Monday, July 20, 2009

Just Another Morning Run

Monday Morning. 5:00 AM. I stumble out of bed, put my running shoes on, and get ready to go. I'm moving on instinct and duty, hoping the desire to run will come. I quickly eat a banana, and make my way out the door. It's freezing, dark, and deathly quiet. My GPS beeps on and locks onto some satellites and I'm off.

This is what it is to be a triathlete. Race day isn't where you find glory; it's on the average every day runs. I do it when I don't feel like it, when it's hot, when it's cold, when it's dark. I did it the day I got divorced, the day I lost my house, and the days when every bit of hope seemed gone from the world.

5:30 AM. The sun is rising and I'm about half way through my run. I feel good. Really good. I'm glad to be out running this morning, because it means I'll be able to fit in a full swim work out and weights tonight. The hardest part of training for multisport is that there are more workouts to do than there are times to workout.

5:40 AM. The sunrise is really amazing. My thoughts are never far away from Lana, but I take a mental note of how beautiful the world is, and wish that she was here with me. She so deeply appreciates the beauty of the world around us, which is one of the many things I admire about her. I smile at this realization, and hope that, since she can't be here, she is warm and safe in bed and is feeling just how loved and cherished she is. I grin again, knowing I'm very lucky to have her in my life... Training is meditative and provides an opportunity to have some time to yourself to clear your mind, and reflect on your life. My body comes back healthier, but possibly more importantly, so does my mind. Every time I train I'm swimming, biking, and running towards the person I was meant to be.

6:00 AM. I'm back at home in time for a shower and breakfast. Maybe this was just another morning run, but there is nothing mundane about it. Every training run is an event, and they're all important.

Evergreen Sprint Triathlon - 02:06:12.9

The Evergreen Sprint was a really great race, and a great end for an insane chapter in my life. It was mostly the same course as Tri-Shark, with the exception of a longer 40Km bike route. The weather was in the low 60s, and there wasn't much wind at all.

My pre race routine didn't go very well at all, as I got there a little late, just making same day packet pickup and not really having enough time to set up my transition. Somehow I made it to the starting line in time though, and did pretty well.

Throughout the race I burnt around 2370 calories, and took in about 450. The first 150 was from a sports drink on the bike. Additionally I ate a gu in T1, 45 minutes later on the bike, and then 45 minutes after that on the run.

Overall Place: 67/XXX
AG: 5/12


My wave was bigish, with every male competing in the sprint starting at the same time. The water was warmer than the air on race morning. It was 76 degrees in the lake and just barely wetsuit legal. I didn't wear a wetsuit however, since I don't currently own one. When the horn went off things got rough really fast. I was in the front/middleish part of the pack and took alot of elbows. About 200m into the swim I took a hard kick to the chest as well. I really need to work on bilateral breathing as well. I was having a hard time breathing on one side because of the chop in the lake and some of the competators swimming closely to me and splashing me on the side I was breathing on.

Distance: 500m
Time: 13:24.3
100s: 2:27
Rank 6/12


I ran into T1 feeling like things were going pretty well. Bike shoes...check, helmet...check, garmin...check, sunglasses....uh...uh oh. My glasses were in my transition bag. I had to dig for them, because there was no way I was going to do a 25 Mile bike race without them. That killed any time advantage I may have had gained by not wearing a wetsuit.

Time: 03:27.5
Rank 4/12


I felt pretty strong on the bike. I knew I wasn't going to be able to pull of 20 MPH over 25M, so I made my goal 18 MPH and just focused on keeping my cadence up since I knew I was in this for a longer haul than normal. I spent some time at around 16, and some around 22 and I wasn't sure where things would end up but I just focused on keeping my cadence at 80+.

Just about 2 miles in there was an ambulance tending to a down racer that I had to avoid, which served as a reminder that there is danger in doing this, and that I needed to be careful. Later I heard that the athlete that crashed here ended up in the ER.

About 10 miles in several of us got stuck behind a very slow moving cement truck, which was extremely annoying. While I was curious if I could get penalized for drafting behind a cement truck the guy to my right was cursing like a sailor at the driver, who appeared to somehow be stuck behind a guy on a mountain bike.

A few miles later I was cruising at about 21 MPH when I came accross a large hill that I had to desend. I began my descent and stepped through all my gears, still aero, before spinning out of my casset and thinking "holy crap, this is kind of scary!" Glancing at my speedometer I saw that I had just exceeded my previous bike speed record, and was flying down the hill at 37.3 MPH. At that point my internal monologue went from "holy crap, this is kind of scary" to "wow, 37, sweet!" to "oh god, if I hit a rock I'm going to die!" Of course, since I'm writing this I guess there weren't any rocks.

About 20 miles in things started to really hurt. Riding at race pace for this long was something I wasn't probably ready for yet. My current training plan has me set to do it just in time for Chicago in fact, which made this ride about 7 weeks premature. There was no way I was going to let up though. I'm a crappy runner and an average swimmer, so I always have to have a strong bike performance. I tried to clear my head of the pain and let my mind go somewhere else (no I'm not going to tell you where, get your own happy memory) while I pushed through the last 5 miles.

Distance: 40Km / 25 M
Time:01:17: 18.0
Avg Speed: 19.3
Rank: 1/12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I honestly don't remember much of T2. I do remember not being able to run much in transition off the bike. My feet were kind of tingly and my quads were doing the normal transition thing so I was really in kind of a daze. Apparently my transition was pretty lousy though, since I was 11/12. I'm thinking that I remained standing up through my transition and I probably should have sat down to change shoes.

Time: 02:50.8
Rank: 11/12


The run went pretty well. After I got my legs back under me (about .5 miles in) I started to feel really strong. I heard "Go Sharks!" from several of the volunteers and other runners as I passed and that encouraged me even more. About a mile in I saw a water stop so I hit my last gu and washed it down with some water. I spent alot of my time on the run in the 8ish minute/mile range, but ultimately I didn't break out of the 9s unfortuantely.

Distance: 5K / 3.1 M
Time: 29:12.3
Pace: 9:25
Rank: 9/12

Post Race

Tri-Mom Events races are the best, and this was no exception. Everything was great, well organized, and exactly right. The food afterwards was awesome! There were cookies, fruit, BBQ, gondolas from Avanti's (a Central Illinois thing I think) and bagels from Panera.

Our race times were available almost instantly from It's Race Time. We were able to walk up to a kiosk they had set up and they would print our individual times for us, including all our splits. I was very impressed, way to go Eric! I was also shocked to see that I had placed 5th in my AG, and not only did I place 5th, but there were awards for top 5! I was shocked. It felt really great to get a medal for a triathlon and be recognized for some of the hard work I've put into this.

As I walked back to the car I was probably glowing. I may have just been 5th in my AG in the Sprint (all the fasties did the Oly) but it felt like I had just placed first in Kona. I excitedly txted Lana and let her know I was safe and off the course and was happy to tell her about my award before I walked back to enjoy the awards celebration.

Evergreen was a total surprise. I was doing it just because it was a close triathlon. I didn't go in with any specific plan or purpose, I was just breaking up the monotony of training on my way to the Chicago Tri. What started as "just for fun" ended up being the highlight of my very short triathlon career. It was a great time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Road to Chicago: Week 3 - 4

Week 3 and Week 4 are complete...sort of. I'm struggling with finding a realistic training plan that is not too easy or two aggressive. Week 3, my "easy week," left me doing too consecutive bricks. By week 4 I knew I had to make a change, and switched from my previous plan to the run focused oly plan on

So far the new plan is a little better, but seems to be redicuosly swim intensive. On week 5 it wants me to swim 58 minutes. Based on my current endurance pace that would be like 3000m of swimming. No thanks. The race is 1500m, so I'll go up to 2000, but thats enough swimming for me. I'm feeling burn out starting to kick in, so it's time to dial it back a bit.

Week 3 "Easy Week"
Monday: Brick: Bike 30 minutes / Run 45 minutes
Tuesday: Swim 1200m
Wednesday: Brick: Bike 60 minutes / Run 10 minutes
Thursday: off
Friday: off
Saturday: Run 3 miles easy / Swim 600m
Sunday: off

Week 4 - Back to the Grind
Monday: Run 30 minutes / 3.15 miles
Tuesday: Bike 12.5 Miles / 38 Minutes
Wednesday: Swim 1350m/ weights
Thursday: Run 46 minutes / 4.25 miles
Friday: Bike 30.4 Miles / 117 minutes
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Run 58 minutes / 5.35 miles