Monday, February 28, 2011

February Totals

Pretty weak month from an aggregate total perspective.

I travelled for 12 days this month--work and pleasure. A 4 day snowboard trip plus my half-marathon also put a happer on training.

I did have some encouraging workouts but the totals this month leave me a little nervous and anxious to work harder in March!

Swim: 33,750 yards
Bike: 567 miles
Run: 112 miles
Time: 78:15 (includes 12 hours snowboarding)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

getting by

This week was encouraging with a couple of very good run/bike workouts.

However, with the lost travel day and my dead legs post snowboarding, I was not able to put in the effort i was hopeing for.

Next week has the B&A half-marathon looming but I hope to kick the middle two weeks in March--I definitely feel the need to warp up.

That said, I'm continuing on with my 2011 plan but I worry about my lack of biking and swimming training---I'll probably suffer in the early season races as a result.....

Still, I think I'm on the right path.....

we'll see

The weekly totals:

8500 yards swimming
165 miles biking
33 miles running
18:32 training time

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Late Feb in the Mid-Atlantic: A time for Hard Men

LOL...don't misinterpret my headline. But this is a very hard time to be a serious triathlete in DE/NJ. At this point, the smart money says that the weather just plain sucks. Another six inches to remove on Tuesday morning. I hate my treadmill and even my Computrainer is looking less sexy these days.

Still--I've found in my ten TRI years that if you can scoot by this late winter period (and late Feb is the worse of it mentally) then as the weather brightens in March (and then glorious April!) motivation builds as you run in shorts and bike in something less than 15 pounds of clothes....heck, even swimming in the pool is better. If you can just stay the course in the bleakness then you can get to good fitness by May--even in the mid-Atlantic.

That's then and this is now--a time for the "Hard Men" of triathlon to show up and get it done. As I mentioned, my legs are fried but today there was a little "break" in the weather and I jumped outside to do my 67+ mile standard course under grey clouds, 20+ mph winds and 40 degree weather.

I've done 6-7 of these rides since starting serious triathlon operations again--all of them in the spirit of just getting out there for 3.5-4 hours and building my endurance. Today i decided (despite my legs) that it was time to start building some quality into my long rides. I dusted of the BMC TT01--it's first ride since Kona--and went at it for 67.4 miles. Today was all in my mind--push, push, push. I was moderately successful but did take a full 20:30 off of the time I recorded for the same course last week. Of course some of this is due to the TT setup but in fairness to the driver, I was THERE for a fair amount of this ride.

Not to get carried away with things--I'm a good 20 minutes slow for this effort relative to a solid nice day in July (with little wind) effort and probably 30 minutes away from a half IM race level effort but today was a BIG step forward for a very old guy with very tired legs in crappy weather.

This has been my strength in the past and it showed up (a little anyways) today!

Ever upward!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fighting the tired legs thing

My snowboard trip really did a number on my legs--especially my groin and hip flexors. DEfinitely causing me to adjust some of my workouts this week.

I did manage to do a run of 10 min wu/(14 X (4min @ 7:30/1 min easy))/10 min wd--essentially a cruise interval workout at slightly below my half ironman target pace....with the fatigue it was tough but a good threshold/slightly below threshold workout...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Back in DE--very sore but hungry to train!

Well--it was an epic snowboard/snowmobile trip out to Park City, Utah for sure! The highlight was the 24 inches (!!!!!!!) of fresh powder we awoke to on sunday morning. Probably the single best snowboard trip of my life---I spent the three days chasing Alex around the mountain and I must say that we are very compatible snowboarding buddies--we really never stop and we are always with our noses to the ground looking for freshie (fresh powder). And on Sunday we found so much of it!

Anyways, my triathlon training suffered as a result, but I do think it's important to take into account the physical stress of hardcore snowboarding as on Saturday and Sunday, I knew it was insane to even contemplate running after the stress that my body endured on the slopes. My quads are fried and both of my groin muscles are strained to say the least.....

Oh well--not so smart as a triathlete but way smart as a human being! I'll throw some pics up in a day or two but in the meantime--here are my lowly stats for the week:

Swim: 9000 yards
Bike: 137 miles
Run: 16.7 miles
Total time: 25:40 (12 hours snowboarding)

I know I'm behind where I usually am training volume wise but I think in the long run, and by time I hit IMAZ in November, I'll be thankful that I am.....

I hope!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Web Site is Up!!!!

All set for the 2011 season with my most up to date schedule, training plan, etc. My race reports will go there as well as race pictures. My 2011 season dedication is there as well.

Check it out:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dealing with the life stuff

Back in DE and trying to manage a complex life schedule right now. business in DC tomorrow mid day and then off to Utah for short family outing. Returned home from LA on Monday night with legs somewhat fried from half-marathon. Still managed to bang out 9.5 hours over last two days--lots of swimming and a 67+ miler on the bike today...less so on the run.....TIRED!!!!! I need to get up early tomorrow to crash in 2-3 hours and then I'm off to DC/Utah. Next Thursday up to Boston until sunday...hard to fit everything in.

I'm ahead on my run and behind on my swim and bike.....

is what it is at this worries--I AM GOING TO KILL IMAZ--that is what 2011 is all about...and racing for WLC!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Speed Work Targets

One of the great things that comes with racing faster is cranking up my speed work targets--here they are (at least for the next 3-4 weeks):

400s: 12 X 95 seconds
800s: 6 X 3:20
1200s: 4 X 5:10

Tempo runs: 7:30/mile X 20-30 minutes

Cruise Intervals: 12-16 X (4 min @ 7:20/mile//1 min easy)

Long runs (2 hours): 8:45/mile

Heading home.....

On the plane heading back East after a great trip out to visit Anders!

Some follow up on my race yesterday. they had me at 1:41:47 and not the 1:41:43 I reported.

I finished 178 out of 1266 or 86 %-tile. In my AG I was 10th out of 64, which is also at the 86 %-tile level. I know I'm not comparing myself to trithletes (who are on average fitter than runners) but I'm quite pleased to be at this relative level in an open running race. My run, of-course, is my weakest event of the three.

with my NYC and LA trips this week, plus the half-marathon, I ended up with a somewhat lighter week last week:

9000 yards swimming
151 miles on the bike
26.4 miles running
16:34 of total training time

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

I did the Palm Springs Half-Marathon this morning. It was a fantastic day to race. it was 48 degrees and brilliantly sunny at the time of the start of the race and 67 when I finished--I noticed the latter a bit, but really these were pretty close to ideal conditions to run a half-marathon in.

I was determined to execute the race strategy i detailed in last night's post...conservative/negative split trying to run a 1:42, which i figured would put me on course for a sub-1:40 at the B&A in 3 weeks (easier course, more fitness).

I ran the first mile in what felt like a very, very easy effort. I hit the 1st mile in 7:44 with an average HR of 156bpm. Pretty much right on my target goal pace. The next mile had some downhills in it and I held back a little more: 7:41/159. The 3rd mile was the toughest on the course and I again played it very conservatively and turned in a 8:05/160. At this point, i felt fantastic and was quite encouraged by my splits and the HR I was seeing. The 4th mile was another very difficult one and i hit 7:58/161. Even though my average pace was below my target, i had gone through the most difficult part of the course and felt very comfortable.

Mile 5 brought the first of two easier miles and I ran a 7:25/160 and began to get very excited. I thought about my father, whom I've dedicated my racing to this year, and smiled and pointed skyward--here we go dad! I got a little carried away over the next mile recording a 7:18/164. I had planned to wait until after the 7th mile before I began to push it so I was clearly falling off my plan. The 7th mile went by in 7:34/163 in what felt like a bit of a restrained effort.

At this point (7 miles) I was at 53:45 or an average pace of 7:41 (1:40:35 pace) and I seriously began to think about trying to go f0r a sub-1:40. I had just finished the last 3 miles at a 23 flat 5k pace--essentially what I just did my last 5k at. I knew I was running well and certainly well enough to expect to hit my 1:42 target. I decided to try to control my effort over the next 3 miles and see what happened.

The 8th mile was 7:42/164. I was beginning to feel fatigue and noticed that my HR was staying up--although still below my 165 "speed limit". The 9th mile had some climbs and I slipped to a 8:00/165 and it was here that I began to think that my original 1;42 target was the correct one. Mile 10 was encouraging at 7:43/163 but since my elapsed time at this point was 77:17, I knew I needed to run a 22:43 final 5k and I knew that was a very low probability. My quads were beginning to complain and I also felt a fair amount of pain in my bad knee (time for a new set of injections!)

At this point, I decided to try to just run smoothly and in control and cruise to the end and get my sub 1:42. Mile 11 was: 7:58/162 and mile 12: 7:46/162. I'm really very encouraged by these two miles. A little slow but well within my cardio capabilities--162 is a good 5-7 bpm less than i typically average at this stage in a half. Now, my legs were a bit fried but this will improve a great deal over the next 6-8 weeks with the training I'm doing.

Mile 13 was an easy 7:58/163 and the longish last "0.1" went by in 0:53 with a 166 average (as I mentioned yesterday, the course was long at 13.18 miles according to the USATF). I hit the finish in 1:41:47 (an average pace of 7:43). this is equivalent to a sub 22:00 5k or a good minute faster than I ran a couple of weeks ago. I felt that time was not truly indicative of my fitness and this race confirms that.

NIce! Mission accomplished. It is what it is--I'm at or ahead of plan at this point. I'll need to run 103 seconds faster at B&A in 3 weeks--8 seconds per mile--this seems very, very doable with more training in the bank and at an easier course. In fact, I think I'll set my eyes on a new CR in that race (assuming I continue to do the work as planned).

Very satisfying and it appears that I have, for the most part, fully recovered from last year's hip problems and that my run focus is beginning to pay dividends--onward and upward!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

IN Palm Springs

spent yesterday and most of today with anders in Manhattan Beach--awesome time....great sushi last night!

Drove the 122 miles out to palm springs and drove the course this evening. Interesting course for sure. The most noticeable thing is the 71 (!!!!!!!!!) turns--thank goodness it's not a bike course--it averages 5.5 truns per rarely run in a straight line for as much as a half mile. I'm not sure how that translates speed wise, but it's very different than the B&A with it's 6-7 turns....

The course is considerably hillier than I anticipated. I went to the USAT database and it's plotted at 13.18 miles or about 420 feet longer than a true half-marathon. It has a total of 876 feet of elevation change--equally split between up and down.

The first two miles are a steady climb. Then from mile 2 to 3.5 you give back all of that initial gain in altitude. then the meat and potatoes of the course--from 3.5 to 6.5, it steadily climbs from 450 feet up to 630. the next mile is a series of rollers and then from 7.5 out to just short of 9.5 a nice fast downhill section. The last almost 4 miles are basically flat.

So strategy wise, I'm going to try to negative split the race. I try to be conservative all the way through the half-way point when the rest of the course is either down-hill or flat. I'd like to be averaging somewhere between 7:45 and 8/mile over the first half and try to hit 7:30 to 7:45 on the way home--with any luck this would average out to 7:45ish.

Of course, my current half-marathon fitness is a real question mark. this will be the longest I've run since Kona, four plus months ago. I'm going to carefully monitor my HR--especially on the climbs and try to keep it close to 160 bpm, and certainly under 165. If this means a slower pace than "my strategy", well, I'll take my medicine and vow to train harder in the weeks ahead.....

Should be interesting!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Heading to California

As i write this I am somewhere over nebraska--the miracles of modern technology.

I'm excited to visit with Anders and talk over all the things he has going in his busy life.

Saturday evening I'll drive over to Palm Springs and then first thing Sunday I'll give the Half Marathon there a go. I'd like to get in decent enough shape during my "spring season" to be able to run sub-1:40 at the B&A Half-Marathon on March 6th. So my guess is that something around 1:42ish would indicate that I'm right on track. This is a 7:47/mile pace. I won't be hugely disappointed if I am as slow 1:44-1:45 (around 8 minute miles). Anything slower than that would be disappointing for sure.

In any event, I'll give it my best shot--at the very least it will be a race quality run in the bank and refine my understanding of my current run fitness....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

back from the dead?

sunday past I did a two-hour (just over 13 mile) "long" run....easy pace. Monday lit into a 4+ hour bike ride. Plus other stuff. Tail end of a strong three week effort....

Some of the other stuff was a scheduled 3000 yard interval session in the pool on Monday--pre long ride.

I was shocked by how DEAD i was on Monday morning--I had to nap for a couple of hours later that day. In the morn in the pool, my first 100 was a 1:33 (I was doing 100/200/300X 3) and then my first 200 was 3:13 (vs an expected 1:27/3:00). so I just stopped and swam an easy 2000. On the bike my legs were beyond dead but I did suck it up and give a credible effort--pretty much pushing it for fair amounts of time--over the 4 hours. My ride probably should have been bailed on but it was the only near-term credible weather window for a long ride and I felt that I needed to HTFU and go for it!

I was crushed Monday night. Definitely some virus (and potentially a bit of over training) going on.

Lots of sleep and mellowness on tuesday--skipped a run speed session. Today better---my 100s were all 1:27-1:30 in the pool and I ran very comfortably (137-144 bpm HR) at a 8:00-8:34 pace for 5 miles....

Racing this weekend (palm springs half-marathon)--no excuses....I'll make sure I rest enough to give it a good enough go!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

1st week of Feb--on track

the week's totals:

7350 yards as a fish

131 miles on the bike

41.3 miles hoofing it

18.4 hours invested in training

So, by design, a lighter week....cut back on the bike and swim. Still, for an easy week, amped it on the run--two solid longer runs: 10 on Thursday and 13 today. Plus a speed workout--I'm almost a legit runner!

Nice weather tomorrow--could be in the low 40s--so gonna head out for a bit of a tour in NJ on the bike tomorrow. the big event this week is my half-marathon in Palm Springs on sunday....

no reason to not be optimisitic at this point in the season--my knee is hanging in there on the run!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

running progress

I did 5X800@3:25 yesterday. Once again this felt very comfortable--last one a little bit of an effort. I will "graduate" to 3 miles of speed distance (12X400/6X800/5X1000) going forward. I have a half-marathon in Palm Springs next weekend and I'm hopping I can run 1:42-1:45, which will "earn" me the right to increase the pace of my speed workouts.

In NYC tonight--had to miss a swim workout--but was able to head out for a very comfortable 10 mile run. I'll try to do a 11-13 miler this weekend as well and then we'll see how half-marathon fit I am....

while I remain embarrassing slow, I am pleased with my run progress--ever upward....

Just about have my website all spiffed up for 2011--I'll post the link shortly....