Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

After a fantastic race last year, I trained harder and smarter than in the past, and was hoping to cut of a big chunk of time from my 9:49 finish last year. Working with a coach was eye-opening. Running was often at a surprising easy pace, and riding included a greater variety of efforts than I had worked at in the past. Swim sessions were longer and harder, but that's what I needed. Instead of maybe 7,000m per week, I typically surpassed 10,000m each week, and those 10,000m included a lot of hard efforts. I also had a swim coach critique my stroke for a few sessions, but I didn't have too much to change. I ended up cutting about 15 seconds per 100m over the past few months, though I had plenty of room for improvement after a relatively pathetic 1:10 last year.

The training went well and I felt more ready than ever before for an IM. I was fitter, stronger, and leaner. I improved my diet around the beginning of June by adopting a Paleo-type diet, resulting in a few pounds of weight loss.

Stacey and I drove out to Lake Placid a few days before the race. We stayed at a nice B&B in Keene Valley, far enough from town so as not to be distracted by the commotion of the race, and our gear preparation in the days leading up to the race went smoothly. The night before the race I was nervous and excited, and I told myself to embrace those feelings because there aren't many times in life that one experiences such anticipation.

For the obligatory breakfast summary, I woke up and quickly ate a banana, two English muffins with peanut butter, and a canned Starbucks drink for a total of about 900 calories three hours before the race. Stacey and I headed into town and arrived with plenty of time to pump our tires, pack our Bento boxes, and otherwise prepare for the race before heading for a final porta-john trip prior to entering the water.

10 minutes prior to the race start, we waded into Mirror Lake and moved to a position about midway across the starting line and perhaps five rows back. Stacey moved a few rows further back as our area became more crowded. When the gun fired, everyone began swimming, but no individual could control the pace - each person was forced to swim the pace of everyone around them. The start wasn't rough, but I had to look up several times to see how close I was to getting kicked in the face by nearby flailing feet.

The first loop was a steady effort. I couldn't select whose feet I sat on, so I just kept swimming. Near the end of the loop, I worked my way to directly above the yellow guide line connecting the buoys a few feet below the water. I exited the water to complete loop 1 in a new PR: 31 minutes and a few seconds. Once in the water for loop 2, I sat above the yellow line and tried to latch onto some feet. I found a good pair and lowered my effort to avoid slapping the draftee's foot. A few minutes later, I realized a gap opened and I wasn't drafting. I went back to my normal, steady pace for the rest of the swim. To my surprise, the swim got very crowded on the second half of the final loop. As I approached the finish, I looked up to see that I was going to lose a few minutes on the second half. Still, I improved 5 minutes over last year with a 1:05 swim. I've got to cut at least 5 more minutes for next year! The swim didn't take much out of me, and I ran in T1 at a slow pace to avoid a HR spike.

I decided in transition to race in just my singlet, since the sun had come out, but I did the swim without it on so I could start the bike warm if it was raining. T1 was longer than normal as I spent an extra few moments getting the singlet on.

My plan for the ride was to ride at 140 bpm or so for loop 1, increase the HR a few beats per minute for loop 2, and use my powermeter to cap my power at 260 W for the beginning of the ride and the climbs. Despite those metrics, RPE would be my central governor.

Nutritionally, my plan was about 300 cal./hour, mostly in the form of Infinit but I took along some Powerbars and gels for some additional calories. I carried two bottles, each carrying 280 cal., on the bike with two more in my special needs.

The course was crowded at the beginning of the ride, but I capped my wattage at about 260 W for the climbs just out of town. I let the over-excited riders pass me, and that group even included a few AG women. My HR read 140 bpm or so shortly after I hopped on the bike, and I was happy that the swim and T1 didn't result in a ridiculously high HR. Unexpectedly, my HR increased to above 150 bpm after just a few minutes on the bike. I allowed myself to ride at that elevated HR, thinking that my HR would settle down once I started the long decent into Keene, but as soon as I resumed my effort after the descent on the road toward Jay, my HR went right back up. Screw it, I though, just race. There are too few opportunities to race to play it safe and ride at 180 W so my HR can be where I want it. RPE and wattage were where I expected them, so I just quit looking at HR.

I steadily moved through the pack on loop 1, and finished the loop in about 2:34 feeling okay, but not great. As I passed special needs, I made an on-the-fly decision to not stop for special needs and instead to use the on course Gatorade and water. I've used Gatorade in my previous two IMs and never had an issue.

Loop 1 power file:

Loop 1 stats:


21.64 mph

76 rpm (but it really hovered between 80 and 85)

149 bpm avg.

202 W avg. (including zeros)

I began passing pro women early in loop 2, and by about 20 miles into the second loop figured I had passed all the pro women. I started feeling a bit fatigued on the out-and-back portion of the second loop, and then felt even more tired once I started the climb back into town. I buckled down, raised my RPE a bit, and continued onward. Passes became less frequent because the riders weren't very concentrated ahead of me. I passed a fewmale pros once the climbs began.

Check out my monstrously huge legs (it's no wonder I had the fastest bike split in my AG):

I was drinking all my Gatorade as soon as I filled my front bottle. IM aid stations are so close that I've typically passed up every other one even when relying entirely on hand-outs. This time, I grabbed a bottle at each station and drank it quickly.

The climb into town felt much tougher than last year. The wind had picked up and made the climbs even tougher. I raised the RPE to what I would normally describe as midway between IM and HIM effort. I just wanted to get off the bike. Just keep going, I told myself. The harder I went, the earlier I'd be done. Still, I kept a bit of an eye on the power meter and kept the wattage down at times, though not with the vigilance I had exercised at the start of the ride.

I finished loop 2 in about the same time as loop 1, for a total of 5:10 (good for the fastest bike split in my AG, I believe). Given the increase in wind, my nearly even pacing is a negative-split-esque effort.

Loop 2 power file:

Loop 2 stats:


21.56 mph

76 rpm (again, mostly around 80-85)

152 bpm avg.

206 W avg. (again, including zeros)

Total (per my CPU):

220 W avg w/o zeros

204 W avg w/ zeros

21.6 mph


151 bpm

1st in my AG, I believe

At this point I was worried. My legs were more thrashed than they were after my other two IM rides. I was surprised how much the ride had taken out of me. Regardless, I had confidence that my running legs would come after a mile or two. No matter how I've felt off the bike in the past, I've never run horribly.

I got the Garmin going as I started and was happy to see my HR settle in around 160 bpm at a comfortable RPE. The first few miles weren't bad, although they're basically downhill. I passed a woman pro without a biker in front of her near mile 1, so I didn't catch several women on the bike. Still, I pressed on and caught another AGer, whom I later realized was Richard Pady (he crushed me at TTT). We chatted briefly, but he pulled away as I began to have trouble digesting food. Everything was pooling in my stomach. With only 4 or 5 miles down, I began to think I was going to be in for a very long day. I just told myself to keep going.

Over the next 10 miles or so, my mood swung between feeling good and feeling horrible. I checked the Garmin shortly after mile 13 to get a split, and realized I had only turned it on without pressing start. I seem to do that every race! I pressed start to begin recording data, and post-race I discovered my first loop split was 1:33 – 4 minutes slower than last year.

My pace was slowing significantly around mile 16. I was down to around 8:00 or 8:30 per mile, and my HR was low, bouncing around 145 bpm. I was taking gels and eating them slowly between aid stations to get some sodium. Finally, I heard a volunteer shout that soup was available. I reached the end of the aid station and still hadn't found it. A volunteer pointed out that it was on the aid station on the other side of the road for people heading in the opposite direction. I turned around and ran 50 feet in the wrong direction to grab some broth. I drank it in a single gulp, and it hit the spot. A few minutes later, my HR and pace were both up.

I began pushing the effort. I had about 6 miles left to go, and still hadn't walked a single step (even going through aid stations). I re-passed an AGer that had passed me several miles before. I knew I was approaching top three overall (well, AG overall). I started to close in on another AGer as I approached the hill back into town. Once again, I picked up the effort – I didn't want him to try to stay with me, and I certainly didn't want him to be able to stay with me if he gave it a shot. I ran up the hill into town with more effort than ever before and continued with the high pace. As I approached a brief out-and-back section at mile 25, I didn't notice any AGers ahead of me. Unfortunately, I failed to spot the leader of my AG even though I was within a minute of him (and probably more like 30 seconds). After turning around and heading toward the finish, I realized I wasn't going to get caught, but I kept my pace up because, why slow down now? I crossed the finish line with a 3:19 marathon (1:34 and 1:44 for the halves, still good for 2nd in my AG, I think) for a total of 9:41, and 8 minute PR. (Of course, the races are never the same, and I consider this year's LP to be tougher than last year's.)

Loop 2 of the run Garmin file:

Stats for loop 2 of the run:

13.1 miles, 1:46, 8:11/mile, 152 bpm, 1940 ft ascended

I was half thrilled and half disappointed. I didn't take much time to enjoy the finish, instead just hunched over and held my knees as a pair of volunteers approached. I wrapped an arm around each so they could support me as we moved away from the finish line. "I think I need to go to the medical tent," I responded when asked how I was feeling. The pair of volunteers handed me off to another volunteer, this one tasked with guiding racers to the medical tent. I thought I was dehydrated, and asked to be weighed. The scale read 154 lbs, about 10 lbs lower than I weighed in at two days prior at registration. The med-tent bouncer thought I was doing okay and sent me away. That was fine - Stacey had advised me against getting an "optional" IV.

I walked over to my family and asked for a Sprite from a cooler I packed before the race. I took a single sip, rested my weight against a fence separating the finish area where I stood from the spectators' area where my family was, and decided to head back to the med tent. I was feeling nauseous. A few seconds later, I could barely support myself. Two guys in the med tent held me up, and I leaned forward and threw up. I stood upright again, then hunched back over and puked a second time. The two guys had me step on the scale again, and I now weighed a pound or two less. This time, the med tent bouncer admitted me and I was carried over to a cot.

My temp was a bit low – 95 degrees – and my blood pressure was 88/56 or something like that. After two IV bags and some medicine whose name I don't recall, I felt way, way better. In fact, I felt better than a similar time period after my other two IMs.

My biggest positive from the race was running every step of the marathon. I'm proud of that because I started the run feeling a bit thrashed. My mental toughness was better than ever before. On the other hand, I'm disappointed that I ran just 3:19. I think with some salt tablets I could have absorbed calories better on the run and shaved several minutes off my time.

I think my progress over the past few months is good, and I think I can execute a better race and cut some more time. The easiest time (though none of it will be easy) will be improving my swim.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thank you!

First and foremost, a big thanks to Stacey for all the extra work she has put in taking care of things for me. She handled almost all household chores and did almost all the cooking for the past several months to allow me a few extra hours a week of training. She ate healthier than she wanted to so as to avoid tempting me. She did swim sessions that were longer than she needed to meet her own goals because kept me motivated. Basically, without her assistance, I wouldn't have been able to put in the time I did. Oh, and I could count on one hand the number of times she complained that training was taking too much time out of our lives. So, in case I haven't said it enough, thanks Stacey for all your support!

Next, thanks Chuckie for all the training advice. It has been extremely helpful and I know I am fitter now than ever before. Plus, after the season finishes up, I am going to dominate the local wife-carrying competitions. In addition to his top-notch coaching, Chuckie writes a great blog and gives away more excellent advice than other coaches include in their entire books. Thanks CV!

Finally, thanks to my parents, Stacey's parents, and Conor and Teresa for coming out to Lake Placid to support us. Both Stacey and I hope you enjoy the trip and that the weather is cooperative tomorrow so spectating is more comfortable than last year. (P.S. Thanks for dinner last night! Sorry we had to dash off early.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

All set!

I am ready for Lake Placid. Over the weekend I got in a flop and two good workouts, a run including over 9 miles at 6:30/mile on the dot at 155bpm avg. and a 70 mile ride including 2 hours at IM pace. My speed was great during the IM paced efforts, and my HR to W ratio was pretty good, too.

I had to call around to various bike shops on Saturday morning to find one that had a rear derailleur hanger for my bike. Luckily I was able to track one down and have it installed. Now my bike is all set to go, or at least it will be once I find my Bento Box.

Check out this article: Slower Traffic, more pedestrians could revive cities. "I can't help you if your community wants to be auto-dependent," consultant Dan Burden told metropolitan Detroit city and regional planners. To attract "the creative class" that can jump-start a region's growth: "You start with paint. You put in bike lanes and get trees planted, and that brings the speeds of motorists down, and then the buildings start to come back, and with that, the tax base. That lets you redesign the streets," he said.

Sorry Mr. Burden, it's never going to happen. I'm going to read the comments to the story later today once more people have read the article. So far, all negative. The commentators look at how lone changes implemented toward walkable communities merely shift traffic elsewhere, and cite that as evidence that the proposed changes would be ineffective. However, there must be a critical mass of changes before habits are altered. Making a single section of road "walkable" while the surrounding miles are still all sprawl is not going to change habits. A single mile of bike lane is not going to get used. However, neither is evidence that the changes are not worthwhile.

Anyhow, I think this area is too far gone, the population too close minded and set in their ways. The local populace can continue spending 20% of their income on vehicles (only Houston, TX spends as much) while everything around them crumbles and they continue their march up the obesity rankings.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Feeling good

Yesterday included a swim and easy jog. All went well, though we cut the swim a bit short due to time constraints.

Today is an off day, so I am going to get the bike all ready for race time. That includes installing a new bottom bracket, adjusting derailleurs (I noticed on my last trainer ride that the pulleys on my rear derailleur are laterally misaligned ... hope my derailleur hanger didn't get damaged transporting my bike last weekend), installing race tires and latex tubes, a thorough cleaning, attaching the disc wheel cover, etc.

Today's weight: 157.5 (varied between that and 160 over the past few days).

For comparison, here are stats from Tanita scales from a few days before each of the two IMs I've done:

Weight: 162.2 162
Fat %: 7.7 9.2 (fatty)
Water: 62.6 61.7
Muscle: 142.4 139.6
Physique rating: 8 5
BMR: 1970 1939
Metabolic age: 12 12
Bone mass: 7.4 7.2
Visceral fat: 1 1

I bet you can guess which year I had a better performance. Now, I know these scales aren't the most accurate, but I'll be interested to see how things compare this year.

Today's song: "Little Donna" by Benny Sings

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Interval ride

The main set of today's ride included 40 minutes at 160-165 bpm with a few minutes rest inserted. A few minutes into the first interval I decided to break it up as 4 x 10 min., with 1 or 2 minutes between intervals. During the third intervals, I though my power was dropping a bit, so I added another rest minute 5 minutes into the fourth set. I felt good, although I kept a slightly higher than normal cadence that tired out my hip flexors. I swear a high cadence on the trainer is tougher than the same cadence out doors.

0-10 - 160 bpm, 285 W, 86 rpm (I worked my HR up so it was 157 at the start of the set)
10-20 - 161 bpm, 272 W, 85 rpm (HR started low from rest from for the rest of sets)
20-30 - 162 bpm, 259 W, 84 rpm
30-35 - 160 bpm, 264 W, 84 rpm
35-40 - 161 bpm, 251 W (ugh), 84 rpm

Basically it went from great to sub-par over the course of the set. Still, I feel good and rested.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tough swim, easy run

I have officially perfected the butterfly, and can now swim (flail?) an entire 25m non-stop. After spring 4 x 25 each of kicking, freestyle, and butterfly, I already felt like I got in a good workout. I still had 8 x 250 broken!

I actually felt great during the first 250 and set a new PR for the first 100m - 1:25. I then cruised 75 and followed that up with a 50m sprint in 0:39. I finished the 250 in 4:07. However, my times slowly got worse from there. For the second set, I did the 100m in 1:29 and finished the 250 in just under 4:20. Then, I started the third set with a 1:33/100m and finished the set in a bit over 4:20. I took off after a 15 sec break, and slowed a few more seconds for the fourth set.

With four sets done and my times dropping, I took a full minute break. I started the fifth set feeling good and started with a 1:28, finishing the set in about 4:20. My times continued dropping a few seconds per set for the last three.

I felt so great at the beginning of the 250s - I was catching what felt like a ton of water with each stroke and felt fluid. By the fifth or sixth set, I lose the feeling of the water. Not sure what's up with that.

I also got in a 45 minute jog and felt great. No sign of fatigue in the legs. The goal is to crush the ride tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This song is quickly rising to the top of my iTunes most-played list. "God and Suicide" is another good one by the same band, Blitzen Trapper.

Anyhow, I did a 3600m swim this morning. I became pretty hungry mid-swim and had to hop out of the pool to grab a Larabar stashed away in my jeans' pocket for the drive home from the pool. Otherwise, the swim went well. I didn't time myself, but glanced at the clock during the last 5 x 100m all-out. I was coming in on 1:35-1:37, which I didn't think was too bad since the first 3000m had tired me out a bit.

Later, I hopped on the bike for an easy 3 hour ride keeping the HR low (120-130). I feel fine post-ride, and could easily do it again (twice, if I wanted).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New swim PR, slow run

Today's swim workout started with a T600, which I completed in 9:41, about 25 seconds better than my previous best, if I recall my PR correctly. A few things about my stroke were different. First, I watched a few videos before heading out for the swim. In the pool, I extended a bit more and felt some stretch in my torso. I also noticed water flowing more smoothly over my skin. I sought that smooth sensation, and I tried to get into a smooth rhythm (which isn't the easiest for me - I'm not the most smooth or rhythmic person). I started the T600 slowly, and my splits were dead-on: 4:50 for the first 300m and 4:51 for the second 300m.

I followed that up with 6 x 100m on just 5 sec. rest, five of 'em under 1:36, and the sixth on 1:38. Next up with a T400, and my time was 6:35. I lost some time on the back-half, going 3:15 and then 3:20. After 4 more 100m's, I did a T200 on 3:00. I really thought I was moving faster and would set a new PR (I think 2:57 is my best 200m), as I felt very smooth in the water. Oh well, there's always next time.

After the swim, I headed out for a 1:45 run. The main "set" was 1:20 at 150 bpm, expecting a speed of 6:30 to 6:45/mile. However, it was pretty hot and humid out, and my pace suffered at the prescribed HR. I averaged a pathetic 7:40 at 152 bpm. It could have been the heat, but also the enormous amount of stress I'm feeling for reasons unrelated to training. Let's just say life has been better... I also wonder if the stress is hindering my recovery, which seems a bit slow this week. On a positive note, muscularly I was fine during the run - I felt pretty much fine at the end.

I will consider putting some intervals into the ride tomorrow, but don't want to over-stress myself at this stage. I'll play it by ear.

Please don't kill me drivers

Ugh, a cyclist riding along Hines Dr., Stacey and my main training ground last year and the route I was planning on riding tomorrow, was hit by a driver that apparently fell asleep. The driver was a 27 year old doctor that had just worked a 24 hour shift.

I often wonder whether the odds of being seriously injured while riding are greater in SE MI compared to other areas. One of the local bike shop owners occasionally mentions how many people he knows that have been killed riding around here. It's not a small number, and it grows almost every year. I certainly feel less safe around here compared to the other areas I've lived. The thing is, Hines Dr. is the area I feel the safest. It's full of cyclists, as it's one of the few areas we can actually ride around here.

I am torn as to what should happen to negligent drivers that strike pedestrians, and this case presents a classic example of my conflict. On the one hand, this woman fell asleep while driving. That is inexcusable. If someone carelessly handled a gun, resulting in a death, I do not doubt that the person would be harshly punished. However, if the same person negligently operates a vehicle and kills someone, our criminal justice system says, "Ah, no big deal. We all know cars occasionally get in accidents." (Note that the media often says "cars" get in accidents, as if the driver had no part in the events.) The attitude that accidents are unavoidable barely changes when the driver is drunk or texting. Was not Donte Stallworth just released from jail after 24 days for running into and killing a pedestrian while Dante was operating his vehicle under the influence? Didn't some guy in Battle Creek get two months in jail for killing a pedestrian last year? I could continue citing examples barely-punished drivers ad nauseum, even when drivers are drunk and/or (often "and") leave the scene of the accident.

Shouldn't we start locking these drivers up for 10, maybe 15 years? Our current punishments serve as no deterent to negligent driving. A lack of punishment is likely why drivers text so frequently. A lack of punishment is why sleepy drivers only pull over when the drivers feel their own safety is at risk. Increasing drunk driving penalties seems to be working based on the attitudes about the risks drunk driving of people I know. (Someone disturbingly, by "risks" I mean the risks to the driver of being caught, not the risk of potentially killing someone.)

On the other hand, should a promising young doctor be locked up for years and years due to a single mistake made while trying to start a career helping others? It wasn't her choice to work 24 hours, and she's gotta get home somehow. She just got caught up in the rediculous system hospitals use for training doctors. (On a side note, can't the same logic used to hold bar-owners responsible for accidents of "over-served" patrons be applied to find liability with hospitals that require doctors to work shifts so long that doctors' driving skills are diminished to a similar extent as being drunk? Just with bar-owners, hospitals are knowingly sending diminished-ability drivers out on the road. Not that I agree with holding bar-owners responsible...but to the extent bar owners may be liable it seems the hospital situation is analogous.)

The more I think about it, the more I think this young woman (my age, by the way) should be locked up for a long time. I'd feel bad for her, but I feel worse for the cyclist that was injured through no fault of his own. If she doesn't get locked up, the trend of drivers not caring about the lives of pedestrians will continue. In every instance that a driver at fault injures a pedestrian, that driver needs to be charged, even if the driver is a 27-year old doctor with a promising future ahead of herself. Her grief, which I do not doubt is great, is not sufficient to change other drivers' behaviours.

So, if I am struck and seriously injured or killed, please ensure that the driver is charged, and then sue the driver, too. Donate any awarded damages to a cyclist advocate group. Get the case in papers. Maybe that'll help deter a future accident.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Great article from Running Times

One of the better sports stories I've read in a while -

Still recovering

Today's workout called for 40 minutes of intervals at 160 bpm (circa 290 W). I did the first and hit 277 W avg. , then the second averaged just 261 W. Looks like I'm still recovering. I did a 20 minute or so cool down. Later, I did a 4o minute jog as scheduled. I'll try to make up the ride tomorrow, which means shifting the schedule to swim in the morning. that case, I'll make myself a smoothie and some stove-top espresso pre swim. Sorry in advance for waking you up at 6am tomorrow, Stacey. (She's working until midnight tonight, then has a drive back from Ann Arbor.)

There are just over two weeks until LP. I can't wait to get out there, though I worry I will have to do some work while there to increase the billable hours.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Watching the tour

I haven't yet downloaded my Powertap data from the weekend, my biggest ever in terms of volume, but I am feeling ready for IMLP. The timing is just right, as training is just now starting to lose some excitment and feel more like a chore (though other factors unrelated to training also contribute to that).

My running has been going especially well the past week. My run test documented below went great, and then a transition run I did on Saturday was possibly my best run ever off the bike.

I got in an easy flop yesterday and will get in a flop and jog today.

The next few weeks should be nice with a bit more time to relax. I'll be able to watch the Tour, hopefully read a bit more, and start preparing for the logistics of the trip to Lake Placid. I just watched the finish of stage 3. While its winner wasn't much of a surprise, other events were. I'm looking forward to the TTT tonight. Speaking of which, TT bike technology has taken a leap forward. Trek, Specialized, Giant and Scott all have great looking new bikes (none of which are available to the public, yet), not to mention Cervelo's new P4. It makes me wonder how much "free" speed I give up. The gains could potentially be over 200 grams according to test data I've seen, and that saving would translate to about 15-20 W. That would be huge. My guess, however, is that the gains to be had are smaller than most would believe (witness Andreas Kloden's prologue ride compared to LL's and LA's). Still, even just a few minutes would be nice once one gets closer toward the pointy end of the field. Next year, perhaps.

Oh, and I liked Gordo's latest blog entry - I don't know his complete story, like some triathletes that have been following him for years, but he seems to spend a lot of time performing self-analysis and planning for his life.

Riding environment summary for Birmingham, MI:

Road surface - C- ... Why is the road quality so poor here? There is plenty of money in terms of property taxes due to high home values, and the population is quite concentrated. Is it that people drive absolutely everywhere? Too frugal of local governments? Great variances in temperatures throughout the year?
Route variety - D ... There are basically two routes available, but neither is good.
Route quality (considers stop lights, stop signs, etc.) - F ... As bad as it gets. I can't ride a mile without having to stop. Neighborhoods are full of stop signs, dead ends, and other devices to prevent through traffic. Main roads all have high speed limits, very few shoulders, and no bike lanes.
Terrain - C ... Very few hills, curves, and other enjoyable features.
Traffic - D ... Everything is set up for driving, so everyone is basically forced to drive everywhere. Please go up, gas prices.
Scenery - F ... Subdivision, subdivision, stripmall, subdivision.
Weather - C ... See October through March

Overall - D- ... It's as if urban planners did everything they could to discourage cycling. Actually, urban planners probably did do everything they could to discourage cycling.

Today's weigh in: 160.0. The diet has been pretty good lately, considering traveling out of town for training during the weekend. Right now, I'm eating a carrot and a celery stick.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Run test data

Ack, a busy week, as the end of the month always is (I'm hoping this was the last busy end of the month, however). Anyhow, I did another run test and the data is excellent. First off, my legs felt a bit tired going into the test. The weather was 65-70 and overcast with a small amount of wind (maybe 10 mph). My PE was low, about 6 initially and up to 7 by the end, but maybe that's because I had to go to the bathroom for 2/3 of the test and that distracted me. I noticed a step-up in muscle fatigue around mile 10, but it didn't get worse over the last few miles.

Anyhow, looking at the data, I was very close to 7:00 per mile at 145 bpm, a big improvement over the previous tests, I believe.

Otherwise, the week is going okay. I should be able to get in some mega training this weekend, including a few Lake Michigan swims. I had to bump Tuesday's swim to today and cut it a bit, but tomorrow I will do today's swim and get a massage.

Over and out.