Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jog hard

A bit over five hours of running over the past three days. Felt great at the start of the third day and pretty good at end. I picture Craig Alexander's form when I start to tire.

Leaving for Denver super early tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cold ride

Training has been going well. I got in 18 hours or so of biking and running last week, but won't be quite that high this week. Since training volume has been down a bit this week, I have upped the intensity on a few sessions. I notice a huge difference in recovery after doing any intensity. The day after a four hour base ride, for example, I feel pretty much fine. The day after a 1.5 hour ride with 2 x 15 minutes working hard, however, I feel some fatigue in the legs.

Yesterday I did a point-to-point ride (my favorite type!) from Battle Creek to Lansing. It's just under four hours from door to door. About two hours into the ride, it started raining. An hour later, my toes and fingers were freezing. Only upon finishing the ride did I see that the temp had dropped from the upper 50s to the mid 40s. I traversed a load of dirt roads and was filthy at the end of the ride. Other than the coldness, though, a very enjoyable trip.

Otherwise, the PODS that Stacey and I are using to move our stuff to Denver just left Michigan. We're making the drive out early next week. Our goal is to complete the entire 18 hour drive in a single day. I'm thinking that's a three, maybe four coffee trip.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall riding

First off, if any of my two readers (hi mom!) are interested in buying a Powertap wheel, please leave a comment with your email address and I'll get in contact.

Moving on, I've got in a pair of decent rides over the weekend: 3 hours on Saturday followed by an hour run and 5 hours on Sunday. Saturday I rode by PE, riding right at the level where my breath begins to deepend (typically just under 130 bpm). I ran nice and slow for the hour. On Sunday, I rode 5 hours at the same effort as Saturday, this time with a HRM. I averaged 126 bpm. Despite the low effort level, 5 hours still takes a toll on the legs. Nice scenery while riding this time of the year.

Monday I did an easy hour of running (132 bpm avg. and something like 8:30 per mile) followed by a few strides. Later on, I rode an hour recovery ride with Stacey. No need to push things when my next race isn't for almost 6 months.

Yesterday was an interesting workout. I rode for 2:10 and did 8 x 5 min. in my 53 x 12. I expected a HR of 150 bpm or so with a fairly low cadence (~60 rpm, though that's just be best guess). However, my HR rarely went above 140 bpm. Pushing harder to raise my HR was tough - maybe my legs are just too weak. At any rate, it was a good enough workout to tire my legs out a bit. However, I'll try this workout again soon and push really hard to see where my HR goes.

I also got in one impromptu sprint while riding down a dirt road when I noticed a pair of dogs dashing out of the woods right toward me. As I started sprinting I looked back to see one of the dogs just a few feet away, and to make matters worse he appeared to be gaining on me! With a surge of adrenaline, I picked up my pace. Two or three seconds later, I looked back a second time to see the dog giving up the chase. Fortunately for me the dog must have lacked self confidence, as I'm pretty sure he could have caught me had he kept going.

Now I'm off for a long run wearing my new bright orange hunting hat with a few Competitor radio shows on my iPod. Maybe I'll also listen to some Fujiya & Miyagi and the Junior Boys. (Incidentally, Stacey and Maggie - the dog, not Stacey's friend Maggie - are having a dance party in the kitchen to "In the Morning". Stacey's doing what I can only describe as some sort of fishing manuever.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Watching the IM world championships tomorrow

(Chrissie Wellington, looking like she could stand to lose a few pounds.)

Surprisingly, I don't feel too bad about having passed up the chance to go to Kona this year. I can't imagine fitting training and travel in alongside moving away from Detroit and then to Denver in a few weeks. Still, I enjoy checking out folks' Kona pictures and blog entries about the days leading up to the race. I keep all those images in my head during training, and next year I hope to race Kona and put up a solid result there. Not getting chicked would be pretty good.

After getting in a long ride tomorrow morning, perhaps to a cider mill and back, I plan on having the computer in front of me all day to watch the live streaming coverage of the world championships. I don't understand how some triathletes can find watching IMs, especially Kona, to be boring. Lay-people, sure, I can get how they don't see the excitment of 8 hours of swim-bike-run. But to triathletes with knowledge of the top pros' strengths and weeknesses, there should be plenty of suspense. Watching the uber-bikers lead over the main pack and wondering whether any of 'em will be able to hold off the fleet-footed likes of Craig Alexander and Chris McCormack is more entertaining to me than about any other professional sporting event.

There are plenty of althetes I'll be keeping an eye on. I've got a soft-spot for the fast riders because they bring some of the most drama to the sport. I'd like to see Normann Stadler be healthy and have a good race. Maybe he'll even get some support - a train of fast riders would be a nice equitable balance to draft advantage offered available to those in the main pack. Chris Lieto, Philip Graves (just 20 years old!), and maybe Maik Twelsik (probably spelled that wrong) will hopefully ride near Stalder and even things out. I'd also like to see Faris Al-Sultan back toward the front. He just seems like an interesting guy. Finally, I've also got to root for Andy Potts, assuming he races, because he's a U of M guy.

On the women's side, it's hard not to root for Chrissie Wellington and Natascha Badmann. Both of them seem so happy to be racing. I'll also be checking the splits of Heather Wurtele, one of Chuckie's professional athletes.

Finally, I'll also see how some of the AGers I've competed against this year do. Somehow almost all of the top 25-29ers at both LP and Lou are managing to make their way to Kona, and I wish them good results.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I won my first race!

This past weekend Conor, Teresa and I traveled down to Rend Lake, just outside Benton, IL, where Conor and I competed in the first ever Last Chance Triathlon. While 172 people were registered for the short and long course races in the aggregate, only 36 people ended up starting the long course. The race distance suited my strengths pretty well, with a 1.5k swim, 67k ride and 15k run. I have barely swam since Louisville (efforts to swim at MSU were thwarted by the university's new no-non-student policy), so I didn't expect great results in the swim. I came out in 28 minutes and change, which Teresa informed me as I exited the water was 7 minutes down on the leader. Okay, make up half of that on the bike and half on the run, I thought.

The bike was flat and on good roads. I thought I could average 24.5-25 mph with a good effort, but I think my lack of tri-bike rides since IMLou has hurt my wattage. I busted the tri-bike out on the Wednesday before the race to reacquaint myself with it, having spent the past month exclusively on my steel cyclocross machine, and was surprised to feel awkward while riding and abnormally sore after riding, particularly in the posterior. The slight difference in muscle groups used by the two bikes was apparent. While I hoped to average 260 W or thereabout, I ended up with just 239 W, resulting in 23.9 mph. It may have been worse, but I was passed by a 50 year old (50!) about halfway through the bike. I upped my effort so as not to let him out of sight and stayed about 100 yards behind him for the next 20 miles. Maybe the low wattage could be a result of reduced training lately, which would be good.

On the way into T2 I was told the leader had just left. I ran hard the two miles to pass him and put some distance in, pushing my HR to 175 bpm. It would have been a tough race to hold that effort for the rest of the run, and I dropped to a more comfortable 170 bpm or so (meaning, I dropped my effort level - I only look at the data post-race for HIM and shorter). The run was out-and-back, and at the turn-around I noticed I had a few minutes lead. I ended up averaging 6:02/mile at 171 bpm on the very slightly hilly run.

Total: 3:13, good for a comfortable margin of victory. Of course, I'll be happy to be in the same time zone as the second and third place guys, who combined average 20years my senior, when I'm their age.