Saturday, November 25, 2006


We decided we were not too sore anymore to do the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. Didn't do anything all week prior except a 3-mile run on Weds morning for a quick quad check. Nope, not sore anymore. I decided to run the 5K because I don't think I have the motivation for a 10K at this point. It was chilly at the start, low 50's, but perfect for running. Lined up at the front with the rest of the mob and off we go. The first mile is mostly a gentle down hill which levels off in places but is a straight shot. Went through there in 6:05. What! What am I doing running that fast when all my training all summer and fall was slower than 8-min/mile pace. Oh well, my legs felt pretty good but I was starting to breathe hard around mile 2, 12:35... slowing down now! Figured at that point I could break 20 minutes if I don't slow down anymore, easier said than done! I did manage to come in at 19:56 which I was very happy with. I haven't gone under 20 minutes for a 5K in a few years. Yipee, another coffee mug (award for top 100) to stack in the cupboard. The Dane ran well also, getting close to going under 19 minutes. He decided to run the 10K also and I figured I would start it really slow and stop if I didn't feel great. I got injured two years ago getting greedy with both races to I'm pretty cautious about that now. I turned off the jets after going through the 2-mile marker and ran back to the start in time to see him finish. All in all, another fun event to kick off Turkey Day which we spent with the Tavenese crew, feeding us awesome food as usual. I'm pretty sore in the calves now so we will just be riding through the weekend, no running until Monday. Then, I'll start just doing some shorter (4-6 miles) runs most days of the week. Have to get back in the pool eventually, probably not this week though. December training will consist of running frequency to keep the legs durable, weekend riding, and back in the pool in another week or so. Gotta go and work on the garage, our project for this weekend. GO GATORS!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


So it's really weird to take five full days off and just go to work every day like regular folk. I have actually accomplished a few household chores with all the extra time. Nothing exotic, just things like laundry, hanging some little curtains, replacing old flag pole holder, etc. It's the small things sometimes! We did ride about 24 miles yesterday followed by a 3-ish mile run which wasn't terribly pleasant due to deep seeded quad fatigue that reared it's ugly head. It was cold this morning, about 48*, but we got out for a 40-mile ride anyway and tried running again. No surprise there, the quads are still sore/tired. Lucky for me, I have a massage tomorrow after work. I may get in one short run before Turkey Trot on Thursday but who really cares. I'm not going to have any running PR's for some time now, I think! Turkey Trot is just for fun though......that's what I keep reminding myself! Can't wait for the long weekend upcoming! Stay safe!
p.s. the picture above is from the Mauna Lani resort just north of Kona

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The three weeks leading from IM Hawaii and Clearwater 70.3 were pretty dull. Hardly any workouts, lots of eating and trying to recover from Ironman to do a half - something I've certainly never done nor would volunteer for if it wasn't so close to home! I did do a couple sharpening workouts the week leading up to 70.3 and whenever I tried to go hard/fast, I felt fatigue pretty much immediately. Safe to say I'm glad this race wasn't an Olympic distance tri! The atmosphere in Kona will never be beat in my mind but it's a special place that cannot be replicated. I will give the organizers for 70.3 credit in that they really did put on a show for the world. Other than sleeping in my own bed before the race, it really seemed to have the feel of a big time event. It was rather hard to motivate nonetheless due to peaking (physically and emotionally) 3 weeks prior. But, my goal was to enjoy the experience and go as fast as I possibly could. I accomplished both.

Race morning was pretty normal except for the fact that I must have seen a million people that I know which made it less of a serious thing for me. I did try to focus on the fact that I was going to experience something different for me (doing the double) and would handle my body as well as I could in the moment. It was pretty cool that they had a jumbo-tron out on the beach by the start so, being in the last wave, I could watch the pros throughout the entire swim. Very motivating. I ended up getting carried away watching this before I realized that my wave (all age group women, approx 430 of us!)was already lining up on the beach. Duh. I pushed my way through a bit but could only get as far as third deep from the front. No worries, this would separate out a bit on the run in to the water. It did. Nowhere near the brutal start of Kona, actually rather pleasant considering the number of women in the wave. I figured I could swim under 32 min but truly had no gage for this. Swam alone for the most part but found some quick feet to ride some of the way back which was nice because we were on top of the slower men 45 + wave that left 5 min before us. Navigating that slowed us down a bit but I got out of the water sub 31 minutes which was a new PR for me. Revenge for the horribly slow swim in Kona! Into transition, memorized where my gear bags and bike were and got to them pretty quickly. There was very little wind on the bike course but plenty of traffic, bikes and cars. I do have to mention the draft packs were to worst I've seen in any race, including Ironman. I, personally, didn't see one draft marshall on the road but I heard from others that they were out there. It was actually difficult NOT to draft as these huge groups would come up on you and pull you along until you could just coast off the back. I was pretty paranoid of crashes with the large packs and narrow lane we had to ride in so I really made an effort to stay out of the groups.......also, it's illegal to draft. Enough about that except that the Dane had a few of our AG girls in some of the packs up near him and he had a hard time dropping them trying to ride off the front. Other than that, the bike ride was uneventful. It was a fast course, mostly flat with no wind, so I managed to PR on the bike as well. I had no idea what this would do to my run but I just wanted to go as hard as I could and if I blow, then so what...I could always walk! T2 went smoothly also, volunteers were truly awesome. Out to the run course. Took a bit until the legs came around but ran a surprising 6:58 for the first mile but felt slower. Was very excited to see Craig Alexander coming in for his win finish as I was heading out on the causeway as the Dane and I were lucky enough to have dinner with him, Lisa Bentley and her husband the Thursday night before the race. Anyway, I really felt close to a full body cramp at many points on the run due to the hard bike ride and really had to manage the aid stations well. I hit them perfectly and barely needed to slow, much less stop - for me walking through is a killer because my knees like to buckle when going from 7:10-7:20 miles to walking then trying to restart at that pace. I never walk through 1/2 Ironman aid stations if I can help it. I had a GU flask with me and timed that out perfectly, tossed it after finishing the contents at the mile 10 aid station. I didn't feel good most of the run. I had a good stride for the first loop but really had to chop it down and increase my foot cadence the second loop and the bridge was tough to go over 4 times and took the snot out of my pace. I managed to finish pretty strong and my run split was second fastest I have had for a 1/2 IM. What a shocker, had a PR for the distance and placed in the top ten in my age group. I was pleased because I know I couldn't have gone ANY harder than I did and I truly enjoyed the day, except for some of the bike course when it got so congested. Hard not to have that when your wave is 400+!

Things I learned from this race and the double (IM Hawaii/Clearwater 70.3) in general: I learned that my aerobic fitness is better than it's ever been as I only really was breathing hard when biking and running up hills, otherwise, it plain muscular fatigue limiting my pace. Also, I think I managed my time between the two races pretty well and recovered pretty well even though I didn't get any massage or anything like that between. I didn't gain any weight either between which was good considering I wasn't doing much physically and eating more than normal for me. The mistakes I made in Kona (nutrition, start placement, etc) I didn't repeat in Clearwater because I made a conscious effort to try and do things right and this paid off, I think. The Dane also had a good race considering he peaked for IM Canada in August (but wasn't able to go) and tried to build up again for this but took time off with me before and after Kona. It's also pretty amazing the fitness you can gain from doing an Ironman, I hope it's true also for a 1/2 and can be carried through the Winter. I'm still incredibly sore four days later, much more so than I was after IM Hawaii. Weird.
Anyway, won't do too much physically this week because I'm so sore. Will try and do Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving just because it's so much fun. Will leave the rest of November pretty unstructured and will likely stay out of the pool until December. I had my road bike overhauled and changed to 10-speed from 9 so I'll be pretty excited to get back on that and give the tri bike a rest. Thanks to everone who encouraged me, it really helped push me and I appreciate it. It was fun and I hope to do it again next year.