Monday, October 31, 2011


Tomorrow is the day I start to change and become a morning person. It's not going to be easy at all, but I'm determined to do it.  One of the useful things about blogging is having somewhere to write down things you are going to do then hold yourself accountable to do them.  One reason I was able to continue and finish my half ironman was because I blogged about the race for weeks ahead of time and didn't want to post a DNF.  Anyway, there you have it.  Tomorrow my alarm will be set for 5:30 (maybe even earlier) instead of 6:30 and I'm going to get up and exercise.

Here are a few pics from the weekend ride. I spent two hours off road and had a blast.

turned the corner and this deer was in the middle of the trail

small lake in the middle of the woods

nice colors in the woods

so peaceful

Prime rib was on sale and fantastic!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I'm enjoying taking it easy in October.  No real structure, just 3-4 runs per week and a mountain bike ride.  Funny how your perspective changes.  I managed to get just shy of four hours of exercise in this week.  For the pre-triathlete Mike, that would have been a huge week.  Now four hours is extremely light.

I'm still working on my race schedule.  I'm trying to decide if I want to do a 70.3 or two or just stick with sprints and olys.  I did promise my sister I would do the Cohassett, MA tri in June.  I need to get out to the East coast to see her.  Truth be told, when my friend Dave died this year, I almost booked a ticket to head out there the next month.  Life is too short not to visit with family and friends whenever you can.

Here are a few pics of my ride Sunday.

A section goes through the old MRF grounds

some trees are close enough together you have to pay attention

These trees look close together for me even at my slow speed
The pictures of how close some of the trees are reminded me of a ride years ago where I didn't quite make it between two close trees.  One of my handlebars clipped a tree and I was on the ground and dazed even before I knew what happened.  It gave my helmet a good workout and gave my friends something to laugh at while they pretended to be concerned.  My friends have long since stopped riding so I hit the trails alone now.  I also remembered going off road with one of my neighbors who ended up breaking his chain.  I towed him home with him hanging on to the chain.  That was a tough workout!

And some dinner pictures.  Ribs, yum!  This time I used my dad's method.  I put rub on them the night before, then put water and vinegar in the bottom of a double decker pan, put the ribs on that then covered with foil and cooked at 250 degrees for 2.5 hours.  Then I threw them on the grill, lathered them up with bbq sauce and they were fantastic!

The ribs were amazing

asparagus in the foil plus kabobs for the non rib lovers

Mentally preparing to try to become a morning person.  As I type this, everyone has been in bed for an hour and I've had the rest of the house to myself.  I'm going to miss this......

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Off Season

Before I get to my off season plans, here are a couple pics from my really nice mountain bike ride today.
I didn't see any other riders.

Someone had been through earlier though, I didn't run into any spider webs.

I'm making plans for the off season.  I was considering P90X, a weight program, Jorge's winter cycling plan, or nothing until my friend Doug pointed out I should really set my goals for next year and let them point me in the right direction for the off season.  I was hoping my goal for next year would be a full Ironman triathlon but after my two half triathlons, it's obvious I need to work on my nutrition before I attempt a full IM.  With that decided, I had no idea what my goals would be just a week ago until I read this thread.  I would love to run faster.  I get passed by people seemingly putting out much less effort than I am all the time.  So how am I going to run faster?  I'm going to build my running volume up to 30 miles per week and hold it there for a few months.  30 mpw means 5-6 runs per week, Ouch!.  My goal is to run a 5k in under 23 minutes.  I'm probably at about 26 minutes right now, so sub 23 will be a tough goal for me.  If When I reach that goal, I should be able to beat my half marathon PR by at least 5 minutes as well.  We'll see.

I have decided to do triathlons again next year.  This was not a given since racing is definitely outside my comfort zone, but it does make me feel alive (so maybe it was a given).  My cycling goal for next year is to hold 20+ mph in an Olympic distance race and 18.7 in a half Ironman (sub 3 hours). That means cycling 3x per week in the offseason.  My swimming goal is not to drown.  I'll need to hit the pool once a week to accomplish that :-).

So that is 9-10 workouts per week and if you follow me on BT you know I have trouble getting in more than 6.  I'm also not a morning person, so I'm trying to figure out how to get all these workouts in after work.  The only way I've come up with is to brick all my workouts, which wouldn't be ideal.  So if I do all my workouts in the evening my schedule would look like this.

Mon PM - short run (add a swim once MNF is over)
Tue PM - trainer ride followed by a medium run (medium = an hour)
Wed PM - swim followed by a short run (short = 1/2 hour)
Thur PM - trainer ride followed by a medium run
Friday PM - short run
Sat - long run
Sun - long trainer ride
An hour ride followed by an hour run after work would be tough. Alternatively, I could try to become a morning person.  The problem (besides not being a morning person) is that I need to be in the shower by 6:30 in order to drive my son to school then head to work.  That means I would need to get up at 5 am on medium run days and 5:30 on short run days.  Oh yeah, it will be dark and cold too.  Yuck!  If I try to become a morning person, my schedule could look like this.

Mon AM - short run
Mon PM - swim (once MNF is over for the year)
Tue AM - medium run
Tue PM - trainer ride
Wed AM - short run
Wed PM - swim
Thur AM - medium run
Thur PM - trainer ride
Friday AM - short run
Friday PM off
Sat - long run
Sun long trainer ride

Hmm, I'm getting tired just thinking about it :-). I'll massage this a bit more and get at it in November.  I'm enjoying a down month in October but keeping a run base to start from.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Week Off

After my private 70.3 last Sunday I vowed to take a whole week off.  It was great at the beginning of the week, but by the weekend, I was ready to get back at it.  We had absolutely perfect weather this week and weekend and I decided to stick with my plan anyway.  It was tough, but I'm glad I did since it gave me an even bigger urge to get back to working out.  For fun, I looked back through my logs for the last two years and this was the third week in two years that I had zero exercise.  The other two were the guys fishing trip the last two years.

I haven't decided exactly what I'm doing next year, but I have decided I would continue with triathlons.    The swimming is still scary and the pain is uncomfortable, but the challenge is invigorating.  If I get accepted to the Rev3 tri team, I'll do a couple of their races.  The chances of me being accepting are slim, but might as well try. You can apply here.

One problem with working out a lot is that I don't have energy to do chores and other things.  So I got a few chores done this weekend and it felt pretty good.  I also got some cooking in though I forgot to take pictures.

Oh yeah, wear your helmet, it's dangerous out there.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Private HIM is in the books

 Well my private HIM is in the books.  It turns out only two of us did the "race".  SuperKate was crazy enough to give it a go as her first HIM.  She did great!  I'll let her post her pics.  We should have gotten post race pics with our race shirts on, but neither of us felt like spending any more energy.

The weather was absolutely perfect for the event.  Cool and sunny with the high reaching about 70.  We started off at 11 and ran to the Y for a 2100 yard swim.  I haven't been swimming much so I wasn't really looking forward to this part.  I felt amazingly good.  Maybe there is something to be said for being well rested and hydrated.  I changed before and after the swim do there were two extra transitions.
Coming in from the swim

Heading out on the bike
My friends Ryan and Annie came out to cheer and ring cow bells in my driveway.  It was awesome!  Kate's husband and son also came out for the run portion.  I set everyone up in the garage and had burgers and brats for them as well as football on TV.
Ryan and Annie ringing cow bells.

The bike was good once I got my hr under control.  For the first 15 minutes, my hr was in zone 4 which is unsustainable.  I slowed down until it was upper zone 2/lower zone 3 and did a pretty good job keeping it there.  I was able to drink some Infinite ride formula every 10 minutes with no trouble.  Once two bottles were gone, I switch to water and had half a GU.  Total calories in ~600 with about 32 ounces of water.
Coming in from the bike

I felt pretty good coming off the bike, but knew the run was going to be rough.  My jacket had salt stains all over it so I planned to take one salt capsule every loop and a half a GU every other loop along with some water.

Getting ready to run
On the first loop my stomach started feeling a little bloated and full.  Not as bad as it did at NOLA, but not good either.  My hr was in lower zone 3 for the first loop and I decided to slow down to get it into upper zone 2 to see if that would help my stomach.  Within 20 minutes I started farting.  What a great feeling :-).  I started to feel less full and more confident I would have a death march.  Lap 3 was a little slower than lap 2 but it was nice to know I only had 5 miles left.  Then I made a mistake between lap 3 and 4.

starting lap 3 or 4
For some reason an orange slice sounded good to me.  As soon as I ate it I almost threw up but held it together.  I walked over to the bike trail and started running and not more than 10 seconds later I was hurling in the grass on the side of the bike trail.  Thoughts of DNF came into my mind.  Luckily I brought a bottle of water with me on this loop so I rinsed out my mouth and started walking.  I felt much better after that and decided I would run/walk my way in.  No more salt or GU, just water.  The rest of the death march was uneventful.

The finish

Overall, I would say my fitness just isn't there yet to have a great race.  Maybe I skipped too many workouts.  Maybe I didn't go hard enough in some of the workouts.  Maybe it's time to follow a different plan.  Lots of maybes.  I did decide that I won't decide on the season next year for at least a week.  With all that said, I didn't have any bad aches or pains during the race and I felt well enough after the race to cook for a bunch of people.  The next day I wasn't overly tired or sore either.  I's say I was in good enough shape for a good race.  I just need to figure out what it will take for a great race.

I weighed myself before and after the race and I lost 9 pounds or about 5.6% of my body weight.  That seems a little high, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.

The numbers
Total = 7:03:58 - 156
10:21:08 - run 0.5 mile to Y, check in and change
10:13:18 - 500 yards
1:00:48 - rest (wimp)
11:02:66 - 500 yards
1:00:44 - rest
13:45:25 - 600 yards
11:42:37 - 500 yards
12:58:93 - change and run 0.5 miles home
3:12:37 - bike 55.7 - ave hr 157
2:04:32 - bike-run transition - ave hr 142
24:25:55 - 2.5 mile loop 1 - ave hr 168
1:33:47 - chat with spectators
28:25:86 - 2.5 mile loop 2 - ave hr 162
4:01:90 - chat and put bandaids on nipples - ave hr 149
29:20:65 - 2.5 mile loop 3 - ave 159
1:44:23 - chat - ave hr 148
34:15:61 - 2.5 mile loop 4 - puked at the start of this lap and walked/runned it - ave hr 147
1:31:13 - chatted - ave hr 150
31:54:14 - 2.5 mile loop 5 - ave hr 148

Overall it was great to have a goal to keep training for.  It was tougher to keep going without people lining the course than I thought it would be, but we got it done.