The Journey

The journey is more important than the destination.

Several years ago a friend of mine asked me if I would do the Fairlee Triathlon in Vermont. After training for three months, feeling like I was going to drown in the swim, feeling nauseus on the run, I crossed the finished line and was hooked.This led to my triathlon journey.

Please consider supporting my latest effort to raise money for Bretton Woods Adaptive through the Janus Charity Challenge at Ironman Lake Placid this July. Check out the Links I Like section of the blog or explore the BWA Fundraiser links.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wet shoes

I did my long run on Sunday...in the rain. 18 miles is 2:45. I wasn't really happy with the overall time but my soggy feet started to hurt about halfway through and about two miles of trail running I did during the run was a little slick. Both of those slowed me down a little so I'm still confident that I'll be able to crack the 4-hour mark in three weeks.

My shoes were soaked after Sunday's run, and were still soaked when I put them on today. I had a one hour run on the schedule with 2 x 6 minute hill repeats. The legs were pretty sore starting out but loosened up after a good warm up.

I'm going back to Master's to swim tonight after having to miss last week and then a double run session on tap for tomorrow including a 10-mile run tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

10 miles

Funny story from this morning's 10 mile run. Suzan wanted me to incorporate 2 x 1 mile @ 7:20. I was apparently half asleep when I checked the details of the workout this morning and thought it said 2 x 1 mile @ 7:00. On top of that, I've gotten pretty good at judging my pace when I'm on a track, but being on the road and not the track I had a hard time judging my effort. I ended up at 6:50 and 6:25 for my mile times and didn't realize my error until I went to log my training into Training Peaks?!

On the plus side, I did 10 miles in 1:24 which is an 8:23 mile. Suzan's plan is definitely helping both my speed and endurance.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

I celebrated my birthday today with a track workout at UNH. It was a beautiful morning - low 40's, nice sunrise and I was all by myself on the track.

Did you ever see the movie Evan Almighty when Evan saw a message to him on an LED road sign? I thought I was having an Evan moment this morning.

I'm running around the track doing the intervals that my coach gave me and I see on the dark football scoreboard one of the LED lights lit up at full power. At first I thought it was a reflection from star or one of the spot lights around the field.

I didn't think the light could actually be on because I was all alone and why would anything be on the scoreboard at 5:30 AM? After a few more laps I see the light go off and on several times - very weird. It's my birthday, I'm still half asleep and suffering from oxygen debt during my intervals so maybe in some deep recess of my mind, I thought there was something going on with the scoreboard that wasn't random.

I kept watching as I made my loops, which was actually a good distraction that made the laps go by faster, but the scoreboard never lit up any more than that one light. Guess it wasn't a sign from God like Evan experienced. I guess it was just my birthday, I was half asleep and suffering from oxygen debt.

Monday, September 22, 2008

LSD

I did my first long slow distance in a while on Sunday. It was 15 miles and as luck would have it the bike ride I did with Connor earlier this week was 7.6 miles and included about 2 miles on trails in College Woods.

Suzan wanted me to keep my HR between 130 and 145 which frankly is higher than I've done my long runs in the past. They have probably been closer to 125 - 135 but then again my long runs have averaged around 9 - 9:15 minute miles. My run on Sunday averaged an 8:39/mile. The speed work I've been doing must be paying off!

My legs felt pretty beat up but I'm still running on my old shoes. Hopefully the new ones will be in today. I'm still waiting on my order from Runner's Alley.

With Sunday's run my week stood at 10 1/2 hours of training, including 3000 yards of swimming, 36 miles of biking and just over 48 miles of running. There haven't been many weeks when my run mileage has been higher than my bike mileage!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dang it's cold out

I did a 90 minute ride this morning followed by a 30 minute run.  When I checked weather.com last night it said that it would be in the 40's around 6:30 this morning, which is when I was planning to leave.  I didn't get out until 7 and thankfully I checked the temp.  It was 33!  So, I went back upstairs and put my winter riding gear and headed out for my ride.

It didn't end up being that bad. I had booties, hat, two pairs of gloves and three layers on top. So that is probably why.  By the time I left for the run, it was in the mid 40's, sunny and comfortable.  Tomorrow is the first long run in a while - 15 miles. I'm planning on 2 - 7 1/2 mile loops with an opportunity to get water after lap 1.  Temp is supposed to be in the high 40's/low 50's so it should be a comfortable workout.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Riding with my boy

Connor and I went for a bike ride last night. My training schedule had an easy 1 hour spin for yesterday so I asked if he wanted to join me and I was psyched he was up for it.

We took the mountain bikes over to college woods and had a great time (we even saw a deer!). We avoided some of the more technical terrain but found a great trail that followed along the Oyster River.

I had a great Dad moment on the way back. We were almost home heading down a hill and I was riding behind him. Connor crouched down on the bike to try and get as aerodynamic as possible. His long hair was sticking out the back of his helment waving in the wind. It reminded me of my early years on a bike and what a great feeling it was to be riding - one of the earlier feelings of freedom and independence I can remember. I hop he was feeling some of those same things.

Easy jog

Today started out with an easy 4 mile jog on a typical route I enjoy. It is quiet, especially early in the AM, with some nice rollers. Completed it in 35 minutes.

It was the coldest morning I have run in a while. Temp was in the high 30's and I wore pants for the first time since last winter. I probably didn't need them but knowing it was below 40 made it tougher to get out of bed this morning and somehow wearing pants gave me the motivation to finally roll out of bed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

He's back!

Looks like the rumors are true. Lance is back!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pumpkinman race result

I had one of the best races ever this past Saturday.  I placed 6th in my age group, out of 40 (the largest male age group), and 27th out of 373 finishers.  I felt really good going in and I'm glad I was able to pull it all together for a race.

Most of the races I do are much longer than the 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike and 3 mile run making up this race.  For the longer races it really isn't necessary to do much of a warm up. When you are racing for 5 hours or more, the benefit of a warm up goes way down as you are just wasting much needed energy you'll need later in the day.

The swim was a beach start - the first time I had to do this kind of start.  I wasn't sure how it would go. Would I lose my goggles? Would I spike my heart rate on the run into the water and not be able to recover?  Well, it went fine.  I had a strong swim and finished in 8:43, the third fastest swim time for my wave. 

The transition to T-1 was the most unique I had ever done.  It consisted of a short but very steep run from the water.  It was so unique that there was a separate contest for the fastest one up the hill.  My heart rate was in the 160's all the way up, which is the highest it would get for the whole race.  I had opted to wear a wetsuit, even for such a short swim. I had no problems getting out of the wetsuit and had a quick transition to the bike.

It had been raining most of the morning (and my awesome Wife and Son came to watch me anyway) so the roads were wet.  I wanted to average at least 20 MPH for the course , which I did.  I probably could have gone faster but the wet roads slowed me up a bit.

My bike to run transition was probably the fastest I've ever done, only 35 seconds.  I was able to stay strong on the run and finished with a sub-7 minute/mile pace, despite the final mile being mostly up hill.

Not the challenge, translate my ability to go fast over a short sprint race, to the half-ironman and ironman distance.

My focus will shift this week to getting ready for the Green Mountain Marathon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Race day tomorrow

The Pumpkinman is tomorrow and I'm feeling really good. I calculated out what I think my time will be - around 1:20. If I can stick to that, based on last year's times, I should finish pretty high up in my age group and even on the overall.

The former hurricane Hanna is charging up the coast but it looks like the race will be happen before it moves in. Temps look like they'll be in the upper 60's to low 70's and cloudy - should be perfect for racing. It's a club race for GSTC so there should be a good contingency there.