Friday, September 9, 2011
I've had another life change recently. My wife and I have left WNY for (hopefully) greener pastures in the Philadelphia area. I've decided that this is a perfect opportunity to refocus my efforts, not only with renewed training, but also with a new blog.
I am no longer just a "fat guy" running for fitness. My new focus is to break the tape, to win a race, followed by several more!
I know this goal is lofty, but I'm just not satisfied completing an event anymore. Please join me in my new adventure at www.rockbreakingthetape.blogspot.com.
See you there...
Saturday, August 13, 2011
In what is probably my last race this summer, I entered today's competition with some serious doubts. My training has taken a backseat over the past month, due to our plans for moving to Philadelphia, roofing, work, etc. I typically would have gotten all of my training in anyway, but not this time.
To compound matters, I let my nutrition go to shit. I've been taking the lazy route of eating crap instead of quality meals that had helped me get into great shape. As a result, I gained about 7 lbs. in the past 3 weeks or so.
Needless to say I was a bit skeptical of how well I'd perform today. Add that to some strong competition in the form of Jim R. and Ryan J. Still, I toed the line and was ready to go bright and early at 7:30am, supported by my wife and father.
My plan was similar to the last race. Run 1: stick with the leaders the best I could, Bike: get after it hard, Run 2: hold on for dear life. Ryan is a strong runner and had been logging crazy bike miles, so I figured him to be the one the rest of us would be chasing. Jim and I have been neck and neck for the past few races, but he is definitely stronger on the runs. The bike leg was much shorter (11.5miles) minimizing my strength, so I'd have to make the most of it.
Run 1 (1.88miles/11:31/6:08): As I expected, Ryan got away from us about halfway through the run. I tried surging a couple of times to put some pressure on Jim, but he hung with me. The out and back course was mostly flat, with just a bit of incline before turning back into transition. I entered transition in 2nd place with Jim right on my heels.
T1 (:46): 6th fastest. Jim and I headed to the mount line stride for stride.
Bike (11.44 miles/29:13/23.5 mph): I had a few issues getting my shoes fastened coming out of transition and Jim got away from me for a bit. I caught him at about the 3 mile mark and set my sights for Ryan. I really didn't think I had a chance to catch Ryan, as I figured him to be slightly better on the bike. Much to my surprise, I caught and passed him around mile 5. I had a slight scare at the turnaround. It was a sharp 180 degree turn and my back wheel skidded a quite a bit. We had a pretty nice tailwind going out (averaged 26-27mph), but into the wind on the way back in only allowed for 22-23mph. Every once and awhile, I'd take a peek back and see Ryan, a few bike lengths back, expertly marking me. He passed me about 1/2 mile before transition and it was on!
T2 (:35): 2nd overall. Ryan and I headed out of transition in step with one another.
Run 2 (1.92/12:43/6:36): Heading out of transition in step with Ryan, I knew I was in trouble. I hung with him for about 1/4 mile, before he pulled away. My mind went back to my original plan of hanging on for 2nd. I glanced over my shoulder and saw Jim only about :3o behind me. Double trouble! For the next 1.5 miles, I surged forward whenever I could convince myself to move faster and otherwise tried to maintain pace. The second half of this run actually wound up being faster than the first half. I was able to hold off Jim for second place, by :12 (:24 out of 1st.) Heck of a race!
All things considered, I must say I'm pleased. Of course, only out of 1st by :24 and right there at the final transition got me thinking over the next few hours, "what if?" Days like this do wonders on getting me refocused on training. I'm looking forward to getting settled in our new city and seeing what new racing awaits.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Take this weekend for instance. My house is in desperate need of a new roof. Rather than shelling out $10K+, I figured there was enough knowledge and experience between my friends and I to get the job done. However, I forgot how scary it is to be on a roof and mine has more pitch than others I've been on. What was originally supposed to be one weekend, will most likely take up the bulk of the coming weekend too. This means no Wilson Duathlon.
I'm not completely broken up about this, though I am itching for a race. It's been since July 2, since my last duathlon and I was looking forward to getting after it. However, it seems more important to have a completely shingled roof.
The rest of the summer should be interesting too. My wife took a new job in Philadelphia, and we are moving in the beginning of September. This will undoubtedly play with my training plans even more and is putting the Dunkirk Duathlon in jeopardy. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
One of the fun things to do while traveling is to check out the local racing scene. This summer has taken my wife and I back to her hometown of Bellport, NY to do the 27th running of the Clipper Classic 5K. This course was flat and fast, though the heat made it feel like quite a chore.
I started off strong, 1st mile in 6:08. I felt like I was gliding and it didn't feel as though I was struggling at all. That feeling didn't last. By the middle of the 2nd mile, I went through a complete transformation (not for the better.) I began cramping and the heat caught up to me. Mile 2: 6:28. I tried, in vain, to hold this pace, but alas, could not; mile 3 6:48. A nice little downhill finish and was in at a very unimpressive 20:12.
Certainly not my best time, but acceptable considering the heat. Still good enough for 3rd in my age group and a shiny new medal to add to my collection.
Monday, July 4, 2011
In the past two duathlons I've raced in, I've finished 2nd. Last week, I was beaten by a far superior competitor, Cameron; in June, at the Keuka Lake Duathlon, by Jim. For this weekend's Tri in the Buff, both were to be present. I had no inclination that I'd get close to Cameron, but felt I had a fair chance to beat Jim, so once again, the race would be for second place.
My race strategy was simple. Keep up with Jim during the first run, gain as much time as I could during the bike, and hopefully, having banked a bunch of time in the bike, have enough of a gap to hold on for 2nd.
My tactics worked perfectly. I finished the first run about 4 secs behind Jim an caught him immediately at the mount line. I buried myself deep in the bike and entered transition with a 2+minute gap. I was able to hang on in the final run (only lost about 30 seconds) and finished in 2nd place about 1:40 ahead of Jim. Success right?!? Well the saga continues.....
Satisfied with my performance, I headed away from the finish towards transition to pack up my things. On the way I passed by the results and wanted to just take a glance at some of the splits. To my horror, I noticed that I wasn't in 2nd, but 3rd! Upon closer inspection, it appeared that I was assessed a penalty. What?!?
Well, immediately I was on the war path. I headed over to the announcers table and the race official was called over. She explained to me that she had penalized me for rule 5.10f.
5.10f " Position. Except for reasons of safety and when no advantage is gained, all cyclists shall keep to the right of the prescribed course unless passing."
I asked when and how this penalty was determined as she explained to me that she had clocked me for 20 seconds in the passing area. She said that anything over 15 seconds was a violation of this rule. I asked the official where this time was stated and she said that a specific time wasn't stated in the rule book, it was just "something they were told during official training". I asked her that if I was in that position for less than 15 seconds if I would have gotten a penalty and she said no.
My second issue was the road conditions. The bike course was two loops, with a large section on route 5. Route 5 is two lanes and the shoulder was very pothole-ridden. In fact, several areas were marked with orange spray paint as a warning. In the first loop, I spent a good deal of time hitting and swerving around these potholes, so on the second loop, I decided to stay further left, to avoid throwing myself over the handlebars. It was on this second loop that I was assessed the penalty. I explained this to the official and she stated that she didn't think the area that I got the penalty in was unsafe. Also, on the second loop, I was passing riders a very frequent intervals as I was lapping slower riders.
The official called a couple of regional officials for a backup to her ruling and after arguing with her for awhile, I was told that I'd have to file a petition with the USTA, if I wanted the infraction changed.
I guess I have a few big issues with this penalty. First of all, I was not riding unsafe, but rather I made a decision to ride out a bit further during this stretch to protect myself from the rough road. I was not impeding any car traffic or putting myself or other riders in danger. Secondly, I gained no advantage by riding like this. Additionally, the official was basing her assessment of the penalty on a time lapse of 20 seconds. However, nothing in the rulebook for this section states a specific time that is acceptable/unacceptable. This makes the rule very subjective and open to interpretation.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of this is the fact that this race is part of a three race series. I would have been tied for the overall duathlon lead going into the final race (Summer Sizzler) with Jim, but now I am 2 points behind. It is too bad that a race and a series will probably be determined, not by racing skills but by a questionable (in my opinion) ruling. I do plan on filing that petition and lobbying my case with the race director as well.
Overall, the ScoreThis group that runs this series does a great job. Their events are always well organized and I'd highly encourage all to participate in the future.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This is where it all began for me last year. With a fresh new bike I set out, having no idea what to expect. This race hooked me to strive to become something that resembles a multi-sport athlete. So, needless to say, I needed to come back this year for a visit.
I had kept my eye on the registration list over the past couple of weeks, gauging the competition, trying to predict how I might finish. I didn't recognize too strong a field and felt as though I had a decent chance to win. Then on the way to the race this morning, my wife checked the list again, and notified me that Cameron Townsend was racing as well. Cameron is head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors that typically enter duathlons, myself included. With sub-6 minute/mile running paces and 25mph+ bike speeds, he is a formidable opponent. Last year, at this event, he soundly beat me by over 15 minutes. This had become a race for 2nd place.
The first leg, a two mile run (sprint), quickly got underway and sure enough Cameron and a few other got away. I kept my cadence high and worked it as much as I dared, trying to not blow it all right away. I entered transition in 6th place, 12:07/6:04 pace.
Yesterday, I worked on improving my transition time, by leaving my bike shoes on the pedals the whole time. Feeling comfortable enough, I decided to try it in this race. I typically have a transition time around :45, so I was pleased with :37. This helped me exit transition in 3rd place, only about :10 behind second place. 1st place (Cameron) was out of transition just as I entered.
The bike...I love it!! I can go fast, usually faster than most of the competition. I credit this to good gear, a better set up and my weekly time trial racing. I caught the 2nd place racer within the 1st mile and now I was just racing to put as much of a gap between myself and the racers behind me to help for the final run. 22 miles later, I had the 2nd fastest bike time, 53:56/24.5 mph. I also established a 3 minute lead on the 3rd place rider.
Another good transition, :37, that new strategy took about :20 of my total transition time from my last race.
2nd run...always my nemesis. My times typically fall off here and today wasn't any different. Most races that I do, only have a 3 mile run at the end, this one was 4. I pushed as hard as I could and finished the 4 miles in 27:39/6:55 pace. I only gave back about :19 to the 3rd place runner. Overall I had the 7th best final run.
Overall, I finished 2nd out of 43, 1 out of 5 in my age group. 5:30 behind the leader. I'll take these results, as I have made a big stride closer to what I consider the best in the area and I am demonstrating some strong bike work. I'm still lacking in the run, especially the 2nd, though in this race, even the best 2nd run time would't have snagged the victory for me.
Next week, Tri in the Buff Duathlon. 5K run, 40K bike, 5K run. Both Cameron and the athlete that I came 2nd to in Keuka will be there, along with all of the other usual suspects. Should be a tough one!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Mon (6/6): AM: Recovery Run @ HRZ1-my watch HR alert was set incorrectly, so I went slower than I should have. PM: Hilly Bike Ride, rode the ESG course in Binghamton, big hills!
Tues (6/7): Had to miss my TT race because of work. AM: Run, Hill strides
Wed (6/8): Bike intervals 5x6min up to 5aHRZ.
Thu (6/9): Run Intervals 4x6min up to 3HRZ.
Fri (6/10): Brick, 90 min Bike, 60 min Run. HRZ 1-4.
Sat (6/11): Komen 5K, 19:14, 11th overall, 2nd in AG. PR!
Sun (6/12): Negative Split Run, HRZ 1-2 1st half, HRZ 3-4 2nd Half
Totals: 111.19 miles
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
5/23(Mon): Long Run 2hrs, HR in zone 3.
5/24(Tues): TT Race (20K), perfect race night, averaged 24.0mph for the first time this year. Ran hilly course for 1 hr about an hour after the race. Legs felt rubbery at first, but recovered in the first 20 minutes.
5/25(Wed):Weight work and Bike Trainer Hills.
5/26(Thurs): Brick Workout, 1:15 on the bike and :15 run. Roads a bit wet, got the bike quite dirty.
5/27(Fri): Tempo intervals on bike trainer (rain). 4x6min in HR zone 3. Skipped weights.
5/28(Sat): Nice, easy :45 run HR Zone 2.
5/29(Sun): Buffalo Half Marathon, hot day, PR 1:32:31/7:04 pace.
Taper week coming up for Keuka Lake Duathlon on Sunday.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I must say, after reading about some other people's experience at the marathon last year, I was a bit skeptical as to what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised how well things went off. Nice job Buffalo!
On to the race...
This race wasn't one of my target races this year, but as with any races, I wanted to go as hard as I could. In my mind, I set a rough goal of 1:30:00. The first five miles of the race meandered through the lakefront area of the city. I felt strong and was able to push pretty hard: 7:09, 7:03, 6:49, 6:53, 6:44, 6:52.
Once we headed out of the lakefront area we got into south Buffalo, full of abandoned factories and not many spectators. I've run a few races in this part of the city and I always feel the same. It is kind of sad how this city has died over the years. Once a booming industrial city, it is now a skeleton of what it once was. As the sun rose in the sky, I felt the energy slowly being drained by my body. Miles 6-8: 6:52, 6:57, 6:58.
I hadn't really thought too much about what the 1:30 goal meant for my mile split pace (6:51). I begun to calculate in my mind what I'd need to get to this goal, realizing that 1:30 would be tough. I pushed on.
From mile 9 on, my pace suffered due to a combination of fatigue, heat and a couple of little overpass climbs. 7:07, 7:10, 7:06. Mile 12 (7:30) was the weakest for me, the more I pushed the slower I moved. I was able to pull it together for the last mile (7:02) and kept strong through the finish. There was a guy wearing a Frosted Flakes bike jersey I passed around mile 4 in the race. He passed me in the 12th mile, but I was able to chase him down and keep him behind me. Chasing "Tony" helped me keep my pace up at the end, but it wasn't enough to hit my goal. I was close and all things considered satisfied with my finish time and my fresh, new half marathon PR: 1:32:21.
Rest day tomorrow, light work this week and all out next Sunday at Keuka Lake!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Monday (5/16): 12 Mile Run, spent the majority of this run in HR zone 5a (should have been in zone 3.
Tuesday (5/17): 10 mile Time Trial, 25:51 (actual length 10.20) red line HR
Wednesday (5/18): Weights & Hills on bike trainer
Thursday (5/19): Bike Intervals on Trainer & Run with strides at the end
Friday (5/20): Subbed hilly run for treadmill run, due to downpour
Saturday (5/21): Brick workout, HR Zone 2, hard to keep my run HR in zone 2
Sunday (5/22): 1 hr run in HR zone 2, much slower pace to keep my HR in zone 2. Weights.
Overall, I've found that being aware of which HR zone I'm in usually means backing off of the pace. Good? Bad? Undecided at this time.
8:03:28 Training Hrs (not including weight sessions)
Run Miles: 32.92
Bike Miles: 60.04
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
It is a bit of a step away from the training I have done in the past. Training is built around heart rate and total weekly exercise time. Once you've answered a seriers of questions, the Virtual Coach gives you a weekly list of workouts that you drag and organize into a calendar. Once the workouts are completed you can upload your workout data from Garmin or other unit.
It does take some time to set up and get used to, but 3 days into it, I am enjoying the experience. I'll keep you posted.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Monday (5/9): 1hr bike ride, Hill Repeats
Tuesday (5/10): Weight circuit, TT-shaved :40 off my 20K TT (tough little hill at the beginning and end.)
Wednesday (5/11): Planned on doing 18, settled for 12. Also, decided to do the Buffalo Half Marathon, instead of the full.
Thursday (5/12): Slacker
Friday (5/13): Bike re-fitting, more aero position, lower on the front end, aero bars closer together.
Saturday (5/14): More slacking, but went out and got my wife a tri bike, so not a total loss.
Sunday (5/15): 2 mile tempo @ 6:15/pace, felt good, little twinge in my back, weight circuit.
I will get all of my workouts in this week. Toying with using the TrainingPeaks.com website. Any thoughts on this???
Run: 20.25 (lame)
Bike: 32.28 (weak)
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Today after I ran 12 (planned on doing 18), I think I've decided to bail on the full marathon at the end of the month in exchange for the half.
I guess this isn't a huge deal and my hope is that I can focus more on speed for shorter races and working on my overall duathlon skills.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
A nice turn out for this race, we were started in waves. I was in the 20-39 Men wave. As I looked around, I thought, "Geez, these guys look fitter and stronger than I do. They must have been doing this for years." As our wave started 10 or so immediately broke away and headed out single file out on to the trails. The run loop was largely contested over the trail system in Green Lakes State Park. There was one short, steep climb and other section of little "bumps". The trail was a bit rough in spots due to the crazy amounts of rain we've received this year, but generally passable. My goal here was to shoot for a 6:45/mile pace. I finished the first run leg (3.05miles) in 20:50 a 6:48/mile pace, 24 overall/4 in age group. Ok.
Last week, my transitions were less than stellar, due largely to the length of the transition area and the fact that I had to run the majority of the distance in my bike shoes. Today was much different. With a smaller field (142 solos, 12 relay teams) the transition area was much more accessible. I also set my bike on the rack by the handle rather than the seat. I found last week that when I hang my bike by the seat, I have to lean the bike to the right or left to clear the bar (not desirable for speed). I was out of the first transition in :45, 29 overall, 4 in age group.
I always feel the strongest during the bike leg. The feeling of picking off people ahead, one at a time only adds to the motivation. This two loop course with a twist at the end, allowed me to pass even more people (those I was actually lapping) which gave me a bunch of "rabbits" to chase. At the entrance back into the park, we took a pretty tough 2 mile climb, followed by an awesomely enjoyable 2 mile run back down. The climb was brutal towards the end, my legs on fire, but the down slope was super, maxing out at 39.6 mph. I could have pushed this even more, but I erred on the side of caution as it was a bit bumpy in places. 19.57 miles, 56:20, 20.8mph, 18 overall, 2 in age group.
Transition 2 was even faster as I had another competitor right in front of me that I was chasing. :34, 16 overall, 1 in age group.
Run 2: Always my nemesis, but less so today. Legs feeling like jelly, I had a rabbit to chase. I actually kept pace with him right on his heels for the first .75 miles or so. We were both caught and overtaken at the same nasty little climb by a runner behind us. After that, both of those guys began to build the gap and by mile 1.5 they were out of sight and I was by myself. I did get a bit of my legs back in the last mile and managed a 7:18, negative splits! Still, it is obvious that my run is still very weak. Finished the 2nd run (3.08) in 23:18/7:33, 33 overall, 4 in age group.
Overall: 1:41:50, 17th out of 142, 3rd out of 9 in my age group.
For perspective 2nd in my age group finished 1:10 ahead of me. He beat me by :18 in the first run, I had him :25 in the bike, :03 difference in transitions in my favor, but RUN 2......he smoked me by 1:19. There's the glaring weakness!!!
Still, overall pleased with my efforts, including finishing 6 minutes faster than last week on a similar distance.
More work to do...starting Monday.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Missed my TT Race on Tuesday (they cancelled it anyway). Spent today in the rain and mud for work, no running, no biking. I ate a bag of tortilla chips, that didn't help.
Race on Saturday. At least my legs will be fresh.
Another nice day for racing, that's impressive for WNY this time of year. I was still feeling a bit off due to my mid-week cold-catching. The last half marathon I ran was exactly one year ago, the Grand Island Half Marathon. Last year at this time I was struggling with some overtraining injuries and had a less than stellar run.
Even though I had pushed pretty hard the day before, I was excited for this race, mainly because it was also my wife's first ever half marathon. She has been training hard and has suffered through her own injuries and setbacks, but never gave up. So together we toed the start line and we were off.
My thoughts as far as pace was to shoot for a 7:30/mile. I cautiously set off at the gun (or in this case the 'go') with 2100 other runners. My body was definitely squeaking and creaking through these first steps, but the general adreniline that accompanies the start of any race got me through that. I silently hitched my pace with a group of guys chatting about the previous days race. I ran along side, listening as they chatted about the duathlon course, upcoming races and training.
Mile 1: 7:24
Mile 2: 7:19
Mile 3: 7:28
AS we continued on, I felt my body warming up nicely. We headed down East Ave (the nicer section of downtown Rochester) and I pulled ahead of this group. There was a bit of headwind down this road and a mini-train of guys about my size running single file. I joined in and spent the next couple miles "drafting". I felt a bit silly but it did help.
Mile 4: 7:17
Mile 5: 7:18
Mile 6: 7:28
As we finished mile 6, the train began to break up as we headed up a pretty decent hill. Lots of huffing and puffing around me here, uphill AND into the wind isn't always the most enjoyable. At the top of the hill we were greeted by a pleasant drum circle and an even more enjoyable downhill. After a mile or so through Highland Park, we hit the toughest part of the course, in my opinion, Mt. Hope Cemetary. We were greeted at the entrance of the cemetary by a short, steep, cobblestone climb. The footing was very uneven going up the cobbles and many people chose to walk here. We spend the next 2+ miles weaving through the narrow cemetary roads. This graveyard is very nice, lots of history, but I just didn't appreciate it much on this day. However, my spirits (no pun intended) where lifted a bit when we ran right by where my grandparents were laid to rest.
Mile 7: 7:38
Mile 8: 7:34
Mile 9: 7:31
Mile 10: 7:31
Coming out of the cemetary, I realized that my pace had suffered a bit and I tried to pick it up, but found that I didn't have much left in the tank. The last part of this run is also pretty much the same ending as the Rochester Marathon, run in September, and also where I really began to suffer last year. Perhaps it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I was really suffering here and my splits showed it. I was able to pick it up for the last mile (with a bit of help from the downhill and excitement from the crowd).
Mile 11: 7:37
Mile 12: 7:53
Mile 13: 7:11
Last .1ish: 6:31/pace
My GPS actually measured 13.18 miles and a time of 1:38:28/7:28 pace easily a new PR for me. All things considered I can't be too dissapointed as I hit my target and I know I can go faster under different circumstances.
The highlight for me was watching my wife cross the finish line, in one, piece and with a smile. I know she worked her butt off and hopefully she will continue, though I know right now the last thing she wants to do is run.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Nice day for a race, low 40's, sun.
3.15 miles/21:16/6:45 pace
Pleased with this pace. I held back a bit to leave some for the end. The course itself was flat, except for the bridges over the waterways.
The transition area was quite long and I set up my bike at the far end by the run entrance which meant I ran the majority of the transition in my bike shoes, not ideal!
Got off to a good start on the bike averaging about 23 mph even through some pretty sharp, but brief inclines. I was certainly helped by a bit of a tail wind. Somewhere around mile 15, I started to lose my steam. I was heading slightly downhill, but into a little breeze.
Again a victim of the poor placement of my bike, I had to run the majority of the length through transition on my bike shoes. Add to this wobbly legs, and I was hurting good now.
2.77 miles/21:28/7:45 pace
I really was hoping on a pace much closer to 7:00, but I just couldn't hold it. My legs were on fire, my feet mostly numb and a decent cramp on my right side. I grinded hard, just to get to the end. Thank goodness it was shorter than the first run!!
Total: 1:43:03 (1:43:10 chip time)
How did I stack up?!? Well, I'm clearly still a bit short of the top performers (winner at 1:28:11). I came in 3rd out of 20 in my age group, 29th out of 333 overall. Happy that I placed, but I still have some hard work to do to get my run legs faster, to keep up with the big boys.
My prize....a flower of course. Half marathon tomorrow...gulp....
Monday, April 18, 2011
Monday (4/11): (AM)6 Mile Run (7:40/pace) (PM)Bike (outside!!) 20.83 miles/19.8mph
Tuesday (4/12): (AM)P90X Chest & Arms, the pushups are brutal! (PM) TT Race, 20K/21.2mph, 6/11
Wednesday (4/13): (AM) 5x1mile Intervals on track @ 6:30 pace (PM) Med Ball Core Workout
Thu-Sat (4/14-4-16): OFF
Sunday (4/17): Connections Duathlon (13 mile bike/5K run), brutal wind 5/65 OA, 1/4 AG
It's race season!! Get after it!!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Anyway, this morning we woke up to strong winds and a wind warning, great! Another perfect WNY race day.
I chose this race to replace the 6hr Ultra I was going to do today. I guess I made a good trade, 1hr vs. 6hrs in this crap.
This was a bit different from past duathlons I've competed in; only one run, which meant we all started on the bike. They started us out in waves of 15, I was in the 4th wave out of 6 or 7. These waves were set up based on when you registered, so there was quite a mixture of racers in my wave, from full tri bikes to modified street bikes to hybrid touring bikes. One girl wasn't even wearing a helmet, duh!
The bike portion (advertised as a 14-mile route) actually only measured 13 miles, per my GPS watch. It consisted of a steady, but mild climb up for the first 6 miles or so against the wind and a nice downhill with the wind for the second half. I was really able to fly down the decline, and finished the bike leg in 36:40 (21.3 mph pace, maxed out at 34.4mph.)
My transition was an acceptable :40, inspired by the voice of my wife, "Run fast! It's cold out!!"
The run was along the Lake Erie waterfront, with the first 1.5 miles directly away from the wind. This was helpful getting my running legs under me, but dreadful making the turning. I simply held on for the last 1.5 trying to gut it out and keep my feet moving. I finished the 5K in 22:43/7:21 pace. I'm not super excited by this pace, but considering the elements, I guess I'll take it.
All in all: 1:00:03 (timing had me at 1:00:19 and 1 second out of 4th, grrrr). 5/65 overall, 1/4 in my age group.
The race itself was pretty well organized. I thought that the start might be a bit chaotic, because of the bike start, but they actually pulled it off quite well with the wave start. Unfortunately, this wave start threw the usually reliable and fast Score This Timing a loop and we had to wait for almost 2hrs for results. Other than that, a nice race. I'd definitely recommend it for anyone trying their first duathlon.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
My plan for today was simple. Run fast! For the 1st 1.5 miles I did just that. I finished my first mile in 6:11, well on pace to set a PR. Then the wheels simply came off. My heart began racing and the two little but tough hills at the end did me in.
My wife so delicately pointed out how horrible my diet has been lately, including last night's feast of brownies, ice cream and beer. Not the best pre race meal, eh? I know how to eat right, but for the past month I have not been. This has led to some weight gain and tough running. Lesson learned? I hope!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I've altered my training plans a bit yet again. This is what I'm going with:
Running: 50 mile/week (40-45 if race week)
Bike: 3x week (long, tempo/weekly TT race, intervals)
Core Work: 3x week
Upper Body: 1x week (alternate P90X upper body discs)
The focus of my training will be to get stronger and faster and will hopefully address my two main goals; Boston Qualifying time & sub 19 min 5K. Overall, I'm hoping that I will continue to increase my competitiveness in my age group and for overall in duathlons.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Tempo Run today, 4 miles @ 6:33.
Avg HR/Max HR: 152/165
Tempo Splits: 6:27, 6:32, 6:31, 6:24
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
800 Splits: 3:04, 3:07, 3:10, 3:10, 3:11, 3:10, 3:09, 3:10, 3:11, 3:09
Avg HR/Max HR: 146/176
These splits would seem to suggest that I can run a marathon in the 3:10 range. I'll take that for now!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The first 3 miles of this race delivered a nice pace for me. I was at a 6:30ish pace. However, at the 3 mile marker we turned into the wind and rain. When I say turned into it, I really mean right into the teeth of the storm. My pace dropped from a 6:30 to a 7:20 instantly. I tried to find some shelter by tucking close behind some other runners, but this was of little relief. The rain turned to little jagged balls of ice at one point. Delightful. Certain gusts actually stood me up and I felt as though I was actually moving backwards. At 4.25 or so, we finally turned away from the wind and I was able to manage a 6:38 pace for the final mile.
I'm certainly pleased with my performance, given the circumstances, but I really need some better running weather.
Mother Nature: I request 35-45, 5 mph winds or less and sun. I know, it is a lot to ask especially in Buffalo.
Avg HR/Max HR: 161/178
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Duplicity is one of those romance/suspense/bit-of-a-twist movies that we have become too accustomed to. They try really hard to confuse you with some slight of hand, i.e. jumps back and forth from the present to the past, feeding you bits and pieces of non-sequential information. The story really needed it too, because it was otherwise as transparent a pane of glass. You felt the "twist" coming the whole time and if I wasn't on the treadmill, I would have ran from this one along time ago. Too bad too, with a decent cast; Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, etc.
Anyway, run went off without a hitch, legs still a bit tired, but understandable with the work I've been putting in lately. Tomorrow is looking very much like a day off, before an 8K race on Saturday.
Avg HR/Max HR: 137/164
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Today's goal of 6x4min @ 82-88% of MHR @ 70rpm with 3min easy spinning at 95rpm, was another example.
1: 144 avg HR/147 max HR/ 68rpm
My legs just won't pump fast enough, strong enough, long enough to get my HR up higher.
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 53:01/16.7/23.3
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/149
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Yep, that's right 3.75 HOURS on the treadmill. I was determined to get this long run in today. Originally, I thought I'd be done with work early and be able to use the daylight and relative sun "warmth" to my advantage. Of course, the best laid plans.....whatever.
The key to my success tonight: decent prime time programming. I started about 6:30 with the evening news, 7pm Sabres vs. Rangers (3-2 Sabres, nice!), 8:30ish flip flop between Idol (I know, don't say it!) and Sabres, and finished with 1/2 an episode of The Office.
This made the time fly by relatively fast. I also tried a bit of an "ultra-marathon" strategy, consisting of run/walk intervals. Beginning with mile 18, I briskly walked for the first .1 mile and then ran the remainder .9 at a pace that kept me in line with my 9:15/mile pace. I used to be dead set against walking at all, but I figure if I can keep a certain pace and throw in some brief periods of walking to keep the legs fresh, then why not?!?
Avg HR/Max HR: 133/164
Oh, BTW, my Idol picks for top 5 men are (in no particular order): Jacob, Casey, James, Paul & Scotty. Go ahead crucify me now!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/156
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I was shooting for a 9:15 pace, which I was able to maintain until the last 3-4 miles, combination of fatigue and hills.
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/165
Body definitely sore, but I made it. I'll be adding :15 to this run each week to get as close to 6 hrs as possible before the race.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I was looking for 5x4min intervals, getting my HR into the 82-88% (153-160 bpm), but I really struggled getting my HR in this zone. Again, my lungs were fine, but my legs could just not move enough to get my HR up.
1: 147 avg HR/151 Max HR/71 rpm/1.36 miles
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 46:01/17.0/23.7
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/155
Tempo Splits: 6:31, 6:36, 6:35, 6:34
Avg HR/Max HR: 154/179
Monday, February 21, 2011
Today, my goal was 10 repeats of .25 mile at a 5:54/mile pace.
1: 5:52/pace, 149 avg HR, 156 max HR
2: 5:45, 153, 158
3: 5:48, 154, 159
4: 5:43, 153, 161
5: 5:48, 156, 161
6: 5:43, 153, 161
7: 5:46, 153, 160
8: 5:44, 154, 161
9: 5:52, 154, 161 (toughest one)
10: 5:46, 154, 160
Avg HR/Max HR: 147/161
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Though still cold and very windy today, I was determined to get in at least 10 miles. I finished a solid 12.
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/164
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I set out today for my 20 mile run, chanting this. I really thought I had it all figured out. The weather channel stated that the temperature at my home away from home, in NEPA, was 31. Of course that is measured in the wind sheltered valley and my place is on the hilltop about 1000ft higher in elevation, totally exposed to the wind. Regardless I set out, feeling pretty confident and determined to not be a "softie". For the next 45 minutes, I was beaten down by not only a crushing wind, but also humbled by dirt roads turned ice skating rinks (see picture). 7 miles into it, I caved.
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/152
You win today Bill. I'm soft.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Bike Intervals this evening. 5x4min @ 82-88%MHR (153-162), 70rpm. I am still having difficultly getting into the target heart rate. My lungs are fine it is my legs that are letting me down.
Interval 1: 146 AHR/151 MHR/71rpm
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp:46:01/16.9/24.9
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/161
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/179
I may even get on the bike this evening for some bike intervals.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/157
Next week is a low mileage week, only 38ish.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Tempo Splits: 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:37
Total Mileage: 6.00
Avg HR/Max HR: 148/176
Then power intervals on the bike.
Goal: 4x4min, 82-87%MHR, 70rpm
The 1 interval went off fine, avg HR 151, max 161, 71 rpm.
My heart began to race during sets 2 and part of 3, got upto 191bpm and 171bpm respectively, before it settled down again for an avg of 144 for the last set. Weird.
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 40:00/15.1/23.7
Avg HR/Max HR: 142/192
I've experienced these HR spikes in the past, most noteably at last year's Turkey Trot. It is troublesome, but happens infrequently. I did have my heart checked out last year; i.e. stress test, cardiogram, and everything was acceptable. They found my resting HR of 47 to be curious, but normal for my activity level.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/166
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Today's goal: 10 x 400 (.25 mile) @ 5:58/mile pace
1: 5:51 pace/152 Avg HR/156 Max HR
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/164
Friday, February 4, 2011
After the 1st 5 minutes, at 80% I was struggling, so I decided to ride another 5 min at 80%, then do 75% & 80% the rest of the way.
1: 142 Avg HR (75.5%)/ 152 Max HR
2: 150 (80%)/153
3: 141 (75%)/150
4: 148 (78.7%)/152
5: 142 (75.5%)/149
6: 149 (79.2%)/152
7: 144 (76.6%)/154
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 50:01/15.9/21.9
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/153
Disappointed that I couldn't get up to the 80-85, but was successful with the modification.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Today's choice was Bangkok Dangerous, the 2008 action movie starring Nicholas Cage. I chose it because I have generally been a fan of cage, though his recent performances have been less than stellar. In this movie, we follow a professional hitman, who breaks all his rules of getting personal with people during a string of "jobs" in Bangkok. He falls for a deaf woman, takes on an ambitious student and as a result puts his "career" and life in jeopardy. An otherwise cool, calm and collected man, Cage's character (and I couldn't even tell you his name, it was that good) slowly unravels, gets a heart and begins to question his own morales. This was a very SLOW MOVING plot, pretty lame action sequences and a highly predictable ending. I would have turned it off before the end, but I needed something to fill the time during my 3 hr trot.
Overall, two very big THUMBS DOWN.
Avg HR/Max HR: 146/169
Avg HR was higher than I was hoping for. I was shooting for no more than 141, but I did kick up the pace 20 seconds over last week's goals so....
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Today's Goal: 55 min @ 70-75% MHR, 95rpm
Actual: 55 min, 135bpm (71.8%), 97rpm
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 1:05:01/15.8/22.1
Avg HR/Max HR: 131/142
Monday, January 31, 2011
Avg HR/Max HR: 140/153
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Bike: Steady 40min ride 75-80% MHR, 95rpm
Actual: 40:00, 76.5% (ok!), 96rpm
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 52:01/16.2/21.2
Avg HR/Max HR: 137/150
Avg RPM/Max RPM: 92/102
Run: 16 Mile Long Run, goal pace 9:21/mile
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/199 (only briefly)
I won't be running the Penguin Run tomorrow. I've decided that anything below 20 is just too cold for me to race in. Am I a wimp?
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tempo Splits: 6:43, 6:45, 6:43, 6:37
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/166
Finished off the day with some power intervals on the bike. 4x4min @ 85-90% MHR 70rpm. Didn't quite get to the prescribed HR. Good leg burn though. Got a pretty fierce calf cramp after the last interval.
Time/Av Sp/Max Sp: 40:01/15.5/24.2
Avg HR/Max HR: 137/159
Interval 1: 147 Avg HR (78%) /153 Max HR (81%)/ 71rpm
2: 148 (79%)/156 (83%)/71
3: 148 (79%)/157 (84%)/71
4: 149 (79%)/158 (84%)/71
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Luckily, for me I have a DVR player in the workout room and lots of movie channels to record from. Today's choice was Prefontaine. I was a bit skeptical about watching this at first as I didn't know much about him. However, for the next 90+ minutes I wasn't thinking about anything, but this incredible story.
Now, for those of you that don't know anything about him, he was quite a remarkable runner (giant understatement), whose life and running career was cut short by a car accident. I know that I will never get a sniff at the Olympics, I won't break any world records, I won't inspire thousands of people around the world, but I can strive to run with the heart and desire that "Pre" ran with. When my legs or feet begin to ache and I want to give up, I can think about how he ran through and set a PR in the 5000m with a bloody foot held together by 14 stitches.
Needless to say, my 20 miles wasn't nearly as mind numbing as I had set it up to be.
Go, Pre, Go!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Today's goal was 5-1mile repeats at 6:45, with .5 rests in between.
Splits: 6:43, 6:42, 6:43, 6:43, 6:42
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/161
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Today's bike workout goal was a 40 minute steady ride, 75-80%MHR (141-150bpm), 95rpm.
I averaged 144bpm and 96rpm.
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 52:01/51.9/21.4
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/160
Avg HR/Max HR: 151/173
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Splits: 3:15, 3:14, 3:14, 3:16, 3:14, 3:17, 3:16, 3:17
I felt pretty strong throughout this run.
Totals (on indoor track)
Avg HR/Max HR: 152/165
Friday, January 21, 2011
20min @ 80% of Max HR
10min @ 85% of Max HR
5min @ 90% of Max HR
I had no problems getting to 80% for the first 20 minutes. However, the highest I could get my heartrate while maintaining 95rpms was 155bpm or 82%. MY legs were on fire and I could not go any stronger.
Ugh, I'm pretty weak on the bike right now.
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 50:00/17.7/26.0
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/155
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
1st 10 Miles (AM)
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/191
2nd 10 Miles (PM)
Avg HR/Max HR: 133/157
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Time/Av Sp/Max Sp: 35:06/15.3/28.8
Avg HR/Max HR: 136/161
Interval 1: Avg HR 149/Max HR 159/ 72rpm
Interval 2: 148/156/70
Interval 3: 149/159/68
Target: 60min @ 70-75% HR (132-141), 95 RPM
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 1:10:01/16.4/22.4
Avg HR/Max HR: 133/143
For Target: 60:00, 138BPM, 97RPM
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Avg HR/Max HR: 134/189
A side note about my heartrate. I notice that at the beginning of each run my heartrate spikes to near 100% for a few minutes before settling. I don't know if this is actually happening or if it is a bug in my HR monitor.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
In short I struggled. I found it really difficult to get into the target HR without my legs feeling like they were on fire. Maybe that's the point. Or, more likely, I'm out of bike shape. Either way, it was a pretty intense workout, even though I shorted it. I did run a 5K today too, so....
Also, for whatever reason, my Garmin didn't calculate my distance, so I had to do it the old fashioned way (using Xcel of course!)
Total Mileage: 9.38
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 35:00/16.1/23.3
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/161
Interval 1: 2.63 miles/Avg HR 156/ Max HR 160/Avg Sp 19.9
Interval 2: 2.47/154/161/18.6
More bike tomorrow, butt willing.
Avg Hr/Max HR: 187/214
T/W: 25 (WC13), snow, wind
Is it spring yet?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Split Paces: 6:14, 5:52, 5:58, 5:59, 6:02, 5:57, 5:59, 5:59, 6:00, 5:56
Avg HR/Max HR: 151/170
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Mileage (on treadmill): 7.00
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/146
My workout consisted of a warm up and then a long ride of 50 miles keeping my heartrate at 75% of max (141bpm).
Totals (on bike trainer)
Time/Avg Sp/ Max Sp: 1:05:04/16.3/22.0
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/147
Monday, January 10, 2011
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/174
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Tempo Splits: 7:07, 7:09, 7:03
Avg HR/Max HR: 142/159
Well short of my mileage goals this week, but I am back in the groove, I think. Feeling better too.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Today, feeling better, I decided to get at least my long run in. Not wanting to go outside in this frigid weather, I opted for the indoor track at my gym. At 8 laps per mile, I wound up doing a mere 160 laps (2o miles.) Slightly less mind numbing than the treadmill, but a necessary evil.
Avg HR/Max HR: 142/158
Sunday, January 2, 2011
2) Boston Marathon Qualifying Time (3:10): 7:10 mile pace! Yikes!! My best is 3:37, I need to shave about 1:10/mile off.
3) Run an Ultra: BPAC 6-hr, Mind the Ducks 12-hr, who knows, maybe even the Summer Beast of Burden 100-miler or 24-hr.
4) Run 2011 Miles (fitting don't you think): Why? Why not?!? As long as I stay injury free this should be achievable. I have become much more sensible with my mileage increase, I've only increased 5% week over week and am scaling it down even further to 2% once I hit the 50 mile per week mark.
5) Purchase Race Wheels for Bike: This is a simple practice in saving and economics.
6) Compete in a Triathlon: Splish, splash. The swim scares me.
7) Win a Duathlon: I'm close, very close.
Bottom 5 of 2010:
5) Caroler 5K: 12/18, 21:57. I big step back from where I had been and a fitting end to a less than stellar week of running (see #3).
4) Turkey Trot: Never performing well in this race, I thought I was primed for a great finish. I felt as though I was fully recovered from the Philadelphia Marathon 4 days before, but my body let me know about halfway through that I was still recovering and I had to back off. 38:31 8K.
3) A Scary 18 Miles: 12/16. This seemingly routine long run was anything but, as I struggled against the elements, my body and mind. I came as close to breaking during this run as I had anytime previously.
2) Wilson Duathlon: 7/31. I had been on cloud nine, with the purchase of my bike and discovery of duathlons. I mistakenly thought I could hop right into a race, directly off of vacation, where I ate like crap and didn't do much training. I a race I could have won, I finished a dismal 7th, giving up 4 places in the final run.
1) Prolonged Injury: Primarily due to overtraining, I suffered various leg ailments throughout April and May, limiting my running and ultimately causing me to miss my mileage goals and my first ultra.
Top 5 of 2010:
5) New Bike: I had my eyes on this bike for almost a year and in June I finally got it, a bright shiny new Cervelo P2. It's sleek, fast and dead sexy!
4) 1st Marathon: Virginia Beach, March 21st. Two years ago, I would have never imagined running anything close to this. I trained hard throughout the winter and was hobbled and humbled, but did cross the line. Success!
3) Sub-20 Minute 5K: 11/13, Lindsey's Legacy, 19:46. I felt fantastic coming around the final corner and seeing 19:30 on the clock, knowing that I was going to make it. On to sub-19!!
2) 1st Duathlon: Quakerman 6/27. This was an awesome experience and has created somewhat of a multisport monster. It is also a very humbling experience, the second run is brutal.
1) Weight to 180lbs. Running and biking has been my answer to becoming a "normal" weight again. I had been overweight for years, for no good reason, other than laziness.
Up next, 2011 goals.