Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Fast Weekend

Well technically I was pretty fast a couple of times, not that the weekend went by too fast (but don't they all?) this time. Saturday morning started early with the Little Uno. I think four times I've done the Big Duece? They hold a 2 mile and a 1 mile open water swim race at the same time. Getting ready for all three of my Ironmans I did the Big Duece. Last year getting ready for the 12 mile Swim Around Charleston I did the Big Duece. This year I'm trying to do the series of all three local OWS races, but taking the shorter distances each time.

I'm ready to get started!
Big crowd came out

Buoys out there

Me with KC and Kristen before the race
The two milers started at 8:00 sharp. 5 minutes later they let the one milers go. We had 135 people starting at the same time, I lined up on the front row towards the left side. I expected that would mean getting other people swimming on top of me, but for the most part I managed to get a clean start!

I didn't get much of a warmup done, so I might have started out too fast. This race has two right hand turns in there, and my biggest goal was to be consistent. Every time I looked up to sight at the next buoy it was straight in front of me. I felt like I maintained a consistent arm turnover speed and stroke form throughout the entire mile. In the last 1/3rd of the course I swam next to someone and kept running into them, so I had to turn on the afterburners a bit to leave him in the dust. That also told me that I could have increased my turnover rate earlier and wasn't really going as strong as I could have been.

This is typical for the middle part of most races where you are supposed to go fast. 1 mile open water swims we slow down some between the two turn buoys. In a 5k race the middle mile is usually the slowest. Mentally I haven't figured out how to detect that this is happening or prevent it.

When the finish line got in sight, I really started chasing down the guy in front of me. He also did a finish line sprint, so I couldn't catch him. See if you can tell how that played out in the end....

I did ok
My real goal was breaking 30 minutes. Only about 15% of the entire field did that. 41/137 and 20th male is pretty dang good. 32:53 is "acceptable". Being 2 seconds away from taking 4th place age group, and 90 seconds away from an award is not really acceptable. I can put 25 minute miles in the pool any day of the week. Why open water? you fickle mistress. 33 minutes should be a half-iron swim split (1.2 miles), not 1 mile even. FWIW, Billy Su won my age group, he coaches our Masters team sometimes and was the overall winner of this race last year.

Actually maybe 20 people from the Raleigh Area Masters team competed in this race! The best part about the whole thing was getting to hang out with my friends by the lake. So many cool people. At first, I beat myself up a bit because I was the only person on the team who didn't take home an award. We won overall, master, and age group awards. People that were slower than me won awards. After I got home and looked up the categorical results I didn't feel so bad. Some of their age groups only had 2 or 3 people in there. I can't beat myself up over being 90 seconds short.

Me, KC, Kristen

Some RAM swimmers: Emily, Kristen, me, Chris, Sarah

I left disappointed. that was misguided.
Sunday my marathon training plan called for a 5k race time. Driving home from the lake I decided I was only going to beat myself up about not getting an AG award until I could start beating myself up about having a slow 5k time. Short memories are good for something.

Typically a 5k time trial that doesn't involve an actual race gets done on the treadmill. I do half a mile as a warmup, then use the distance counter to measure my 5k. So at 0.5 miles, I ramp the speed up to an 8.6 and hold on for dear life. When the counter hits 3.6 miles time trial is over and the last 0.4 is a cool down. If I don't have to break the speed that puts the 5k in 21:50, and I've only done it maybe 3 times before?  I attempted that speed several weeks ago and could barely make it half a mile.

But this Sunday, for some reason, everything felt good. So good, in fact, that I actually bumped up the speed to a 9.0 for the last quarter mile! Now I get to claim a new treadmill 5k PR of 21:48. I might not have mentioned it lately, but I am really enjoying this marathon training plan from PR Racer. I expected it to take longer for my speed to come back after all of that long, slow Umstead 100 training. But apparently this nice base phase has things right back in place!

So overall, that weekend had a nice fast open water swim race and a 5k PR with an asterisk. Pretty dang good times! I'll take what I can get.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Holiday Birthdays

Having a birthday that falls right next to a holiday isn't always fun. I've barely accepted turning 40 last year. But We all ended up having a good time! Since starting this new job doesn't afford me much time off for the near future, I was very glad to get a 4 day weekend. The office was closed on Tuesday as well as July 4th.

For the 4th, we took in a fantastic shindig with Kelley's dad and mom both, at the NC State golf course country club. It was such a blast! They have a great view of downtown from the clubhouse, so we got to watch the big fireworks from there plus enjoy a nice buffet. And since I had a great swim practice I was ready to take that buffet.

Evil Genius, Neena, Kelley, and Mickey

Ella's face painting

EG was super patriotic

Got my sweetheart on the driving range

Got the clubhouse in the background
We all had so much fun hanging out! Kelley got some good candid shots that I had to steal from her phone. And something terrifying.....

The selfie game is strong with this one. too strong.....

Too strong! She's too pretty!

Kelley caught me juggling! So neat.

My birthday was only a few days later. I don't like to make a big deal about my birthday. 40 still sucks, so I guess 41 isn't any better. No new pains, though, so that was nice. I worked, had lunch with my buddy Eli whom I hadn't seen in several months, so that was fantastic. Came home to some birthday love from the family and we checked out a new wing place for dinner. Wings Over Raleigh was really good, but not spicy enough for me.

Overall it was a good birthday. Ella gave me a blu-ray of the new Star Wars movie, so we got the wings to go and ate while we watched. It was wonderful to have my family around me for a peaceful evening. And that's about all of the birthday stuff that I care about.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

My official pics from the 2016 3 Little Pigs triathlon showed up on Facebook about 2 weeks after the event. So cool!

Running out of T2

Chilling with my homies post race


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Now Ella Got Old

The good thing about summertime birthdays is that we all hit around the same time. My sweet elderchild turned 11 recently. She's about to start middle school, and that's completely terrifying. But the full teenage stress hasn't hit yet so she can still be seen in public with us. We're in a bit of a sweet spot, not sure how long that's going to last.

Opening presents

Kelley, Mickey, and Neena

She was actually happy with that one

This spry preteen is a whirlwind of activity. She never stops moving. She is getting quite good at basketball and is looking forward to playing for the church team in the fall. She's also starting to swim some but we're still trying to find the right team. She is becoming so independant it's getting harder for us to keep up with her anymore.

Ella got a canopy too

Now she never leaves
Happy birthday little girl!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Half the year is GONE

2016 is really flying by. I'm kind of glad, it's been a really rough year overall, which makes days like my last post really special. We learn to roll with the punches and appreciate the days we don't get punched. June was a real motherfucker in particular. With all of the new job stress on top of this heat wave I'm not mad to see July.

Swim: 30,000 yards, 11 swims, 1 race
Bike: 14 miles, all in the 1 race
Run: 66.1 miles, 11 runs, 1 race
Strength: 9 times
Yoga: 4 times

Ha! the only bike ride for the month (and probably the last ride for the year) was during my last triathlon. I have to admit it feels REALLY good to be at that 30k barrier in swimming. Didn't expect to hit that nice round number so exactly, but whatever. it's pretty cool.

In the month of June, I stopped Project 225 where I was weightlifting as a priority, and transitioned back onto a marathon training plan. Project 225 was great, and a lot of fun. But ultimately it did not do what I wanted it to do for my body. Marathon training only giving me 66 miles is pretty pitiful, but the plan didn't start until the month was a third over. So that's about right. And the beginning of a training plan doesn't have really long runs anyway; I only had 1 run of 10 miles.

So this was truly a month of transition. Even spring gave way to summer on the calendar.

Other June Stuff:
The kids have been out of school all month, and they have been having a blast. Ella's not nervous about starting middle school, but I bet she's in for a nice transition.
Ella wore that cape everywhere. People loved it.

EG was nervous about being in the angry birds slingshot
The final construction step for this bathroom finally came in. The shower doors were installed. Only took about 5 weeks (they said 2) for it to get ordered, built, and installed.
I didn't write up a Fathers day post, but we did have a lot of fun for Fathers day. I'm very grateful for my family even if I can't always express it properly. It was nice to get some of that love back to me.

That's a happy family
We finished off the month last weekend with a family hike in Umstead state park. It was my first time back to the park since the Umstead 100 and I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time we were there. The day was kind of hot, but not as bad as most of the rest of the month. Mostly it was fantastic just to get the kids active and in the woods!

Taking down some single track

Why did EG have to sit in my lap? adorable but hot
Finally, I did get some decent time riding around with the top down in the car. Topless June was really too hot to drive most days, a black interior was a bad idea. But there are these:

6/6, why so cloudy?

6/18, I kept it short