Friday, March 30, 2012

down in smithville

Long way to go for a sprint thats for sure! I left about 11am and drove to downtown DC to pick-up my race packet for Cherry Blossom. Then on to smithfield where I arrived around 6pm. Really missed having sparty along as wingman and fellow triathlete--he is recuperating nicely from wing surgery and should be all set to go come Kona.

I checked into the hotel and went over and picked up my race packet and checked out the scene. One change from 2009 is the location of the transition area--they moved it to immediately outside the ppol exit as oppossed to around the building by the road. This will translate into an extra bit of runn ing as we'll have to run all the way around the T1 area to enter from the farside and head back towards the pool (it's a flow-through or neutral transition). My guess is that this will add 15-20 seconds to T1 and maybe 5-10 to T2. it might make the run 5-10 seconds faster as the exit of T2 is now closer to the road where we start the run.

I'm seeded 117 out of 500 swimmers (or 77 %-tile) vs. 57th out of 434 in 2009 (87 %-tile). I wouldn't read anuything into this as this is self seeding. In 2009 I had the 125th best swim (71.4 %-tile) so i suspect I'm seeded a little better this year. In any event, I start about 9 minutes later than year. Interestingly, one of my 15 AG competitors is seeded 101, so he'll start 4 minutes before me. I like this as i hope to be able to catch him on the ride....good incentive....

Speaking of the ride, it's a lot harier than I remember it. The first 4 miles are quite slow with a lot of nasty little drops into narrow, twisty off-camber stuff. I don't want to overplay this--its not that technical, but you definitely have to back-off and pay attention to driving your bike. Miles 4-6 are less narly but very twisty. the last 4, if the wind is right will be pretty fast.

In any event, I'm good to go. I'm interested to see how my knee and right hamstring hold up to race intensity. I start my knee injections on Monday so help is on the way on the knee front but I'm a little concerned about the nagging tightness I've had in my upper hamstring.....

Time to get some answers....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Race time!

Although I'm hardly ready it's time to race again this weekend! I'm off to Smithfield, VA for the Smithfield Sprint. The race is a 300 meter pool swim/a 10-mile bike/5-k run. then I travel up to Washington for the cherry blossom 10-miler.

I did this combo back in 2009 and my objectives for this weekend are to be safe, have fun and hopefully go faster than 2009.

As i read my 2009 race report I'm struck by how much things have changed. In the beginning of 2009, I was coming of two very good but ultimately disappointing years where I had failed several times to qualify for Kona. I had basically decided that I need a break from IM racing, I wasn't going to get to Kona, and that my triathlon career was nearing an end and at best I wouild do 1 more IM.

My knee was in very bad shape in early 2009--and frankly, it's (yet again) a limiting factor now. the good news is that I'm in for new injections next week so just 12 weeks elapsed time between cycles....seems like things are getting worse!

Not to be down. Today I'm in a better place for sure. I've done 3 more IM races since then and have 2 more on the docket for this year: Kona and IMAZ. I'm dealing with an increasing crescendo of ailments but I'm still in the game.

For this weekend I just want to go faster than 2009. As for my competition at Smithfiled, if I can go faster then I won't need to worry about anything.

Here are my splits from 2009:

Swim: 300 meters plus ducking under 6 lane lines and moving horizontally another 10 meters. I did the swim in 2009 in 5:09 which was (and still is since I've not done a pool triathlon since) my best ever 300 meter triathlon swim. I have not put a lot of time into swimming yet this year but I would be disappointed if I wasn't faster than this. I'm a better swimmer now. I'm not a good non-wetsuit swimmer but still I would hope to go sub 5...

T1: I did 1:20 in 2009. Happy to so so again provided the transition area has not changed. It's a bigger race now so we'll see.

Bike: I clocked the course at 9.86 miles in 2009. I completed the bike leg in 26:25. I averaged 253 watts and a HR of 162bpm. I know I'm not as strong on the bike as I was early in my life but I'm optimistic I can go faster on Saturday. I'm not in great bike shape--I'm not topped up--but I feel like my bike engine is pretty good and my rig is well optimized.....I would very much like to throw more watts and/or a faster time (wind of course could affect the latter).

T2: 0:59--hope to break a minute again!

Run: 23:40 over a 3.20 mile course. this is a pretty slow result but I'd take it give my fitness now.

Overall: 57:32--If I could do that I'd be happy. In 2009, this resulted in a 44 second victory. I would have won my new (55-59) AG by we'll see.

weather forecast is quite windy but otherwise nice.....

bring it on!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

LW update and the view from the beach

I did a pretty good job of piecing together a decent training week last week despite all the's the data:

Swim: 8000 yards
Bike: 188 miles
Run: 37 miles
Time: 19:08

several pretty good sessions mixed in there including a 266/267/268 watt 3X10 computrainer session...and some pretty good 20-30 minute run and bike tempo sessions.....

I did a 300 yd TT in the pool today in 4:40--which would be way faster than what I did at smithfiled in 2009....

I'm at the beach now--and feeling great about that! Lots of work to do but I'll get some good fun and training in (which is good fun) as well!

I'm shaking out all of my racing gear here as I have my first Tri of 2012 on Saturday down in Smithfiled, VA. I rode the TT01 today and it just still continues to impress me with it's speed and rock solid nature. I know I'm probably one of maybe 5 people who like this bike but I'll tell you, despite it's challenges, when it's locked in--which mine is, it rocks! Lots of 22-24 mph stuff today over 40 miles and a fantastic brick run on the beach after....

I'll post a more comprehensive view of my expectations for my racing weekend (Smithfiled Triathlon/Cherry Blossom Run) either tomorrow or the day after but suffice it to say I am very pumped to jump back in the game. Despite the fact that I'm pumped and plumped, I do think I'll do pretty well this weekend....more on that soon.

My knee is getting flaky again--right on schedule....time to see my ortho yet again....

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner---I am psyched to get big time back into triathlon operations!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Last week and the view out the windshield

So as advertised, not much training going on last week. Work early in the week and then Anders, Alex, Judy and I went out to Park City for four days of snowboarding. Unfortunately the snow was very poor and our much anticipated Heliboarding trip was cancelled. We did get out and board each of the four days but my legs were real beat up from having to deal with alternating icy and slushy/grabby conditions. I only ran once while I was there as I just decided to embrase my down week.

Stats for the week:

Swim: 2500 yards
Bike: 93 miles
Run: 10 miles
Snowboarding: 13 hours
SBR time: 7:48

I'm now up to NYC for 3 days of meetings so still difficult to get locked back in. I did get up early, beofre my train, and swam and rode my trainer so that was nice (and overdue). with any luck, I'll be able to run tonight along the East River. The weather is nice and I hope to be able to hit several big days come Thursday....

The lack of training is a bit of a set-back and I'm a bit heavier than I'd like to be but all-in-all this is nothing to worry about given the March timeframe. The weekend after next, I race both a triathlon and I have the cherry blossom 10-mile run so that will be a good test and a solid training experience. I don't have high expectations but am eager to jolt my system a bit and give myself a clearer picture of where I stand. One thing for sure, I'm motivated to train hard now, am relatively injury free and just need to be able to find clearer calendar space to get after it....I wouldn't mind hammering out a 25 hour week just to do it--maybe the 1st week of april.....we'll see.

Longer term, it does look pretty certain that in mid-June I will participate as part of an 8-person relay team in the Race Across American (RAAM), a coast-to-coast bicycle race. I'm part of a team of CEO-types who are racing in support of the CAF (challenged athletes foundation). We have a CAF athlete--an Iraq Vet who lost part of one leg--participating on our team. while not anything like the challenge of a solo RAAM effort, I should get 400 or so miles of riding over the 5-6 days it'll take our team to ride across the country. More on this later.

Also, anders and I are trying to lock down on a post Christmas alpine expedition--we are looking at either Aconcaugua (largest mountain in South America) or Vinson (largest mountain in Antartica). The complicating factor is Ander's HBS schedule. We hope to get this locked in at some point this month. If I were to do one of these it would give me a pretty bang-up end of the year to look-forward to:

9/29: SkipJack Long Course (1.2/66/10)
10/13: Kona
11/18: Ironman Arizona
12/26-1/?: Mountain Expedition

Many miles necessary before those 4 and I hope to put some of those in over the next few weeks.....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


OK--March is fun, challenging and interesting. what it is not is condusive to tri training.....

Turns out I will spend 4 or maybe 5 full days in DE this month--today was my 2nd....

Lots of work but lots of fun as well...was down in Naples with my Mom and Jen much of lsaweek and am leaving for snowboarding with Alex, Anders and Jude tomorrow morn...

Plus a TON of work

so not so much training wise....

last week:

swim: 7000 yards
bike: 151 miles
run 35.5 miles
time: 16:36

this past week wasn't so bad and I had some quality sessions (3X10 @ 256/257/265 on the CT) and some nice runs in Naples and some open water swimming....

still, I wanted to lose 5 pounds over the last 3 weeks and I've gained about that so I am 10 pounds fat....

However, my workouts are very solid and I can't wait to get back into it....hopefully my March slide will just be a slideways...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

easy street

So I did not run the race this morning. Went to a dear friend's 50th up in West Chester last night and ended up dancing away until midnight. They had some nice IPA and I felt a little selfish as I thought about not being there party wise for Irv's 50th and slinkin down at 4 am for a half marathon which really (I mean--really) doesn't matter. so I danced and had some IPA and got home at 1am and slept in. this is not say that doing the half would have no value--actually, it would have been great and really helpful for gauging my fitness but I felt focusing on Irv was the better course....I'm either getting old or more mature (although there is a disticnt chance I'm getting older and less mature...)

Truth be, my bod feels a little overworked....maybe I'm getting older and less able to deal with training or maybe the 3 week illness that has totally sidelined my wife has partially felled any event, I wanted this week to be an easier week and so it was....

Interesting enough to me I still feel guilty, both backing off and not racing. I'm experienced enough to know this is really lame thinking--I'm 54 years old and need easy weeks and need to focus on a few select races but it's hard to back off....but still I did...

I'm glad but I'm still a little surprised by my down energy systems....I ran 48:30 for 6 today and didn't want any more....

I've been here before--it's all about Kona on Oct 13th and then killing it at Zona 5 weks later so I can get back to Kona....everything else is mindless blog flotsam and jetsam....

Week totals:

Swim: 6500 yards
bike: 178 miles
Run: 23 miles
Time: 17 hours

Looking ahead, March will be a decidely mixed training month which is probablty what is best....if I get the feeling in late March and come out wanting to kill it--that is most certianly for the good!

more later!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

race tomorrow

Running in the B&A Half-Marathon tomorrow down in Severna, MD. Off to a friend's 50th BD tonight--home late I'm sure and then up at 4 am to make sure I'm down there for the 7:30 am start. I'd like to run well but it doesn't matter if I don't. It's just an early season high quality work-out at the end of the day. I'd think I'll be somewhere between 1:39 and 1:44....

We'll see!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feb totals/easy week

Here the totals for Feb:

Swim: 32050 yards
bike: 723 miles
Run: 151.5 miles
Time: 78:37

Good solid month. Last year my Feb SBR totals were: 33750 yards, 567 miles bike, 111.7 miles run. so up quite a bit vs. last year yet I still feel like I'm taking it "easy"--all good!

That said, body is weary and am definitely just chilling out this week....hope to race sunday and then get back on it....