Friday, January 27, 2012
The race we signed up for awhile back is called the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon. It's one of those races that you do more or less for bragging rights. Let's face it; at this time of year we're not exactly in tip-top tri shape and we're not exactly looking to perform amazing feats. Besides, you get sweatpants in this race. Awesome, right?
We woke up and debated going on the BRC morning run. I haven't run with these guys in forever, and I really enjoy their company. But we debated it and made the decision to stay in bed. However, we decided to at least stop by and say hello to Pete, who has become something of a friend and we're proud to be associated with him. We visited with him for awhile, discussing this, that, and the other, had some coffee with him, and then quick came back here to pack for the du.
Upon arriving (somewhat tardy) to the race, we quick got our trans area ready and listened to a pre-race brief. This du was super interesting in terms of format. It started off with a 1.5 mile run, then a 3.6 mile bike ride. You came back into trans, doing a 2.5 mile run, then you did the 3.6 mile ride x 2. After that, you sprinted 50 yards to the finish. What the hell, right?
We debated on what to wear on the run (it was somewhat cold out) and then what to wear on the first ride. T ditched her big Skirt Sports jacket but kept everything else on. We waited for the start of the race (we were in corral C).
At the start, we kept up a pretty good pace. It was kind of funny how quickly the race ended. I guess it was an interesting exercise in terms of pacing and seeing what the Mile High Mile could be. :-)
The ride was good, surprisingly fast. It's quite clear that the amount we've ridden this year has already started to pay off. I'm not going to say that I'm where I'm at for the year, but let's face it; good progress.
The 2.5 mile run? Not so good. It's obvious that my run training is still suffering. While I definitely have put in some time training for running this year, I'm not nearly where I want to be.
Back to the bike and things were good. I started faltering a little bit on the last lap, but let's face it; doing that same course in the wind was getting a little fatiguing.
When I came back into trans with T, I just said screw it and sprinted to the finish in my socks. I wasn't putting on my shoes for 50 yards. I crossed the finish line and that was that. I was now a duathlete!
I can't say I'm a huge fan of this format of duathlon, but thankfully, I have a pair of sweatpants. :-)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Anyway, this past Saturday, we did our second technical and first actual duathlon - the second in the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon series. The weather was tons better than our first race in the series which made us very happy, as this was the one race of the three that we were looking forward to the most.
While this was a multisport race, I'm not going to go about this recap the way I normally would for a multisport race ... because this race had two runs, two bikes and three transitions. Plus a T4/sprint to the finish. I'll just recap the thing and then do the numbers.
Race morning, we woke up trying to decide if we wanted to do a short warm-up run with the Saturday BRC-DTC crew. We debated back and forth on it, but ultimately decided that we're not strong enough athletes to do that right now. We decided to head on over to say hi to the store owner, Pete, though, given that Brandon was in town and he usually can't do the Saturday runs due to his job.
After saying hi to Pete, we moseyed on back home, cooked breakfast and packed up our transition bags - a very weird thing given that the last time we had to do so was waaaaay back in September.
Given the short distance of the race, we decided to forgo our aero bottles and just go with a regular old bike bottle. We also decided to layer quite a bit for even though it wasn't snowy, it was still pretty chilly (mid-40s by race start). Silly winter.
We ended up running kinda late, getting to Cherry Creek State Park a lot later than we normally would for a race. However, if we had ran that late living back at my old house, we would have been screwed. MAJOR perk to living in the new place.
In any case, we got to CCSP, unloaded the Rav, picked up our packets (and sweatpants!) and set up transition. We couldn't find places together on the same rack, but close enough:
We set up, feeling kind of weird given that we didn't have that whole pesky swim portion to worry about. And we started off running. My trans towel looked all empty.
I took a gamble with this race - I don't typically wear socks with my bike shoes and didn't want to waste a lot of time taking socks on and off for each leg. Soooo ... I just decided not to wear socks. I figured the runs were short enough so I just decided to BodyGlide the crap out of my feet and go with it.
Run #1 was a short loop - 1.5 miles - and I think we pushed it way too hard. Brandon held the pace for that one - Mr. SpeedyPants lately - and it was a rough go for me. And fast. Way faster than I've been running lately.
(13:02; 9:19/mi, 172nd overall)
T1 was longer than most of my tri transitions, but Brandon and I ran this race together. Plus I needed to ditch a layer and deal with my falling apart bike shoes. Stupid shoes.
Bike #1 was a simple 3.6 mile loop - uphill to start, down a nice hill, slightly up another, around a loop, down a slight hill, uphill into the wind to trans. Felt a lot longer than said time indicates.
(12:19, 17.5 mph, 151st overall)
T2 was similar to T1. Weeeee.
Run #2 was a whole hell of a lot slower than run #1. It was a 2.5 mile out-and-back and omg slow. Here was when we realized we need to learn duathlon pacing, for it is a lot different than triathlon pacing, particularly with the format of the race. Still, we plodded along, walking some, running some, passing a few people and not getting passed by anyone we didn't already pass before (that is, working our way up the standings). The lack of running/run fitness came out here.
(28:38, 11:27/mi, 173rd overall)
T3 was long since Brandon had to do a port-o-potty stop at the end of the run. Since we were doing the race together, I waited for him to come into transition so we could go off together. It was also good because I had to fiddle with my dang bike shoe to get it to cooperate so I could put it on my foot.
Bike #2 was two loops of the same course as bike #1 (so 7.2 miles?). We took the first lap easy and pushed it on the second ... with the wind picking up on the windy parts. Boo to that. On lap one, I experienced one of my major race pet peeves. The road wasn't closed to outside cars. The race people did a GREAT job of traffic management and not a lot of people were coming into the park, but still, as cyclists on an open course, we're supposed to stay to the right. Safer and it makes passing easier. This one woman, however, was riding basically in the middle of the road. Sorry honey, but I shouldn't have to go into the OPPOSITE LANE to pass your ass. Safety first, sweetiepoo.
(25:20, 17.1 mph, 155th overall)
T4/50-yd sprint was done barefoot. A gamble to be sure, but I wasn't clomping across in my crappy bike shoes. Plus it made me very focused on doing that mid-foot strike. I wasn't able to quite do my customary sprint, but close enough.
19/21 division (F29&UND)
This duathlon thing is kind of fun. Definitely a nice change of pace from triathlon ... though I'd really like to do the (what I consider) more typical du format of run/bike/run. CC#3 is a bike/run which should be fine (as long as it doesn't snow like crazy and make us switch to the 4mi run-only again). My desire to do the r/b/r format is the reason why I have Barkin' Dog on our 2012 tentative race schedule.
I just need to learn how to pace myself for this type of race by then.
HOWEVER! I will have new bike shoes. As you can see here,
... my shoes are kind of dead. I have new ones, but I need to make sure they fit before I start using them/put my cleats on them. TriSports visit in a week for that. :)
Friday, January 13, 2012
- Apple makes good products. But people that use them are no longer hip or cool. Everyone has an iPod now. And an iPhone. You’re not some elitist if you own an Apple product. And to all these Wall Street protesters that think Apple was some non-capitalist company, Steve Jobs took full advantage of Capitalism.
- Hard work sometimes pays off. Other times, it gets you nowhere
- The key to winning over a woman is humor. Be funny, make her laugh, make sure to have some physical contact. Keep your guard up and your game on. You’re always in danger of ending up on the “just a friend” list
- I laugh, cry, get angry, emotional, and everything in between. I don’t have a fear of expressing my emotions. They are there. There’s no reason to shove them into your stomach.
- Sports are very important. They teach you lessons for life. Team sports are not life. An individual sport, such as triathlon or running, is much better for the soul
- If someone doesn’t like you, it’s hard to not take it personally. I don’t think you should conform to everyone though.
- Your job should never, ever, rule your life. It should be the other way around
- People’s expectations of you are going to be unreasonable. Your expectation of yourself is also usually unreasonable. Go easy on yourself every now and then. Sometimes, it’s not your fault
- There is nothing as pleasurable as a quiet moment in a chair with a good cup of coffee
- Advice will come at you from all corners. Most of it is meant well, but most of it is also garbage
Thursday, January 12, 2012
What's that they say about best laid plans and things shot to hell or whatever?
In any case, I'm going to be smart about this. I'm still hoping to run Saturday with the run group from our favorite running store, but to do that, I'm going to take it easy and take care of myself until then. While it's not entirely in my control, I'm going to do everything possible to make it so I'm not out for two months with sickness like I was last year.
So, soup, hydration and plenty of couch time look to be in my future (along with a little bit of work thrown in) and hopefully I'll be back building up my strength soon.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Turns out, a lot.
For those of you who know anything about me, you know I lean right in my politics, and in the election this year, I am a proud ABO voter (Anybody But Obama). But I love reading the Sunday New York Times. The magazine and book review, especially. I was reading it this last Sunday and came across a story about yoga. Since I like yoga, I kept reading, and what I found out startled me. With the rise in popularity of yoga in our society, it turns out that it is sometimes not the safest thing to do.
An experienced yogi, one who has practiced the art of yoga for years and actually has been to India, described how dime-a-dozen yoga studios have popped up everywhere. A lot of these yoga studios have inexperienced teachers whose main concerns are money and pounding in poses that their students have no business doing. He went on to describe some horrific injuries that he has heard about. Things like herniated discs in the back. He continued to say that majority of people have no place practicing yoga; it is not a means of fitness. Yoga, in its purest form, is a way of life. It's a means of achieving spiritual insight.
Last year, I actually went to a meditation class. I found it very relaxing and an interesting journey into the mind. While I can't say it's something I would want to do regularly, it was enjoyable and fascinating. Learning that yoga is a form of meditation and spiritual practice, I want to treat it as such. A journey into the mind and a journey of tough relaxation. Not as an exercise, or something trendy.
What are everyone's thoughts on this?
Check out the article here
Friday, January 6, 2012
However, for a triathlete in the winter offseason, the occasionally-warm-but-not-ridiculous-like-this days that we've been seeing are AWESOME. Some of the pros that live in Boulder have even been tweeting about the mid-60s we've been seeing.
I originally wanted to take advantage of the warmth a few days ago, but I had tube issues with Bob and ended up taking him in for a tune (and a new chain!) this past Monday. Treads first told me I wasn't going to get him back until today (or Monday), but luckily, they got him back to me a day later.
So, because both Brandon and I had Wednesday and Thursday off and both days were gorgeous - warm AND calm - we got on the bikes and explored the neighborhood ... which now essentially includes Cherry Creek State Park, where a lot of our tris are held.
Before Thursday's ride.
It was a little rough getting back on the bike seeing as it was the first time we'd been riding outside in several months (day two really hurt the butt in particular), but at the same time, it felt really good. Day two even felt a little easier on the legs, even.
I know this won't last (nor, if I'm honest with myself, do I want it to, for the health of the state), but for right now, we may as well enjoy it.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Yet once I hit the floor, I love being at the gym. Lifting weights with proper form, sweating from exerting myself, and pounding out laps in the pool are very enjoyable. I always leave the gym happier then when I came.
I stumbled across this article on twitter this morning from the Wall Street Journal that had 27 truths about the gym. Here they are:
1. A gym is not designed to make you feel instantly better about yourself. If a gym wanted to make you feel instantly better about yourself, it would be a bar.
2. Give yourself a goal. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe you want to quarterback the New York Jets into the playoffs. But be warned: Losing 10 pounds is hard.
3. Develop a gym routine. Try to go at least three times a week. Do a mix of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. After the third week, stop carrying around that satchel of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.
4. No one in the history of gyms has ever lost a pound while reading "The New Yorker" and slowly pedaling a recumbent bicycle. No one.
5. Bring your iPod. Don't borrow the disgusting gym headphones, or use the sad plastic radio attachment on the treadmill, which always sounds like it's playing Kenny Loggins from a sewer.
6. Don't fall for gimmicks. The only tried-and-true method to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning.
7. Yes, every gym has an overenthusiastic spinning instructor who hasn't bought a record since "Walking on Sunshine."
8. There's also the Strange Guy Who is Always at the Gym. Just when you think he isn't here today...there he is, lurking by the barbells.
9. "Great job!" is trainer-speak for "It's not polite for me to laugh at you."
10. Beware a hip gym with a Wilco step class.
11. Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.
12. Nope, that's not a "recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate." That's a chocolate bar.
13. Avoid Unsolicited Advice Guy, who, for the small fee of boring you to death, will explain the proper method for any exercise in 45 minutes or longer.
14. You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that's super tough!
15. If you're motivated to buy an expensive home exercise machine, consider a "wooden coat rack." It costs $40, uses no electricity and does the exact same thing.
16. There's the yoga instructor everyone loves, and the yoga instructor everyone hates. Memorize who they are.
17. If you see an indoor rock climbing wall, you're either in a really cool gym or a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson.
18. Be cautious about any class with the words "sunrise," "hell," or "Moby."
19. If a gym class is going to be effective, it's hard. If you're relaxed and enjoying yourself, you're at brunch.
20. If you need to bring your children, just let them loose in the silent meditation class. Nobody minds, and kids love candles.
21. Don't buy $150 sneakers, $100 yoga pants, and $4 water. Muscle shirts are for people with muscles, and rhythm guitarists.
22. Fancy gyms can be seductive, but once you get past the modern couches and fresh flowers and the water with lemon slices, you're basically paying for a boutique hotel with B.O.
23. Everyone sees you secretly racing the old people in the pool.
24. If you're at the point where you've bought biking shoes for the spinning class, you may as well go ahead and buy an actual bike. It's way more fun and it doesn't make you listen to C+C Music Factory.
25. Fact: Thinking about going to the gym burns between 0 and 0 calories.
26. A successful gym membership is like a marriage: If it's good, you show up committed and ready for hard work. If it's not good, you show up in sweatpants and watch a lot of bad TV.
27. There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.
Good 'ol truths, huh? Have any others you'd like to add?
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Now why is that a problem? After all, shouldn't you be trying to be the best you can be? Why not shoot for the best?
Yes and no.
Because we live in an instant gratification society (think Twitter, fast food, airline travel) people expect results instantly. Combine that with millions of people having been raised by parents and teachers who told them they were perfect and could do anything and you have a recipe for disaster.
Think about it. How many people do you know that have crashed and burned with their resolutions after the first week? I'm imagining someone right now who by the end of this week will have had 6 great days of dieting and exercise, and 1 bad day, and instantly throw it all away because they failed. Change is hard! Change isn't easy! Us humans, we aren't normally receptive to change as it is. So to change your mindset about something dramatically is tough to do.
T also had a great point. She said a lot of times, people set their expectations way too high. They have incredible goals that would be extremely admirable to achieve. Problem is, they aren't realistic. Think about it. Say your goal is to be debt-free in 2012. And you have $10,000 in debt with a $30,000 income. That means 1/3 of your pay is going to pay down debt. With living expenses and things the way they are in our economy, it's just a very difficult goal. I'm not saying it can't be done, but realistically, it won't happen.
Same thing with weight loss. Most people say they want to lose x pounds. This should be a goal over the course of the entire year, and I think they start out that way. But somewhere along the road, the person has a bad day, week, or month, and they give up. Why? Because they can't keep the big picture in mind. These are NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS! Not JANUARY resolutions.
What I'm trying to get at here, is the big picture must be kept in mind. Please, continue to set goals and please keep trying to better yourself. But don't set yourself up for failure either.
That is all.
Monday, January 2, 2012
As I said in my last post, I'm a human being, and the closing of 2011 was not good. However, I believe I have learned from my mistakes. And I believe that this year will definitely showcase my talent and desire to be a great age grouper in my sport.
Here's a rough outline of some of my goals:
- run a LOT! My running was weak last year. I need to run a lot more.
- Crack 10:00 per mile in the 1/2 Marathon. I plan on running the Denver Rock N Roll 1/2 again. Not only will I avenge my lousy run last year, but I will crack 10:00 per mile at the distance
- speed, speed, speed. This year is the year of speed. While I will still incorporate long distance training, it will not be the primary focus of my year. This year will be fast
- do the 45:00 treadmill sprint often. This workout is one of my favorites
- The 1st of every month, or as close to it as possible, do the Pain Cave Spinerval DVD at home. This will help me evaluate my progress
- Lift a minimum twice a week. Focus on core work every time
- race a lot. I enjoy racing immensely, and plan on doing a lot of them this year
- cook a lot more. Being in our own place with our own kitchen, this should not be a problem
- grow stronger mentally. It's no secret that T is the stronger of the two of us mentally. I need to put myself in situations that make me uncomfortable
- Blog a lot more. I know I say this from time to time, but right now, I want to blog a lot. Ideas, thoughts, articles. This will help me keep my thoughts together, and allow you all to hold me accountable
- keep my training log accurate. Sometimes I let myself slip and don't log my workout immediately after. This can't happen. I have to be accurate, so I can grow
- Keep it simple. I made one resolution this year. It's this. Workouts simple. Eating simple. Financially simple. Keep it simple.
I'm very excited and optimistic for this year, and look forward to having you all being a part of it. :-)
I posted awhile back about owning up to my mistakes, working harder, and stopping the excuses.
That didn't happen.
Why didn't it happen? There's lots of reasons, lots of excuses, but I'm going to just stick with one.
I'm a human being.
Why do I keep saying that, you might ask? It's simple. I'm human. And because I'm human, I'm not perfect. Not anywhere close. That means I make mistakes. That means I'm not invincible. And that means unfortunately, I'm on my knees, begging you, my loyal readers, my friends, and my motivators, for forgiveness.
I'm a human being.
As a human being, I'm prone to mistakes. Humans, since the days of Adam and Eve, make mistakes. Look at Custer. Look at Buckner. Look up Jeff Frazee (gave up a 195 foot goal in hockey to Robbie Bina, the longest goal in college hockey history). Hell, look at Andreas Raelert, who made a crucial error in the 2010 Ironman that allowed Chris McCormack to seal his win. And he made his mistake at mile 139! People make mistakes.
November and December were pathetic. I'm not even going to try to recap my workouts, because they were so infrequent and non-existent. Furthermore, my diet went to utter and complete hell. I let myself down, and I let you all down.
My year was not without success. Completing a 1/2 Ironman, cycling a lot, lifting consistently, and working hard MOST of the year makes for, in my opinion, a fine year. Keep in mind too, I achieved a lot in life. I got married, moved, and transferred bases. I achieved a lot this year.
I have big aspirations for 2012. Simple aspirations, but big nonetheless.
And along the way, I'm sure I will continue to realize that I'm a human being. :-)
Sunday, January 1, 2012
2012 Athletic Goals/Resolutions:
General: SPEED and STRENGTH: building the foundation that will carry me through Ironman Arizona 2013.
Running: - sub-60:00 at BolderBOULDER 10K
- PR at RnR Denver Half (2:00-2:15)
- 28:00 5K
- yearly total of 500 miles
Execution: - run at least 10 miles/week
- do one dedicated speed workout/week
Cycling: - average at least 16.5 mph at every in-season race*
- yearly total of 800 miles
Execution: - on the bike at least once per week in the off-season
- in season, ride at least 30 miles/week
- do a Coach Troy (spinervals) session 2-4 times/month EVEN IN SEASON
Swimming: - average a 38:00/mi
- yearly total of 60 miles
Execution: - swim at least one mile/week
- incorporate a variety of drills in the pool, but mostly in the off-season
- spend most of my in-season training in the open water
Triathlon: - post a 1:40 or lower at Tri for the Cure**
- post a 3:30 or lower at either Boulder Peak Triathlon or Rattlesnake Olympic
Strength: - lift at least twice a week (preferably more in off-season)
- MORE CORE in the off-season
Flexibility: - do yoga at least once a week
- get back into stretching again - before/after workouts/competitions
Other: - play hockey an average of once a month
- walk more - particularly in the warmer months - like to the now super close grocery store
- hike more - do at least five hikes this summer
- snowshoe more - at least three trips this winter
It's a lot of stuff, but I think it's definitely doable. I'm also doing something new this year with specific time goals. They're not GIANT stretches I don't think, but doable. I'd really like to get back to my 2007 5K PR of 26:27, but I don't want to depress myself if I can't get there. Last year, I had a lot of mid-29:00 5Ks so being able to chop a good minute or so down from that would still be outstanding.
It's also a little scary that if I succeed, this will be my highest mileage total year EVER and I'm not even planning on doing a long-distance race ... except for maybe Harvest Moon long course if I feel like I can make a showing ... but we'll see about that. The plan for this year is to be a speed year focusing on short-course racing so as to be replenished and ready for the grueling process that will be IM training, but I also know that I'm not going to get faster without putting in the work. I think the mileage is manageable and I hope it will be sufficient work to attain my goal of speed.
Or at least speedier...ness.
* I say in-season because we still have Chilly Cheeks du series this month and next month. Due to possible snow conditions (see that recap), I don't want to have to literally kill myself to achieve a 16.5 mph average.
** I was going to say a 1:45 ... but I pulled a 1:43 out of my butt at Crescent Moon this past September in my post Boulder 70.3 funk on essentially the same course, so I think a 1:40 is totally doable. Hotter weather, yes, and a crappier run, but I believe still doable.