on tuesday, with a total of 4600 yards:
800 choice
4x100 - 50 drill/50 swim
800 pull
4x100 fast 50, ez 50
600 swim
4x100 kick 15 sec rest
400 pull
4x100 FAST!! with 30 sec rest - VERY fast with all this rest
400 stretch out

I gauge a swim workout by how I feel at the end, and after this one, I felt strong!  My stroke stayed consistent and strong throughout, and I was able to push those 100's without feeling worn out and "sloppy."  I'm feeling like I just need to bring this fitness level into the race and I'll be fine....but I'll keep pushing for more so I can get out of the water 10 seconds faster than if the race was today (yes, that's sarcasm).

The biking highlight of the week may seem odd, but it was one of survival!  Saturday's ride was 6 hours with some intervals built in (an early hour in Zone 3 HR, and 2 late reps of 20 minutes each).  Seemed easy enough, but Chris warned me it would be tougher than I thought...mostly because the two days before I was running and biking both days, with really tough trainer intervals for the bike on thursday (followed by an EZ 45 minute run) and 6 reps of 5 minute hill repeats on friday afternoon (with 90 minutes of EZ spinning on the bike).  So back to saturdays ride....I started with my "ONE Multisport" buddies just up the street.....always a hammer fest!  So after a 20 minute warm up, I went off with my new buddy Joel Gerber---AKA king of the hammerheads (going slow is a "waste of time" according to Joel!).  So I rode my early hour at Zone 3 +++.  After about 2 hours with the ONE guys, I headed off on my "only the lonely" ride...4 more hours totally alone (but with tunes at least).  Side note: my playlist of 100 songs is driving me crazy!!  So I headed down 9 mile, through Fountain Hills, down the IM course, and to the lake...which looks close to full...yay!!!!  Backing up to the IM Course section, I fought the mind battle to keep going versus going home at the 3 hour point...I was losing interest and was pretty wiped out from the cumulation of the weeks workouts, but these are the days that I can pull from during the IM bike to get me through.  I'm not always going to feel fresh, strong, or even wanting to be on my bike, but knowing I mentally won the "go home early" battle will help me keep moving forward.  That is why this ride was the highlight!   So, you can imagine, the two 20 minute reps late in the ride were TOUGH---and I learned that the early Z3+++ hour made me pay dearly.  I made it through just fine, but keeping the focus going was too hard...I was searching for a "short" way home in my mind all the way home, but I made it!  120 miles exactly in just over 6 hours---not my best effort, but I'll take it!!

So for the run highlight, I'm going with two good ones:  a 90 minute run including 6 hill repeats (Z3++ HR) of 5 minutes each...I always feel the instant gratification of these---they are soo hard and the EZ cool down run after is like flying because I'm running on the flats or even downhill.  Also, there's always a good burn in the legs, and I feel exhausted but energized from the high intensity!  The other run of note this week was sundays run: 90 minutes with two 30 minute sections at IM pace minus 10%---another one that sounds easy, but really isn't.  These will become a staple of my training over the next month (versus running slow and long).  For this one, I used 8 min/mile as the "IM" pace just to see where I'm at, which meant my goal pace was 7:12.   The first rep was at 7:08 and the second at 7:10 (average HR for both was 142...2 beats above Z3), so I'm on schedule!  I felt like I could have gone faster, but this was a good start and I'm feeling good about my run!  It WILL be all mental on race day! 

So there you have the long version of my good workouts of the week...let's see what I have to write about in 7 days!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Race Report: Prospector Olympic Triathlon October 9, 2010

Having a race on the same day as the "big dance" (Kona Ironman: the world championship) was great!  If it was just another training day for me, I would have felt like I was missing out on the live broadcast, but the race kept me busy!  Here's my summary:

 I was happy with my swim---coming out of the water 3rd overall in 19:15. In prep for IM AZ, I figured my swim today would be decent as I am swimming more than almost anyone out here, and that always helps for swimming.  The course was obviously shorter than 1.5K..there was plenty of chop from the winds across the lake!  The 5 minute run up to transition wasn't too bad, but wasn't good for letting the HR settle in before the bike.

The bike course did not have any flats whatsoever, but I held my own considering my IM bike training has been at lower intensity and mostly on flat ground due to the IM course elevation---a few overall places shuffled around on the bike, and I finished the 4 loop bike course in 4th (I was in 2nd until the 4th lap; I was trying to conserve a bit on that fourth lap when two guys slipped by...just a "little bit" though).  I tried to be my own bike mechanic last night due to a front derailleur issue and dropped my chain 3 times because of it, but never had to stop to fix it at least.  I'll keep the bike shops in business!  So overall I was happy here as well, but was in a HR zone I do not work on at all right now (10+ beats higher than my intervals!)--the challenges of the short race during IM training!   Normally I ride at a HR below 133, but I started the bike in the mid 150's and settled into the mid 140's as the ride progressed.   Getting off the bike I made a HUGE error---I had half a bottle of EFS hydration left, and drank it all a bit too close to transition (about 1 minute before getting off the bik)---the run report below will point out the effects of this ;)  I think I made the error because I really didn't have a plan going into this race, and all of the sudden decided to implement this hydration strategy, but didn't realize transition was right around the corner---OH WELL!!!  Next time, I'll actually take more than 5 minutes to decide how I should hydrate and eat---I probably didn't need the fluids at all---BUMMER!   Prospector Tri Bike Leg by esvans at Garmin Connect - Details  This is the data---gotta love the HR decrease---maybe a bit too hard on the swim????  Well, no one passed me until mile 18 at least!

Onto the run, I felt pretty good considering the HR zone I worked at on the bike.  I was on the heels (about 10 feet and gaining) on the 3rd place runner (who was the eventual winner---go figure) when I hit the turnaround on the first lap---POW!!!  My stomach was turning inside out...I literally had to stop and deal with it, but it didn't end there.  That half bottle projected out like a hose on full power.  I almost immediately felt better, but the damage was done, I lost about 5 minutes and 4 places in the standings.  Luckily I was close to an aid station, took in some water, and got back to running in a minute or so. I hit the end of the first lap and could see where I was at in the race...basically out of luck!  The gap to gain a spot was over 90 seconds, so I just held pace and finished up uneventfully in 7th overall. Prospector Tri Run Leg by esvans at Garmin Connect - Details...from 7 minutes in to 10 minutes in you can see my abrupt deviation!  My HRM stops when I stop, so the evidence of the vomit is not recorded

HUGE lesson learned today.  I honestly think I could have taken the race, considering I was about to pass the eventual winner at a fairly easy pace and how I was feeling other than that 5 minute stent---I'm glad I battled back and got back into the race---which will serve as a great mental piece for IM AZ in 6 weeks.    I was glad to keep Sullivan behind me through the debacle--I only lost places during this failure!  No excuses though---my competition was fierce and I will be there another day to attack and not give them that "easy" spot I lost to them.  I now have a war to settle with myself at IM AZ---no mistakes and I'm going to plan like it's a Board Exam.

My head is down because my coach Chris is going to tell me I know better than that (because I do), but all in all, being my first competitive race in 9 years, I am happy to get back out and get the juices flowing!

Final Splits:
Swim  3rd overall in 19:15
Bike: 7th overall in 1:15:32 did I say it was hilly!!!
Run: 21st overall in 46:51....considering my running background---UNBELIEVABLE!!!  5 minutes standing still will do that, and losing by 4 minutes to the overall leader is not sitting well right now  ;(((  Until next time....

Friday, October 8, 2010

8 Weeks to the Big Day...I'm running behind!!

So today is Thursday, October 7, and I haven't posted for last week yet!  With lots going on in all facets of my life, I honestly am running out of time in the day to get everything done.  Unfortunately, the blog suffers as it doesn't pay the bills, count as time with my family, as training, as eating, and as sleeping.  Those things are the necessities of life!  Last week I saw a cutback in my workout load, most notably on the run...totals were: 11,400 yds swimming, 213.4 miles cycling, and 25 miles running.  I would say the slight drop was necessary due to the new intensity I am pushing in all the disciplines!  Rather than over bore you with the specifics of every workout, I thought going through a few of the key ones would be "cooler."

After a true rest day on monday, tuesdays workout was one I have been looking forward to ever since the Coast Ride, and the testing that preceded it.  To review for a second, my testing showed that I was "fried/fatigued/overtrained a bit"  So off I went on the 380 mile, 3 day ride!  The goal after the ride was to actively recover so my heart rate would become more reactive to my exertion level---tuesdays workout was to see how I was doing with my recovery.  The focus of the workout was a 20 minute all out effort on an incline on the bike.  I headed to the bottom of nine mile and gave it my best effort!  The conclusion of the workout was that my highest HR during the 20 minutes was 144...and I was panting the entire time!  You are probably saying that is low---it is....too low!!  But, that is me (I must have a very powerful blood pump!).  The conclusions from this workout were going to determine not only my recovery, but my zones for future workouts.  Chris had my zones set low since the Coast Ride to keep me from higher intensity workouts, but that was also what the blood lactate testing showed.  My zones changed as follows:  zone 2 (aerobic riding) went from a high of 108 to a high of 122; zone 3 went from 115 to 133...these were huge changes, as once I had recovered somewhat, I couldn't ride more than 14 mph at a HR under 110---and I can't ride at 14 mph for a 5+ hour ride and feel like I was accomplishing anything.  So this was great!!!!

So aside from this testing, my other key workouts were a 10 x 400 swim set that felt great, and a 120 mile 6 hour ride in zone 2 mostly that included the IM AZ course...I realized that the bike course is the easiest riding around town---FAST!!

The rest of the week was normal, and my overall impression right now is that I just need to stay with it....the days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and I am realizing that as we get into the final weeks, that I will be doing a lot of workouts in the dark; swimming is not a big deal, biking will end up on the trainer (I love the trainer anyways), and running will be fine as well...the psychology of losing daylight is going to be a battle, but the ability to work at higher intensity because of the cooler temps will be welcomed too!

By the way, Tempe Town Lake is being filled!