Tuesday, March 31, 2009


March was a good month. At the start, I proclaimed it swim month. And it was. I swam more this month than I ever had, 23,000+ yards, substantially more than January and February combined, but still less than the plan called for. I'm not really any faster compared to last year at this time, but I feel much more comfortable in the water.

I'm guessing that if I swam according to the plan, April swim totals would reach 35k-40k. I'm going to shoot for 30k+, and want to be doing the complete workouts called for by the end of the month (3k 3x/week). Getting there.

Bike wise, I spent a whole lot of time going nowhere, and not really all that fast. I only rode outdoors three times, twice on my mountain bike and once on Wilson. April should put an end to my trainer days, I just hope it comes sooner than later. Oddly enough, biking feels like my weakest link right now.

I'm thrilled with my running progress over the last month, I just need to keep it up. Training runs are starting to be more consistently below the 10:00 minute/mile pace. Goal for April is to kiss the 10 minute/mile good bye for good.

If nothing else April should be an interesting month. Scheduling is already hard, weekly volume is starting to build, both kids start soccer next week, and little league starts just a couple of weeks after that. Planning (and sticking to that plan) is going to be imperative.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Open Water

Lake Monona appears to be completely free of ice, which leads me to start thinking about open water swimming.  At lunch today running down the lakeshore path I noticed there were already half a dozen or so loons out there swimming.  Even stranger, none of them appeared to be together.

Also saw a large white pelican and numerous ducks and geese.  Yes, I was referring to the feathered type of loon.  While I think triathletes in general are a little odd, I don't any of us crazy enough to swim just after ice out.  I still find the loon siting odd, very rarely do I spot them this far south.

Good run, nice day, with a little urban wildlife mixed in.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Every year I pillage most of the chocolate from the kids Halloween collection, it's for their own good.  Really, I do it for the children. 

I just realized that my supply is dangerously low.  I obviously don't eat much of it, but it's nice to have around for emergencies, and they are cropping up more often the further I get into training.

So if you're planning on buying my kids Easter candy (you know who you are), this is what I like:

Peanut butter M&M's
Snickers (the really little ones)
any other chocolate, especially if it encapsulates peanut butter or caramel
Jelly Belly jelly beans
Starburst jelly beans

That should get me through.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stick a Fork in Me

I'm done.

After what turned into a long afternoon nap I finally got on the bike just before 4:00. Three hours is a long time to go nowhere on a bike. The first hour wasn't too bad. Second hour seemed to take forever, but I held the best pace over the course of it. After two hours I got off for a bathroom break and stretched a bit before resuming. The last hour wasn't all bad. Ass was/is really sore, but with the end in site, the time went by a bit quicker.

Coming off the bike I actually felt really good. I've since collapsed into a very comfy chair and now everything hurts. I thought I figured out a couple of things during the ride, but right now I can only think of one.

I started eating a bar of some sort about 1-1/2 hours in, just taking a small bite every 5-10 minutes. After 2 hours, it got to be very difficult to swallow. Taste was fine, stomach was fine, just hard to get it down. Other than the bar I downed two bottles of Infinit and most of a bottle of water. Nutrition come race day is a great unknown for me. Planning on using solely Infinit on the bike, but I'd like to figure out Plan B should something go awry. Run nutrition? I have no idea.

March Madness?

The NCAA tournament itself?  Or planning to watch 3-hours of it from the bike.  Going to be a long afternoon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I hate that #$*&?!@ hill

The one on the Shamrock Shuffle course Sunday. Observatory Drive, coming from the west back towards State Street. That hill, hate it, it kicked my arse last year and did it again Sunday. But mostly, because I'll have to run up it again come Ironman, twice.

Shamrock Shuffle was Sunday morning. Beautiful morning, upper 30's, low 40's. Sun shining with little wind. Can't really ask for much more from a Wisconsin March morning.

I didn't really have a plan going in. I wanted to beat last year's time but I also didn't feel like running hard. Every workout this week has been a struggle since last weeks effort. I even felt the soreness while swimming.

Just run. That was "the plan". Tried to go out easy, was getting passed by everybody and their mother. Didn't care. Approaching the turn around I spotted what appeared to be a 9-year old boy running with his father, probably 1/4 mile ahead of me (and I'm still running sub 9-min/miles). Unbelievable.

I kind of forgot about him but saw them again around the 4-mile mark maybe 200 yards ahead of me. Mission, catch him. But it was starting to be a real struggle, and that #$*&?!@ hill was coming. Around maybe 4.5 miles I stopped for water and walked a bit before the hill. Then the hill, which I ended up walking up maybe 1/2 of. My saving grace was being able to basically tumble down Observatory Drive. I closed on the kid quite a bit on this section and ended up catching him in the last 0.2 miles. I have to hand it to him, that is one hell of a run for a youngster.

Official Race Statistics:
Final time: 55:19 - 8:55min/mile pace ( a total of 21 seconds faster than last year)
71/108 age group
212/303 men
321/625 overall

From my watch:

Mile 1 - 8.55 / 155 bpm

Mile 2 - 8:39 / 164 bpm

Mile 3 - 8:56 / 169 bpm

Mile 4 - 9:10 / 170 bpm

Mile 5 - 9:04 / 173 bpm

Mile 6 - 8:54 / 174 bpm

Mile 6-6.2 - 7:44 / 180 bpm

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Yesterday's Point Bock Run turned into 5-miles of hurt. Recovery hasn't been much better.

Weather was perfect but in that odd range where I had no idea what to wear. Upper 30's, little wind, no sun. Wore pants to the race site over shorts, long sleeve pullover over a tech t-shirt and a sleeveless UA compression top. About twenty minutes prior to the start I made the call to run in shorts. Was definitely in the minority, but it was absolutely the right call. Legs were never cold, hands were for a short spell, but I was still soaked through by race end. Pants would have made it much worse.

Course is an out an back with no real hills, just long steady gradual climbs. Plan going in was to go out easy, then drop the hammer on the way back. I don't follow my race plans very well.

About 1/4 mile in I looked at my watch and saw we were moving at 7:5x pace. Not good. By the middle of the second mile I was already in hold on mode, with a side stitch making it's presence known. Running up to the turn around seemed to take forever, made easier only by watching the leaders and the front of the pack go by (at a sub 5-minute mile pace).

Watching the back half of the pack after the turn around made the rest of mile 3 bearable. Mile 4 was hell, I think I checked my watch at least 10 times during this mile, searching for the last mile marker constantly. Once to the last mile, stopping or slowing down was no longer an option. Less than 10-minutes left.

I didn't puke, but I think I easily could have. Probably took me a good 10-minutes to get recovered.

The details from my watch:

Mile 1: 8:02/mile, 158 bpm (heart rate)
Mile 2: 8:25/mile, 169 bpm
Mile 3: 8:28/mile, 171 bpm
Mile 4: 8:18/mile, 176 bpm
Mile 5: 8:14/mile, 177 bpm

Official Results

Race Time: 41:39 (8:20/mile)
First 1/2 Split : 20:53
Second 1/2 Split: 20:46

30/75 Age Group
336/668 Male
421/1200+ Overall

The good:

Made my goal time of 42 minutes, or was it 43, either way.
Made it into the upper 1/2 of my age group, a first by a long shot.
Almost did the same among men.
Only got beat by 85 out of almost 600 women.
Beat last years time by almost 7 minutes.

The bad:

Which really isn't that bad, just a perception issue on my part. I'm disappointed, and I can't really explain why. Seems like I shouldn't have had to work that hard to basically match my 5K PR pace (which I don't remember being nearly as painful). Oh well.

The ugly:

It hurts to run that hard (I typically run in the low 150's for a heart rate and at 10+ minute miles). And it still hurts. Although I'm sure some of it may be contributed to Point Beer, PBR, and Captain Morgan.

Good times, now I get to go sit on the trainer for 2-hours. We'll just call that active recovery.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Spring can't get here fast enough. I spent 2-1/2 hours on the trainer this morning and it sucked.


Watched the movie "No Country for Old Men" on Netflix and played penny ante Razz at Full Tilt to kill the time. Lost 19 cents, movie was odd.

Legs don't feel bad, but I rode at a very easy pace. A miss the cut-off by maybe an hour pace. We're talking slooooooooow. I'd have never gotten through it if I had pushed. Ass still hurts regardless.

Next week is a recovery week, which means I'll only have to suffer through 2-hours on the trainer come sunday. Saturday is the Point Bock Run, 5-miles of fun. It's an out and back, and I plan on going all out on the return leg, just for the hell of. Kind of curious what I can do.

This being swim month, I stayed as far away from the pool as possible today. We start tomorrow, 3x a week minimum. Time to put in some laps. Doesn't matter how fast I ride or run if I can't get through the swim.