Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Race Recap: BolderBoulder 10K

The BolderBoulder is America's favorite 10K, as voted in Runners World.  And while Peachtree might be bigger in terms of attendance, BolderBoulder is definitely the 10K that everyone seems to know.  

I've done this race the last 4 years.  Every year I've attempted to improve on my previous years time.  This course is a lot of fun, challenging, visually stimulating, and usually pretty warm.  To recap this race, I have to backtrack a bit and bring you to the previous weeks events.

The Week Before
Most of you probably know by now I'm an airline pilot.  This last week, I underwent a test.  The most important test of my airline career at this point.  You see, the FAA has mandated that every airline pilot has to have the rating called Airline Transport Pilot.  It's the rating that an airline captain has to have, but not the first officer.  The FO has to just have a commercial pilot rating.  There isn't a lot of difference between the two; just more or less a demonstrated mastery of the airplane and aviation in general.  

A checkride is always stressful.  If you go in prepared, know your stuff, and show respect to the check airman, it's a pretty easy event, with a twinge of nervousness.  This is why for the last month and a half, I have been studying my ass off.  For at least an hour a day, nearly every day since early April, I was nose-deep in my manuals, re-learning the airplane.  It's not as if I didn't know the stuff, but I really needed to dig deep.  As T said, if you think about it like the Apple iTunes store, I needed to get beyond the initial tracks, but not quite as deep as the deep cuts.

Meanwhile, I've been training for Ironman, getting that going, so you can see that I've actually been quite busy.

Anyway, when I found out I was getting a check airman with the reputation of being a hard-ass, I really threw down the gauntlet and studied.  Last week, heading to Cincinnati, I was no longer nervous.  I was just over it.  I was sick of studying and I just wanted the stupid check ride to be done.  A friend of mine was also doing this same checkride the day after me, so we studied together quite a bit in Cincinnati, just reviewing together.  We both agreed that there was no way we would fail our oral exams, that we just knew this stuff.

My oral went about as well as any oral I have ever done in my life.  I wowed the hard-ass check airman with some of my knowledge.  I'm not trying to brag here; in fact, throughout my career, I have generally struggled with oral exams.  The flights, they've never been an issue.  But the orals have always been my Achilles heel.  This time though, the prep and whatnot paid off.  I studied and it definitely showed.

The flight went fine.  I demonstrated excellent proficiency on the ride and was handed my temporary certificate.  I am now an Airline Transport Pilot, which in airline terms, is basically the "best of the best".  It's not something that is just handed out.  You have to earn it.  And I did.

So, the day before the BolderBoulder, a Sunday, I flew home from Cincinnati, feeling the stress over the last 2 months evaporating more and more.  I was happy and relieved.  My Ironman training could start in earnest now, without anything else really hanging over my head.  

The Morning Of
We woke up, in our usual race morning grumpiness, wondering why we signed up and all that jazz.  We gathered our stuff together, ate breakfast, and left the house about 5:40 am for the drive up to Boulder.  For some reason, we thought this was plenty early, but as it turns out, it was not.

When we got to Boulder, the traffic was...wow.  Very very busy.  Runners were everywhere.  My stress level started to rise as I thought we'd be cutting our pre-race Starbucks ritual short.  T told me to stay calm, and we eventually found our way to the parking garage.  After parking, we hastily threw our stuff together and made our way to Starbucks for coffee and our favorite pre-race bathroom.  I had a brief panic moment when I realized I left the snaps to my race belt in the bathroom, but I quickly retrieved them.  We downed our coffee and pre-race food and headed out to find the FedEx mobile locker line.  

I don't know if they are learning from their past, but the mobile locker lines are ridiculously efficient now.  We checked in our stuff and still had 20 minutes before the start.  No need to stress, eh?  We found our wave, hopped in the corral and waited.  Walking to the start, they had the usual guy at the beginning who plays the Call to Post right before the start.  Then the gun went off and we were off!

The Race
T and I both knew we wanted to PR in this race, but weren't necessarily sure if we could.  The previous week had been really hard on us, since we had just started official IM training and my sleep had been really thrown into whack with the checkride.  But we still thought we'd be able to.  

The first mile is generally flat and easy.  Plus, with the excitement of racing with those around you, it's easy to go out fast.  We did exactly that.  See, our training over the past month has proven to us that we can generally sustain 9:15-9:45 miles pretty easily.  We hit the first mile mark at 8:49, which we both knew was not sustainable, but would also build us a pretty nice cushion.

The second mile starts climbing through residential neighborhoods.  It's tougher and more challenging, and neither one of us really had gotten our legs yet.  We definitely slowed our pace down, and the temperature was already rising.  I dumped some water on my head at the aid station.  I read something in a triathlete publication a bit back that said that water at the aid station is for your head, Gatorade is for drinking.  I seem to be taking that to heart.  We did mile 2 in 9:25.

Mile 3 is even more daunting and challenging.  A solid climb, the run becomes grinding.  T and I were still on a solid pace and breaking the PR was not in doubt.  However, we were only halfway done with the run, and mile 4 does not make it any easier.  Mile 3 was done in 10:10, which is sadly pretty typical for us in this race.

Mile 4 is also nearly all uphill.  Strangely, I do not remember much about this mile, except that the same kids band is always in the same spot, playing Jimmy Eats World.  We hit this in 9:33.

Okay, so now we begin a nice descent to downtown Boulder.  I'm actually trying to smile through the pain, as my coach and Ironman Champion Chris McCormack has advised all his athletes to do.  Embrace the suck is the mentality.  But as we turned, I had this immense pain in my left shoulder.  I couldn't tell if it was a side stitch from breathing, a dehydration issue, or something bigger, but whatever it was, it was debilitating.  I had to stop and walk, and very nearly stopped moving altogether, it was so painful.  I breathed very deep, trying to make it go away, and eventually the pain dulled.  I resumed my trek towards the finish line.  Mile 5 was hit at 9:37.

So now we're on the final 1.2 miles.  To be blunt, you can tell we're still surrounded by the not-fuck-around people.  You see, we're in the EG wave, which is the last wave of people that have cracked 60:00 in the 10K the previous years or the people that have qualified in that timeframe.  So the focus around us was definitely intense.  You could feel it.  T and I were definitely conscious of our times and while the PR was not in doubt, cracking 59:00 was now in question thanks to my shoulder issue earlier.

Climbing up to Folsom is always the most daunting part of the race, so people say.  I don't think it's difficult per se, but what I do think is always a challenge is not beginning your kick too early.  It's very tempting to start and blow yourself out.  You see, you'll hit the 6 mile point just outside the stadium, but then you have .2 miles to go.  Plus it bottlenecks right there, so you have to be smart.  We both turned into the stadium and you could tell we were pushing it.  My breathing was ragged and I was hurting, but at this point, I seriously didn't care.  I knew I was going to leave it all out there.  I began my kick earlier then I wanted to, but I didn't worry about it.  My brain just screamed at me to get to the finish line and hit that damn PR!

I crossed the finish line and saw T cross just behind me.  I looked at my watch and saw that I PRed.  A huge sense of relief flooded me, along with some waves of nausea.  T and I kept moving to the stands, where the emotion of the previous week finally overtook me and I just collapsed in a heap.  After a few minutes, we collected ourselves, congratulated each other, and moved on.  We had both PRed, and we were happy!

Post-Race
We took stock of what we had just accomplished.  T had PRed by 4 seconds (I think) and I PRed by 12 seconds.  To the average person, that may not seem like a lot, and I bet my friend and pilot friend, Dr. J will give me some good-hearted grief over it, I am very proud of what we did.  Is it what my ultimate goal was?  No.  I wanted to crack 59:00 and I came up just short of that.  But is what I did an accomplishment?  You better believe it.  As my friend Scott and I were talking, I realized I left it all out there.  I gave everything I had on Monday.  My best effort was left on the BolderBoulder course.  And when you are racing, regardless of whether it's a 5K or an Ironman, that is all that matters.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Week Twenty-One: 5/20-5/26

Week twenty-one is also week one of IMAZ training. Nice how that worked.

Monday, May 20: Bike: 23.23 mi in 1:22:52; avg cad 85; 16.82 mph
- 27.0 mph max
- Spinervals 22.0 - Timetrialpalooza
- went so much better than yesterday
- my heart rate recovers freakishly fast
Lift: 20:00
- 3/10/10 back extensions; 3/15/10 med ball twists; 3/20 swiss ball crunches; 1,2/10/60,70 lat pulldowns; 3/10/10 incline db flies; 3/10/10 bicep curls; 3/10/5 front db raises; 3/10/30 tricep pressdowns
- no legs today
- Very solid first day of IM training. So weird how the ride today went better than yesterday. Best of all? Stuck to today's plan perfectly!

Tuesday, May 21: Run: 2.9 mi in 27:07.15 - 9:20/mi
- Run CO pub run
- conversational; hills were the main issues
- this was ... dare i say ... easy??
Stretching: ~12 min
- self explanatory
- feels goooood
- Didn't feel like doing actual yoga, but some good old-fashioned stretching. Felt REALLY good. Run was surprisingly speedy as we kept that one feeling "easy." Pace just means PROGRESS! Woo!

Wednesday, May 22: Lift: 27:00
- 3/10/90 angled leg press; 3/10/50 low rows; 3/10/10 goblet squats; 3/10/5 lat db raises; 3/10/10 back extensions; 3/10/10 tricep extensions; 3/10/120 standing calf; 3/20 ball crunches
- OMG two lifts in a week?
- legs this time around. yay.
Swim: 1200m in 27:26.57 - 2:17/100m
- 2x100m, 800m, 2x100m
- got into the zone - felt AWESOME - barely noticed when Brandon switched lanes
- Three days in and 3-for-3. Definitely had a mindset shift and I am so thankful for it ...

Thursday, May 23: Run: 7.48 mi in 1:16:47 - 10:16/mi
- out and back
- felt surprisingly awesome
- about two miles to get the legs feeling better
- The run hurt, but it felt awesome all the same. I felt like I could keep running forever. After it was done, I was kind of disappointed that it was all we had planned ... until making recovery food and it hurt to move. Oops. Still, YAY RUN!

Friday, May 24: Stretching: 10:00
- oh the tightness
- Okay, so this was my scheduled off day, but the stretching I did Tuesday felt so good, I wanted to do more. Plus, it's easy enough that I don't consider that I did anything. The essential day off was nice, though.

Saturday, May 25: Run: 4.43 mi in 40:35 - 9:09/mi
- MX12 treadmill set - beginner
- felt awesome - ready to bump it up i think
- I am so glad this went as well as it did. I have been dreading this for some unknown reason ... and was today, so I thought back to a convo I had with Lindsey - remind yourself that you love it, and do it. So I did, and it was AWESOME.

Sunday, May 26: Swim: 900m in 19:10.91 - 2:07/100m
- 100m, 200m, 300m, 200m, 100m
- used Brandon as a pacer to push it a bit
Bike: 14.84 mi in 1:01:12; avg cad 69; 14.55 mph
- 33.5 mph max
- CCSP loop plus a bit more
- easy spin
- Ride was slow, but since I scheduled us an easy spin, I'm not going to complain. 7-for-7 on this week's workouts - makes for a good start to IMAZ training.

On a side note, I find it funny how I go three straight weeks of running no more than 3 miles and then do almost 15 and my legs are fine. Shouldn't that not happen? I'm not complaining by any stretch of the imagination, though ...

Weekly training time: 6:44:11
Weekly training mileage: 49.75 mi
Yearly training time: 80:47:50
Yearly training mileage: 536.83 mi

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week Twenty: 5/13-5/19

In which my mindset shifts back. On a side note, 20 weeks through this year already? Jeebus.

Monday, May 13: Bike: 6.05 mi in 20:04; avg cad 90; 18.09 mph
- 35.9 mph max
- started over-unders; moved to just spinning with pick-ups.
- Barely had any time to get this in, but extremely glad I was able to squash at least this much in.

Tuesday, May 14: Walking: ~3 hrs - up and down the Vegas strip
- hotel to hotel
- Lifting didn't particularly work for me, but I did get in a crap-ton of walking. Woo vacations for that.

Wednesday, May 15: Run: 3.2 mi in 30:11.17 - 9:25/mi
- Vegas strip run
- stairs are a lactic destroyer
Walking: ~ 5.5 hours
- walk up and down and back and forth and to and fro on the Strip
- my feet hurt
- I think I was a walking zombie by the end of the day. Really glad I got the run in, even though it wasn't as long as I had planned. My legs definitely got worked, though.

Thursday, May 16: Off: lack of time
- Wake up, head to airport, fly home, head to work, work, sleep. That was my day and it had no time for a workout. But I already knew that going into this week.

Friday, May 17: Off: exhausted
- I've been go-go-go since Monday. My body refused to go anymore. So, I listened to it. Slightly frustrating nonetheless.

Saturday, May 18: Swim: 1200m in 27:02.66 - 2:15/100m
- 3x100m, 1x600m, 3x100m
- felt good during this
Lift: 27:00
- 3/10 captain's chair; 3/10/10 back extensions; 3/10/5 db pullovers; 3/10/5 lat db raises; 3/10/10 incline db flies; 3/10/8 tricep kickbacks; 3/10/120 standing calf; 2/10/65 hamstring curl; 3/15/12 med ball twists; 3/10/10 goblet bosu squats
- didn't hurt as much as I thought it would
- Good solid effort at the gym. Time at 900m in pool consistent with where I've been - awesome with the long set. Been a while since I've been satisfied with a workout!

Sunday, May 19: Bike: 8.31 mi in 32:39; avg cad 77; 15.27 mph
- 25.9 mph max; 143 max cad
- Spinervals 23.0 Time Saver I; workout A: technique
- this was a struggle. disheartening.
- The plan was to also get on the treadmill, but mentally, I was so upset with that workout that I felt that I wouldn't be able to get through the treadmill set. That thought was enough to make me bag it. Could I have gotten through it physically? Maybe, but if not, I think the failed attempt would have done more harm than good.

So I know my working out has slipped over the last two months compared to what it was over the first three months. I didn't give as much as my attention to it until yesterday. That bike, that recovery set, usually easy, about killed me. It was the first time I've done it on the new bike, but I don't think that should have mattered. I think that's also why I really haven't been on the treadmill much this month - my running has slacked and I'm scared to get on the treadmill and hurt and have an asthma attack and cry.

But giving into that fear does me no good. None at all. Ironman is a scary, scary journey and I've embraced that fear. I just have to remind myself that embracing the fear of the huge and unknown means I need to embrace the related fear that trickles down through my training lifestyle. I have a long trainer ride scheduled for today and I'm terrified. That just means I need to get at it. If this week goes to plan (it needs to and will), I will run more this week than I have this whole month. I'm not even going to get in to how much that hurt to write, but I will do it because it needs to get done. Because I need to embrace that fear and face it head on. I will fail otherwise.

Weekly training time: 10:46:57
Weekly training mileage: 18.31 mi
Yearly training time: 74:03:39
Yearly training mileage: 487.08 mi

Today, the journey begins. Ironman on the horizon!

Like a boxer dancing towards his opponent, today, I begin the dance towards Ironman Arizona.

I've prepped my body for the last 6 months just getting into "training" shape.  Overall, I think I've done a decent job.  My running is improving, my cycling is definitely getting better, and my swimming has been consistent.  I'm physically stronger, and hopefully mentally stronger as well. 

I will need the support of my friends throughout this journey.  The motivation cannot just come from within.  On that note, I also need the kicks in the butt to push me when I am tired and want to give up.

This journey of training will be talked about a lot with me.  Consuming is a good way to describe it.  And you will all be kept updated with training times, notes, and other things.  

Now let's get it done!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Week Nineteen: 5/6-5/12

Monday, May 6: Off: scheduled
- Well, I had thought of swim/lifting, but Brandon said this day worked out best as his off day. Therefore, I decided to go with it.

Tuesday, May 7: Bike: 12.07 mi in 45:14; avg cad 66, 16.01 mph
- 33.6 mph max
- CCSP loop
- handling the speed a little better
Run: 2.9 mi in 26:11.41 - 9:01/mi
- Run CO pub run
- humid, more of a struggle this week for sure
- Solid day. Run was a bit harder this week than last, but I still got some nice speed out of my legs. Knowing I did that after a ride earlier in the day gives me some hope for tri season ... as well as the knowledge that I still have a ways to go.

Wednesday, May 8: Swim: 900m in 20:36.13 - 2:17/100m
- 100m, 200m, 300m, 150m, 50m, 100m
- lost count due to mucus
- sore shoulders
- Sore shoulders were interesting - due to the ride? Swimming more frequently? Haven't quite gotten my groove back, but I'm getting glimpses. Hoped to get in a lift, too, but prior commitments, time and shitty weather/traffic conspired against that.

Thursday, May 9: Off: tired
- 4.5, 5 hours of sleep last night means I am tiiiiiiiired today. And this is a ridiculous exhaustion. So no treadmill for me today. Back on the horse (bike) tomorrow ...

Friday, May 10: Off: utter exhaustion
- I got home and napped for 4.5 hours. I may have needed that ... Getting a combined 9.5 hours over two nights is not beneficial for training or recovery.

Saturday, May 11: Bike: 11.37 mi in 40:04; avg cad 86; 17.03 mph
- 27.0 mph max
- part of the Spinervals Tempe Training Ride
- ugh
- Not exactly all I wanted to get in, but I'm glad I spun the legs.

Sunday, May 12: Swim: 900m in 20:14.12 - 2:15/100m
- 100m, 200m, 300m, 200m, 100m
- a bit nauseous during this
- Really hoped to get in a treadmill run, too, but lack of food killed me. I felt like crap on a cracker and it took a few hours to get me feeling better again and by that point, too late to run.

Weekly training time: 2:32:19
Weekly training mileage: 27.46 mi
Yearly training time: 63:16:42
Yearly training mileage: 468.77 mi

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Race #1 of the Season: Cherry Creek Sneak

For our first race this year, we came back to the Cherry Creek Sneak, the unofficial start to Denver's race season. We've done this race multiple times in the past; it was Brandon's first official 5K way back in 2008 and we've done the five miler the past few years. This year, though, it was back to the 5K.

When we started planning out our racing season, we had thought that this race might be a decent one to try and PR in. I myself was hopeful ... until I had the shitty, shitty April that I had. Thus, when it came to race day, I would run as hard as I could and see what happened.

That morning, we did our usual breakfast and drive down early so we could grab parking in the mall parking garage before the streets surrounding Cherry Creek North closed down. Mission accomplished. We stopped in the Safeway for a pre-race poop, registered, pooped some more (I hate my nervous colon), noticed the seemingly extra police presence (damn you Boston Marathon bombers), dropped our stuff off in the car and then finally got around to running once it was time.

Mile 1:

The first mile is usually our slowest mile, due to the mass insanity of the start and the bunching of people and dodging the walkers and so on and so forth. This year, not so much. We were holding a pace that was pushing it, but I didn't think it was that bad. Hitting the first mile marker in an 8:30, though? That's pushing it more than my lungs can handle these days.

Mile 2:

We definitely slowed down in the second mile. A lot of that is my fault. Damn lungs. It's also just a grind of a mile. Brandon mentioned in his race recap that the "caliber" (so to speak) of the runners around us was different, in that there was less chit-chatting and more breathing. We be serious, yo. Kinda.

Mile 3.1:

Despite slowing down in the second mile, I knew that if there was any way I could pick it up, I still had an outside chance at a PR (26:27). My legs tried to make me go, but my lungs were having none of it. NONE OF IT. I kind of hate my lungs these days and my inability to breathe. Part of it's the sports asthma (I HATE INHALERS AND DON'T THINK THEY WORK THEREFORE I DON'T USE THEM) and part of it's the chill that's still in the air and part of it is just that, plain and simple, my cardiovascular strength isn't where I want it to be (but as long as it gets there by November 17, I'll deal with the crap). I saw 26:27 come and go and still tried to push it, as awful as it was.

I crossed the finish line feeling like I wanted to vomit, it took a while for my breath to come back and I was hacking for a good 20 minutes after, so it's a safe bet to say I left it all out on the race course, and 28:13 was the best I could do that day.

Final Stats:
Time: 28:13
Pace: 9:06/mi
Overall Rank: 582/4023
Gender Rank: 195/2525
Division Rank: 35/288 (F25-29)

With IM training being what it is, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to get/keep the 5K speed I need for a PR, but we'll see. There are approximately 13849710348 5Ks in Colorado in the summer, so it's not like I don't have enough options to try.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week Eighteen: 4/29-5/5

In which things get better.

Monday, April 29: Off: tired/planned
- figured this was the best day to take off this week and I was still tired. Damn lack of motivation.

Tuesday, April 30: Run: 2.9 mi in 25:36.28 - 8:49/mi
- RunCO Boston pub run
- still no lungs; speedy legs - running with others helps that
- sub-9!!
- Broke the Tuesday fail workout streak with what is probably one of my fastest times on this course. Ballin.

Wednesday, May 1: Bike: 17.69 mi in 1:00:37; avg cad 82; 17.51 mph
- 49.4 mph max
- Spinervals 29.0 - Dropping the Hammer
- Silly snow means this is what I do. Yay. Still some crotch discomfort, but not horrible. I think it's the wider saddle nose ...

Thursday, May 2: 2 hours yard work
- Parks project
- mulching! shoveling and raking
- Sbux day of community service ~ 2 hours of mulching. Didn't really have much time to do anything else today after lunch and getting some other errands done, but this was some nice physical labor and awesome to do some good in the community.

Friday, May 3: Swim: 800m in 17:31.78 - 2:11/100m
- 8x100m
- felt kinda pukey
- easing back in, fighting my pool rut
- Decided to wait until after dinner to do my second workout because I felt that crappy in the water ... but Brandon came home on a surprise. Which is ultimately good - yay husband's home! - but bad for getting in a second workout. We are not helping each other get in our training right now and that is a huge problem.

Saturday, May 4: Swim: 900m in 20:22.62 - 2:15/100m
- 100m, 200m, 300m, 50m, 150m, 100m
- blueberry muffin burps
- Lift: ~ 4:00
- 2,1/10/60, 50 low rows; 2/10 back extensions
- ~ 8:00 basketball
- it was tempting
- Decent swim. Started feeling like my mojo was coming back by the end. Didn't lift as much as I'd hoped, but had fun shooting hoops for a few minutes.

Sunday, May 5: Run: 3.95 mi in 37:16.08 - 9:25/mi
- amended out-and-back
- cold lungs; legs felt only running twice this week
Bike: 7.36 mi in 27:31; 89 avg cad; 16.05 mph
- 26.6 mph max
- pedaling in front of the TV
- Decent Sunday. Salvaged this week okay. Hopefully jumpstarted myself back into good things.

Friday's note is the big discovery this week. Often times, I'll get in a workout in the afternoon, Brandon will come home from work and because he's exhausted, I hang out with him instead of getting in my second planned workout. Sometimes, he'll decide to bag his workout on these days and I let him. This is truly unacceptable, unless we are well and truly fatigued. I should just tell him, okay, you're tired, that's fine; I'm still hopping on the trainer/going for a run/heading to the gym ... and he needs to say yes you do/I'm joining you/go for a workout.

Sometimes this battle is all about the little shifts we make in our day-to-day lives ...

Weekly training time: 5:20:55
Weekly training mileage: 32.96 mi
Yearly training time: 60:44:23
Yearly training mileage: 431.31 mi

Saturday, May 4, 2013

First Race of the Season - Cherry Creek Sneak 5K

The Cherry Creek Sneak is the race that kicks off the racing season in Denver.  Always the last Sunday in April, it is the chance to start the racing season right.  

For us, it's one of the last races of the year we can have fun with.  With Ironman training starting May 20th, everything at that point is training.  

We woke up Sunday morning and did our usual morning rituals.  I had my standard egg/toast and brought a banana with me for before the race.  We got down there nice and early to park and register.  Once registered, we headed back to the car to change into our shoes and relax a bit.  

Walked back to near the start and stood in the sun to stay warm.  Saw the 10 milers go off and just waited for our time.  The police presence was definitely more noticed due to the Boston Marathon sadness.  Then we decided to stretch out.  My calves were tight, as were my hamstrings.

We then got in the start corral and waited for the race to start.  I tried thinking of a race strategy, but all I came up with was "go".

Soon the horn sounded and we were off!

The Race
Again, our strategy in this race was "go".  We didn't know what we were capable of, but we knew there were some good possibilities.

The first mile is standard in the Sneak.  You elbow, jostle, dodge, and do what you have to do to get some open space.  So the first probably 3/10ths of Mile 1 were just that.  T and I hooked up after we found our opening and pressed on.  The pace was definitely tough; we have been running a bit faster in training and it was noticeable early.  But I was also having trouble getting my breath under me.  More on that later.

Mile 1 was hit at 8:30 exactly.  Normally I'm doing 9's, so that was awesome for me.  But I also wondered if it was sustainable.  I mentally put that aside and we slugged through Mile 2.  Mile 2 is a grind in this race.  There's a water stop.  I could tell our pace was still strong.   Normally when we're running these races we're usually back with the people that are gabbing and just loving being leisurely.  This race was not like that.  Other people were breathing hard and working.  It was a good feeling.

In the final mile, T pulled ahead of me for most of it.  I caught her late in the race and passed her.  I knew my PR was out of reach, but I was running as hard as I can at this time and was giving it my all.

I crossed the finish line at 28:12.  I breathed a bit and cooled down.  T crossed one second behind me, so I technically beat her. :-)

Post-Race
Did the usual cool down of grabbing bagels and bananas and walking around.  We talked about how it was tough to grab a breath while running.  A couple days later, we found out the allergies around Colorado are really bad right now, preventing people from breathing effectively.   We also watched our friend Nicole, who is part-owner of RunColorado, our favorite running store, start the 5 mile race, which she ended up winning.

Overall, not a bad race.  I'll take it for my first 5K of the season.

In Which We Get New Bikes ...

... and Bob and Melon get retired (kinda. they're still around ... without pedals or cyclometers and, in bob's case, without a front wheel since I still haven't put it back on).

When we did our taxes this year, we were hoping for a decent refund as that was going to be our bike fund. It ended up being pretty decent so we found a couple of days in April to go down to TriSports and buy ourselves bikes.

There are a few places around here we could have gone for triathlon-specific bikes, but Brandon schmoozed it up with owner Seton Claggett while we were working the TriSports aid station at IMAZ and Seton said he'd help us out, therefore ... Tucson drive! Plus we like it down there, so whatever.

We left Denver Monday afternoon, got a good chunk of the way through New Mexico, crashed at a rest stop for a few hours and rolled into Tucson at about 8:30am on Tuesday. We grabbed breakfast (at Frank's/Francisco's Restaurant ... SO GOOD) and then off to TriSports. We got in the doors essentially as they opened and we went straight into bike fitting.

I went first on the bike they had chosen for me, a Quintana Roo Dulce:
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After I pretty much got dialed in, it was Brandon's turn, on a QRoo Seduza:

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Even better for Brandon is they had an extra ISM Adamo saddle leftover from when they used to do saddle tryouts, so he got a snazzy, almost $200 saddle for free (he always gets the good stuff for cheap there; it's how he got his aero helmet and Sidi shoes).

After dropping a whole lot of money (well, charging a whole lot of money ... not looking forward to that credit card bill) on bikes and a pair of swim paddles (for me), it was off to eat deliciously crappy food for lunch and then pretty much crash and die due to exhaustion.

Wednesday, we took the bikes out on a test ride - or at least tried to; Tucson had 25-30mph winds, gusting to 40mph - and got a taste for what they could do.

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Hugging Bob. Poor Bob looks so sad.

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The potential these bikes contain is scary. We've ridden them a bit since including on the Platte trail, one of the flatter routes around here. I haven't gone back and checked officially, but I'm pretty sure our mph average on it was at least a mile per hour faster than we've ever done. That's just "free" speed, just due to the bike. If I can get the engine powering it better? It's frightening to think of the potential of what my racing season can be.

As for names, Brandon's is named Slaughter (think: the Simpsons (Slaughter in the Water: Tyson vs. Secretariat), also a character on Castle) and mine? Well, mine still needs a name. And new grip tape. Too much pink for me.

I'll end with one picture of Bob from the drive home, looking despondent, for what good is a bike that's not being ridden? Its purpose is no longer.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

April Round-Up

While March was pretty awesome, April was not quite as good. Which, of course, you'd know if you were following along. :-p

Running: 35.66 mi
Swimming: 3400m (2.11 mi)
Cycling: 51.25 mi
Lifting: one session
Other: nada

Running is still moving along. I didn't run nearly as much as I would have liked this month and definitely didn't get on the treadmill as much as I should have, but I'm starting to see sub-9:00s, and I'm not entirely sure I saw those at all last year, so woo for that.

Swimming, which had been going oh so well, finally started to suck again. I knew I would hit a wall with it; it was only a matter of time. The time has come and oh sweet jeebus it's awful.

I quit getting along with my old bike, Bob, and essentially quit riding him the first half of the month. Mid-month, I got my new bike and despite some growing pains, I'm enjoying her a lot. I'll hopefully have a post up regarding the new bicycles ... this weekend.

The true lack of everything else is really frustrating. It's the little things, like lifting, that truly help build the base and base-building took a step back this month. We hit a rut and I'm not sure why and I don't like it at all. I'm hoping May can be better, because quite frankly, it needs to be. Also, from the math we've done, IMAZ training officially starts the 20th and we need to get crackin' on figuring out our training plan, too.