Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm back...sort of

I made an interesting discovery today.  Apparently my Garmin loses its GPS data after a couple of months of not being synced.  I had some activities to upload from the summer.  They uploaded, but no GPS data.  I haven't been as lazy as last summer, but I haven't stuck with my plan like I wanted to.  Anyway, Sunday afternoon, Tony and I took a trip to Luton.  I didn't feel too bad, I didn't have the confidence that I had earlier in the summer.  That was probably a good thing considering my previous MTB ride involved landing on the end of my handlebars and giving myself a massive hematoma very close to a sensitive area.  It was a pretty fun ride, neither of us had gotten in the miles that we had hoped for in August so the ride was a bit slower and relaxed.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Since Ft. Custer

I'm trying not to turn into a lazy slob like I did after the triathlon last year.  The week following the triathlon was so busy that I didn't have time to sneak in any exercise.  We went up north for Memorial Day weekend and the week following.  Once we got to Rachael's parent's house, I did get a couple of runs in.

Tony and I did get out for a ride at Luton Park.  Apparently the rodents/chipmunks had given up the will to live and had been laying out in the trails to get run over.  There were dead animals laying all over the trails.  I was not having a good night though.  I had drank too much water and was feeling nauseous.  Not sure what was going on, but at the beginning of the yellow loop my bike decided that it was done behaving and started giving me shifting problems.  I adjusted things, and it kind of helped but not really.  Tony wanted to ride a second lap, I thought I would try to continue on and hope the nausea and shifting issues would get better.  They weren't, so after the black loop I decided to bail after that and head home.

During training, I really enjoyed running to the gym and jumping in the pool for some laps.  Saturday afternoon in the dreadful heat, I decided to do just that.  I didn't get many laps in at the pool, but it was still an enjoyable session.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Xterra Last Stand at Ft. Custer

I got to Ft. Custer at about 8 AM, a bit later than I should have. I would have been there sooner, but had to make a stop at a gas station to drop a deuce. Apparently so did the chick that was using it before me, because she was in there for an eternity. It must have been the nerves, because I had to visit the facilities again once I got to Ft. Custer. All of this meant that I didn't have any time to got for a warmup run or bike. The best I could do in terms of a warm up was to swim a bit on the way to the swim start.

 The Swim - 15:57

Apparently last year a bunch of us had cut the swim course short.  This year the course was setup to prevent that sort of thing from happening.  Most people were lining up so that they were swimming more on an angle out to the first turn.  I decided to go as far down as I could for a straighter swim.  I'm not sure what the point was of the orange buoy in the picture, because it wasn't a turn.

The horn blew and away we went.  I started out swimming too hard, but was moving through people pretty well.  I then realized that I needed to try to settle into my rhythm, and not try so hard.  Just as I got settled in, BLAM!!! Heel to my right eyebrow.  That threw me a bit.  I tried once more to get into my rhythm, but was having a hard time getting my breath.  I swam for a bit, and realized that I was heading off course, and changed direction and headed directly for the buoy at turn 1.  I saw open water, where I thought I could get into my rhythm and race my race.  Every time I went for open water, someone else was banging on me.  We make it to turn #2 to head to shore.  I start to realize my swim camp is coming off.  I try to pull it down a couple of times, to no avail.  I then decided to pull it off and try to tuck it into my goggle strap, that worked for about 30 seconds.  Swim cap gone.   No biggie.  I start to get into my rhythm and some dbag starts swimming into me, so I try to swim away and he stays there hitting me.  I said "eff it", and backed off and swam around behind the guy to get on his right side.  Dbag decides that he needs to start swimming to his right and is getting into me again.  I didn't have enough to be able to get away from him, so I let him go.

T1 - 2:26

T1 was faster for me this year.  It would have been even faster, but I had forgotten to get the chia gel out of my bag before the race.  As I was reaching down to get my Garmin, I see my heart rate.  My heart is still blazing away at 174 bpm, after being out of the water for a good minute by this point.  In trying to get my HR down, I decide to walk out of T1.

Bike - 1:02:58

I forgot to start the Garmin until about a half mile into the ride.  I nailed a chia before we got to the trail.  I got stuck behind a guy that was unwilling to let me pass.  Right after the trenches, there was a tight spot between a couple of trees.  I hit the first tree with my shoulder and right hand, which spun my handlebar and sent me off the trail.  That tree has some of my skin.  I lost a bit of time there, but quickly recovered and started passing people.  Once of the real bright spots of the ride was the first halfway decent hill, and I'm blazing up that hill and passed about 6 people running in granny up the hill.  Didn't see many people the rest of the way to the finish.  Granny's garden didn't treat me too well.  I had to get off my bike a couple of times, and run up the hills.  I got to a part of the trail that seemed like a good spot to pull out Chia #2.  I struggled getting the gel out of the baggy.  It took too long, and when I was done I tried stuffing the gel back in my pocket to no avail.  I see a sharp downhill turn coming up, and with the Chia problem I wasn't prepared.  I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the carnage that ensued ranked among the hardest and most painful falls I've ever experienced.  As I'm heading to the dismount line to head into T2, I attempt my dismount and almost crash again.  As you can see, that rear tire is a bit too far off the ground.
And now the bike is a bit sideways.

T2 - 1:01

Pretty uneventful in T2, just pretty much in and out.  Rachael had no idea she was getting the pics above, she was too busy noticing the dirt and look for blood. 


Run - 36:00
I left T2 with a few people ahead and behind me.  The first mile is probably the worst, a run across the beach and then a sandy hill climb.  My legs were burning at the 1 mile mark.  For the majority of the run I was completely by myself.  To keep myself going, I was telling myself that I was in the lead and that I was the greatest.  I knew it was ridiculous, but it was working.  I had to make myself be patient with the run, because I knew I wouldn't have enough in the tank to make it to the end.  At mile 3, I allowed myself to amp up my pace a bit, and at 3.5 I started to work my pace up to a full on sprint to head up the chute.  There's nothing better in my opinion than emptying the tank in the chute.  I actually crossed the line at 1:58:21 according to the timing system.

I made some mistakes in the race, but I was very satisfied with my effort.  My goal was to finish in under 2 hours.  I had no idea what my time was until I was almost to the finish line.  Here's a link to the official results. http://www.eliteendeavors.com/results/laststand/2012/XT-12-LS-TRI-OA.htm  With a baby on the way in December, I'm hoping to be able to do this race again next year, but not sure if I will have the time to devote to training.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tapered and ready

I read an article(?) from Gazelle Sports a couple of weeks ago that was talking about training for the 53 River Bank Run. Basically, the gist of the email was that the worst is behind you, you've made it through the training and are now tapering, and it ended with treat the race like your victory lap. I'm trying to keep that mindset going into Sunday. I did my last swim and bike ride today. Tomorrow, I'm going to take the dog for a long walk as a bit of recovery and make a fresh batch of chia gel. One thing I'm not trying to focus on with this year's tri is the fact that I managed to fall many times during last year's race. I think I might have taken care of that on Tuesday's training ride, I'm not sure what my problem was, but a stiff breeze seemed to be about all it took to knock me over on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In memorarium

I did something Sunday night that I didn't think I would ever do. I bid farewell to a trusted companion. This companion was with me on some great adventures to the North Country Trail, "The Loop", The White Pine Trail(a.k.a. Trestle bridge/park), Fort Custer, Yankee Springs, The Poto and more This companion was great on drunken midnight rides through the Ferris State University campus and downtown Big Rapids. Ah the memories of the Smoked Chrome 1995 Mongoose Hilltopper. My old pal has a new home, someone who needed a bike worse than I needed two bikes. I donated the bike to a young man from my church who's bike got stolen while at church this past Sunday. In addition to my act of kindness, I had to say goodbye to the beard and my amazing white man afro today. This is a good thing though, because tomorrow I have a job interview that is very promising. I figured I should make myself look presentable. I'm no longer a bearded triathlete, but I kept the goatee. I guess I'm still kind of bearded.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Training update 04/25/12

It's been a rough couple of weeks from a training perspective. Two weeks ago I went with Rachael down to Indy while she went through training for her new job. The following week was my last week of classes, and I had a crap load of work to do. Now I'm good to go for training right up to the triathlon. Since my last post, me and the Peace9r went to the ski hill for our first trip of the season. That night was so great, I had to do 2 laps. The course felt so fast that night. I think this course is where I fell in love with the Peace9r. Indianapolis was not a good place to run. The area where I was was mostly industrial. I did run past the headquarters of a few race car teams: Andretti, Chip Gnassi and Tony Stewart. Indy does have a decent rail trail that goes from the northern suburbs to downtown. Here's the run and ride I did while I was there. Last Saturday was a truly great ride. It was the first ride of the season with Ridefast. The other great part of the ride was it was the "MTB Trifecta", Cannonsburg State Game Area, Cannonsburg Ski Hill and Luton Park in one sitting. I did this ride last year as a part of my training plan, but fell short of completing it. The amount of hills on this ride is nothing to mess with. Ridefast is much better at road riding than myself, and tore me up on the hills. The state game area felt Custerlike with some rooty sections and some nice downhills. Overall, the Cannonsburg trails were good to me and felt pretty quick. After the hills on Myers Lake Rd, Luton was a challenge. I didn't want to do the full trifecta again, so I did what I'm now titling "A Tale of Two Cannonsburgs". Overall the ride was good. I did fail to climb the one hill that is my #1 goal whenever I ride the ski hill. I missed the correct line and got into some softer stuff. I weighed in at the pool today after my swim, and I managed to gain a pound over the last couple of weeks. I guess that's what I get for not keeping up with my training over the next couple of weeks. Tonight, I decided to check out Luton park while we were in the dry slot of some rain. The place was deserted.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ft. Custer and Homemade Chia Energy Gel

It was a bit of a cold week, which cut one of my rides short.I probably should have cut Wednesday's ride short too, I couldn't feel a majority of both feet by the end of the ride. I was so sick of the wind by the end of that ride. I checked the weather forecast, and it said wind out of the west. I chose a more north and south route so I wasn't battling the wind as much. Well that effing weather forecast was wrong, 20 something MPH winds out of the northwest. I was getting hammered by the wind most of the ride. Here's those two rides.

Ft. Custer

I was supposed to do a ride/run brick at Ft. Custer on Friday, but the weather didn't cooperate. I decided to ride and run Custer on Sunday instead. Overall Sunday was a good day of training. I did have a bit of an issue about mid way through the red loop at Custer. I just finished climbing a pretty decent hill and turned a corner onto a flat and wide portion of the trail. Huffing and puffing, I spot a gray haired woman walking in the middle of the trail. I smile at her as I approach, when b!tch says "Please do not ride mechanized vehicles in the woods.". I'm disappointed in my response, as I only could come up with a "whatever" as a retort. I biked for about 2 minutes and came to a stop thinking about turning around and laying into this woman walking on a "Mountain Bike Trail"!!! I decided that it wasn't worth it, and kept riding. Rachael said it was probably best, because the woman was probably irrational and it would've done me no good to go back. Here's how the ride looked.

I learned something while running on Sunday. I remember having the urge to walk part of the run course during the triathlon last year. I allowed myself to walk, and was upset with myself for doing so. I had that same feeling on Sunday, and walked for just a couple of seconds because I was lost transitioning from the beach. Other than that I didn't walk the rest of the run. I've been thinking that it has something to do with my legs and body transitioning from biking to running. Here's a look at the run. My run Sunday was faster than my run in the triathlon.

Chia Energy Gel

I decided to try out making my own energy gel. It seems to work and doesn't taste too bad. At the bottom is the link to the recipe. I made some changes to my version. I used honey(I have a lot) instead of brown rice syrup, and used kosher salt instead of salt substitute for my electrolyte mix.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 8

Due to adjusting my training schedule, week 8 was a mixture of a normal week and a recovery week. One of my great discoveries of the week was how to create a course on Garmin Connect and upload it to my watch. I started out the week with a walk with my dog and 5 mile run on my favorite asphalt trail, the cannon trail. Tuesday was 40 miles on the bike using a route I created on Garmin connect. Overall the week was going along good until late Friday when I realized that my wife had given me her cold. I'm going to try to power through it though. I thought exercise was supposed to boost your immune system?!?

Here's Monday's Run

Tuesday's ride found 2 pieces of undergarments in the first 10 miles. Oh, and I rode past a place that had an RC track. I always wanted one of those as a kid, along with a decent RC to run on it. This ride also featured a trip through the map dot called Harvard. One bar and nothing else.

Wednesday's ride was supposed to be a slow recovery ride. It was for the most part, but I had to ride the brand new tiny MTB trail just down the road. It's incredibly rough.

Friday was my first real off road ride of the year. HELLO LUTON PARK!!! The conditions were absolutely perfect on Friday.

I ran with Grimace on Saturday for a 2.5 miler a bit faster than I should have, but I still felt good and didn't feel too labored in my breathing. I was supposed to go swim, but the cold started to get the better of me and Rachael made me stay home.

Totals for the week:
Swim: 1,750 yards
Run: 9.5 Miles
Bike: 50 Miles

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 7

This was a tough week for me, I went into the week with some tired muscles because I had been doing some form of training for about 14 days straight. After having a hard time getting motivated for last Sunday's training session, I decided that I needed to start making Sundays my rest day. I changed things up a bit this week to make it happen, and Sunday was an awesome day of no training. The week was good though, I am definitely seeing improvement in my fitness. See the making progress post. Had a challenging ride on Wednesday in the wind, it was an out and back ride. The ride out had the wind at my back which was cake, but the ride back was mostly downhill with the wind in my face. The wind was crushing me. Here's a map of that ride.

Recovery week coming up, my body is going to be happy about that.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making progress

Ran this course once last week, and again this week. Had some nice improvement between the two runs. I needed to see it given how my legs have been feeling the last few days. My average heart rate was a bit higher on this run, but I don't think that made the difference in the pace.

Here's last week's run.

Here's tonight's run.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Training update

I'm still training, I just hadn't found the time to get on here to update things.

First thing, after some further research I've adjusted my heart rate zones to get some better workouts. The site that has been the most beneficial is http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=53

My running pace on the track has been around 10min/mile. My swim pace is in a much better place than a year ago, depending on the day, I'm 5-10 seconds per lap faster. My troublesome area of late has been the bike. Sundays have some pretty large mileages on them, some involving 2 hours on the spin bike. I'm having a hard time with being motivated enough to sit there for that long. I think I'm getting to the edge of overtraining, and can't wait for a recovery week next week to let my body recoup. The highlight of the last two weeks was definitely the 4 mile run in 6 inches of snow last Saturday on the backcountry roads near the Boardman River.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yup, I'm carrying a bit too much fat.

Here's an interesting link I thought I would share. It's not completely accurate, but according to the site it is within 1-3% of the water displacement tests.


I will have to remember to do this in another month to see if anything has changed, but right now I'm sitting at a comfortable point at about 21-22%. Ideal is 15% according to the experts, guess I have a bit of work to do. In order to get to the ideal weight, I need to lose another 7-8 pounds.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 4 Summary - Recovery Week

I'm still seeing improvements as I'm moving along in my training. This week was a bit easier than last. My physical therapist made it even easier, because he made me skip one of swims. That was a bit of bummer, but it's still early and I will make it up one day next week. I also had to skip one of my weight training sessions. I don't feel as good about that, because I think that's part of the reason for some of my performance gains.

This week's totals:
Swim: 2,000 yds.
Bike: 45 miles
Run: 7 Miles
Walk: 1 Mile

I tried taking the dog for a slow run outside with me, I ended up putting her in the truck and running by myself. She was thankful though for the walk's surrounding the run.

The other worthwhile thing to point out. After 4 weeks of training, I've dropped 6 pounds. I don't really want to drop a lot of weight, but the less fat I'm carrying the better.

I had a phone interview this week with Spectrum Health, I didn't feel too good about it when I got done. The other lead I had on a job has fizzled out a bit. So for now, no haircut and the beard stays.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week 3 Summary

I started the week feeling a bit down about my training, and how slow I felt. Monday was a ride/swim brick. I got done on the bike, and looked at the pool. It was busy, and I just wasn't in the mood, so I skipped my swim. From that point on, the week turned around. I realized that in two weeks, I'm already starting to see gains from my training. My running pace has gotten faster and my swims felt better. Right now, all of my bike mileage has been on a spin bike at the gym using a spinning program I downloaded for the Droid. The notable part of that is, I notched up the resistances on the spin bike by two notches this week with no problem. I had two pretty good weight training sessions this week. Overall, the week was awesome and really lifted my spirits.

Totals for the week:
Swimming: 3,250 yards
Run: 7 Miles
Bike: 65 Miles

It really was an awesome week. In addition to the gains in training, I also have two pretty solid leads on a new job that weren't there a week ago. The only problem, I might have to lose the beard for a little while and get a haircut.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week 2 Summary

I ran outside once this week, and it was pitiful. In order to run in my aerobic zone, I had to run a 13 minute mile. Like I said last week, I think I could walk faster than I'm running right now. Supposedly, training slower will make me faster in the race. As with anything though, I've been able to find information that contradicts the whole heart rate training thing. Friday is my day off from training, except based on some advice I have decided to add a bit of weight training into my regime. Friday I went and did some lifting, and now I've been sore for the past two days. It will get better as I do it more.

Here's this week's mileage/yardage:
Swimming: 3,000
Bike: 49 miles, had to cut today's ride short by 6 miles.
Running: 7 miles

Ridefast, are you accessing my page through a proxy? I've been getting all kinds of hits from somebody in Russia.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 1 Summary

My official start to training for Ft. Custer started last Monday. This program involves basically 12 weeks of just building my aerobic base, with 4 additional weeks devoted to speed and ending with 2 weeks of taper. This base building phase is requiring more discipline than I thought it would. The worst part for me has been the run. I'm trying to keep my heart rate in my aerobic training zone, which has meant running way slower than I want to. Finally Saturday I had had enough, and for the last minute of my run, I ran wide open. It felt so good. Totals for the week.

7 miles running
50 miles biking
2500 yards swimming

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ride and Run Brick with Remus

It was too nice of a day to do the indoor gym routine, so Remus and I hooked up for a ride and run brick. Thanks Remus for helping me to see that I have quite a bit of work to do before May 22. I think the only time I was aerobic on this brick was when we started and changed from the bikes to the running shoes.

Anyway, here's what they looked like from my Garmin's point of view.

And the Run

Remus, I want to do this same route post triathlon to see how successful all the training was.

Monday, January 9, 2012

First day of school

Today is the first day of going to college completely online. So I started the day out with a brick workout of 2 miles running and 750 yards in the pool.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Time to get serious

So, I've pretty much effed off since last year's triathlon. Shame on me. I've regained my focus, and am back working up to getting myself back in condition to train for Custer.