Friday, September 9, 2011

Breaking the Tape

Over the past 2+ years, I've gone from a fat, lazy, piece of $#!+ to a somewhat fit, borderline competitive runner/duathlete. At first, I was satisfied with consistant weight loss and the excitement of feeling alive and healthy. Slowly, I've begun to transform my desire to become fitter to almost an obsession to "break the tape" or to put it simpler WIN. However, I've yet to break through, coming close on numerous occasions.

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

See you there...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Sizzler Duathlon

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

Life vs. Training

As most of us are working stiffs, I'm sure we've all struggled from time to time to balance our desires to train with the reality that other things in our lives sometimes are more important.

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

Clipper Classic 5K (Bellport, NY)

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

Tri in the Buff Duathlon

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

Quakerman Duathlon

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

Week of 6/6-6/11

4th week of Training Peaks. Totally different workouts than the past few weeks. Nice!

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
Run: 41.93
Bike: 69.26

Susan Komen 5K

It's my 3rd year in a row doing this race. I really enjoy the course and they always have a nice turn out. I've been feeling really good about training lately, so I was hoping for a new PR. I set out with the goal of trying to hold a 6:15 pace for the first two miles and then push as hard as I could for the last mile.
Mile 1 went off without too much of a hitch. The little incline at Gates Circle on Delaware always catches me even though I know it's coming. Finished mile 1 in 6:11.
Mile 2 continued to go well, but towards the end I could feel my energy going away from me fast. Fortunately, we turned on to Elmwood and a slight downhill. Mile 2 @ 6:13.
Mile 3, I pushed as hard as I could and finished it in 6:14. Not exactly negative splits, but hit my PR goal anyway. 5K @ 19:14/6:11 pace. 11th overall (out of 900+), 2nd in my age group out of 50+.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Keuka Lake Duathlon

After a decent week of taper, I was ready for my first attempt at the Keuka Lake Duathlon. Nice weather today, about 65 at the start overcast, but the sun came out mid-race. Not too much wind, overall mostly ideal.
5K run, 22K bike, 5K run.
My plan today was to stay in the 6:45/mile pace for the first 5K, hammer the bike hard and empty the tank in the 2nd run, hoping for the best.
The run course was a mostly flat out and back. I was able to hang in there with a 20:35/6:37 and entered transition in 4th place. The leader was about 2 minutes ahead of me at this point. T1 time: 55sec. Not that great.
Once, I got on the bike it was on! I felt like I was flying and I passed the 3rd place and 2nd place runners shortly into the bike leg. The course had a couple of decent climbs and nice, fast descents. I averaged 22.5mph and entered T2 in 2nd place. After a 44 second transition, I set out on the final run, with the leader in sight. I was about :50 behind and gaining! We hit the final turn and I was about 30 seconds or so behind. Then he turned on the afterburners and left me in the dust. Ugh! That combined with my rapidly slowing pace, ended up finishing with a 2 minute deficit. Still good enough to hold on solidly for 2nd place.
Overall, I was satisfied with my efforts. My bike was strong and my second run is getting better. I still need to get my run down in both the 1st and 2nd legs, but I guess this will come with training. I can also use some improvement in my transitions, maybe leave my shoes attached to the bike? Seeing the victory in front of my eyes, only to let it run away, is only going to serve to motivate me train harder and dig deeper.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Week of 5/23-5/29

Week two of Training Peaks. Still going well.

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

Buffalo Half Marathon

For months we all have been complaining about the crappy WNY weather. Snow, cold, rain, clouds, etc, etc, etc. Well, today we finally got exactly what we asked for, 70's and sun. Unfortunately, this is not the best marathon weather. Regardless, I'll take it!

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

Week of 5/16-5/22

New week, new training program. I've enjoyed my first week on This program is different from what I've been doing. Instead of focusing on miles per week, this program has me focused on time and HR zones. I can definitely say that I feel fresher after a complete week of training that I have in a while, probably due to less intensity in my workouts. Not sure if this will be good in the long run or not, but I'm going to keep at it for the time being.

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

One Final Tweak...For Now...

With my struggles for coming up with a solid training plan over the past couple of months, I finally settled on a program called Training Peaks. It is an online based program that has a Virtual Coach that, with answering questions about races you plan and your training goals, designs a training program. Lots of graphs and tracking which excites the nerd in me.

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

Week of 5/9-5/15

Started off the week strong, but fizzled at the end of the week. Partially hampered by bad weather, but mostly influenced by lack of motivation, I missed my weekly goals. I've been in a training funk for the past month and a half, I need to get my motivation back. I did get re-fitted on my bike, so maybe this will give me a boost.

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 website. Any thoughts on this???


Run: 20.25 (lame)
Bike: 32.28 (weak)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More Re-Evaluation

I've been in a month-plus long funk of evaluating and re-evaluating my goals, training, etc, etc.

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

Green Lakes Duathlon

Another nice day for racing, low 50's, mix of sun and clouds, relatively light winds. I found this race on the Score This website. Only a week off of a heavy weekend, I was slightly skeptical of how I'd manage, but when did that ever hold me back?

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


I'm sick...


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.

Flower City Challenge Half Marathon

I really thought 5 months ago that back-to-back races sounded like a great idea. Piece of cake, right?!? Well....

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

Flower City Challenge Duathlon

Feeling a bit under the weather, but went after it anyway. Very nicely organized race, no hiccups and awards were given out even earlier than posted!

Nice day for a race, low 40's, sun.

Run 1
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.

:58, eh!

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!

20.18 miles/58:16/20.8mph

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.

1:06, blah!

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.

Run 2
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

Week In Review 4/11-4/17

A so-so week. I didn't get in all of my scheduled workouts, mostly due to fatigue, but the three days off helped my body and I competed well on Sunday.

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

Connections Duathlon

Will we ever get to spring? All week long my darling wife kept checking the weather forecast for today. Snow, rain, 30's, 40's, 50's, sun, clouds, wind, etc.

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

Shoes for Shelter 5K

Spring is here! Finally!!

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!

Mileage: 3.08
Time/Pace: 21:19/6:55

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Bit More Tweaking

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

Annoying Blogger

So, blogger is being annoying. For some reason, it is mushing all of my text together, see yesterday's post and my side bar stuff. Help!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Course Change

The Wednesday before I left for vacation I made the decision that I was not going to continue to train for the 6hr race on April 17th. My long runs had been hurting me and with 60+ mile weeks, I was struggling to get in bike training. Right now my head is focused on two types of races, duathlons and marathons. This year's big goal is a Boston Qualifying time. With the new qualifying standards (3:05 vs. 3:10:59), I am going to have to put even more effort into this goal. I've also decided to cap my weekly running miles at 60 for the time being. This is mostly due to time restrictions with my work/travel schedule. I think this is a solid weekly base and I can focus on getting faster within this mileage. My weekly time trial group starts up this week and I am looking forward to strenthening my bike legs, with an ultimate goal of being a solid competitor in the local duathlon scene. (Maybe a shot at the National Dualthon Championships in 2012 in Phoenix.)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Gain 12lbs in 2 Weeks











Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where in the World Has the Fat Guy Been???

On running...where is the Fat Guy?!?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bengal Run 5K

Nice day for a race, a bit chilly, but overall good.

I was hoping to run at least as fast as I did last 5K (19:29). Course was nice and flat, not too much wind, so this was possible. However, about .25 into the race I felt my HR skyrocket and this was confirmed with a 202 on my HR monitor. I slowed it down quite a bit and finished mile 1 @ 6:30, well off my desired pace. My HR stabilized nicely and I was able to run mile 2 at 6:16. From there I gave it all I could and ran a 6:05 for the final mile and a 5:45 pace for the final .10, finishing at 19:30, 1 second off my best.

I also placed 1st in my age group out of 27!
Time/Pace: 19:30/6:16
Avg HR/Max HR: 165/208
Elevation: 40ft

Monday, March 14, 2011

HR Monitor

I think I finally figured out my issue with my HR monitor. For months now, when I start off my workouts, my HR registers in the 160-170's, but I certainly don't feel this. Today I remembered reading that the sensors need to be slightly moist to function properly, so I "moistened" them and my "high" HR went back to normal.

Tempo Run today, 4 miles @ 6:33.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 43:45/7:17
Avg HR/Max HR: 152/165
Tempo Splits: 6:27, 6:32, 6:31, 6:24

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rest Taken!

I took three full days off. Mentally it was very tough. Physically I needed it. Ran at the indoor track with my wife today for about 1.5 hrs.

Mileage: 11.00
Time/Pace: 1:31:48
AvgHR/Max HR: 138/171

Feeling much better.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rest Needed!

My body is just burnt out a bit. I attempted my 4 hr run today, was only able to get through about 2.5 hrs of it.

I hereby decree the next two days completely off!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Today's Goal: 10x800 @ 3:12

800 Splits: 3:04, 3:07, 3:10, 3:10, 3:11, 3:10, 3:09, 3:10, 3:11, 3:09

Mileage: 10.00
Time/Pace: 1:13:00/7:18
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

Shamrock Run 8K (a.k.a. Careful What You Wish For)

I've been complaining about the cold weather hampering my outdoor running for most of the winter. I've begged Mother Nature to give me anything above 32. Today she delivered. I guess I wasn't specific enough, because with the 45 degrees, she also gave me rain and a ridiculous wind ( somewhere in the 25-30mph range, with gusts of 35+).

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.

Mileage: 4.98
Time/Pace: 33:33/6:43
Avg HR/Max HR: 161/178
12/312 in age group, 94/3439 overall

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Treadmill Movie Review: Duplicity

My wife and I tried to watch this movie awhile back, but were unsuccessful. At the time, we found the plot a bit confusing and we weren't really wowed by the opening sequences. Today, with a 20-miler on tap, I figured I'd give it another shot.

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.

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 2:56:28/8:49
Avg HR/Max HR: 137/164

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Weak Legs

I have been doing bike intervals for the past couple of months and I always find that my legs are the weakness. Each interval session has a HR target, but I find as though I am usually short of this target, not because my lungs can't handle it, but because my legs are on fire and I can't keep up the pace.

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
2: 142/147/69
3: 142/147/70
4: 142/148/69
5: 145/149/70
6: 142/148/69

My legs just won't pump fast enough, strong enough, long enough to get my HR up higher.

Mileage: 14.79
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 53:01/16.7/23.3
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/149

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How It's Done!

Take a scheduled 3.75HR run, add darkness, sprinkle in some cold wind, toss running outside to the curb, mount the treadmill and go.

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?!?

Mileage: 24.50
Time/Pace: 3:45:01/9:11
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

Grinding Out 20

I'm sick of this weather. Sick of the wind. Sick of the snow. Sick of the cold. Spring, I am BEGGING you to show yourself. I'll take anything above freezing!

Time/Pace: 2:56:52/8:50
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/156
Elevation: 140ft

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just What I Needed

Woke up feeling a bit sore, nothing an easy 5 miles couldn't cure.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 38:27/7:41
Avg HR/Max HR: 140/157

Gearing up for another 20 tomorrow, hopefully outside!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

3.5 Hr Run

In preparation for my first attempt at an ultra in April, I have added a timed training run to my weekly workouts. Today was decent enough to get outside too, so double bonus!

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.

Mileage: 22.33
Time/Pace: 3:30:03/9:24
Elevation: 908ft
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

Bike Intervals

A bit of a lackluster performance tonight.

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
2: 147/154/69/1.37
3: 148/154/70/1.36
4: 145/151/70/1.33
5: 147/154/70/1.35

Mileage: 13.01
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 46:01/17.0/23.7
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/155

4 Mile Tempo Run

I've become more committed to speed work this year, making sure that I at least do a tempo run every week, if not also intervals. My base tempo run is 4 miles long at a pace about 20 seconds slower than my best 5K time. Each week I lower my goal time by 2 secs, with the intention of pushing my 5K best even lower. Today's goal was 4 miles @6:37. Needless to say it is definitely getting harder.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 45:07/7:31
Tempo Splits: 6:31, 6:36, 6:35, 6:34
Avg HR/Max HR: 154/179

Monday, February 21, 2011

10 x .25

Right off of yesterday's race, I jumped back into some interval work. I am really trying to push my times lower each week and am doing a 3 week cycle to hit various interval lengths and keep things fresh.

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

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 53:15/7:36
Avg HR/Max HR: 147/161

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chilly Challenge 5K

My race confidence has been low for the past three months or so. Since my best 5K time in November, my performances have been lackluster to say the least. Once I broke the 20 minute mark, I was determined to stay there, but the past three races were all over 20. The weather was somewhat of a factor in all of those events, but I still felt as though I could have and should have performed better.
This week was a low mileage week, so I was definitely feeling fresh. My wife and I also did a warm up mile before the race (I don't typically do this, but we might be on to something here!) The sun was out and while still cold, dare I say CHILLY (!?!), race conditions were about as perfect as to be expected for this time of year.

I felt strong throughout the race and after finishing the second mile I felt as though I could set a personal best. I spent the 2nd half of the race "targeting" one runner at a time, catching them and passing them, before aiming for the next. This helps me mentally. It keeps me focused on running with good form and gives me a very short term and simple goal. This is huge in distracting me from my body as it screams for me to stop.

Great results, a new personal best by 17 seconds...on to sub-19!

Mileage: 3.09
Time/Pace: 19:29/6:18
Avg HR/Max HR: 160/176
Elevation: 34ft

I came in 3rd in my age group and won this cool mug. Canisius HS organized a very nice event. Fantastic after party as well, the Chili was a perfect post-race party food.

Congrats also to my wife, who broke the 30-minute mark for the first time. She's also training for a 1/2 marathon at the beginning of May. Running has changed both of our lives for the better!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Some Rest

After my less than delightful run on Wednesday, I decided to take the next couple of days completely off. I hadn't had two consecutive days of rest since the beginning of January. I felt a bit guilty about it, but I think my body needed to rest.

Though still cold and very windy today, I was determined to get in at least 10 miles. I finished a solid 12.

Mileage: 12.00
Time/Pace: 1:36:21/8:01
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/164

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


"There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."-Bill Bowerman

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.

Mileage: 7.38
Time/Pace: 1:07:43/9:10
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/152
Elevation: 615ft

You win today Bill. I'm soft.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Excuses

I could have bailed on my bike intervals tonight. My legs were feeling tired, I wimped out on my run intervals (kinda?!?) I really have no excuse to bail on a workout. I want to get stronger, faster, etc. I need to put in good effort, even when I'm tired. I like to walk that fine line of pushing myself and overtraining.

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
2: 148/154/72
3: 145/153/70
5: 147/161/71

Mileage: 12.93
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp:46:01/16.9/24.9
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/161

Finish What I Started

This morning I bailed on the 4th and 5th interval of my speed work. I felt bad about it all day, so after work I was determined to finish. I did the final two intervals: 6:25, 6:24.

Mileage: 4.50
Time/Pace: 35:03/7:47
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/179

I may even get on the bike this evening for some bike intervals.

Weak Speed Work

On the Schedule: 5x1mile @ 6:25

Only could muster up 3 repeats: 6:26, 6:24, 6:25

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 47:01/7:50
Avg HR/Max HR: 147/165

Monday, February 14, 2011

Long Ride w/Mini Sprints

Today's bike goal: 55 minutes at 70-75% MHR @ 95rpm with 20 second sprints every 5 minutes.

Mileage: 15.92
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 1:00:01/15.9/28.8
Avg HR/Max HR: 132/147

Sunday, February 13, 2011

60 Mile Week

That's right, I just completed my first 60 mile week with a nice little 20 mile run. Even better than that, I was finally able to do a long run outside. With temps in the upper 30's, I was determined to get out, even with the 25+mph winds.

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 2:58:31/8:55
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/157

Next week is a low mileage week, only 38ish.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dash for the Dome 5K

Another frigid, blustery, bone chilling race in WNY. What else should I have expected. I was definitely wooed into this race by the false advertising of the race organizers (see calm winter day picture to right). Instead we had blowing and drifting snow, 25+mph winds. Wahhhh! I wasn't setting any personal records here today. Otherwise, well organized and a nice party in the warm Botanical Gardens afterwards. Nothing says fitness like beer and hotdogs!

Mileage: 3.13
Time/Pace: 22:57/7:20
Avg HR/Max HR: 184/201 (way too high!)
I finished 2nd in my age group, 10th overall (out of 155). I won 4 guest passes to visit the Gardens, who's in?!?
Oh, it's my birthday today too. (Shameless plug for many online blogger birthday wishes!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Standard Tempo Run and a Heart Racing Bike Interval Session

Pretty typical tempo run, goal was 4 miles @ 6:41/mile.

Tempo Splits: 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:37

Total Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 44:24/7:26
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.

Mileage: 10.09
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

Yes, It's a Donut

So, the short story is that I walked into the office, saw a box of donuts, only one left, eat it, etc, etc, etc....

Anyway, another 10 tonight, so who cares. Kinda disappointed though, because it was jelly filled and I was expecting creme.

Time/Pace: 1:28:14/8:49
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/166

Not Beautiful but Functional

Treadmill, basement, tv, dvr...

These have been my running tools for this winter.

Today my 20 miles will have to be split in two parts, due to some work time constraints. (Damn, having to make a living!)

1st 10

Time/Pace: 1:28:48/8:52

Avg HR/Max HR: 142/166

See you later...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

From Balmy to Brutal

After my scary run one cold December night (read about it here), I made a conscious decision to limit my outdoor running to temps above 25. Of course, this winter has been brutally cold and has not afforded me many opportunities to get out. Yesterday, I got in 3 miles and it was great (if 32 degrees is great), but today back to reality. By the time I was ready to get a run in (about 7pm) it was 10 here (-7 with the wind chill). During the week, I am away from my somewhat urban home and am deep in the "Endless Mountains" of Northeast PA. In addition to the cold, being up high does not give much wind protection and that compounds the issue. Luckily (I guess) I have access to a treadmill so day after day I slog away, the DVR as my only solace.

Today's Workout: 10x800 @ 3:20 (6:40/mile pace) with 3:20 slow jogs in between

Splits: 3:16, 3:18, 3:18, 3:19, 3:17, 3:18, 3:20, 3:18, 3:19, 3:14

Following the Yasso 800's, this would suggest that I can complete a marathon in 3 hrs 20mins. I'll take that!


Mileage: 10.00

Time/Pace: 1:17:28/7:44

Avg HR/Max HR: 148/194

Monday, February 7, 2011

...and Ride...

PM workout....45 min long ride on the bike trainer @ 70-75% MHR.

Mileage: 15.15
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 56:01/16.2/22.5
Avg HR/Max HR: 131/141

During Target: 136bpm (72.3%)

Felt good, no issues.

Shake Out Run

Today was a nice easy 3 miles. Even better, it was outside! I hadn't been out since the Snowball 5K in January. I've been reluctant to go out in temps less than 25, and we haven't had too many days lately above this temp. Today, however, was another story, an almost balmy 32!

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 22:46/7:35
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/166

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Strong Finish

Nothing like a nice 18-miler to finish out the week. Plus, I was able to "bank" some calories for Super Bowl pizza feast.

Mileage: 18.00
Time/Pace: 2:37:30/8:45

Avg HR/Max HR: 134/177

3x8min Bike Intervals

What better way to work off a Wegmans Peanut Butter Cream Pie?!? 1100 calories, 78g fat, 60g sugar. I only ate half though...
How about some bike intervals?
Today's goal: 3x8min Intervals at 80-82% (150-154) of MHR @ 95rpm. Rest at 60rpm, until 70% MHR (132).
1: 152 Avg HR/ 157 Max HR/96 rpm
2: 151/157/97
3: 151/156/97
Mileage: 10.30
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 38:00/16.7/23.1
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/157

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I substitued today's long run with my speed work, due to some time constraints. I'll get in the long run tomorrow.

Today's goal: 10 x 400 (.25 mile) @ 5:58/mile pace

1: 5:51 pace/152 Avg HR/156 Max HR
2: 5:52/153/158
3: 5:47/155/159
4: 5:51/155/161
5: 5:50/156/162
6: 5:47/157/162
7: 5:50/157/162
8: 5:53/156/162
9: 5:52/158/163
10: 5:50/159/163

Mileage: 7.02
Time/Pace: 51:43/7:22
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/164

Friday, February 4, 2011

Intensive Endurance Ride

Today's Goal: 5 min @ 80% MHR (150bpm), 5 min @ 85% MHR(160bpm) (3.5x)

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

Mileage: 13.18
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

My Achilles Heel

Meet my friends....chocolate chip cookie, fudge brownie, and, of course, peanut M&M's. My best friends and also my Achilles heel. You see, I spend a great deal of time working out, I try to eat right, etc, etc. However, I have a terrible weakness for chocolate. For instance, I have no problem eating 8-10 servings of the aforementioned M&M's in a 3 hr car ride. This totals roughly 1400 calories. Doing that alone, with no exercise, and you can see how I once let myself get to 260lbs. With the exercise thing working well for me, if I could only cut out the chocolate.... What you see pictured is a breakfast, yes, BREAKFAST, I enjoyed a couple of weeks ago. It was glorious while it was happening, but afterwards....ugh. So, I am taking this chocolate battle head on, one day at a time.
Two workouts today
Bike: EZ ride 70-75% MHR
Mileage: 13.50
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 54:01/15.0/20.0
Avg HR/Max HR: 131/143
Run: 4 Mile Tempo @ 6:43 w/wu & cd
Total Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 44:18/7:23
Tempo Splits: 6:41, 6:43, 6:41, 6:38
Avg HR/Max HR: 148/195

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Treadmill Movie Review: Bangkok Dangerous

Another 20 miles, another movie....

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.

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 2:59:29/8:58
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

Long Ride

The only thing that makes a bike trainer bareable is TV (thank God for DVR's.)

Today's Goal: 55 min @ 70-75% MHR, 95rpm
Actual: 55 min, 135bpm (71.8%), 97rpm

Mileage: 17.15
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 1:05:01/15.8/22.1
Avg HR/Max HR: 131/142

Monday, January 31, 2011

Adding Some Strength Training

I followed today's easy 7 miles with some good old fashioned P90X Arms and Shoulders. I've laid off the strength training for some time, but I know it is a good thing to get back into. The plan as of right now is 1 upper body strength day per week and 3 core workouts.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 55:06/7:52
Avg HR/Max HR: 140/153

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Two for Saturday

Double workout today.

Bike: Steady 40min ride 75-80% MHR, 95rpm
Actual: 40:00, 76.5% (ok!), 96rpm

Mileage: 14.07
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
Indoor Track

Mileage: 16.00
Time/Pace: 2:19:31/8:43
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

Two Speed Workouts

I started off the day with a 4 mile tempo run at 5:30am at the gym. Goal pace was 6:45/mile.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 45:16/7:32
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.

Mileage: 10.31
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


I woke up early this morning got on the treadmill and began my 20 mile long run. Treadmill runs are dreadful, long runs are daunting, put them together; a seemingly intolerable 3 hrs.

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.

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 3:01:30/9:03

Go, Pre, Go!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Long Ride

Back on the bike trainer. Today's goal 65 minutes, 95rpm, 70-75% MHR.

Actual for target time: 96rpm, 136bpm (72%)

Mileage: 18.91
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 1:15:03/15.1/20.2
Avg Hr/Max HR: 133/143
Avg RPM/Max RPM: 94/103

Monday, January 24, 2011

5x1 Mile Intervals

I've added 1 mile repeats to my workouts. I am trying to use different interval lengths to keep things fresh and to work on different aspects of my running development.

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

Mileage: 9.50
Time/Pace: 1:11:59/7:34
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/161

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steady Ride

2nd workout of the day, this time on the bike trainer.

Today's bike workout goal was a 40 minute steady ride, 75-80%MHR (141-150bpm), 95rpm.

I averaged 144bpm and 96rpm.

Mileage: 13.69
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 52:01/51.9/21.4
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/160

Tempo Run

Felt super good today. I was shooting for a 7:10 pace for 3 miles, but wound up running the miles at 6:51, 6:50 and 6:47. I am going to add a mile to my tempo run next week and lower the target pace even further. Gotta get faster, you know?!?

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 37:28/7:29
Avg HR/Max HR: 151/173

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Getting in some speed work today...goal 8 x 800 at a 3:20 pace.

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)
Mileage: 9.00
Time/Pace: 1:09:39/7:44
Avg HR/Max HR: 152/165

Friday, January 21, 2011

Intensive Endurance Ride

Today's training ride called for the following:

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.

Mileage: 14.77
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 50:00/17.7/26.0
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/155

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Split Long Run

Today, I chose to split my 20 mile long run into two sessions, more out of necessity, due to work. Both on treadmill.

1st 10 Miles (AM)
Time/Pace: 1:30:55/9:05
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/191

2nd 10 Miles (PM)
Time/Pace: 1:29:15/8:55
Avg HR/Max HR: 133/157

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Power Intervals

Today's bike workout: 3x4min at 70rpm, target HR 85-90% (161-169). I had a difficult time reaching the target HR, even in the lowest gear, but I still got a really nice burn in my legs. Hurt so good and feels so good to be done!

Mileage: 8.94
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

Bike Training Week 2

Did my long ride last night. I've discovered that not only is riding on a trainer boring, but I also produce a ridiculous amount of sweat. Nice!

Target: 60min @ 70-75% HR (132-141), 95 RPM

Mileage: 19.19
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

A 52 Mile Week

Rewind my life 2 years ago, I was over 240lbs. I would have contemplated running 2 miles, and yet today, I finished a 52 mile week. There is certainly nothing special about me as a runner. All it takes is determination and the unwillingness to give up when it gets tough and hurts. To celebrate I have a reduced week of only 38 miles.

Mileage: 16.00
Time/Pace: 2:26:37/9:09
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

Back in the Saddle

I missed my scheduled training ride on Thursday because of an usually sore behind. My hind quarters feeling much recovered today, I got on the bike for some interval work. I had scheduled 3x8 minutes at 86-88% HR (161-166), but I only did two intervals.

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.

Snowball Run 5K

Just as advertised! SNOWBALL RUN...more like "Snowball, slip, slide try to keep your feet under you, as the wind and snow pummels your face, 5K Run". Sounds like fun doesn't it. I had no illusions of setting any personal best today. This was actually my first outdoor run since NYE, so I was looking forward to it. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr....

Mileage: 3.09
Avg Hr/Max HR: 187/214
Elevation: 7ft
T/W: 25 (WC13), snow, wind

Is it spring yet?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


So, instead of a bike ride, I did my interval run a day early. Goal today was 10 repeats of 400m at a 6:00/mile pace. First 4 repeats weren't too tough, 5-8 felt really hard, and 9-10, I recovered nicely, probably because I knew I was near the end.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 54:29/7:47
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

Sore Ass

The alarm DID go off this morning. Progress! Or so I thought. Today I had scheduled some interval work on the bike. For those of you who ride on a regular basis comfort in the saddle is always something we are working on improving; shorts, chamois, creme, saddles, etc. Sometimes it just takes some getting used to. After my 70 minute ride on Tuesday, I definitely had some discomfort, as to be expected, but didn't think much of it. This morning, as I began my ride, I experienced tremendous soreness, to the point that I could not sit more than a minute and a half before having to get out of the saddle. Needless to say today's ride is going to have to be postponed until I can sit comfortably.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finishing Up

I was able to get in the other 13 I missed this morning on the treadmill.

Mileage: 13.00
Time/Pace: 1:52:36/8:39
Avg HR/Max HR: 140/177

What the F!?!?

Last I laid out my clothes, was in bed by 10 in anticipation of getting up at 5am for a 20 mile run. I set two alarms, one for 5am one for 5:15 to make sure I didn't miss it. Needless to say I was horrified to roll over at 7am. I lept out of bed and did get 7 miles in before I had to bail for work. Very incovenient! Thirteen more on the schedule for tonight. Oh and a new alarm clock I guess.

Mileage (on treadmill): 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:01:51/8:50
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/146

Let the Cycling Begin

Yesterday I started my training for cycling, to add to my running training. I am following the Training for Time Trials program. I am part of a weekly time trial race series and I feel as though this will also lend itself well to duathlons.

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)

Mileage: 17.70
Time/Avg Sp/ Max Sp: 1:05:04/16.3/22.0
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/147

Monday, January 10, 2011

Still Inside

Chilling weather and a lingering cold has kept me inside for running this week. This is definitely mind-numbing, but better than nothing. Today was 6 miles on the treadmill. The gym was jamming with people; all of those New Year's resolutions in full effect. Sadly, these numbers will dwindle considerably in the next month. The only thing good about that is parking is easier.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 47:52/7:58
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/174

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Squeaky Wheels

My legs felt like the title sounds, weak and squeaky. The last thing I felt like doing was going for a run. After lounging until about 2:30, I dragged my wife and I to the gym and we got after it. The first mile was very creaky, my muscles and joints moaning and groaning with each step. However, I loosened up quicker than I thought I would and successfully completed my tempo run (goal pace 7:12).

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 39:49/7:58
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

Horse Pills and 160 Laps

I'm not off to a terribly great start. I got sick back in mid-December, thought I had it beat, but it came back with a vengence last week. I sucked it up, went to the doctor and rewarded with a bottle of these giant pills to combat my diagnosed sinus infection.

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.

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 3:07:22/9:22
Avg HR/Max HR: 142/158

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Goals

1) Sub 19 Minute 5K: Last year, I broke 22, 21, and 20 minutes. I have actually become somewhat competitive in some of the smaller races and now I am focused on becoming even more competitive.

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.

2010: Year In Review

2010 brought a number of firsts for me; my first marathon, duathlon, tri-bike. Here's the highlights of the best and worst of the year.

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.