Thursday, March 31, 2011

LOVE IT!!!!!

Got up this morning. US Air to LAX. Stopped by Anders place in Manahatan Beach for a quick son-bonding fix.

Down to Oceanside. checked in and went to the beach and LAID, I mean LAID there for a while. Ahhhhhhh. 83 degreees. Big waves. small bikinis.....

Got my bike--ready to go.

Had dinner---now check this out--there were 7 of us. One was me. Three of the others were: Chris Leigh, Michele Jones and Heather Fuhr. By the way, we had an awesome, awesome time. The pros were so cool as were my XC compatriots.....Good to be a triathlete tonight.

Not bad for a rest day!

Now I remember why I so much love the whole LC triathlon vibe. For a man who lives an "unepic" life--this is epic!

good to be me tonight!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thoughts on my coming race at Oceanside

Saturday will be my first Triathlon of the 2011 campaign (God willing). Here are some of my thoughts about my potential performance:


Last year at OS I did a 33:07. My pre-race time trials indicated that I was ready to do a 32:25. My personal best in a Half-IM is 32:45 (Eagleman 2007). My whole approach last year was to be very conservative because I had a Kona slot on the line and I felt if I just didn't mess up I would get the XC slot (which I eventually did). So the fact that I was 42 seconds slower than my TTs indicated tells me that the course/conditions last year were pretty much spot on. Of course, there is no guarantee that will be the situation this year but for purposes of this analysis, i'll assume that my TTs are reasonable predictors of my performance at OS.

This year I am in not quite as good shape as last year. In the last 3 months I've swam about 20% less yardage as compared to last year. Of-course, this is by design as I don't plan to do specific Long Course training until August 1st. My TTs indicate that I am in 34-35 minute shape.

Another factor to consider is that last year I was swimming (for the first time) in my new Water Rover wetsuit--which, of-course is now illegal for WTC races like OS. This year I'll be swimming in my new Blue Seventy Axis--a new design targeted at heavy leg/poor kickers like myself. I have no idea how much of a difference this will make, but I'm sure my Water Rover is the faster of the two suits. That said, I did a 500 TT this morning in the pool in the Axis and easily swam a 7:30 in what I would characterize as a race pace effort. This would translate into a 31:30 H-IM swim split. Of-course, I'd expect to fatigue somewhat given my lack of volume but the swim this morning sure was encouraging.

Given all this, I'll give my 75 %-tile, 50 %-tile, and 25%-tile time predictions as:

75 %-tile: 33 minutes
50 %-tile: 34 minutes
25 %-tile: 35 minutes

What this means is that I expect to turn in a 34 minute swim. That I think I have a 3 in 4 chance of swimming at least 35 minutes or faster and that I have just a 1 in 4 chance of going faster than 33 minutes.

What ultimately may be of more interest is how I stack up against the field. Last year I was 25th out of 161 in my AG (86 %-tile) and 507th out of 2171 overall (77 %-tile) OA. Frankly, irrespective of my time, I'd pleased to replicate these relative placings on the swim this Saturday!


Last year T1 was 4:19 and T2 was 2:22 for a total transition time of 6:41. I see nothing that would cause me to think I am any faster or slower this year. I might vary by 30 seconds either way:

75 %-tile: 6:10
50 %-tile: 6:40
25 %-tile: 7:10


Last year at this point I had rode 450 more miles than this year. I also had a number of rides longer than 70 miles while my max has been around 65 this year. This was in-part by design, but also reflects my frustration with the weather we've had this year (it was bad last year too but I've definitely been more annoyed with it this year). I've simply not ridden as much outside this year as last year. As a result, and especially from a Long Course point of view, I really don't feel "on it". I suspect my bike fitness is somewhat less than last year. Also last year was a relatively benign day (wind-wise) and the ride was somewhat faster than more normal Oceanside conditions might enable. This of course argues for a slower time than last year.

On the other side of the coin, I rode a conservative race last year trying to avoid a race ending (and Kona-denying) mishap. I rode a clincher 606 wheel set-up. I definitely was very conservative on the descents and I was riding the course for the first time. This year, I will not qualify for Kona at Oceanside (change in XC rules) so i can be a little more aggressive. While I'm not sure what front wheel I will go with yet (game time decision) I do plan on running a disc in the rear. I may also ride a little bit faster on the descents but probably not appreciably so--I'm basically a wimp when it comes to descending.

Also, my latest FTP workouts indicate that my FTP power is around 280 watts, which is pretty solid fitness. In theory I should be able to go pretty fast with that headroom. I wonder, however, if I have enough endurance to fully utilize this higher end speed. We'll see. All in all, I expect to be slightly slower than last year, although it is possible for me to beat my split from last year. It's also possible for me to be slower, and considerably so if the conditions are appreciably worse than last year.

Last year I split a 2:43:44 with an average watts of 174. This was good enough for 20th (88 %-tile) in my AG and 443rd OA (80th %-tile). Those of you who know me know that these numbers are almost always 95+ and 90+ respectively. Of-course, I'm better on flatter ground where my size is less of a handicap.

Anyways, here's the prediction:

75 %-tile: 2:40
50 %-tile: 2:45
25 %-tile: 2:55


Although I've raced several fewer times this year at both the 5k and half-marathon distance, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be in as-good or slightly better shape than last year. With my lack of racing it's a bit of a stab in the dark but that is what it feels like at this point. I did my half-mile repeats at a 6:40 pace this last week which indicates i should be in sub 1:40 open half-marathon shape.

Last year, I ran a 56 minute first lap and then really backed off the pace to finish in 1:58:30. I did this because all I had to do was get across the line to claim my Kona slot (I was way ahead of my XC competition) and because I was cramping (in part due to forgetting to bring any of my Enduralytes on the run). I also felt pretty tired and saw no need to punish myself with another Half-IM scheduled for three weeks later. Competitively, I was 47th in my AG (71 %-tile) and 906th OA (58th %-tile).

I'd like to think I'll run faster this Saturday although I've struggled through enough runs historically to know that I could be even slower. Here are my predictions:

75 %-tile: 1:48
50 %-tile: 1:52
25 %-tile: 2:00


Last year I finished in 5:22:04 as I was 29th in my AG ( 83rd %-tile) and 571st (73rd %-tile) OA. with the above here are my predictions for 2011:

Expected finish time (50 %-tile): 5:18--about 4 minutes faster than last year.

On the up side, if I have an extremely good day across the board I might go as fast as 5:07 (that would be amazing for me and I certainly don't expect to go that fast).

If I have a real tough day i could be as slow as 5:37. That would be a tough day for sure--one I hope does not happen.

Of-course who knows? It's real tough to predict Long course races but there you go....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last week before showtime!

So next Saturday is IM Cali (Oceanside) 70.3. While I'm treating it as a "spring training" event, there is certainly a fair amount of trepidation and anticipation. I have too much respect for that bike course and for the distance itself to take it lightly.

More on the race and my plans as this week unfolds--time to shift into Long-Course pre-race mode!!!!

So this week I wanted to be a third "big" week in a row--what that means in the current context is another week in the 21-24 hour range. I found as the week dragged on and the weather became a significant drag that it was better to back off some. I effectively started my taper a little early. I still tried to hit the intensity sessions (speed work on the treadie on Friday and a solid FTP on the bike today) but I skipped some of the longer rides/runs and one of my swims. I think this was a right call--I'll give you more of the details over the next couple of days.

In any event, here are the stats for the week:

swim: 7500 yards
bike: 186 miles
run: 27 miles
time: 18:35

Showtime coming up--after Saturday a lot less guessing about how fit I am--I'm all for that one way or the other!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cold again--yuck

Well the glorious weather was a fleeting phenom...back to the cold today. Finished off the week with a two hour slog through the biting wind on my bike and then a two-hour run on the beach.

Stats for the week:

Swim: 8000 yds
Bike: 211 miles
Run: 42 miles
Time: 22:54

I already have more bike and run miles this month than I did in all of February....

another fairly serious week this week and then the following week an easy run leading into Oceanside....

Sore legs tonight but all good.

Friday, March 18, 2011


78 degrees today--Sooooooo happy!

Having a decent week this week. got off to a slow start due to BOD mtg in NYC. Rallying over the last three days. Another FTOP on the bike on Wednesday (3 in 6 days!). I hit 1:24-1:26 for my 100s in the pool yesterday. when I'm really fit I'm down around 1:20 so not there yet--but I can race reasonably well with that swim speed. A pair of 9 milers on W/TH running wise. Just trying to keep my run volume up--hip flexor is complaining but the complaints have only been mild to date.

Took advantage of the great weather today to ride my TT bike outside for 50+ miles up and down over the brutal hills that my neck of the woods features. Then took my race bike up to Cadence for pick-up for the Tri-Bike Transport out to Oceanside. Can't believe I'll be racing a half-IM in 15 days! Had to drop the bike off a few days early because JV and I are heading to the beach for a few days while Alex is on spring break--I hope to pound the run/bike while there....

A long way to go but def heading in the right direction....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The true beginning to 2011?

Finally hit my stride this week! It seems like my schedule has constantly interferred with putting in the work necessary to have enough fitness to execute more advanced workouts, but I feel that this week i had my first real solid week of training. If I can replicate this over the next 8 weeks or so I should find myself by mid-May, in pretty decent short-course form.


--I did two FTP workouts on the bike this week. Today's workout covered 2.5 hours and 45 miles and included 15 second spin-ups (up to 500 watts), 1 min repeats at 330 watts and 5 minute repeats at 280 watts. I was hitting all of the critical energy zones: anaerobic, VO2max, and LT. I also did two separate 10 minute high cadence sets--the first at 111 rpm and the second at 116--the second was from 2:10-2:20 into my ride.

--I did brick runs after my bike rides both days this weekend. Today after the FTP workout, I went right out and ran 6.5 miles at a solid 9 min/mile pace--nice and controlled. Yesterday, after a 4 hour ride, i cruised through a 3 mile brick.

--I did a nice mile repeat workout early this week at LT pace

--In the pool, I missed one of my sessions due to having to be in NYC for two days but I did get in a 2500 yard TT at the equivalent of a 34 minute half-IM split--and I felt like I took it a little too easy in the first 1000 yards.

So, these are all good signs--tougher workouts that I seem to be handling in stride (with the aforementioned exception of tenderness in my left hip-flexor). This is a sign of growing fitness and it almost feels like a bit of an inflection point--that I'm getting strong enough to really begin to stress my body in my workouts--and as long as I stay healthy--this is where my fitness begins to elevate up to race readiness.

I'm not there by any means, I don't feel that fit yet, but I'm seeing some very positive signs for the first time in 2011. the best news is that despite the intensity and volume this week I feel very refreshed and rested and I'm definitely ready for another big week next week--in fact I'm hoping to stay on it for the next 10-14 days when I'll do a mini-taper before Oceanside.

Stats for the week:

Swim: 8,000 yards

Bike: 218 miles

Run: 45 miles

Time: 22:30

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flexibility limitations?

So--went out for a modest--50/52 minute 6 mile run today and found myself at 2 separate points surrounded by real deal raging river flood waters. Long story short, 1:50 latter i returned home for a much longer run than I intended.

Bailed on my FTP ride today as a result but will get it back on sunday--for 2 FTPs this week.

Hey, I'm sitting on 46 miles of running over the last 6 days--I'm getting thinner-weight wise....I'm getting there slowly but surely...This is a very solid week that I'm on!

But really beginning to feel my left hip flexor again--my bane of last year....worried that it will cancel the parade at some point in the future--I hope not but realise there is a good chance that this will be my limitation this year....troubled by how to fix it....

damn--I hate being lame!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm no Charlie sheen but hey--10,000 views!

So my page view counter clicked over 10,000 today. Hard to imagine given the focus of my blog.

Of course, Charlie Sheen had 1MM twitter followers in just 24 hours so I guess I need to put my 10,000 views in 4-5 years in perspective!

Maybe I need to move to twitter or start smoking crack and hanging with adult film employees....

Probably what I really need to do is swim, bike, and run more and faster while I'm at it....

I'll take it under advisement though.....:)

Anyways--if you've been one of the 10,000+...thank-you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


so, as part of my whole emphasis on honoring my father this year--through my life and activities, I've been thinking about integrity and being truly authentic. (About not caring so much what others think, but really being able to stand proud in front of myself--when I am my harshest critic)

Upon a lot of careful consideration I have concluded that while I certainly lack in natural talent--triathlon-wise, I have to be given props for my level of effort and indeed my integrity. I love triathlon and I really try hard to do the best I can--most days (not all--but most) I really push myself physically and mentally. In my view, I'm a pretty pure triathlete.

so, all good as far as that goes.

Still, it would be much better to bring the same rigor to the rest of my life.

I'm not a bad guy by any means, but I know I could bring it--better--in the rest of my life and if I wanted to live up to my potential--and frankly, to the standards of my triathlon training...I have quite a fair ways to go for sure....

so, I'm thinking about trying to do more of the following--which i think make me a better person and a better citizen....

1. I'm going to really focus on being very polite--to everybody, all the time--getting in cabs or subways, holding doors--I'm pretty good at this already but I always want (from now on) to be the really polite guy....after you my brother!

2. I want to really spend a lof of effort when I'm with other people, focusing on how they view the world and how they can bring something important to the world. And I want to try to help them do so (this will be hard for me).

3. I want to be much more rigorous at monitoring my mind's internal dialogue and honestly admit (to myself) when I have biases or a shortcoming and try to correct for these flaws. this is the virtue of equipose.

4. I want to be more sympathetic--and I need to be. Nuff said.

5. I want to strive to seek "Limerence". I want to be less focused on success and recognition (the conscious mind stuff) and more focused on transcendence--being lost in the love of another, the challenge of the task, the love of God...these are the hungers of the unconscious mind--I need to get a bit more unconscious--and less logical (at times)

6. I want to assume possitive intent more frequently--but not more frequently than is warranted--in my experience, there are indeed some people out to get me....

a good list to start on in this 2011 year of honoring my father....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

As Goose Said: I gotta need for speed!!!!

So--we are pushing close to 2 inches of rain here today but still, I am bumming about not racing today. I know--no excuses--HTFU--you shoulda just got out there and did it.

Cold/lots of travel--NY the two prior days/it's just a spring training running race...the logic took hold...

Still, for sure, I got a big need for some serious triathlon stuff!

I did manage to do a 2 hour trainer session with a lot of 290/300 watt FTP action--feel the burn!

Then, and since Man U was playing Liverpool in football, I managed to grind out 90 minutes on the tready....a good start.

More travel ahead, but I really feel the need to really crush it the next few weeks--and I'm going to look for every opportunity to do so!

Stats for the week:

10,500 yards as a fish (solid, but still slow)
172 miles on the bike (better, but still a long ways from fighting trim)
27 miles running (disappointing--especially without (and because of) the race
19 hours overall

I need to break out soon--life is constraining the training....

My schedule takes a turn for the Wimps

Got up at 4:15am to drive the 2 hours down to do the B&A half-marathon. It was 48 degrees and raining moderately hard. Decided to bag it. It's now race time and raining quite hard and while I really wanted to race (I came home from NYC last night to do so), I'm glad I bailed.

Also next week, due to a series of family scheduling conflicts I've had to bail on the Triathlon down in North Carolina. Oh well--all of this is pre-season stuff anyways...

I may try to squeeze in a 5k next week so I have a little more under my belt before I open my season at Oceanside in 27 days. The good news is that I can put a very hard 16-18 day training block in--which I really need to do with all of my travels as of late....

I keep reminding mysaelf to keep my eyes on the prize--IMAZ in November....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

almost sprung.....

Spring that is.....well, probably still a few more weeks away but today I pretended in was here---swam 2000 drill oriented/ran 3.5 miles outside in my shorts (34 degrees)/ did 3:53 on the bike in the high 40s/low 50s.... Nice sun but lots of wind....getting close--i can't wait!