Sunday, March 29, 2009

Taper sucks but other things are fun

The horses begging for a ride

So, one week or so of taper for NOLA 70.3 and we both feel pretty crappy physically. We had a bugger of a cold front come through yesterday (wind wise) and today (wind, rain, cooler temps) but had specific workouts to fit in. The week early on brought mile repeats on Tues and I ran faster than I have in a couple years for sure - no big deal though, I haven't done speed work in 7-8 months. Weds brought speed swim at masters and I really sucked - don't think I've gone this slow all year. Weds evening was threshold repeats on the bike/trainer with hard brick. Thursday brought our last "long" run, only 8.5 miles and went really slow and boring but all in all, faster with lower heart rate in higher heat outside. Sat was a two hour ride with some 10 minute sub-threshold sessions which are difficult in 20-25mph winds! Nothing like Kona winds mind you, but annoying, none the less. No brick Sat so we got ourselves out to the beach and the waves were starting to get kicked up with the winds. Got some much needed sun and the body surfing was really fun - we didn't want to leave. To bed early Sat (read, no social life) and awoke to thunderstorms on Sun morning. No worries, only an hour on the bike with more 10-minute sub-threshold sessions, doable on the Computrainer. Got the bike done then it was a 30 minute brick, zone 4 out and zone 2 back. This was not fun and I quickly felt the legs are not ready to race - thank God we have one more week! Went to the mall because it was still raining, to our favorite watering hole at International Plaza (we get there like twice a year) and couldn't find anything to spend my hard-earning money on. Came back home and the sun was back out so, back to the beach. The waves were bigger, the wind was on-shore and the air was cooler. We saw a perfect opportunity for some great boogy boarding. We made a pact not to get hurt - there is history of injuries here (not me). Water felt warm and the waves were definitely ripping so we stayed fairly shallow and safe but had some good rides. An awesome weekend of wind, waves, biking and running. Hoping for good legs in one week! I don't have anyone left to root for in March Madness so guess I'll choose as they go.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Last race rehearsal day before IM New Orleans 70.3

Mock transition, planning ahead

We had a good training week. I finally put in a run "speed work" session (better late than never) which consisted only of 2 x 1 mile repeats. Not much but I feel pretty healthy with the running now, finally. It is only March after all! Last long run of 90 minutes, which is about all I can muster this time of year without hurting myself. Have done 4 x 90 minute runs so which have all be faster than the last at same heart rate. I feel good about this. All in all, I'm running quite well for me for this time of year. So we had our mock transition areas set up in the house (not outside because I need privacy to change my shorts - don't want to moon all of Belleair) and tried to keep it pretty quick. It was quite breezy out on Saturday morning but not cold, around 60. We had a little bit of a warm up time then rode steady for 56 miles. I got to motorpace off the Dane, which is no easy task with the cross winds blowing! Anyway, good ride on tired legs then off for a 6 mile brick. Suppose to "ease" into the run, which we did, running 7:15 pace. Negative splitting, ended up averaging 7 minute/mile pace - goal pace but realistically, would be happy with 7:15's on race day. Today was supposed to be a day off but I don't do days off very well. So, we jumped into an open water swim with a couple of the Masters guys. The water is nice, not too cold but I was happy to have my wetsuit I can tell ya! Got a new 2XU V:1 Velocity suit and it got a workout today! The water was pretty choppy so it was annoying and after 2.6 miles or so, I was DONE! I don't have good patience with open water swimming which is why I need to do more of it! Since we live a mile from the Gulf and have good open water swimmers to go out with, no reason not to do it! We had some nice relaxing on the playa afterwards so a wonderful weekend in sunny Florida.
Oh yeah, Go Jayhawks and Boilers - gotta love March Madness!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy B--Day mikey!

Another Kona view

Today's my brother's birthday, so happy one to you. Also, little Dane's B-day as well, happy 12th to Johnny.
On the training front, let's just say I'm on a whole 'nother level than I've been this time of the year in the past. Yes, Cyndi, that's a good thing. We had a really hard week/weekend of training and, with a solid taper, I feel pretty good about a solid half ironman in three weeks. I have managed to string together two 30-mile run weeks which I know is not huge for most people, but good for me because I'm usually injured this time of year. We did a really hard threshold trainer ride on Weds with a brick. Long run on Thursday and some at pace swimming all week. Sat brought a hill ride with the group that I really had trouble with for some reason. Was it the week of training? Was it the stress of work? Was it nutrition? Was it that I wasn't slow but everyone else was really fast? I don't know really. We ran off that ride in the hills and 7:30 pace felt easy "all day" pace. That's not something someone who has really bonked says. So, I feel I got dropped because I got dropped. It is what is is and you have to get over these things. The Sunday ride out of downtown Clearwater has grown every week and now we have some really strong roadies on this ride which changes everything. The Dane and I pulled the whole way until the TT section just to control the pace a bit. The TT section was just tempo for me cuz I was pretty dead from the week. Normally, the route back is pretty steady pace and sane. Not today! I elected to try and hang on to the roadie group on the way back home, into the wind. I made it and it made me feel much more confident than I came out feeling yesterday. Even the Dane said it was hard. He is clearly in shape and one of the best men on two wheels in this area. I just try and hang on. Then, we ran 6 miles. Let's just say it felt like an Ironman run and the 55 degree pool felt good at the end! It was a beautiful, chamber of commerce weekend, weather-wise! We couldn't be more lucky to live in such a lovely environment! The beach was heavily populated but heavily enjoyed by us! We are three weeks out from IM New Orleans 70.3 and taper is everything at this point. I am pretty nackered in the legs but confident I will recover and, hopefully, carry this over for St Anthony's the end of April. We'll see but I have truly done the work. I will race with Aloha, always.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Belleair Classic 10K

Another 10K run in the books. Didn't really know how this one would go since my running has been hampered over the past 8 weeks or so with nagging pains and mini-breaks. I had absolutely no goal today......except to run hard. We didn't taper at all, obviously with New Orleans 70.3 in 4 weeks. We did move our "long run" (only 11 miles for me) to Weds from Thurs and then I did my bike threshold intervals (3 x 10min) on the computrainer on Thurs. Legs quite dead, as expected so, hence, no real goals. This race starts about 1 1/2 miles from our house so it was nice to ride over on the mountain bikes! Thanks to Outspokin, we were able to leave the bikes in a guarded corral. This course is deceptively hard and rolling. I know it's Florida but there are some rollers on this course. The Dane and my advantage was that we run on these roads all the time. The Dane felt he was defending his home turf; I, on the other hand, just didn't want to be slow or get injured. Well, the good thing is, I didn't do either. Started out way too fast, 6:05, then cooled down into a remarkably steady set of miles the rest of the way that were between 6:33 and 6:38, depending on the hills. I am quite happy especially since I haven't done ANY tempo runs or speed work since maybe September. Something to work with, I think. I came close to breaking 40 minutes which I haven't done in over a decade I'm sure. The Dane ran really well, a full minute in front of me - time he hasn't run since the mid '90's!
We will do some tempo TT riding tomorrow and a longer brick and call it a week. The fitness is ok, maybe not great for a half IM in four weeks but something to work with. We did an open water swim today too, whew - cold water! Now's the only chance I have to swim in water as cold as (or close to) what we'll face at IM Canada in August!
Good day, good week so far and got to catch up with friends, esp Sharon B, that I haven't seen in a while. Good times and perfect weather now!