Saturday, July 26, 2008


The longest run of my training plan corresponded with the Waunafest 10-mile run this morning so I decided to get in a training "race". Easier to run with a couple hundred others and crowd support so why not.

Despite a valliant effort to sabotage my body earlier in the week, I actually had a very good run. Let's recap the highlights of the previous week:

Tuesday: mountain bike and rocky trails, enough said.

Wednesday: 60-mile ride, a rough one, not much to say about it

Then comes yesterday and our annual marathon golf outing. 56-holes over 12-hours, preceded by a McDonalds breakfast, interrupted by a cheeseburger and fries at lunch, and followed by pizza and beer at 9:00pm last night.

With the exception of some after effects of my previous days "nutrition". I actually felt pretty good this morning. The annual golf marathon usually wipes me out, this year not so much. The exercise could be paying off, but we also had great weather.

Back to the race. Cannon start at 7:30 and we're off. Plenty of slow people to run with, big help. Morning was hot and humid with not a cloud in site. Saving grace were sprinklers, lots of sprinklers set up in the residential neighborhoods at the edge of the road. There were also a lot of unofficial water stations, just kids or families out handing out water. Community really seemed to get behind the event. Run was almost enjoyable.

Final time was 1:33:50, 9:25/mile. 29/33 age group, 192/213 male, 283/341 overall. Wow I'm slow.

Extremely happy with the run. Had planned on walking at least a portion, but I never felt the need. I did walk to drink, but they were very brief breaks. To top it off, I actually feel pretty good. Time to put cheeseburgers and beer back on the training plan, not that they were ever really gone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gneiss & Smooth

I've heard rumors on how difficult the single track trails at Blue Mound State Park are. Now normally when I go in with high expectations I end up disappointed. Not so in this case. Holy shit.

Best decision I made was going back to the truck to get my gloves when I got to the trail head. First tumble came within 50-yards of the parking lot. Rocks, stumps, rocks, roots, rocks, and logs everywhere. Did I mention the rocks. Oy.

I struggled through, getting out of the pedals when necessary, often in a last minute panic. One of my last minute dismounts found me grabbing at a small tree for support. The result was what felt like a broken pinkie finger (it's fine now) and a bleeding thumb (also fine now, despite a pretty good gash).

At the 3-mile point I looked at my watch, 49-minutes. Shit, I can walk faster than that. It's possible the mileage on my bike computer wasn't right, it did quit on me later on in the ride.

I ended up riding two more single track loops, aborting each loop before the most difficult of the shit I rode the first time by jumping on the road and riding back to the state park entrance. Second time through was the easiest of the three, fading light and fatigue made the last one harder.

Just after hopping back on the road the last time my chain broke. I'm surprised something didn't break sooner. I've never run so much shit into rocks, stumps and logs. Pedals, cranks, chain ring, frame, I really don't like the sound of rock crunching metal.

I ended up at about 2-hours and I'm guessing maybe 10 miles. Of all things, my triceps are incredibly sore. It was fun, but I didn't enjoy it as much as my previous outings. Difficult is one thing, with my experience trail riding, these were bordering on sadistic.

Maybe next time I'll attempt the "difficult" trail, Holy Schist.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rain Damnit

Those were my sentiments less than 20 minutes into my long run with dog this morning.

Shortly after 7:00 am we set out, it wasn't that warm, low 70's maybe, but the humidity was 162% (my estimate). Those high tech wicking fabrics are useless when evaporation simply isn't possible.

It actually went fairly well. Despite 3 pee breaks (dog), 2 poop breaks (dog), 1 water stop (me), 3 swim breaks (dog), and stopping to smell everything that looked remotely interesting (dog, mostly) we actually managed to get in a bit of running. Including our 12-minute cool down walk at the end, we managed 10-miles in about 1:45.

I thought maybe I was actually wearing the dog out, until he broke into his own version of crazy laps at our last swim stop. He usually reserves this until we reach home, but when I removed the leash so he could jump in the river he figured it was time.

I think it's basically his way of saying "You're still a slow out of shape piece of shit, and you'll never keep up with me. To prove it I'm going all out, around the house, up the street, over, around, or though anything that gets in my way. Regardless of how far we just ran, or how hot it is".

He broke it out again when we got home, damn dog.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tour de France

I had the Tour de France on the other night when Melanie, our four year old, walks in.

Mel:  What are you watching?

Me:  A bicycle race.

Mel:  Oh.  (long pause)  When's the running?

Me:  There is no running, it's just a bicycle race.

Mel:  No running?

Me:  No, just a bicycle race.

Mel: Oh.  (another long pause)  Where are you?

I honestly don't know what I said at this point.  All I could really do is laugh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Singletrack Mind

I had the opportunity this past weekend to do something I haven't done in a long, long time.  I took the mountain bike off-road and hit some singletrack trails. Or maybe it was the trails that hit me, it's hard to tell.

The sign at the trailhead was green and said "easy", it wasn't all that, easy.  Apparently puttering around on my bike for almost a year now on the side of the road does very little for bringing back ones bike handling skills on a narrow tree lined trail that turns repeatedly and without warning. 

I used to do a lot of trail riding, 10ish years ago.  If I remember correctly, my trail riding days came to a pretty abrupt end shortly after uttering the phrase, "I can jump that" up at Devils Head.  I still have the busted helmet that came as a result. 

Anyway, I seriously don't remember trail riding being that difficult.  The climbing was easy, and I definitely have all the road miles to thank for that.  Everything else, not so much.  Being clipped into the pedals was the worst part.  Managed a couple of last minute unclippings and grabbed a couple of trees to prevent unplanned dismounts.  The first log I needed to cross presented a whole separate issue and I feel like my arm came off at the shoulder when I attempted to cross it, all 4-inches of it.  Where or where have all those skills gone.

Aside from being difficult, it was one thing, fun.  I loved every minute of it.  Out of the wind, out of the sun, deer, birds, squirrels, nature at it's finest.  Add in the bike, good company, and the constant change and challenge of the trails and it was a blast.  I can't wait to do it again. 

So after 3-days and maybe 3-hours of trail riding I'm sore, another whole new set of muscles screaming.  Despite this, I am definitely going to try and get in a regular trail ride going forward.  Not sure how it fits in with regular triathlon training, but if it's working new muscles I figure it has to be good.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lucky I Guess

I got stuck riding through this earlier tonight. I didn't intend to, shit just kind of happens when you head out for what was supposed to a 3-1/2 hour ride.

Went back out to Verona with the thoughts of doing one loop on the IM course plus either a sub-loop or an out and back on Whalen to kill the last hour-ish.
Nothing really to report, course is still hard as hell, thought of a second loop is still overwhelming.
Anyway, as I'm heading into Verona I start to notice it's getting dark, at 5:30, in the middle of summer. Coming down Main St. past the high school it's really dark, I don't notice a car without its lights on dark. As I pull up to the red light, it starts to absolutely pour. Luckily, I'm only about a mile or so from the truck which is parked at the Military Ridge trail parking lot.
So the light turns and I decide to do a controlled sprint in the pouring rain while trying not to get blown off my bike by some nasty crosswinds.
And all I could do was laugh.
Then I got cold, quick.
Unceremoniously tossed the bike in the back of the truck and jumped in. Transition time from bike to truck, 0.4 seconds.
One of these weeks I'll actually do a 56+ ride in preparation for Pigman. Maybe.