Sunday, July 31, 2011

On vacation.....

This has become a yearly vacation for us (most years) and we all look forward to it.  It's just our speed, easy.  A typical day involves napping on the beach, walking the beach, swimming in the ocean, and reading.  No plan, except just to relax and eat seafood (for me, no one else likes it).  We let both kids bring a friend which makes for a full van but more fun for the kids and less refereeing for us :-).

Looking left from the condo

Josh and a couple friends in the hot tub 8 floors below

straight out from the condo

looking right down the beach

I'm missing some key workouts for my home grown 70.3 October 2nd.  Thursday evening my legs had this fatigue to them that said the long workouts on the weekend were going to tear them the rest of the way down so they could build back up.  I missed a 2:45 brick Saturday and a 3:30 hour ride Sunday.  Besides missing two 1:30 rides during the week, I'll also miss a key 4 hour ride next weekend.  Oh well, I'll throw a couple extra runs in.  I'll do a little ocean swimming but I have to admit, I am scared of sharks.  Watching shark week on discovery channel doesn't help either :-).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's next?

funny bike sign from today's ride
No races planned for August.  We have our yearly beach vacation in early August then back to school time plus no good local races I know of.  I wouldn't mind a sprint or oly at the end of the month if it works out.  Any ideas?  September 10th I have a 5k run with my daughter which will be her first race.  I'm really excited about it!

My original plan for the second half of the season was to do the Last Chance Tri half distance tri at Rend Lake, IL on October 2nd.  After looking into the race a bit more, it looks like a nice course and the 1863 folks put on good races.  Then I looked at the results from last year and less than 60 people did the race.  That sounds like a lonely bike and a really lonely run.  Couple that with the $170 entry fee and a night or two at a hotel plus food and it's a $500 lonely race.  To take the place of that race, I'm toying with the idea of a private HIM starting from my house instead.  Kind of crazy idea, but when you go on long bike rides without tunes, these kind of crazy ideas happen :-).  I live across the street for an extensive trail system for the bike and run and two blocks from a YMCA with a pool.   T1, T2 and the aid stations would be in my front yard (meaning a lot of run loops).  Post race food would be grilled by me, once I finish.  Corn won't be in season, but I'll come up with something else good.

Dinner tonight, also had salmon and Mahi Mahi

Here are couple pics from the tentative bike course.

If you are interested, let me know (I'll need to limit the entries due to the cost of dinner).  I might even have some shirts made, or a shirt if I'm the only taker :-).  Oh, and I've become a fair weather racer, so if the weather sucks, you can race and I'll start the cookout early.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My second Oly (and a luck update)

My second Olympic distance Triathlon was on Saturday.  Last year I did the Sprint distance which had a Oly distance bike leg. No pictures because I didn't bring a camera and my personal cell is still broken.

This race was a B race for me.  I got lucky and it happened to fall on a rest week, so I did get some taper in.  The race was in Evergreen Lake at Bloomington, Illinois.  Friday night I drove to Bloomington and met up with Ryan and his wife Annie.  We opted for deep dish pizza and a couple beers for our meal.  I'm not very fast and determined experimentally, 2 beers the night before a race has no negative effect on time, but has a positive effect on sleep.

Saturday morning I got up at 4:30 am, ate a banana and yogurt and headed to the race site at 5.  It was almost perfect racing weather, mid 70's and overcast.  It would have been perfect with a little lower humidity, but it was nearly perfect.  Since it was a B race, I approached it like a training day.  That really helped with the swim jitters.  I wasn't nervous at all even though it would be my longest OWS without a wetsuit to date by 50% due to the 84 degree water.  I looked at my HRM as my wave waded in to the water and it was still in the low 70's, chillin!.  I had some minor contact in the swim, but overall I felt great.  I relaxed, sited every 14 strokes (7 on each side), and felt good.  I never really had to stop and catch my breath and didn't think I got too far off track, but my time sucked!  I was a bit bummed with my time, and even more bummed when all the bikes on my rack were gone when I got to T1.  Oh well, more people to pass.

I felt good and strong on the bike.  With such a slow swim, I was only passed two or three times and passed a ton of people.  Unfortunately, none in my age group.  They were all faster than me even though I had a PR bike time for an Oly (and any race for that matter), 20.4 mph!  I passed Ryan on the bike and we chatted for a bit.  He had a really rough swim with two guys swimming over him back to back.  He almost DNF'd but stuck with it. When I passed him on the bike, it motivated him to burn all his matches and catch me.  Nice job sticking with it after a rough swim Ryan!  For nutrition I ate two GU's and drank a half a bottle of water.  Probably a little light on the water but my stomach was a little sloshy and it was cool outside.  I did take a couple salt capsules half way through since my stomach was sloshy.

The run started off good for me.  I decided not to stop at any aid stations for the first half.  It was cool enough and I think I was take too much water in sometimes.  It was still cool but humid so the sprinklers, people with hoses and cold sponges felt good.  During the second mile, the usual "why do I do this to myself" thought cropped in to my mind.  Then I passed a couple guys in my age group which was very motivating and that thought went away.  I cruised along at upper zone 3 for the first half (low 170's hr) then turned it up to upper zone 4 (low 180's) for the second half.  I really felt as good as you can running at that exertion level.  I was trading position with a guy named Andrew and I actually had enough breath to chat a little.  That's a sign my run fitness is improving even though I'm still slow.

When I finished, I grabbed a water and felt fine.  I wasn't really spent at all.  After the race, I went to Lake Decatur with Ryan and Annie and cruised around on their boat for a while until it was time to leave so I could cook dinner.  Again, I apologize for no pictures, hopefully I'll fix the phone situation this week.

Luck report.  It's getting better.

Good luck:
I won some olive oil from California Olive Ranch online just for following Rachael's blog and it arrived Monday this week.  Thanks Rachael!  We used some of the oil for dipping bread the other day and it was fantastic!  Rachael gives lots of stuff away and is pretty entertaining too.
Bad Luck:
No phone parts, actually no mail delivered at all.

Good Luck:
Kate's bike was only $50 bucks to fix!
Bad Luck:
Called post office.  No mail for two days because our account was marked "on hold", hmm.  When the mail arrived, no phone parts.  USPS said they need the tracking number to double check the status.  More bad luck, my SIL's dog came over for a doggie vacation (while they went to New Orleans).  Lola walks in, grabs a big dog bone, walks over and drops it right on that pointy bone on top of my foot.  Ouch!  Broke the skin and bruised something inside to the point I limped all day Wednesday and wondered if I would race.

Good Luck:
I woke up with a pulse.
Bad Luck:
Now this streak of bad luck is becoming quite funny.  Woke up and my PC won't boot, looks like a hard drive failure.  No phone parts.

Good Luck:
My bike was only $17 to fix!
Bad Luck:
Called to get my USPS tracking number (couldn't look it up because the mail was on my dead pc

Good Luck:
The deductible for my car ($500) was waved because I hit another AAA member! My phone parts came in!
Bad Luck: None!   Hopefully I turned the corner.

Good Luck:
I completed my second Olympic Distance triathlon without crashing or having a heart attack.  Had a great time with Ryan and Annie.  Also met Nate and his wife Nikki who were very nice.
Bad Luck:
The phone parts didn't fix the phone.

Good Luck:
Had a great day and caught up with some yard work.
Bad Luck:
None!  Two days in a row.

Now to get that phone fixed.....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Run failure (and other failures)

I expected a tough run today, but not a failure.  If I look at the timing of events leading up to the run, it really isn't surprising though.  I usually do my long runs Saturday morning but had a cycling race yesterday.  I also couldn't get out there until about 2 o'clock this afternoon since I volunteered at church early this morning.  When I left the house the heat index was 102 and when I returned it was 109.  I also picked a route with no shade (on accident, I wanted the water fountain 4 miles out, forgot about the shade).  I was planning on running eight miles but 2.5 miles in, I gave up, turned and walked 2.5 miles home.  I did do one thing right.  I brought a frozen water bottle that was nice cold ice water when I quit.  I'm pretty sure I made the right call since I got dizzy a couple times on the walk back.

The race was a cycling and eating race called Tour de Donut .  I deciding not to eat any doughnuts and to hammer the ride.  I used it as a nutrition test to see how my stomach would handle my liquid nutrition (Infinit) while racing hard.   I took a couple pictures on my work phone but I guess I didn't store them (failure #2).  The phone is a Palm Treo Pro and I don't like it.  My Blackberry is still broken from sweating all over it last weekend (failure #3).  I ordered parts to try to fix it.  They were supposed to arrive yesterday, but the mail man didn't deliver to our house for some reason (USPS failure :-)).

Anyway, for the race, I met up with my friends Kate, Kristy. Craig, Lynette, and their son Mason.  I never saw my friend Anne, but found out she took second in her age group with the donut adjusted time (she ate 11 doughnuts)!  We also met up with our tri club and spent some time under their tent. You can read Kate's RR here.  She knows how to work a camera so there are pictures :-).  We started several hundred riders back so it took a while to reach the starting line and several miles before I could really get moving.  Next year I'll start at the front with the tri club.  Once I got moving, it was hard to find people to draft off of since the faster people were already ahead of me.  Oh well, I train alone so I'm used to no drafting.  The course was nice, except for one bumpy stretch of road, the volunteers were great and the crowd was wonderful.  I felt like a rock start waving at all the people cheering as I passed :-).  I ended up 94th out of 1391 finishers and averaged 19.6 mph.  I didn't check my doughnut adjusted time (you get 5 minutes off for each one) because I didn't eat any.  I was 27th out of 232 in my age group so over a quarter of the top 100 were in my age group.  I felt strong during and after the race so the 1700 miles I've biked so far this year are paying off.  I do want to take my biking to the next level and get up to a 22 mph average.

After the race was a driving failure (failure #4).  I backed my car into Kristy's mother-in-law's car (failure #4).  What's worse is my bike and Kate's bike were on my bike rack.  I was so ticked at myself.  I held it together in front of the ladies but I was so mad I wanted to scream!  What a doofus.  Funny thing is we had just talked about backing into other car's in the driveway since I've made that mistake before and so has Kristy.  Ok, I'm done kicking myself about it and ready to move on.  It looks like my bike just has a bent front wheel..  Kate's bike has two bent wheels and hopefully that's it.  We'll see.

Ever feel like things just aren't going your way?  Besides the failures above, while getting ready for my run, I kicked the cat's water bowl and sloshed water all over the floor and in his food bowl making a soggy mess.  Arrrgghh.

Now that I got all my complaining out of the way, I took Tuesday off from swimming and took my son and his buddies to the Cardinal's game.  I'm not a big baseball fan, but I do like to go once in a while (when I get free tickets).  The field is always so meticulous and the new stadium (ok, it's 5 years old now) is beautiful.    

I like the arch cut into the grass

Josh and his buddies love to get their pictures taken, not!

Next week is a recovery week in my HIM training plan and it's perfect timing.  I have an Olympic distance tri at Evergreen Lake and it's a B race for me.  I did the sprint distance there last year and it's a well run race.  I qualified for age group nationals because most of the fast racers did the Olympic distance race.  I won't be placing nearly as well at the Olympic distance.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

The 4th is always a fun holiday around here.  Lots of cooking, visiting and of course fireworks.  This weekend my mom and mother-in-law came to visit and we had a nice time (as always).  Saturday night we had my brother and sister-in-law over as well as my niece and her husband and I cooked for everyone.  I was wanting to try something new and I happened to hear an interview with Steven Raichlen on NPR. I'm not a big fan of stuffed peppers, but I decided to give his pinto bean and pepper jack cheese chiles rellenos recipe a try.  Check it out here.  We also had rib eye steaks, grilled corn on the cobb, and turkey sausage.  I borrowed the neighbor's Weber grill so I had two going.  I took a picture on my phone, but I had a phone issue this weekend.  I went for a 40 mile ride with 100 degree heat index and got some sweat on my phone.  It's now sitting in a bag of rice but the prognosis is not good.

On the way back from my ride, I saw a turkey walking through the neighbor's front yard.  I couldn't take a picture since my phone was broken but about an hour later, the turkey was in our back yard!  I grabbed our camera and got a picture of it.

Training has been going well.  Eight for eight workouts again last week and my biggest volume this year.  I'm feeling pretty good but welcomed the chance to get a couple naps in this weekend.  I usually don't have time to nap, but I needed it.

I signed up for the Tour de Donut next weekend.  It's a 32 mile bike race with two donut stops and you get 5 minutes off your time for every donut you eat.  I did this race 10+ years ago and remember eating 2 at the first stop then struggling to keep them down for the rest of the race.  There will be about 1200 riders there, way more than last time I did it.