Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some people think I'm crazy

When I tell people how much I love the track, they look at me, or type at me, like I am insane. But for me it's the best place to learn how to deal with the pain I can experience in a race. If you let the pain in, make it your bitch, you can use it on race day. When you are in your final mile of a race and a PR is within reach, or you want to catch that runner just ahead with your age on their calf, don't be afraid to let it in, use it and just go for it. Yes the track hurts, if you do it right, it's supposed to hurt, but the reward is confidence that you can overcome it. Where do you find your pain to overcome?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cary Long Course Duathlon Race Report

This was a 5 mile run / 31 mile bike / 5 mile run.
So leading up to this race did not go so well. I got a cold which turned into a sinus infection which I let go too long and thus took too long to recover. But I must say I started feeling close to 100% about 2 days before the race and on race morning I felt back to normal. I has originally hoped to break 3:15 for this race, but after being sick for 2 weeks I thought I should be happy if I broke 3:20.
Race morning the nerves were in high gear. The race didn't start until 9AM which meant more time to sit around and be nervous. I packed up everything and ate breakfast, then finally headed out around 7. Arrived at the site and it was cold, in the 40's. All I had to race in was a short sleeve shirt and my tri shorts. I saw a ton of people getting tights and arm warmers ready and wondered if I was missing something, but no time to worry about that, I had none of that available. I got to meet a fellow tweeter @triblogcarol who had gashed her head on her door and was told by medical that she would need stitches, but decided to do the race anyway.

Run1: 43:40 8:45 / mile. I was planning to run this at 9 min pace, but everyone went out fast and hard and it was all I could do to hang back. I think I was one of the last people in to transition and the results say I was 99 out of 102. Felt good on this run and ended up liking the course more than I expected. It was a loop with an out and back attached. It allowed for 4 water stops which would be very helpful on the second run which would be about 70 degrees.

Bike: 1:39:21 - 18.8 mph ave speed. I was once again planning to stay conservative on the bike and was shooting for 18 mph. I felt so good going out I just coasted the downhills and tried not to redline on the hills. I loved this bike course and we had favorable winds so it went by quickly. When I got to 3 miles to go I sat up and took it easy so I could get ready for the swim. I had taken 20 oz of Gatorade endurance and 20 oz of Regular gatorade and got a water bottle at the hand off so I had about 50 oz of fluid on the bike. Didn't realize until later when I saw my helmet how much I sweated on the bike, but felt like I had replaced enough and would be ok on the second run.

Run2: 50:15 - 10:04 pace. It was close to 70 degrees when we started but I was feeling good and I was ahead of my schedule. I only had to do a 49 minute 5 mile run and I could get my goal of breaking 3:15. Got about 1 mile into the run and I felt some cramps starting in my quads. I decided not to push to hard and just to concentrate on form and hope to hold off the cramps. I tool head and water at each stop, but they didn't have anything with salt so I was a bit worried. I did the first loop in 23 minutes and energy wise I was feeling great. I had two gels on the bike with the last on in transition. The second loop was not nearly as good as the first. When I hit the first downhill my quads were not happy, then going up the first uphill my hamstrings started to cramp so I slowed and walked up. Once at the top I was able to run again and made it to the water stop. Grabbed water and started to jog again. When I got to the final turn around I was at 3 hours even. That meant I had 15 minutes to do the final 1.25 miles. This had me all happy and I was encouraging all the other runners on the course and having a great time. Got the the water stop and was thanking the girls for doing such a great job and staying out there so long. Did a short walk then started running again. It was a short jog then made a sharp left turn and that was it. My left hamstring cramped so bad I thought my leg was going to break. Usually I can walk those out, but there was no walking this time. The only thing I could do was bend over and stretch it out. stayed like that till the pain went away and tried to stand up, as soon as I got close the cramp came right back. 1 minute later I finally could stand and tried to walk, but as soon as I bent my knee, boom cramp came back and I was bent over again. After about three minutes I got to the point were I could walk. I walked for a minute and then started jogging. Amazingly I felt ok again. no cramps. I ran the whole way back except for the really steep hill just before the last water stop. Since I didn't think I could make the 3:15 anymore I didn't think it was worth trying to run it. Once at the top I was able to run it in and finish. Of course right at the finish line my left quad cramped up and I limped across the line.

Overall I felt it was a good race, FSSeries did a good job. The bike course was just awesome. I still need to figure out the cramping deal in my hamstrings. I guess I will have to experiment with salt tabs or endurolytes coming up so I can crank out a 10k at the olympic tri in June without cramping.

I know I should be happy with the 3:16 since it was better than the 3:20 I expected, but knowing how close I was to a 3:13 makes it bittersweet.

Looking forward now to the triangle orthopedic sprint tri coming up in April and the Adventure race the week after that. Race season is in full gear.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cary Distance Festival 10k Race Report

It's been so long since I've done a race report I wonder if I will remember how.

Total Time: 53:29 - Official Time: 53:34
Average pace 8:36/8:37

I've had a cold all week so I wasn't expecting much but it ended up surpassing my expectations. I originally wanted to break 53, but after I got this cold on Tuesday I adjusted that to just getting a pr. My old PR was 55:56 from 2004 so I thought even with the cold I could get that. My coach sends me an email and says are going to go out at 8:45 - 9:00 minute pace and then speed up as you get into it? This is code for you should go out at 8:45 - 9:00 minute pace and speed up as you get into it. I replied with I was planning to go out at 8:45. she replies with "that's what I was thinking but I know you don't like to go out too fast". That almost knocked me on the floor as I always like to go out fast and hang on the best I can, but since I took her on as my coach she has changed me into a negative split person.

So race morning I get up, feeling better, but still my head is congested, so I take my last real sudafed and start getting ready. Get to the race site and it's 35 degrees, but the sun is out and just a light breeze so things are looking good. Do my warmup and adjust my clothing options based on how I feel after the warmup and am ready to go.

Mile 1: 8:16 - When I saw this number I burst out laughing due to the convo I just had with my coach. I was following some people that wanted to run 8:45 and I was passed by some talking about how they wanted to run 8:15, and I felt really good at this point so I was thinking I was probably going to be around 9.

Mile 2: 8:49 - 17:06 - If I was healthy, I would have tried to keep the pace around 8:30, but I decided to dial it back to 8:50 just to be safe and it was working out well as I wasn't really stressed and feeling pretty good. I was trying to socialize with people and have fun, but most were breathing too hard to talk so I just kept on going.

Mile 3: 8:42 - 25:49 - Another good mile, I was passed by a bunch of people that I passed in mile 1 but just let them go, I wanted to stay on pace for a 54 something time and was feeling good. I tried to be nice to one lady who was pushing a double baby jogger, but she just looked at me like I was bugging her as she passed me on the downhills and I passed her back going up. So I gave up on that and passed her for good on this mile. my 5k split was 26:40 which meant a 53:20 finish if I could match the first half and that gave me a lift.

Mile 4: 8:48 - 34:37 - This was a hard mile, the last half was uphill, but I could see some of the people that passed me early on and now we were seeing some of the 5k runners and the 10k leaders on their way back. I saw my coach here and she was leading the women's race by about 30 seconds so I gave her a good yell, but not too good or she would think I wasn't trying hard enough.

Mile 5: 8:41 - 43:19 - Had a tough stretch on this one as well at the turn around, but I caught one of the guys here that passed me in mile 2 and had been just up ahead. Talked with him a bit before leaving him on the next hill. Legs were really feeling good, but everytime we went up hill I had to cough more so I wasn't ready to push it yet.

Mile 6.2: 10:10 - 53:29 ( 8:28 pace for this split ) Other than the big hill at the end of this mile I felt great. I passed about 5 people and at each sign I knew it was getting closer. When I got to half mile to go sign I was at 49 something so I knew my 54 was in the bag. This gave me just enough energy to get up that last hill and fortunately there was a .2 mile downhill to the finish to recover so we didn't look like death at the finish line.

This was a great race for me and I know I can get a 52 something 10k, but that will have to wait as triathlon season is almost here.

Next race March 20, Cary long course duathlon
5 mile run / 31 mile bike / 5 mile run

Friday, March 5, 2010

Biggest Loser, why the over drama?

I've been watching the Biggest Loser this year and as usual they have been over dramatizing every thing. Luckily I am DVR'ing it so I can take the 2 hour show and watch it in only 1 hour. My biggest problem with the show is that they over dramatize everything, I like the show because of what the contestants do to lose the weight and change their lives, I could do with less of the oh my god drama they try to interject. Case in point, last weeks temptation challenge. The winner of the challenge ate about 2000 calories of junk food and everyone was freakin out, but lets look at the numbers and see how bad it really was. They have been driving it into our heads that 3500 calories = one lb of weight so he ate enough food at one meal to put on 2/3 of a lb not really a big deal when you look at his overall weight and calories out vs. calories in. His current weight was 442 lbs. In order to maintain that weight without exercise he needs to eat about 4560 calories per day. So he ate about 1/2 of his maintain calories in one meal of one day out of 7. At the end of the week he had an 11 lb weight loss. a quick calculation

11 lbs x 3500 cals = 38500 cal defecit = 5500 / day

so for the week he burnt 38500 calories more than he ate or 5500 per day.
Also lets look at his weight and how fast he burns calories

at 442 lbs he burns about 1000 cal / hour doing strenuous exercise, so at the ranch their job is to exercise so if he does 8 hours of exercise that equals 8000 calories more per day, add that to his 4560 calories for maintain and subtract the overlap
8000 + 4560 - 1520 = 11020 plus or minus calories he can eat per day to maintain his weight, now subtract the 5500 / day he needs to get his 11 lb weight loss and you get 5540 that he ate per day.
So really why all the drama? He at half his calories as junk food one day out of 7 and all he really needed to do was exercise an extra 20 minutes each day to burn that off, and when you consider the reward of being able to pick the teams, I think all the contestants that didn't do the challenge were the dumb ones.

Of course his picking of the teams was another source of drama and while I agree that the teams are uneven as far as strength challenges go, not so with the weigh ins. Once again the lighter team has less lbs to lose to get the same percentage. They went over the top about how the big team was going to kill the small team and its true, they lost more weight, but as we saw the percentage was in favor of the smaller team. In the beginning this would have been a worse for the small team, but after 6 weeks the huge numbers have all come down and we aren't seeing the double digits like we used to because their bodies have adapted. If Michael was smart he would have put himself on the small team, since he still has the most excess to lose his big number combined with the smaller teams less percentage need would have been a better fit.

So really biggest loser, why all the drama over nothing?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Birthday Triathlon

On Monday March 1st, I turned 42 and decided that this year I would do a birthday triathlon. All distances/times had to relate to 42 so the plan was to do a 42 lap swim in the AM, a 42 minute mountain bike at lunch, then go to the nOg run club after work for a 4.2 mile run. Sunday I woke up and was not feeling 100% and I had a sub-par run on Saturday. I thought it was just part of the normal cycle of good/not so good workouts and went out in the 29 degree weather for a 2+ hour bike ride. It wasn't the best workout but it wasn't bad either. The rest of the day however should have clued me in to the fact that I was coming down with a cold.
Woke up Monday morning, still not feeling that great, had a bit of a sore throat, but it went away after I got up and ate breakfast. Spent some time getting ready for the 3 workout plus work day and headed off to the pool to swim.
The swim went well, I had a appointment to get my swim stoke videotaped so I could analyze it later. The video came out good, but still waiting on the analysis part. Finished off my laps and headed to work.
Decided to take a half day so I could drop off my tri bike for a quick checkup and ride the mtn bike, then drop that one off at the other bike shop for it's one year checkup.
I really wanted to ride single track, but the trails were closed due to wet trails so I had to just ride the fire trails and greenways for an easy 42 minute spin. I could tell my legs were not all that great and my energy level still a bit off, but really it wasn't that bad so the night run was still on.
After some patience testing at Sam's club trying to get my tires rotated I picked up the girl from school then dropped her off at gymnastics and headed to the bar to get ready for the run.
The run went really well, we ran a nice comfortable 10:30 pace and I was able to socialize with everyone along the way and really enjoyed running in downtown Raleigh. Luckily the lights were with us and allowed the group to stay together the whole way until the last 1/4 mile or so when the impatient went off the front, but everyone made it back to the bar and in good spirits. I felt really good the whole time on the run and after so my fears about getting sick were starting to abate. Unfortunately I am sick now, but I think that had more to do with the track workout on tuesday in the cold/wind but that is another story.
Had such a good time at the nOg run with the group that I think I am going to make it a yearly tradition on my birthday week. Thanks to everyone who came out and see you again next year.

February Recap

February just flew by with a ton of crappy weather to workout in, but I seem to have acclimated to it and was able to get all my important workouts in and most of the other ones as well. So far I have been doing really well with my number one goal of consistency and following the plan. Let's take a look at the numbers.
Minutes Miles
swimming 281 10.60
biking 842 233.00
running 659 63.00

Total 29.70 hours 307 miles

First thing I noticed is these numbers are about the same as last month with 3 less days, and that I am averaging a little over an hour / day including off days, and this does not include the other workouts I've been doing like yoga, core and resistance. So all in all Feb was a good month.
- Took 2 seconds off my 100 pace on my swim test workout.
- Got to finally get back to the track for a couple workouts.
- Loving my new tri bike, feel so much more comfortable and confident on it.
- too much crappy wet weather
- starting coming down with a cold on the 28th

looking forward I have two races coming up in March.
First is the Cary Distance Festival 10k on the 6th. Really hoping to get a PR on this one, but since I am nursing this horrible cold, not sure what is going to happen. The first big test will come on the 20th when I have the Cary Long Course Duathlon, it's a 5 mile run, 31 mile bike, 5 mile run and will give me a better idea of how my training is progressing and my current bike fitness.

One day this month it finally hit me that I am going to do an ironman in November. I think before this point it was just a possibility, and now its more of a reality. Before when I thought about it, it was more of a yes, I want to do one, and now when I think about it I get that nervous butterfly feeling in my gut. Can't remember when it was that I last had that feeling of excitement and fear at the same time.

Bring it on!