Thursday, September 30, 2010

Progress Report

So we know I'm having fun again.  I'm not sure if today's workout was fun, well, parts of it is.  I keep hearing young Ricky Bobby saying over and over, "I wanna go fast, I wanna go fast".

Today we went fast for 1 mile intervals.  It's fun to hit 24mph, even if only for 3/4 a mile.  2 hours worth of intervals.  Nice.
 But I gotta tell ya, this workout smoked me.  Something about all-out efforts times 10 - I used to do these, and I used to be pretty fast on the bike.  So hopefully this will bring about the old Bigun.

Heart Rate over 10 intervals
Of course, the old Bigun is still hiding inside the current Bigun.  I was 276lbs yesterday - 5 lbs over my target weight for this week.  I'm pretty sure that 5 lbs on me is well within acceptable survey error... +/- 2% on any pundit poll certainly never made or broke a candidate - so I shouldn't be too worried yet.  If I can keep the progress within 2%, I'm technically only 2 weeks or so away from my goal weight.  Look on the bright-side, right?  So I'm down 12.5 lbs since I started keeping the record 72 days ago.  All this fat was 2 years putting on, and it's got a firm hold on me now. Imagine how hard it will be to drop once I hit my old IMCdA weight of 2 years ago!

Probably not going to race at Longleaf this year.  I have the day off work, but I'll probably just do a private Olympic with some buddies over at Flatwoods that day (with or without the swim).  No matter how you slice it, $105 clams for a triathlon after a bad sales month fails to make much sense.  Especially when I'm saving my pennies for IMAZ11.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Having Fun Again

I'm really not doing anything special or different, but I am starting to feel better about training again.  Sure, I know I've got a long way to go just to get back to 2008 fitness levels, but there has been clear progress in these past couple of months, and that's encouraging.

Next on the board is another Olympic - the Longleaf Triathlon.  This looks to be an awesome race - perfectly flat bike and run, along with typically cooler weather, and a fairly uncrowded field should all prove to be awesome.  Plus, the swim doesn't really look to be, based on last year's times, a full 1500 meters.  Since I'm a horrible swimmer, that's a good thing.

I've broken out of a fairly strict "base" phase and have started putting in some intervals into my training.  It is pleasantly surprising to see the bike speed where it is now, and I'm sure the swim and run will start to come around too.  I've got this weekend and 2 more hard weeks of training to make some gains before Longleaf - even the weight has been coming off a little bit at a time (the good way).

We've got our reservations for a B&B down in the Keys for early December - and I've registered for the first ever Key West Triathlon.  Not only do we really need a vacation... this is my defacto A-race for 2010 (because it's the last one) and I think it's really gonna be cool.  It already has about 200 people signed up for it - it's shaping up nicely!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Florida Challenge Short Course

So here we are - RACING AGAIN! Yea, pretty exciting - it's been a while, and not being a stranger for overreaching, I scheduled an Olympic Distance Triathlon to announce my presence with authority!

Crash: Why are you shaking me off?
Nuke: I want to bring the heater. Announce my presence with authority.
Crash: To announce
Nuke: My presence with authority.
Crash: To announce your presence with authority?! This guy's
a first ball fastball hitter, looking for the heat.
Nuke: So what? He ain't seen my heat.
sh: All right, Meat. Give him your heat. [He walks back to his place behind the plate.]
Nuke: Why's he always calling me Meat? I'm the guy driving a Porsche.
Crash: [to the batter at the plate] Fastball.
[Nuke throws it and the batter hits a home run. The batter stands there, watching.]

Crash: What are you doing standing here? I gave you a gift. You stand here showing up my pitcher? Run, dummy

It didn't work out too good for Nuke, nor for the Bigun. I feel like I got hit with the fastball square in the noggin, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

This trip was predicated with a grand Bloggie Meet-up and reunion. Epic. A long time coming. Commodore first showed up on the Bigun's radar in April 2007 - a simple comment on a simple post. From simple beginnings, we've exchanged phone numbers and over the years have become good friends - still having never met face-to-face. Until this weekend. Creepy Internet Friend no more, neither us nor him wound up buried in a shallow grave or coaxed into a overseas investment scam. We had a great weekend!!!!

Tri-Sherpa Di also got to get into picture-taking mode, which she loves to do. Check out this great picture she took of by buddy Lee getting out of the the water... if you look close, you can actually see Lee...

We rented a cabin at Lake Louisa near Clermont, the site of the race, and shared it with Commodore and our long-lost racing companions (we do more than just race socially, btw...) GEL (Green-Eyed-Lady) and Excel Man (...well, Excel Man..). It was great to reminisce and talk of training and race schedules, while Tri-Sherpa Di and GEL drank some wine and laughed! Excel Man had a stress fracture in his foot, keeping him from running, so he "only" did the Half-Iron Distance Aqua-bike.

Because the RD's were adjusting the swim buoys for 1500m from 1.2M, we had to wait for everyone racing the long distance before we could go. We didn't start our wave until about 8:20 or so - with a water temp reportedly at 85 degrees, and an air temp of about 80 degrees, climbing fast now that the sun was over the horizon. Lee, a buddy from work, was also racing the Olympic with me, and we toed the line together and went out as the countdown from 5 reached zero!

Here's Curt aka Excel Man getting ready for T2 - look, he's got his feet out of his shoes getting ready for a quick change into his running shoes. In the Aqua-bike. Ya see, it was HOT, and none of us were thinking very clearly...

(oh, and what's with people and the National Anthem? Even if you are from another country, racing in the US, the right thing to do is stand while the anthem is being played, just in case you didn't know. Americans: stop talking. Take off your hat. Put your right hand over your heart. Face toward the flag, if there is one. C'mon folks...)

So... um... I was the last one out of the water (well, not LAST - there were 6 people slower than me), I mean, for the Clydesdales with a time of 49:28. I think there was something interesting on the bottom of the lake I was trying to see. At least my transition wasn't bad at 3:36 (nice little jog from the lake to T1).

The bike was hilly, and even though it seems like I didn't try hard, I was at an elevated effort level after the swim, so I was slow to get moving - all that combined to give me a 1:34:33 (15.7mph) bike time. Yippers!

3:37 later, I was out walking on the run course. That wasn't the plan, of course, but that was the reality. By then it was over 85 degrees, and the sun was beating me down. I was beginning to think that a sprint would have been a much better idea. I decided to walk the first 3 miles, and then run back in. I actually started to feel good enough at the 2 mile aid station to start run-walking, and then on the way back in, I passed a couple of guys I thought were Clydesdales, which motivated me to keep up the pace. Then my bro Commodore met up with me and we ran most of the last 1.5 miles back in, giving me a whopping 1:29:13 10k time and a 14:22 per mile pace.

Yes, it was gruesome. 4:00:34 is my official time, but it wasn't as gruesome as 3 other big guys that I passed on the bike and run. Lee finished at 3:38 - a great time under those conditions! Congrats Lee!

It's hard to believe my Olympic PR is 2:48. 30 lbs lighter. Cooler and flatter. A full minute per 100 yds faster (1:57 vs 3:01/100yds). 5.2mph faster (20.9 vs 15.7) and 4:30 per mile faster (14:22 vs 9:48). That was only 3.5 years ago! An hour and 12 min off my PR... now there's some room for improvement!

The next race is in 4 weeks - the Longleaf Olympic Tri. Much flatter. Hopefully much cooler. Potentially 8 - 10 lbs lighter. This is going to be a long road back, no doubt.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Training Log

One of the benifits of having a anal-retentive training log is that when you have the worst coach in the world, ie, yourself, you can look back and try to see what you did good and what you did poorly to help with writing your own training calendar. Of course, a professional coach would be able to see in a second the "rights" and the "wrongs" of anything silly the M-Dot Bigun is up to, but with the economy and what-not, who can afford a coach these days?

I find myself, this morning, absolutely whacked out bushed - slept waaaay in, and had no desire to hit my scheduled 2-hr bike ride. So I got to thinking (yea, Tri-Sherpa Di had to ask what that burning smell was...) - what did I do last year differently? So I looked!

Lo and behold, I more often than not trained at a 2 week "on", 1 week "recover" cycle. I just automatically dove into a 3 on - 1 off cycle this time around, and it's no wonder, after 2 cycles, why I'm dragging ass! Now don't get me wrong, I can see the merits of 3-1, the main one being that over time, there's a whole lot more training and a bit less recovery. Which begs the question, is there enough recovery? Well for a guy like me - and perhaps the average MOP age grouper, there might need to be some middle ground.

So I think going forward I'll try and adjust the schedule to go 3-1 and then 2-1. I'm the kind of person that would really like to try for the harder schedule and only go to 2-1 if I need to, but it becomes really hard to schedule races and optimum recovery before races if you just play it by ear. Or, I could keep it the way I have it, and not feel bad if I miss a workout or two in that last week of the second 3-week block... oh the humanity!

DC Giveaway!

He's doing it again. Another Forerunner. Yummy. DCRainmaker, you go!