Saturday, January 30, 2010


Well turns out it was all a no-go. Raleigh got dumped on with snow and sleet, so I ended up staying here for the weekend. Missing my girls, but the snow is so much fun. and we rarely get any. So no trail race, no worrying or scary drive on sunday. Instead we got 8 inches of snow and these:

Self portrait in the snow

Our driveway and the neighbors backyard

I still wore my trail running shoes to play in the snow

Have a great weekend! Enjoy the snow in the southeast. I have my bike on the trainer and Eleanor is making cookies.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Perfect Storm

I'm getting into the kinds of milage in marathon training now where it takes a little more planning than just hitting all of the 3-a-day workouts. The basic plan lays out fine until the long run milage creeps up high enough. Every sport has a speedwork day for speed, a tempo work day for power, and a long day for endurance. Yesterday I put a mile in the pool (long swim), monday I did speedwork in the pool 10 x 100 yd hard repeats. Tuesday I did 40 miles on the bike.

But today the long run was 15 miles. I have been maxing out at that distance lately to peak for the half marathon at tybee next weekend where it's time to go-a-snail crushing. But I'm still following a FIRST training plan for the full marathon March 21st. So after yesterday's mile swim, I blew off the bike workout that evening. And I skipped the company bike ride over lunch today. Instead, I stuffed my face with carbs and good protein.

So I didn't start the run hungry. I was actually prepared for a long run this time, which I had not been for the last several weeks. I had enough gels and gatorade, and the proper recovery nutrition. Heck, last week I started walking out there without even putting the band aids on my nipples. That would have been painful.

I loaded up a bunch of new tunes on the mp3 player last night. Fired that puppy up and started running at a 6.3 speed on the treadmill. It was the perfect storm. I was properly fed and hydrated. I didn't even break a sweat for the first 2 miles! So 5 miles came and went without a single hitch. I didn't even notice, and normally I'm counting down to the 5 mile marker. It was easy breazy beautiful, and I even felt like a cover girl.

I refilled the water bottles and started 'er back up again. Poor treadmill. It might not have been prepared for the kind of abuse I was dishing out tonight. A 6.3 speed is a 9:31 per mile pace. Tempo runs are under 9 minute miles always. But this is a speed that I can maintain for a long time. Training for the last marathon my long run speed was only 6.0, so I'm feeling ok about this. In the second 5 mile block I made it 3.5 miles before ever having to walk. That's 8.5 miles without ever slowing down or speeding up. I like that. Yes I stop every 5 miles to reset the treadmill numbers and refill my water bottles. I know exactly how much water and gatorade I need to take in per 5 mile block. That's a benefit of running inside - you don't have to carry all that crap with you.

So I reset for the third block and had to slow and walk a few times during it. Still, I covered the ground and got all the milage in and it felt great! Everything came together. I never got hungry or mentally drained (well, besides the general living-on-the-edge-of-sanity that is treadmill running). I was smiling the whole time walking back to the locker room. You can't ask for a better run than that one. 15 miles done. Ready to go to Tybee Island and run with the Snail.

First, I have to go back to SC this weekend. Kelley and I are both doing the Foothills Drifter 6k race tomorrow. It's my first time doing a trail race, and my first time at the 6k distance. I'm just going to go out there and run it the best I can with no expectation besides having fun. Jenny is also running this one, so it will be great to meet up with a fellow running blogger.

The kicker is this giant storm that's moving through. They say it's supposed to dump a foot of snow on Raleigh on saturday. I don't see how since it was 60 degrees today (thursday). But tomorrow is supposed to be a wintery mix of rain and sleet for Raleigh and all points south. So my normal 4 hour drive back to Greenville could be complicated. Saturday in Greenville is supposed to be 31 with freezing rain. Perfect trail racing weather right? Part of me wants to be aggressive. Push things to stay warm, see how many people I can pass on the trail. But I think I'm going to be fairly conservative. The worst case scenario is that I slip and fall on some ice in the trail and bang something up that screws my 2 hour half mary next weekend. So I think I have to be cautious. I'll try and bring the small camera with me to take some pics during the race.

Then sunday I have to drive 4 hours back to Raleigh. They say south of raleigh is just going to be slushy maybe icy, but no snow. So who knows what I'm going to be coming back into. I've got to give serious consideration tomorrow afternoon to staying in Raleigh for the weekend, which I really don't want to do. But will it be safe to get down to Greenville friday night? Will I be able to get back to Raleigh on sunday? Will we actually race in the woods in a horrible winter storm?

Tune in monday night, same bat-time, same bat-blog to see the exciting conclusion. And have a great weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Well it looks like we're going to take photo #1 and crop out some of the background stuff and turn that into the photo contest. Thanks for all the input! It was a huge help.

I've been hitting my workouts on target pretty well for the last week or so. Cleared 14 miles on the treadmill thursday night even though I was barely prepared. Swam a ton last week. I had a pretty good weekend too. Kelley's sister came to visit with our niece. Got to hang with the kids a lot. Went to a friends kids birthday party (it was cold - pony rides? in january?) and had a blast getting to hang with them for a while.

Then sunday afternoon something amazing happened. I was driving from greenville back to raleigh. I remembered how my jeans had not been fitting correctly for a while now. They have just been loose, baggy, and generally unattractive. So I pulled into the place just to try some on.

I like Bass jeans. I tried some on. And it turns out I have dropped a whole pants size. I bought those pants.

I thought it was a fluke at first, so I hit up J Crew next. Their stuff tends to run a big snug anyway, so it was worth a shot. I bought another pair of pants.

Then I remembered how much I love Banana Republic. And I found it. And I bought another pair of pants. Those were actually a bit loose. This is not real. This is not actually happening right?

They all had a 34" waist. I have not been able to wear a 34 since long before I got married 11 years ago!! Shall we take a quick trip back in time?
  • 1993 Graduated high school 135 lbs size 32
  • 1998 Graduated college 145 lbs size 34
  • Nov 1998 got married 165 lbs size 36
  • 2000 been married 200 lbs size 38
  • 2002 crazy weighlifting 210 lbs size 36
  • 2004 too fat to have babies 225 lbs size 38 and holding on for dear life
  • 2005 lost weight had baby 190 lbs size 35
  • 2007 had another baby 235 size 38 but would have been comfortable size 42
  • 2008 started working out got down to 200 lbs size 36
  • Freakin sunday size 34 - 203 lbs?
Yes that's the strange part. The last time I could wear pants this size I was 60 lbs lighter. WTH? I think all the running has increased my bone density and made my organs heavier. I know body composition stuff, muscle weighs more than fat, yada yada. I think this is proof that the scale is just a number. It's still mind boggling that I weighed in at 203 at the gym today.

This is a direct result of swimming. If you have never considered swimming as a body toning tool, you really should. And check out Total Immersion swimming. Using those techniques engages your core in some really cool ways. TI has let me up the yardage that I swim and my abs always feel sore after I do it right.

Even today I did 1000 yds in the pool. I did 10 by 100 yd sets really hard - a 1:40 avg - with 1 minute rest in between sets. Before I learned TI it would have been over 2:00 per set and I could have only done 5 like that. After the swim it was time to nom nom nom eat it up and good. I get so freaking hungry after a good swim. When I went back for my 10k run after work I really started feeling my abs about 3.5 miles in. Again the mantra came back into my head: "This is where 6 pack abs come from". So regular swimming has directly reduced my waistline and will make me a stronger runner in the future.

I can see this playing out over the course of the year where my abs finally come out to play. I'm considering documenting that reveal by posting regular ab pics here. Right now that would be quite embarrassing. And if they never come out of the fridge then I just posted a bunch of pics of my fat belly for no reason. gotta churn that idea around for a while. You might remember last year where I had a goal to where white pants?

I have a goal for the summer, and it's ok if it makes you chuckle. I want to wear a pair of white pants this summer. As soon as I say that, Kelley corrects me and says "cream colored pants". whatever. I want white pants, no shirt, and heads turning so fast they snap off. you can't have the little bit of beer gut I've still got and make that happen. you can't have a waist bigger than 34" and pull off that look. the "skinny" jeans I'm happily wearing now are a size 36. So it's not a weight loss goal. it's a reshaping goal. Remember i work from home, so I can then just throw all of my shirts into the goodwill pile. try and make me wear one.

That was in February of last year. I have been reaching for this 34" size for a long time now. I did not expect to see it again ever, really. So this is quite astonishing. This year's goal is to run a summertime triathlon with no shirt on without looking out of place. The same "white pants" standards still apply. only now it actually seems attainable.

There are a few other updates:

My friend Catherine had her baby this weekend. I talked about her in this post a few weeks ago. Her husband is doing better but still waiting for a bone marrow transplant. The baby boy came a few weeks early but is really healthy. I am so happy for them!

I got featured for my career at Girl With the Red Hair. Amber is absolutely one of my favorite people in the blogosphere, and I was honored to be able to answer her questions. I tried to show how smart people really just have a high tolerance for boredom and can get really detail oriented. Still it's a very cool blog to be featured on. And I thought my writing was insightful and tasteful. horsefeathers. check it out for yourself.

Got my first trail race coming up this weekend! should be a blast.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Recap - Help!

So first I got my 15 mile long run last week cut short to 12 miles b/c the mp3 player died and you just can't do that crap on the treadmill without it. So hey, that's allright. 12 miles is fine, and they were fast enough to make a snail cry. The mp3 player died about 10.5 miles in. I knew I'd never make it.

This weekend was a blast! Kelley and the girls came to Raleigh and Kelley and I actually got to go hang out with some friends saturday night! It's so cool to have friends here. I got hammered. I didn't realize how much your alcohol tolerance can increase with heavy training and no regular drinking. But I drank a butt-ton more than I ever used to when I drank all the time. To the tune of a 3-digit bar tab before tip. bah, it's all in good fun though. We got to hang out with Kelley's old roommate from when she met me and tell all kinds of embarrassing stories to some other friends. I hadn't seen Robin in at least 10 years though, so it was wonderful. And apparently I had forgotten how often I used to wind up drunk and naked in public back then. Robin had not forgotten. She did notice that I am about 60 lbs heavier now though. ha!

The sunday hangover left me in a prime position to watch football. until the kids woke up. and that's all I can remember about sunday.

Monday I got in a 1000 yd swim over lunch, tri power in the morning and then had to work late. Work had everyone on the team pretty upset, so I really tore a hole in that pool water. Nothing like a good, hard, fast, who's-your-daddy swim to work out some demons. Of course, that also meant I was starved through all of the afternoon meetings.

Today was interesting. I did yoga before work as usual and packed up all of the bike stuff. Lunchtime 3 of us went out for the company mountain bike ride. It was 64 degrees and sunny, perfect weather to go for a nice hard ride. We do a loop in Umstead state park that's 12.3 miles, and today it took us 1:03 to complete. However the fun started about 5 miles in.

The first 5 were great. We were hitting the climbs hard and pounding out some good speed (for mtb style). But we took the loop backwards this time. I bought some pedals for Roberta finally, and picked up a second pair of MTB pedals for the mountain bike. So now I have 2 pairs of shoes and 3 bikes that all have the same SPD clipless pedals. Today was the first time I took the MTB out with the black road shoes. So about 5 miles in I went down a big hill in a high gear. At the bottom it turns sharply, and since I'm still a wuss on the trails I corner slower than I maybe should have. The trail immediately turns straight uphill. The bike wouldn't shift gears fast enough, so I stand up to try and power up this 12% grade in the biggest chainring. Then of course I came to a complete stop and couldn't unclip my shoes in time. So I just fell over. Imagine that.... uphill, complete stop, fall down. I got a little trail rash (like road rash?) on both legs. Ended up laying flat on my back still clipped in holding the bike above me.

But hey, that's why I shave my legs. Sure when the ride was over I had to pick some gravel out of my skin. There was some bleeding. But I can put all the bandages I want on these nice smooth legs without having to rip out leg hair when they need to be removed. Ah. The only real problem is there are blemishes on the sexy parts now.

I walked up the rest of that climb, and rode the last 7 miles of the trail with bloody legs. Adrenaline is a powerful drug. But after that fall I just never had the same energy. It seemed much tougher. I also decided to skip my planned 5 mile run for after work today. No need to beat up these frazzled legs.

Tomorrow's plan is to put a mile in the pool over lunch and hit speedwork on the treadmill after work. Then I'm getting together for beers with Chris, I haven't seen him since the B2B where he also ran the half iron. I can't wait. Then this thursday's long run is supposed to be 20 miles, but that's increasing my milage too fast. I might go for 15 again and hope the MP3 can survive this time.

I need your help with something. Kelley and I are going to enter one of these pictures in a "cutest baby" picture contest somewhere. She knows all the details, but we can't pick a picture. Only Evil Genius is young enough to be eligible. So please tell me which one of these pics we should submit:

And of course I can't put up all of these EG pics without putting up one of Bigun. We took the kids to a park saturday afternoon for some fun outdoor time while it was semi-warm. They loved it!

Thanks guys! Have a great day! And remember a cutest photo contest is a great time to de-lurk! I missed national de-lurking day last week, so leave me a comment anyway dang it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More than a sprint

I went farther than a typical sprint triathlon today, and I have no idea why. more on that in a bit.

Yesterday I covered the yoga before work. I had a chiropractor appt with a new doc here in Raleigh, so I worked through lunch and was planning a brick afterwards to make up for the missed lunch workout.

The new doc was awesome! Dr Mitch Carpenter is a sports specialist and an upper cervical specialist. Exactly what I was looking for. He did a thorough exam but didn't push the expensive x-rays. And since I've been under care already he didn't try to push me into a 3x a week program. So he really cares about my individual situation. The adjustment was fantastic. He fixed my whole back, really cracked my neck good, and then put me on a massage table thing for a while. I haven't felt this good in months. It was incredible. If you're in Raleigh, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment.

Once I got out of there, my friend Shawn called. He'd been listening to Jimmy Buffett and wanted to meet up for cheeseburgers and beer. So I blew off the brick to hang with my bro. It was a ton of fun. Neither one of us had ever been to Fat Daddy's, which is supposed to be a legendary burger joint here. I had a Rogue christmas ale and a big ol' burger.

That left me missing the workouts. I don't like to try and workout after beer, but beer after a workout is wonderful. I had to suck it up and not excercise.

But I made up for it today. Actually, I blew off the Tri Power workout this morning. I was just a bit tired and needed to get into the office early. But over lunch I still put a mile into that pool. My training plan this cycle has me swimming 1000 yards on monday and friday over lunch, with the long swim being wednesday - 1 mile. That's 76 laps in this 25 yd pool.

At work today I got in early. I had meetings from 8:15 am to 6 pm. straight. we broke long enough for lunch for me to swim, I ate at my desk while actually getting 15 minutes of productivity in then and 15 minutes before the meetings started. I was starving through the afternoon sessions. Take note. If you swim a mile over lunch, you will want to eat all afternoon. I did not get to eat nearly enough in the afternoon.

After work I went back to the gym to make up for yesterday's missed brick. Cruised through 10 miles on the stationary bike in 27:38, or 21.7 miles per hour. That's good speed, and a bit unexpected. Then I hopped on the treadmill for 5 miles of long intervals (speedwork just b/c the Snail has been asking for it). Typical sprint triathlon distances are 500 m swim, 10 mile bike, and 5k run. I exceeded both the swim and run distances today. And I did this in preparation for tomorrow.

Tomorrow I have yoga before work thank God. I can't wait to stretch everything out. Then since it's supposed to be 54 and sunny here, I'm planning on going mountain biking with the management group from the office over lunch. It's usually a 12 to 14 mile route. Then after work I'm doing my weekly long run of 15 miles.... on the treadmill. ugh. better carb load some tonight.

On the mill tonight the speedwork started to get to me. I was doing .8 mile fast, with .2 miles of walking in between. In the pool, I've been really working on the Total Immersion technique, which I LOVE. It is really making a big difference. But TI uses your abs and core muscles to force most of your propulsion. That's why you always see these fish like Michael Phelps with single digit body fat and ripped abs (he didn't get it from his 12,000 calorie a day diet or all the weed smoke munchies). So when I got into the later intervals, about 2 miles in my abs really started to feel it. I even started telling myself a new mantra "This is where 6 pack abs come from" and "keep doing this to get those abs ripped". So I'm focused on good form, breathing, and fat loss. I'm really going to make a difference this year.

I have a special need today too. My dear friend Catherine B is having a tough time right now. She's actually keeping her chin up pretty well. But her husband has leukemia. He beat it once, and it came back a few months ago. It's in remission now, and he's waiting on a bone marrow transplant. He's recently gone back in the hospital with some kind of infection, and today had part of his brain removed to kill the source of the infection. He's awake again and has a headache, but they have been on my mind all day. Catherine is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Even through dealing with all of this stuff with her husband she's kept a positive outlook on life. She still works full time, takes care of his 12 yr old son from his first marriage, they have a 2 yr old son together, and and and she is 8 months pregnant. I know I'm strong. I work out all the time. But her strength makes me look crippled. it is amazing. Nobody should have to be that strong just to get through life as a woman in your mid-30's. So if you say prayers at night, please ask for a blessing for Catherine.

and suddenly my abs don't seem to matter very much.

Kelley and the girls are coming to Raleigh for this weekend! I am so excited! That 4 hour drive really sucks having to make it every friday and sunday. Getting a weekend without it is incredible. it's the little things, you know? Plus I'll get more than just a night or two with my girls. I'm taking suggestions on how to get them up here full time without having to wait until the house in greenville sells. this week long separation shit is getting old for everyone. We were really hoping it wouldn't take this long for the house to sell.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to the grindstone

There's something about shaving my legs again that brings on some accountability. If you're going to put something out there like that, it better be sexy. That means hitting those workouts harder and harder every week. I got things kicked off right today with a strength workout before work today. Then 40 laps in the pool over lunch were quite righteous. I've been going through a Total Immersion book and really tried to use some of their techniques and drills today. I gotta say, it was awesome. Took two strokes off of my typical lap! I can't believe it. In swimming efficiency = speed. You will end up faster if it takes you 12 strokes to get across the pool instead of 16. I regularly went from 17 to 15 strokes today, so that's a pretty nice improvement. Then after work I hit 20 miles on the bike, easy effort (read: little hill resistance) but fast.

Nothing like a nice triple to start the week off right! The legs get sexy with bike miles and run miles. Tomorrow should bring AM yoga, lunchtime bike hill work, and an after work 5 mile tempo run. Also tomorrow I have a chiropractor appointment. Trying a new guy here in Raleigh, I'm excited to finally get an adjustment. But it means I most likely won't get the bike work in unless I brick it after work. hmmmmm...... a brick. what a novel idea.

In "something scary" news, I've been listed by Run Reviews as one of the Most Influential Runners! And here I thought my biggest influence was getting Ryan to admit he was gay-ish. Run Reviews posts treadmill reviews and workouts, and is becoming quite popular. You know I log tons and tons of miles on the 'mill. In fact, this week's thursday long run is scheduled for 15 miles, and will be done after work. It's too dark and cold to go outside then so it's off to the mill I go. And I feel quite honored to be included in their Most Influential Runners list. Got to add that one to the left nav.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bring on 2010

2010 is here with a bang! I've got my expectations set pretty high, and some nice goals setup for the year. I would love to see any of you at any of these races. Come on down!


1/2/10 - Traveler's Rest SC - Resolution Half Marathon - Done! 2:13:48
Race report here - it was awesome, wish you were there.

1/30/10 - Greenville SC - Foothills Drifter 6k trail run
This one looks really fun. Kelley's doing it too, she is getting addicted to running on trails. Because it is awesome to run on trails.

2/6/10 - Tybee Island Ga - Critz Tybee half marathon
This is also going to be known as "how to make a snail cry" where I'm going to try and break 2 hours in the half. Seriously, come on down to Tybee, it's going to be awesome.

2/6/10? - Raleigh, NC - Krispy Kreme Challenge
Yep, you run 2 miles from the Bell Tower on the NC State campus to the KK, down a dozen glazed doughnuts, and run 2 miles back to the bell tower. It's one of the most awesome races ever if you like vomit. Kelley is doing this one while I will be at tybee. Her cousin Kendall (of 2nd place ag in the 5k fame) is also running this one, so is Kendall's husband and both of their kids. And a bunch of folks from work. Damn that date clashing with tybee! Next year i'll be puking nuts on Hillsborough street.

3/6/10 - Raleigh, NC - SafeRun 10k
Finally a standalone 10k, and it's right here in raleigh. Goal is to PR. And it benefits a group that promotes women's safety and healing from sexual assault on the NC State campus, and that's something I can really get behind. I get to help a cause that I like and run a fast fun race. They are also doing a 5k, Kelley is still on the fence with this one.

3/21/10 - Cary, NC - Tobacco Road Marathon
Yes, I'm doing another full 26.2. Cary is a suburb of Raleigh, the start/finish is less than 10 miles from my house in Raleigh. This is going to be an awesome marathon. 18 miles of it is on the Tobacco Trail, a hard packed screenings trail that's as wide as a road with no cars, but a softer surface and it is completely flat. There is a 3% grade change over the entire course. I will be looking for a PR, since this is completely different than the 6664 ft of climbing from my first marathon in the hills of WV. They are also doing a half that some folks from work are running. but it only has 8 miles on the trail.

4/18/10 - Raleigh NC - TOA Sprint triathlon
I did this one last year, and I think it got the best pics from any of my tri's. It was a great race, but I've gotten a lot faster since then and this will be the first chance I get to take Roberta the new bike out for a race. A fantastic way to start out the triathlon season, I'm really looking forward to this one. Goal is to beat last year's time and turn in a good 5k time.

4/24/10 - Elizabeth City, NC - Tarwheel Century ride
This will be my first century bike ride. We have friends that live nearby (she's pregnant now too - love that!) and this ride is at the coast. Flat and finishable. It's supposed to be the flattest century in NC and the scenery is mostly marshlands. Just beautiful. I'm really looking forward to spending that much time on Roberta, both training for this century (just a month after a marathon?) and riding it.

5/1/10 - Greenville SC - St Francis Mud Run
We did this one last year too and it was a blast! We had so much fun this year we are running it with both of my brothers, if they are up for it. Kendall is interested too. But it has to be a team of 4 for this race. So we're trying to talk Michael and Morgan into doing:

5/22/10 - Mountain City, GA - Warrior Challenge
A mud run for the ages! This one is nuts! It's close to Greenville, so we can drive there, run the race, and drive back same day. It's only a 3+ mile course, but the 11 obstacles include rapelling, crawling under barbed wire, and some land nav. It's going to be insane. The race swag includes a metal helmet with horns, t-shirt, all kinds of crazy crap. Some of you atlanta peeps should come up for this one.

6/5/10 - Raleigh, NC - Gary Kirby Sprint Triathlon
This is a short course local race great for beginners. I'm trying to talk a bunch of people from the office into running this one as their first triathlon. As of Jan 1, you can no longer smoke indoors in public in NC (like restaurants & bars) so we had a bunch of people put down the cigs over new years. I'm trying to encourage them to follow my addiction replacement strategy with triathlon. This guy is a 300m pool swim, 9 mile bike, 5k run. Even former smokers can do that.

7/10/10 - Raleigh, NC - Triangle Sprint triathlon
I wanted to do this one last year but couldn't fit it in. Since I'll be living in Raleigh then it won't be a big deal. This race might replace the Greenville Sprint that I've run the last 2 years, but my buddy Joel in Greenville stopped smoking over new year's. I am encouraging him to run the Greenville Sprint as a non-smoker like I did 2 years ago. I can't count how many hours Joel and I have spent on bar stools together, and I would love to head back to G'ville to support him and run this one with him. But if he doesn't fall for it I'll do the Triangle sprint instead.

9/8/10 - Outer Banks, NC - OBX Half Ironman
FS Series is scheduled to put on this event, but the link has been removed from their web site until the course is finalized. I have to agree with Missy, the half ironman is my favorite distance after finishing the Beach 2 Battleship a few months ago. This OBX half iron is a first year event, it will be historic, flat, fast, and beautiful. I can't wait, it's the coolest part of NC that I've never been able to explore.

And that will effectively end my year in September.

11/1/10 - Raleigh, NC - City of Oaks Marathon
Kelley wants to run this one, not me. I mean, I want to run it but we can't both be in marathon training at the same time and still keep the kids alive. It covers the streets that she grew up on here, so this race will have great emotional significance for her. And I fully support that just like she tirelessly supports my triathlon addiction. I'm excited to take pictures of her and support her for once.

So that's 12 races so far. I'm sure there will be a 5k or two thrown in. those tend to pop up out of nowhere. I would love to get in another 10k. But 2 mud runs, 2 half marathons, a full marathon, 4 triathlons including another half ironman is still pretty full for a 9 month frame. You'll also notice there's no travel in there. Everything is local.


Some of these might seem far fetched. But I have to reach for the stars. 2010 is Ironman Prepareness year. The real target is still Ironman Florida 2011. I might add another century ride (or long bike ride) in the fall when the leaves are turning. It's my favorite time to ride. But the goal for the year is:

1. Get ready for Ironman. Training should be Ironman like but for shorter distances. I know this goal is not quantifiable, but I'll call it a success if I feel good enough to register for IMFL.

2. Have an Ironman Week. Cover 2.4 miles in the pool, 112 miles on the bike, and 26.2 miles running in one week of training. The swim is easy, and I'm sure as I get further into marathon training the run milage will get higher. But the bike, that's going to be tricky. That's going to take some planning.

3. Have a sub-22 minute 5k. If I can finish one in 21:59 that's great. It can be standalone or in a triathlon. But after the marathon I had some pretty serious speed at the shorter distances, and I think this one will be within reach this year.

4. Break one hour in the 10k. Yes there's only one 10k on the schedule so my options are limited. I've covered the speed in training hundreds of times, so this might be the easiest goal to achieve. Or not.

5. Break two hours in the half marathon. Hopefully, this will go down at Tybee next month. I feel like I'm close.

6. Break four hours in the marathon. Yes I know the current marathon PR is 5:07 and nobody makes up an entire hour. But this marathon is flat and a cooler time of year. And I've gotten faster in the last year. I think I can come close to 4, and if I really push the speedwork maybe even break 4.

7. Sub 6 hour half ironman. I have no idea how to measure this one or where the extra speed will come from. I just want to feel more comfortable with the distance and know that my heavy training will pay off.

8. 14 workouts in one week. This is how my current training plan is laid out. I get to work out before work, over lunch, and after work 5 days a week (except friday nights) and take the weekends off. Currently, the record stands at 11 workouts in one week.

9. Sell our house and our rental house in Greenville, and buy a new house in Raleigh. I'm ready for my girls to move up here with me. I think it will be only a couple of weeks before we end up renting a place, the separation has been going on for over 3 months now and Kelley and I are both sick of it. "Hey there Delilah" keeps coming up on my mp3 player while I'm running and it makes me cry every time now. of course it only feels like they are 1000 miles away....

10. Keep making new friends. Between the awesome new job, facebook, the blog, and Raleigh in general I have met so many fantastic new people. I'm a very social person and love making new friends.

11. Get on a plane. Kelley doesn't fly and I have no races to travel to this year. I have no idea where I want to go or who is coming with me. But I want to go someplace this year that's so far away I have to fly there. That means at least 8 hours drive time from NC. Please make suggestions. I have not flown anywhere since going to Racine Wisconsin in 2004 for work. I love to travel to new places and I'm getting tired of not going anywhere besides Greenville and Raleigh.

12. Take the 6 pack out of the fridge. Hopefully my 14 workouts a week will bring out the abs. Related goal: Run one of my summer sprint triathlons without wearing a shirt. I got these great SUGOi Velocity tri shorts & singlet, but I'm too tall for the singlet to fit right. So I want to run topless without being embarrassed.

13. Be funny again. Kelley thinks that she is my humor muse, I think I just like to laugh at her. But I've been re-reading some of my posts from last year and I used to be hilarious! Who could forget Kelley breaking a toe the day before a half marathon! Who does that? Funny things used to happen around me all the time. Yes I may still crack you up in person. But i want to write funny again.

14. Race and train with friends. I tend to hit the gym by myself a lot. Big Sexy Ryan only lives a couple of hours from me now. I want to get together with him for a nice long bike ride, and actually be able to keep up with his pace!

So 2010 is off to a roaring start. I even shaved my legs this week for the first time since B2B! I have to admit that was inspired by Ryan, he beat me to it. One day I will train with his kind of intensity. This week my boy did a 5k swim and 52 mile bike ride just because it was tuesday. Who does that? So far this week, I did weights & 1000 yd swim on monday, yoga/10 mile bike / 5 mile run on tuesday, strength and 1 mile in the pool on wednesday, and a steady 9.5 miles on the treadmill today. So that's 9 workouts so far this week, 1 or 2 to go tomorrow. Go hardcore or go home!

And finally by popular demand, some pictures we took at the wedding just being goofy in the hotel room before we went! Kelley's vest and skirt are from White House Black Market, the shoes are 4" heels. Total, jaw-dropping hotness. My suit (my only suit - I hate wearing them) is mismatched fabrics that kind of look the same.

Roll Tide Roll!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Race Report 2010

New Year's Eve wedding was awesome. Kelley was incredible. She was really turning heads. And apparently all of my friends are drunk perverts. Wait, they are my friends because they are drunk perverts. Yes it took Kelley a month to put together her outfit. But since every conversation started with "holy shit Kelley is unbelievably hot tonight", I'd say it was worth it. The worst part is I only have a couple of bad pictures of us:

Me and Kelley are the white shirts near the table, top left. If I had any photoshop skills I would put in arrows.

Seriously. Drunk perverts. These are all of my idiot fraternity brothers that I love to get together with. Even the groom (Pat) is holding a beer. Leon (black guy on the right) lives in Romania now - it was totally unexpected and awesome to see him. I'm standing on the left behind the guy in the gray shirt.

I wish I had more pics to show off Kelley's true hotness on the evening. I'm telling you, it was a sight. Pat and his girl tied the knot, we all got really drunk at the reception and had a champagne toast at midnight. You'll have to email me if you want the more embarrassing stories. I don't hold back much here, but some things I can actually be discreet about (that means you Sarah).

Friday we drove back from Charlotte to Greenville, watched a bunch of football and played with the kids. I took a nap and tried to hydrate as much as I could.

seriously. bold. drunk. perverts.

Then saturday morning was the resolution run! This was a small, poorly organized race with no information available beyond sign-up online. We ran it last year as a training run suggested by Coach Katie for the Myrtle Beach full marathon.

As a quick aside, this year Coach Katie finished a drive back from wisconsin at 11 pm the night before the race, said she was only taking "a slow easy jog" this morning, and still turned in a 1:39 half, won her age group, 28/170 overall. Slow easy jog my ass.

Kelley has a cousin, Kendall (commonly known as G-Units) that lives near our house in Greenville. Kendall recently ran her first 5k (and is hooked now - her husband is also a Cat1 Bike racer) and talked Kelley into doing the 5k race here with her. Since I'm battling the Snail in a half distance in a few weeks, I wanted to do the half again just to prep up. This route is quite hilly, tough terrain, and I knew it would be a challenge I was up for. Last year I ran it in 2:21:28 for what turned out to be my Half Marathon PR on the year.

In the end, the Gangsta's won their age group in the 5k! They finished one right after the other as you can clearly see in the pictures, but the official times have them 6 seconds apart. For Kelley to get an age group win is huge! She didn't PR by time, but said the course was great. Kendall's husband was the only one taking pictures, and he passed these on:

The girls with their hardware! I'm so proud!!

My report on the half: Have you ever had flat escargot? Come on down to Tybee Island Feb 6th to try some. I'm going to stomp the snail flat. I set a big PR on this one, turning in a 2:13:48 time. My goal was really 2:10:xx or better, but I'll take 2:13 and an 8 minute PR over last year.

The course started out running through downtown Traveler's Rest, SC. Since I had to bring all of my running gear from Raleigh to Greenville for the race, of course I forgot half of it, including the garmin. So I have no idea how fast I started off. But it was pretty fast. The first mile marker I saw was for mile 3, and we already had a few hills. I went what felt like a half a mile past that marker before taking my first walk break up a brow beating hill. It was cold cold really freaking cold, so I didn't break a sweat until mile 2. But that steep hill brought on the walk. About a mile later I started up the tunes and dropped a glove. They were expensive and a christmas present, so I had to go back maybe 200 yards and pick it up.

The course tools around downtown TR for a while, then heads over to the Furman University campus. I love running on campus, so this was very familiar ground for me. The campus entrance was around the halfway point, I saw a mile 7 marker on campus. They had a por-o-let at the entrance, so I jumped in. Fortunately it was quick and I wasn't wearing a one-piece tri suit.

The last leg hits the Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail, which thank goodness was mostly paved this year. Last year it was still all gravel and horrible conditions. This year it was paved sweetness. My legs really started feeling each step at this point, and I think my pace started to slow some. I was still passing people, and I texted kelley at the end of the trail so she'd know I was about to finish. She met me at the finish line with her trophy in hand. My final stats, 2:13:48, 10:13/mile pace, 117/170 overall 8/11 ag.

So my target is to take 13 minutes off of that time and break 2 hours at Tybee. How can I do that in just 32 days? Well I lost a few minutes to the glove, and easily 5 minutes to poop. Replace the hills of TR for the coastline of Georgia and it gets easy. I should also note that this was my longest run since the B2B, and I'm going to get in some 14 and 15 mile long runs between now and then. Endurance comes before speed, and I'm going to need some endurance for 2010.

Kendall's kids also both ran the Fun Run in the race, and the older kid took 3rd place overall! Here's a shot of all of us with the hardware. Kelley and Kendall have their AG trophies, the kids both have medals plus the big ones 3rd place. And I got a finishers medal. Sexy huh? I know the headband/gloves/black-blue-gray combo is a real winner.

That's actually not snow on the ground. It was 22 degrees at the start, warmed up closer to 30 by the end of the day. My northern peeps (we call y'all yankees 'round here) can feel free to laugh. But we think that's cold! it's the coldest temps we've seen here in years!

So overall it was an awesome weekend and a truly unbelievable way to start out 2010. I am convinced now that this whole year is going to rock! I love New Year's, it's one of my favorite holidays. Everyone gets a fresh start. A new race season, a new clean training plan and training log. It's time to set goals and plan your year. Pick your races. Pick your schedule. Time to buckle down and have some fun! And this was an incredible way to start.