Thursday, March 29, 2012

On the Trail

Today I am sore.  That good kind of sore where I can tell I've been back on the standard triathlon training plan this week.  Got in a couple of good fast runs and a few bike rides.  Tuesday had a 5k tempo run on the treadmill at an 8.6 speed (6:56 pace, 21:50 total time), so that was nice.  I need to do that or faster every week if I actually want to be able to break 22 minutes on the roads at my next 5k.  and I actually need to sign up for another 5k this spring.  Also on Tuesday I had a big project go live at work, so about four months of my productivity is open to the members now.  It was a pretty cool project so I'm glad to see it actually go live.  And Bigun and I had an Indian Princess tribe meeting that night, so Tuesday was a big day all around.

I think I'll be able to make it to the RAM practice tonight for the first time in a couple of weeks.  I'm certainly ready to get back in the water amongst the speedsters.  I kind of need to take it easy today, so I'm going to skip the planned run and take tomorrow as a total rest day too.

My marathon maniac t-shirt came in yesterday!  I'm all geared up now and ready to run with the other crazies.

Saturday should be fun.  Got nothing going on during the day, but in late afternoon things are going to get interesting.  It's the Umstead 100 race day, and Tammie Massey is coming down to run it again.  Two years ago I was in SC with the fam when she ran it, and last year I was down in Columbia at my cousin's wedding that same weekend.  But this year we're in town and all systems are go!  Each lap is 12.5 miles, she's running 8 laps total to get to 100 miles.  Starting at 50 miles, which might be around 4:30 pm, she can take on pacers - non racing partners to run with her for company and encouragement.  I'm going to pace her for 2 laps.  So what could be more fun two weeks after a marathon than running 25 miles on incredibly hilly trails with an old friend?  Nothing.  I'm not calling it another marathon or even officially a 2 day taper, but those hills are not for the faint of heart.  I am glad to be completely recovered from the tobacco road marathon, but 25 miles in Umstead is no joke.  I'm hoping I don't need another recovery week after pacing her.  I am still really excited about it.  Blogger meetups are the best!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Anti-Post

There is absolutely nothing going on right now.  I did nothing last week, and still need to take it easy this week.  Tapers and recovery weeks throw an inconsistent monkey wrench into the plan that is depressing and leaves me quite restless.  I got in a 5 mile run yesterday in a vain attempt to maintain sanity.  I took it very easy at a slow recovery pace and the muscles still screamed until they calmed down and the tendons started screaming.  Recovery = ugh; sanity = questionable.

On the family front, Bigun starts her last quarter of first grade today.  She's learned so much and grown a ton as a person during first grade; I'm very proud.  Only 9 weeks to go, then she's tracked out again for the month of June and goes back to second grade in July.  Got to love year round schools.  And since the Evil Genius is still on a traditional calendar she goes on Spring Break next week.  That means we get them both in school at the same time for only one week.  This is the closest we will get to Normal until mid-April.  EG gets screwed, she finishes the pre-k church program in mid-May and then has to start kindergarten in July.  More school than a (then) 5 year old can handle.

One funny thing to note.  The swim team that I'm on sends out a weekly email with that week's practice times & locations, plus any race results from team members and upcoming swim meet info.  Last week's email included the marathon we ran, so it listed my time (4:08), and Kelley's time (5:38, and she isn't actually on the team) and a 3rd team member who ran the full marathon.  I didn't recognize the name, but he was in the M25-29 ag and ran a 2:52.  Seriously?  There was another team member who ran the half marathon in 1:19, and he does swim in my lane.  I mean, I like to think I'm pretty fast now.  And I really love this team, but they sure do know how to serve up the humble pie.  It's the same way in the 5k's, I'll put up a decent 22 minute time and there will be 4 other teammates running the same race in 17 to 19 minutes.  Now I'll take all the competition I can get, these are the people that push me to be faster in everything.  I think this is the year I'll start catching up to them. 

This week is a slow start back to tri training with short, easy bike rides, runs, and one or two swim team practices.  I've got something cool coming up this weekend.

Friday, March 23, 2012


We're in!  I am Marathon Maniac #5179, Kelley got #5178.  I'm so proud to be included in this fantastic organization.  It took a lot of work, but the 3 marathons in less than 90 days qualification was met.  At the next marathon, I'll be wearing that yellow singlet with pride.

This recovery week has been going well.  The soreness is all gone from my legs, but it was certainly hard to get down stairs until about Wednesday.  I've been able to stick with the strength training and yoga plan, hitting the mat every day this week and hitting the weights M/W/F as planned.  Last night I even hopped on the stationary bike at the gym for a while to spin the legs out some.  Next week it's back into base building for the triathlon season with lots of shorter workouts, so that's going to be fun.

Somebody put this on facebook so I had to share.  Drunk yogi's unite!

Wednesday night we had a blast hanging out with our friend Kayte.  She had some friends in from England and wanted to show them some local flair.  So we all went to a Carolina Hurricanes game and then took them out to our favorite pub for a few local brews.  Rob and Jo had a blast, and they were a really neat couple to get to hang out with.  And it turns out the Hurricanes played a great game!  The brits had never been to a hockey game before, so I got to explain some of the rules and strategies.  We saw a few fights, they won a close 3-1 margin, and it was just a very physical, aggressive game.  Afterwards we went around the arena to try and get player autographs, and one of the backup goalies signed a bunch of stuff and gave Rob a puck!  That was really cool.  What a fun night out.
Me, Kayte, Shawn, Jo, Rob, Kelley at the Flying Saucer after the game.  Rob loved the 93 beers on tap.  It's tough for an American pub to impress a brit, but he loved it.

L-R, Kayte, Shawn, me, Jo, Rob at the PNC Arena watching the hockey game

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Maniac Time!

Yesterday I finished my 6th full marathon, my third marathon in the last 65 days and (including the marathon at IMFL) my fourth in the last five months.  I finished the Tobacco Road Marathon in 4:07:59 and ran the best race I could.  Overall it was a great day and fun time to be outside running trails.  Kelley finished in 5:34:36.  This qualified us both to join the Marathon Maniacs. 

The hardest part of the day was actually getting there.  The race organizers instructed everyone to be at the parking area no later than 5:15 even though the race didn't start until 7 am.  Apparently last year they had a few busloads of runners where the buses got lost and they reached the starting line 40 minutes after the start of the race.  This year they fixed the problem:
the "before" shot in the car

30 buses.

and had 30 buses transporting runners from the parking area 5.5 miles away to the starting line.  It worked.  We got up at 4:30 am, ate breakfast, got dressed, and made it into the staring line by 6 am.  I was looking for a couple of friends but couldn't find them.  It was still well dark and this was quite a crowd:
That many people started in front of me, you can barely see the start line

And these people were smart enough to start behind me.  I think we had 4000 runners total.  Not a huge crowd like disney but for a trail race it's a great size.

Then at 7 am the race started.  The first few miles were on roads before we hit the American Tobacco Trail in mile 3.  I decided to carry the small camera with me so I could take pictures along the course.  Lately my left hand has been making a fist on really long runs, and that causes shoulder and upper back tension/pain after 20 miles.  Holding the camera loosely kept that pain away and it was really lightweight.  Problem solved.
On the trails in mile 4
The trail is made of hard packed screenings.  Tiny little rocks smaller than gravel so they lock together and form a surface softer than asphalt that's still tighter than running on dirt.  We got one heckuva thunderstorm saturday night and the trail was still mostly dry.
Still smiling at mile 5

The trail is a straight trail, so the course turned right to get onto the trail, then at mile 8ish it hits a turnaround point.  This means I got to see the leaders and pace groups to know how far behind or ahead I was.  I stopped in mile 6 to take a quick poop, and was still between the 3:45 and 4 hour pace groups so I figured I was in good shape.  I hit the lap button on the Garmin every 2 miles to get splits:

Mile 1-2: 17:47, 8:46 pace
Mile 3-4: 17:44, 8:47 pace
Mile 5-6: 17:50, 8:50 pace
Mile 7-8: 19:13, 9:24 pace (inc poop stop)
Kelley - too fast to get caught on camera

After I made the turnaround, I saw Kelley at her mile 4, my mile 9ish.  Still feeling (and looking) good, she was only a few minutes behind the 5 hour pace group and hanging strong.  I was starting to wind down pretty good at that point, but still feeling ok overall.

Mile 9-10: 17:46, 8:38 pace
Mile 11-12: 16:51, 8:40 pace

Garmin measured that first lap as 2.06 miles and the second at 1.96 miles, hence the difference in pace.  I hit the halfway point at 1:57, so that's pretty good.  My plan was to just hold a comfortable pace as long as I could and keep those 2 mile splits under 18 minutes.  It worked for the first half.  I really wanted to feel comfortable for the whole race, so I hoped that starting out slower than before would help with that.

Mile 13-14: 17:48, 8:57 pace
Mile 15-16: 17:26, 8:41 pace

The aide stations were right on the trail, I think this one was around mile 16
Mile 17-18: 18:07, 8:54 pace
Mile 19-20: 18:42, 9:29 pace

The course was mostly flat, but there were a lot of small subtle grades or false flats.  Mile 17 was mostly uphill.  Not steep, just long and gradual.  Then we ran under a bridge near the mile 18 marker.  The bridge was the high point of the incline.  Mile 19 marked the turnaround for that end of the course.  I saw the leaders, then the 3 hour pace group, then the 3:15, 3:30, and 3:45 groups ahead of me before I made the turn.  The 4 hour group was still behind me.  After I made the turn I held in there until I saw this:
The mile 20 marker.  That was all my legs had to give.
That is the mile 20 marker banner in front of that girl.  My legs weren't clearing out the lactic acid anymore and were really showing signs of fatigue.  I hadn't taken any walk breaks yet besides the aide stations and the one bathroom stop, and my secret goal was to finish the entire 26.2 without having to walk.  yea, that didn't happen.

Aerobically I was fine. I was still able to catch my breath easily.  It just hurt a lot muscularly in my legs to keep running.  And so I couldn't hardly do it anymore.  I thought I was going to have to walk the entire 10k back to the finish.  I ended up in a pattern where I would run for 0.15 miles and walk the next 0.05 miles.  I couldn't even run a quarter mile consecutively anymore.  That's some serious ouch.

Miles 21-22: 22:16, 11:06 pace
Miles 23-24: 23:40, 11:23 pace

My mile 22 was Kelley's mile 16, and I didn't want to warn her about the grade in mile 17.  Since we were both walking when we crossed on the trail we got these pics:

Kelley walking towards me, feeling dead

I couldn't stand up straight anymore and thought I might die.  Notice the line of sweat  on my shorts. 
Yea that was pretty cruel.  I couldn't even walk in a straight line at that point.  It was crazy humid and I was sweating like a madman.  But I knew in mile 23 I was going to get off of the trail.
Boy was I glad to see that mile 23 marker.  Ready to get off of that trail.

This is the 23 mile death march.  That is exactly how I felt.
Barely feeling alive, I hustled it off of the trail and back onto the roads.  The trail always looks the same, doesn't make for many interesting pictures.
Back on the roads, I caught a strawberry farm

Mile 25-26.4: 22:44, 10:08 pace

I managed to keep up my run/walk routine, walking 5 times every mile. In my first marathon the best picture I got was a self-portrait I took in mile 25 that I called the "death march" photo.  Not much changed, I got one this time too:

2012 mile 25 death march - not much has changed right?

2009 mile 25 death march in West Virginia
I finally came around the last few roads and back into the baseball park where the finish line was. Then we had to go around a ball field to get to where the finish line was.  In 2010, we went the other direction so it was a downhill finish.  But this time everything was ok, and I did manage to run the entire last half mile or so.  That made the finish line hill particularly difficult.  But I did see my friends Scottie and Jenny hanging out there cheering me in, so that was great. I crossed the line like a maniac.

The climb to the finish line

Got a space blanket and ready to chill out and wait for Kelley to come in.
Overall:  4:07:59, 26.49 miles, 9:24 pace

I beat my 2010 time of 4:31 pretty good, and after getting 3 bottles of water, 1 beer, and some pizza at the finishers area I was feeling much better.  I made my way back down to the finisher chute to cheer the other runners and wait for Kelley.

Here comes my girl

She's blocking the clock there but wants me to claim the first digit is a 2.

Now with more bling!

It is a nice hefty 4" medal.  She was very glad to be done.
Officially her chip time was 5:36:49, a 12:51 pace.

We both really did love this marathon.  She wants to do it again next year because she liked the course a lot, but wasn't as prepared as she was for Charleston. We're both glad we're done with full marathons for a little while.  Next year she wants to just do the myrtle beach half, then save the full distance to do this one again.  I said the same thing in 2010, I really wanted a repeat performance.  It really is a very well organized race with a great course and tons of volunteers.  The miles seem to just fly by.  Then, in the end, you end up with this:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tobacco Trail FTM!

That's For The Maniac, not For The Win.  Sunday morning is supposed to be 70 degrees and overcast, which is much better than the 80* and thunderstorms they were calling for earlier this week.  It's the 3rd Tobacco Road Marathon, which is also our 3rd marathon in 3 months and should qualify us to join the Marathon Maniacs insane asylum.  I ran the inaugural marathon back in 2010, pulling a 4:31 in my second ever marathon and holding that PR until I broke it in Ironman.

It's no secret that 26.2 is my favorite distance, and this is one of my favorite races.  It's on the road for the first 3 miles or so with everyone running together (they do a half distance as well).  Then when it hits the trail full runners go left and half runners go right.  So you don't spend the first 12 miles running with the halfers on a crowded course only to go past the finish line and feel alone and abandoned on the second half of the course.  The trail is as wide as a one lane road, part of it is paved but mostly it's "hard packed screenings" which is a very soft surface.  The trail is flat, mostly.  It's surrounded by tall trees so there is no wind or harsh open sun to deal with.  It's a cool run through shady woods for 20 miles, then you get back on the open road at mile 23 to head back to the start/finish line.

My plan is to just go out there and take it easy.  The kids are staying with Kelley's mom until Monday, so we get to recover at home just laying around watching movies.  I'm going to try and break 4 hours again, but barely try.  I'll hold the 8:30 to 9 minute pace range as long as it feels good, then just hang out.  The trail is so relaxing it's hard not to have a good time while you're running it.    Just click off the miles and let's see what's going on.  I'm really looking forward to this one.

From the 5k last weekend:  I got my splits off of the garmin.  Mile 1 went in 6:53, mile 2 was 7:43 (it's always the slowest), and the last 1.12 went by in 8:14 for a 7:20 pace.  The last kick at the end started at 2.9 miles into the race, so it lasted .22 miles total and I gave it a 5:07 average pace.  I did not know I could still kick that fast for that far.  Almost a quarter mile at 11.7 mph?  I've certainly never gone that fast on the treadmill or running intervals.   Looks like I need to push it a little harder the next time I do quarter mile intervals.

I beat the price increase for a couple of other Grand Prix series races that are now showing on the 2012 race schedule.  The RunRaleigh half marathon might be my only 13.1 this year.  It's a new race that is guaranteed to be fast. It starts in a nice part of town, goes by NC State, into downtown, then through the ghetto.  There's even 5 miles on a greenway that goes through the woods where the rapists live (my joke - it's not literally filled with rapists).  But I am curious how much security they will have on the course.  I don't usually run (or drive) through some of those neighborhoods.  Fun times! 

I also got us registered for the WakeMed Distance festival 10k on May 5th.  This will be the first 10k I've ever done that wasn't at the end of an oly triathlon, so that should be fun.  It's mostly on trails that run through this soccer park, so that should be fun too.  It's Kelley's first 10k ever, so she's guaranteed a PR.  And it was only $15!  Unbelievable. 

And that's races number 5 and 6 for the Grand Prix series, of which I have to complete 6 races to be eligible for awards.  Each race you get points based on your overall finish time (not within age group), and over the course of the series they have overall and age group point standings.  So through four races, I've completed all four of them (all 5k's), and am currently sitting 3rd in my age group and 19th overall.  Kelley has competed in two of the four races and is still sitting in 7th place for her age group.  Of course some of the people above her have done 3 or 4 of the races but with lower points per race, so when everyone has finished 6 races she will be above them.  They take your best 6 races out of as many as you want to compete in, and count those to your total.  So I might do another 5k just to see if I can get more points there.  In addition to the RunRaleigh half and WakeMed Distance festival, Kelley will also have to do the 5k on April 21 and the 10k on May 20th to get her 6 races in.  Still this Grand Prix series is fun.  Seriously fun.

I had a lot of trouble finding a spring triathlon for this year.  I wanted something early in the season, but not march or april early since there will be so many running races going on with the Grand Prix series.  May 19th fit the bill perfectly, and the FS50 race is new and pretty exciting!  It's a one mile open water swim, 44 mile bike ride, and 5 mile run.  They also run a 100 mile race, which seems interesting.  You have to train for it like an ironman, but it's still 40 miles shorter than an ironman.  It's in Little Washington, NC about 2 hours east of here and has a really flat bike course and shaded run course.  I haven't done a 5 mile run in a race for several years now so that should be fun.  And we get a Sugoi tri top in the swag bag.  The other fun part about this one is that it's on a saturday, and Kelley has a 10k race on Sunday the 20th in Raleigh for the grand prix series.  Lots of racing that weekend!

Since the kids are out of town, we saw Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last night.  Absolutely loved it!  With the kids out of town we were actually able to see a movie that started at 8 pm.  It's the little things that get exciting at our age.  The flick was funny and exciting, but I had a tough time buying the premise behind that many english speaking swedish natives with different accents.  Still, great flick.  and it was playing at the $2 theater near the house, so it was a cheap date. 

It's peanut butter jelly time!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Race you to the Beach

The 2012 Run for the Oaks 5k is in the books.  It was a pretty fun course with lots of rolling hills but nothing really steep, and I pulled a decent time at 22:52.  It wasn't the 21:50 I was hoping for, but I still feel good about the effort I put in.

I ended up starting a little farther back in the corral than I usually do, but it was an uphill start so I wanted to be conservative.  Played it safe up that first slope, then it went into rolling hills for a while. Up and down, up and down.  I cleared the first mile in 6:52, perfect pace for a good finish time but maybe a bit too fast to be able to negative split.

This course was kind of a loop and kind of an out and back.  It's all in downtown Raleigh, so we're running on the grid.  Basically it went down one road, over a block, and back up a parallel road before a zigzag stretch to hit the required mileage, and finishing down the same hill that we started up.  So you kind of got more elevation gain before the turnaround block, then running more downhills coming back home.  The downside to that is that by the time you get to the turnaround point you are completely exhausted unless you played the first half of the race very carefully.

I did not play the first half of the race very carefully.  Mile 2 was closer to 7:2x, I don't have the exact split from the garmin yet.  But that's where I ran out of gas, again.  The rolling hills coming back definitely felt easier than the (same) rolling hills going out, but I did take them much slower.

The last mile had us zagging across a few blocks.  I made the last turn and could see the finish line, when I checked the garmin for the last time.  I swear it looked like it said 21:2x overall time, so I thought I could apply a hard kick to the finish line and still make my 21:50 goal.  I gave it everything I had left.  Abs were crunching hard, legs and arms were flying, there was actually drool falling out of my mouth as I was gasping for life.  I'm sure it looked ridiculous.  But I thought I was going to hit a goal time.  I passed maybe 15 people charging to the finish.  The garmin recorded my fastest pace at 5:05, and I think it was in that finishing kick.  I must have read the wrong overall time in that last glance, because the finish sprint only lasted maybe 30 seconds and my final time on the garmin was 22:51.  So maybe I dyslexiced the digits and it really said 22:1x.  But I finished really strong.

And since I know you were pulling for me, I thought I was going to puke at the end of mile 2 but didn't, and I thought I was going to puke at the finish line as well but held off again.  I did pull off my own timing chip, and tried to hand it to a baby that was propped up in front of the bucket where volunteers were handling the chip return.  The baby just looked at me funny, the mom laughed and took my chip, and I found a nice stretch of sidewalk to collapse on.

Official:  22:52 chip time, 23:01 gun time, 7:25/mile pace, 145/513 overall, 10/30 male 35-39

After gathering myself a bit, I made it back to cheer Kelley in.  She finished in 31:43 and said it was the best she's felt after a race in a long time.  She was pretty worried about a hip thing that bothered her some after our last marathon, so I was quite relieved that she gained confidence with this race.  She did really well!

Official: 31:43, 10:18 pace, 412/513 overall, 22/32 age group

We got no pictures.  There's a good reason for this: we're lazy.  Actually I forgot to grab the small camera before we left so we didn't even get the before and after "in the car smiling" shots.  Kelley had the kids with her mom in Myrtle Beach all week!  So the big camera was down there.  And there will be some cute pictures of kids on a cold-ish windy-ish beach to come after they get back.

It's only about 3.5 hours to drive from Raleigh to North Myrtle Beach where they like to stay.  We've gotten a place down there for the last couple of March's.  Bigun is tracked out from school for the month so she's loving it.  She only has one quarter left of first grade!  I can't believe that. I have absolutely loved having the freedom of the wife and kids out of town for a few days.  But Kelley drove back to Raleigh friday night so we could run the race on saturday.

Then after the race we cleaned up a bit and drove back down to MB!  We all got to hang out watching the ACC tournament games, had dinner at Mr Fish - my favorite seafood place down there.  Sunday we played on the beach some, grabbed lunch at one of those racist pancake houses (really?  You named your restaurant Tar Baby?  geez).  And I came on back to Raleigh in the afternoon.  got a big work project kicking off today.

So overall it was a great weekend.  A fun race followed by some time at the beach, with more pictures and maybe more details to come.  And the Tobacco Road full marathon next weekend. There is that.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bring the Speed

Saturday is the Run for the Oaks 5k in downtown Raleigh.  It's said to be the fastest 5k course on the Grand Prix race series that we're doing.  I wanted to be sure to get in enough speedwork so I could really get the most out of this course.  I think I'm ready, so it's time to kick some ass.

Monday was a 4 mile tempo run.  Tuesday showed a 20 mile bike ride, the longest ride I've done in a while.  And I had the best swim practice in a really long time, since before Ironman at least.  2850 yards and I felt fantastic at the end.  I swam fast and lean and could feel the water parting around me like I was wearing fins when I wasn't.  Really an outstanding swim.  Then yesterday I hit the treadmill for some short intervals (0.3 miles speedy with 0.2 miles recovery) and I did sets at 9.8, 10.0, 10.2, 10.4, 10.6, 10.8 and 11.0 mph!!! That's my first time hitting 11.0, I think.  That's a 5:27 pace, and I held it solid for a quarter mile after fatiguing through the first 6 intervals.  That's bananas fast.

Today should have a bike ride and a swim, but I'm having lunch with a friend today so I might just swim tonight.  Tomorrow is a rest day and then the 5k on saturday.  With all the good speed prep work and the fastest course on the circuit it should be a good race.  My plan is to start out under a 7 minute pace, and try to negative split.  Hopefully this will give me a sub-7 overall pace, and a time under 21:50.  And hopefully I won't puke.  Kelley's running this one as well, she's going to be well rested and I think will finally break 30 minutes after coming so close last time.

Tonight is a full moon, so all of the crazy's are going out.  I'm also supposed to take the day off from doing yoga, and of course I didn't realize that until after I put the mat away this morning.  I wasn't really motivated to stretch if that counts for anything.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Manamana Monday

Last night I took the kids to see the Muppet Movie with a friend of ours and her two kids.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed the movie, it had cameos by so many fun people!  The movie was very well done, the kids ate way too much popcorn, and everyone had a good time.  Kelley stayed home to get ready for the big week ahead (of which I cannot give details yet).

The plan worked pretty good last week.  Officially the weight went from 187 down to 182.  The goal is still 175 but I want to get under 180 for the 5k next weekend and the marathon on the 18th.  Workouts went ok last week, with Saturday being the only sucky one.  I finally got back in the pool for an incredibly difficult 2400 yards on thursday.  I can certainly tell that I didn't swim in February. Tuesday's running intervals were half mile repeats at a 6:38 pace.  Thursday's tempo run was 4 miles at a 7:30 pace.  I also got 42 miles on the bike done.

Saturday's brick was the only thing that really blew.  It was raining and temps in the mid-30's out there, so I headed for the gym for some cardio cinema and treadmill action.  Captain Ron was playing, and if you've never heard of it.... it may be the worst movie ever produced.  It was Ishtar bad.

I'm not sure what was worse, the fact that Captain Ron was playing or that I got there just in time to catch the last 10 minutes, ruining the ending for the rest of the short time I was in there.  After going all week without processed carbs, I got really hungry a short time into the ride.  The same thing happened while I was swimming thursday as well.  No glycogen means instant fatigue when going hard.  Or maybe I was just ready to lose my lunch after suffering through such a horrible movie.  I mean somebody had to make the decision that Captain Ron was the right movie to play on repeat for Saturday, and I would like to slap them.  But I got that kind of low blood sugar feeling hungry about 9 miles into the ride, and after drinking more water it didn't go away as fast as I wanted it too.  So I got off of the bike at 10 miles, and ran 1 mile on the treadmill just to complete the brick before going home and stuffing myself.  This week I'm going to play my nutrition a little smarter to try and prevent that.

During the week last week it was in the mid-70's and low-80's around Raleigh.  It was incredibly nice driving around with the top down.  March is proving to be very up and down so far, as this week is going back to the 50's and we're supposed to get some snow this morning (but it's not going to happen).  It's crazy, I'm enjoying it, and don't forget that we go back on Daylight Savings Time next weekend.  What a wacky March!

Mom made and sent some incredibly cute costumes up for the girls.  They are Cinderella and Snow White, and the kids have been living in these things.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feb Totals

Well, it was a month indeed.

Swim:  200 yards, 1 swim
Bike: 108.5 miles, 7 rides
Run: 55 miles, 9 runs, 1 marathon, 2 5k's
Strength: 5 sessions
Yoga: 23 sessions on the mat

I didn't swim at all in February.  I've been trying to teach the kids how to swim, so I got in 8 laps while they were using the bathroom one time and that was it.  Knowing that the one race took up 26.2 of those 55 running miles, that makes the other 8 sessions averaging 3.6 miles each (and that ain't much).  The bike kind of crept in there at the end, as did the strength sessions.  And the 300 days of yoga challenge is holding strong. 

Monday started the training season for really reallz this year.  It feels good to know that I'm back on a regular routine and schedule with lots of base weeks and build weeks.  I'm ok with the low volume last month since it was a recovery time anyway, but now it's time to get regular and establish a pattern for the triathlon season.  The first week is almost down and I am digging the pattern so far. 

This year the focus is on speed, so the base miles have to be fast, not long.  Swimming fast takes efficiency and good form.  Practicing with the RAM team twice a week averaging 3000 yards per session will help, and that's good volume too.  Bike speed comes from volume and hill work.  Hitting the stationary twice a week and the roads once on the weekends will certainly make that happen.  But running..... Running fast only requires, well, running fast.  It doesn't take 40 mile weeks.  It takes tempo runs, speedwork intervals or fartlek sessions, and consistency.  Three sessions of 4-8 miles each should do it.  Nothing less than 30 minutes, nothing slower than an easy 8 minute pace.  Tuesday I did a 4 miles of speedwork, half mile intervals at a 6:38 pace.  Today is a tempo run, 6 miles at a 7:30 pace.  This is a good pattern.  Once I'm ready for a summer build phase things can really get into high gear.

I have also started watching my eating this week.  No processed carbs like flour or extra sugar, so no bread, pasta, or anything fried.  Just for this week to kick start the metabolism.  Whole grains like oatmeal are still good, and lots of fruit is still on the table.  But I have to break this addiction to Hershey's Kisses and that's proving to be difficult.  I'm taking my lunch workouts a bit early so I'm not running hungry.  This is all working ok so far, but it's only the first week.  Next week is new, and potentially quite different.  hmmmmmm..........