Friday, May 28, 2010

Where was that last weekend?

So yesterday I had decided to go on a run with the intent on running some hills.  Well at least the hills that we have available to us here in the western suburbs.  So I ran south down Madison in Hinsdale and kept going south to the only hills that I'm aware of in the area.  I was actually feeling pretty good during the run (wish that would have been the case on Saturday) and kept things in check for the most part.  I was able to keep a good pace on the hills and recovered on the backside...again something I wish I could have done last weekend.  I think I know where I was lacking, and I'm pretty sure it was my bike fitness.  There is only one way to fix that...ride more.  I was able to get a little time in on the bike this morning before taking my pups for a much needed walk.

Looking forward to a nice weekend weather wise and for the Hawks to get started tomorrow night!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Gift of Fitness

Wanner had the great idea to get a ride in before school this morning.  What an incredible morning it was!!!  Little to no wind, perfect temps, no traffic, awesome company, and I was on my bike.  We had a great ride, and were able to get in about an hour and a half of solid riding.  Wanner is getting much stronger on the bike, as he would say "It's the gift of fitness". 

I've been able to get some riding in every day this week which definitely makes me feel better about things, now if only that running would come back to me.  Since I had such a difficult time running the hills in Galena I'm going to punish myself today by running hills.  And no matter whether I like it or not I'm going to try to do this on a more regular basis.  I have a route planned and think it should be pretty taxing. 

I was thinking last night and I typically do better with a higher volume of training, so that means that I'm going to start to pick it up again.  It seems as if my body does react well to the higher volumes, and that trying to hold back doesn't work all that well with me.  I'm getting myself back into the game, not that I was ever really out of it.  I thrive off of the big volume stuff so that's what I'm going to try to do.  I can't wait for the summer to get here...only 3 more days of school!!!!

Oh yea, and on our way home from Galena we saw one of the funniest things I've seen in a while.  A travelling mariachi band...and here is some proof.

I'm thinking about checking them out at Las Palmas in Naperville on Ogden...who else is in?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Not Really Sure Right Now

I haven't been training all that much, and so you would think that when I do train I should feel better...well think again.  Yesterday I was able to get a short swim in and I rode for an hour as well.  Swimming felt alright, it's just soooo boring to do by yourself, and I haven't been able to hit up masters because of my hectic schedule at school.  That will all come to a close in one week though.  Riding felt alright, nothing special.

This morning was Computrainer at Endure It and for some reason my legs felt like garbage.  The set was as follows:
15 minute warm up
 6 x the following
2 minutes @ 110%
1 minute @ 85%
2 minues @ 110%
2 minutes RI
Cool Down

I'm not sure why but this seemed like it completely drained me.  I was seriously considering bagging the whole workout after the second set.  I didn't bag it, and just dialed back the numbers slightly and things seemed to work out alright.  Obviously I'm glad that I finished the workout, and I felt a little better as time went on.  That seems to be a theme for me, it takes me a LONG time to warm up.  I feel like I've had some mental stumbling blocks lately and need to get that stuff out of my head!  Not sure how to fix it other than to get some solid training in.  That usually does it for me, so that's what's on the plan...playing with the dogs, training, eating, sleeping and repeat.

On a separate note Winther just about caught a squirrel this morning.  It was funny, but at the same time I don't want him becoming the squirrel hunter and running out in front of a car and getting hit.  So I yelled at him and I think he was pretty scared, considering he didn't move for a few minutes.  Hopefully things start to slow down so that I can have a more focused training approach.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some days you have it...some days you don't...

...on Saturday for the first race of the season I didn't have it.  That's about all there is to say, I didn't have it.  The whole day was a struggle, and I never felt good.  I've had some time to think about this, and I'm just going to have to move on.  I didn't do poorly, I just didn't perform up to where I wanted to be, and that's bound to happen.  I would much rather that happened now than in Arizona come November.  So here goes nothing:

Swim - This was pretty uneventful, and I don't really know where I came out of the water.  I want to say towards the front though because I didn't have that many people to pass on the bike.  My body held up well considering I really haven't been swimming much in May, so considering the training I put in I have to accept where my swim was...there is still work to do though!

T1 - I think it went pretty well except for the fact that I couldn't snap my Garmin on my wrist...I dropped it three times and was getting ticked before I just slammed it onto my wrist.  I hate the transition area at the race though...pebbles and bike shoes don't get along!

Bike - I was much better with clipping in this year and started huffing and puffing my way up the hill out of transition.  I knew right away that the power wasn't there.  Usually riders would come back to me much quicker, and they weren't.  Thinking back to it I am guessing they weren't because I was in the first wave, came out of the water towards the front, and the athletes there are they shouldn't get caught as easily.  I kept mashing away at my pedals.  I never felt great, but things started to get a little easier towards the end of the ride.  I guess it takes me a while to warm up, and the longer distances are better for me.

T2 - I really didn't pay attention and didn't unstrap my shoes before the dismount, so I had to run into T2 with my cycling shoes on, take them off, throw on my racing flats and roll on out.  I think I can shave some time off of both transitions, and that's something that I need to practice.

Run - Ugh!  That's about all I can say.  It sucked!  After having some solid running races I had high hopes for this run, and the unfortunate thing is that I never felt good.  Actually I just wanted to bag the race the entire run.  4.3 miles has never seemed so long!  It was super hilly, and that is something that I'm not used to, so in the future I know hill repeats are going to be part of my preparation.  People came cruising by me on the run and I didn't have anything to go with them.  Oh well, I need more I said earlier I just didn't have it.

Overall the results weren't what I wanted, but this was a good test of fitness and I need to remember that I'm not as far along in my training as I was last year at this time because my Ironman is more than 2 months later in the season this year.  So keeping things in perspective I have to take this as a learning experience and as motivation for training.

I have to thank everyone for their well wishes leading up to the race!  Also a special thanks to GU Energy for the Roctane and GU Brew, Brooks for their awesome shoes, Lululemon for some rockin clothes that I always love to throw on before and after each race, TP Therapy for keeping my legs as fresh as they could be, AXA Financial, Rudy Project, and Cycleops!  I did just get a new toy from Cycleops and it's already kicking my butt...I love it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Confidence Building CT Class

Ron wasn't able to make it to teach class at Endure It this morning so he asked if I would do it, and I'm glad that he did.  Since a pretty large group of us are racing on Saturday I thought it would be good to do some race type work, but for those not racing I had come up with another set for them to basically two workouts at the same time.  I think it worked well, and it gave people the opportunity to do what they wanted to do which is always a nice thing in my opinion.

The set that the people racing did was as follows:

15' warm up
3' easy spin
5' @ 90% (~280 watts)
2' @ 70 % (~230 watts)
5' @ 90% (~280 watts)
2' @ 70 % (~230 watts)
5' @ AT (~310 watts)
2' @ 70% (~230 watts)
5' @ 90% (~280 watts)
5' @ AT (~310 watts)
2' @ 70% (~230 watts)
5' @ 90%
Cool Down

The numbers came pretty easily today which was a nice thing!!  Right from the first set at 90% I was feeling awesome, so I pushed the numbers up past where I have tested.  I figure though we haven't tested in a while, so it was worth a try.  I ended up averaging 254 watts for 60 minutes, and that includes the warm up, easy spin and cool down.  I have to be happy with those numbers knowing I had a lot left in the tank.  I'm excited to race on Saturday, just need to make sure I get some rest prior to the race...things are super busy so sleep has taken a back seat.  Hopefully tonight will be a bit more relaxing.

I still need to get a run in, and I'm thinking about running a bit longer...maybe 7-10 or somewhere around there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Race Day Approaches

Saturday is the first tri that I'll be racing this year.  I can't wait to race!  My shoulder is feeling better today than it did yesterday, my biking legs are feeling alright and I'm hoping my run will be there when it needs to be.  Now is time to start preparing mentally.  I'm ready, I'm fit and best of all I'm excited!

Time to eat clean for the rest of the week and to start making one of my many "packing lists" so that I don't forget anything.  I got a little spin this morning and a quick 2 mile t-run in after it with the dogs.  I didn't feel great on the run, but that's alright...I didn't feel great before my half marathon a couple of weeks ago either and that turned out alright.  It's also light at 5:15 in the morning so riding early is definitely in the cards now!!!  Summer is almost here and I can't wait!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The day after the day after...

 My shoulder is sore, which sucks, but not too much I can do about it.  I talked with the insurance company today, so hopefully this process will go quickly.  Obviously I want it solved right now, and I want answers this minute...but that's not going to happen.  I've done everything that I can from my end, now I have to play the waiting game.  I'm getting pretty good at dealing with a situation, doing what I have to do, and then waiting. 

I went to masters swimming yesterday and swam the 500 warm up before deciding that I wasn't going to push my shoulder any more.  I kicked 1500 more yards before I called it a day.  So at least I made the most of the time that I had in the water.

I also planted a Magnolia tree in my front yard.  Thanks mom and dad for picking it up and helping me plant it.  The yard is looking better if I do say so myself, and hopefully my garden will get me some awesome vegetables later this summer.  The fence is now up around the garden so Roxy and Winther will be blocked from running through there.  I guess it's just time to see where things end up with my whole bike situation.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting Hit by a Car SUCKS!!!!

So I'll start off by saying that I'm alright, my head hurts, but beyond that I think I'm alright.  Today I was coming home from a group ride with the Endure It Willowbrook crew when I was stopped at a red light waiting to cross the street.  Yep stopped for a minute or two at a red light and all of the sudden I hear a screach of tires and the next thing I know I am picking myself and my bike off of the pavement.  This d-bag turned right on red...right into me.  I don't know if the screach was from him stopping or starting.  All I know is that this royally sucks!

The woman behind this guy pulled into the parking lot as well and I got her information, and before I was done doing that there were police and a fire truck there.  I don't know who had called them, but they were there none the less.  The paramedics came and brought me into the ambulance to check me out and to ask if I wanted to go to the hospital.  I declined and was (and still am) ticked that I got hit.  I'm supposed to race in a week and this puts a damper on that.  Not necessarily because I'm hurt but because I don't have a bike that really works properly.  The fork on my bike is cracked, and there very well could be a crack in the frame but it could be buried somewhere within the carbon fiber.  I was able to make it home and then brought the bike to Endure It to have them take a look at it.  The thing is with the fork cracked I am not willing to risk riding it, descending down a hill in Galena next weekend at 40+ mph hitting a bump and going over the handle bars doesn't seem worth it.  Here's is the thing that really sucks, I don't think anyone has a tri bike that's my size right now.  Felt is out, Cervelo is does that mean I'm out?  I'm going to race, it just may be on a road bike, which would royally suck, but at least I'd get to race.

I have to talk to the insurance company and police again first thing on Monday morning to try to get this sorted out as quickly as possible.  2010 has not been the best year so far, when things seemed like they were looking up this happens.  I guess I wouldn't be dealt this hand if I couldn't handle it though, and I just have to suck it up and deal.  I'm sure I'll be riding something next week in Galena, unfortunately I don't think it's going to be a Felt B2.  Things have to get better, and maybe they are just waiting for a special day in November to deliver...November 21st to be exact.  Hey if you know anyone not using a tri bike next week size 54 let me know, I might want to borrow it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Close Talker

Last night Endure It had a grand opening for the new store in Willowbrook.  It was a great event with an awesome turn out.  It sounds like the group ride on Saturday mornings from the store is going to grow, which is exciting as well.  In my conversations throughout the night one sticks out in particular.  What's the deal with the "close talkers"?  I think I ended up moving around half of the store because this woman kept moving closer.  I mean seriously...personal space!

I was able to get a little late night training in though, and ran home from Endure It, picked up the dogs, and then ran back for the car.  Some of the crew was still hanging out when I got back so we chilled for a bit before heading home.  I really didn't want to get the run in and wanted to just go home and sleep, but as is always the case you'll never regret a workout...and I was happy with my run.  I kept feeling better and better as the run went on, unfortunately the dogs weren't.  But they hung in there and hammered away 4 miles with me.  It's funny because as we were leaving Endure It they wanted to run some more.  I'm sure it wouldn't have lasted long, but th 4 that we ran back to the store was enough for them.  Another run and bike are on tap for today, and I might be racing on a Zipp wheelset next weekend in Galena, which would be sweet!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

About a week away...

...from racing in Galena.  I'm ready, but have to keep in mind that this is not the "A" race for the year...that doesn't happen until November.  This will be a great initial test of fitness though, and a nice opportunity to get out and compete.  I have found that in races my biggest competition is my own mind.  I can do what my mind says I can, and I need to remember that and stay positive.

I met with Nestor last night, who has to be the best massage therapist!  My body feels awesome and I was able to hammer my trainer session this morning.  I was just about in tears when he was working on my foot trying to deal with this plantar fascia issue...but it's all for the best.

I'm hoping to get out on my new single speed for a little riding this weekend, and I'm thinking about ideas for the next paint job on a bike.

Didn't even need the "Singulator"

And here is the new project that I will be taking on this summer.  Hopefully it will be done to get a little riding in before the snow comes.

Roxy isn't sure how she feels about the new bike...that might mean less play time for her, I had to tell her that we would still run and go to the dog park so she's all good now!

Winther is just concerned that I get all of my training in and that doing these projects doesn't take away from getting in some solid time.  He spends a lot of time putting together my training programs and gets ticked if I don't hit my numers...what an awesome coach!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Embrace the Pain

Computrainer this morning at Endure It hurt!  Through the warm up I was wondering how the class was going to go because it seemed like I had to put in quite an effort to hit certain numbers.  So maybe doing max efforts for short bursts today helped me out because sustaining power was not in the cards today.  Ron ran a great class this morning and I definitely needed it!  Here it is:

15 minute warm up
2 times through the following:
5 x 1 minute
- 30 seconds max (~480 watts)
- 30 seconds RI
2 minute RI
5 x 40 seconds
- 20 seconds max (~500 watts)
- 20 seconds RI
2 minute RI
5 x 20 seconds
- 10 seconds max (~500+...I don't really hurt and there were times I was in the 700's)
- 10 seconds RI
5 minute easy spin

Cool Down

All in all I ended up getting 90 minutes of riding in, which I'm happy with!

Last night I also finished my "project" bike which I did my own paint job on.  I have a better idea of how to paint a bike now and think I could do a better job on the next one, all in due time.  Drew was awesome and showed me how to run the cables, wrap the bars, and do some general stuff on the bike.  I'll snap a few pictures tonight and get them up here.  I did take it on a ride to watch the Hawks play last night and the gearing is better than my other single speed.  I can't wait to get some more miles on this bike.  Single speeds are freakin awesome, it's like being a kid again, there is no thinking about shifting gears, if there is a hill you just pedal harder!  Time for a new project, which I already have, and just have to get's going to be sweet if I do say so myself.

Time to get in a quick run, and I'm going to try to hold back and not hammer it seeing as I put in a huge effort this morning...I know how that can go though.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Belated Mothers Day & Barrington Ride

Sorry for the delay in the Mothers Day wishes, but I figured my mom would rather see me in person than just read some blog.  It was really nice to spend the day with my family, we did miss Katie though.  It was a nice and relaxing day which started with apple pancakes from Walker Bros.  I haven't had one for a while, and what a nice treat, they even had some ready to go so that was an extra bonus.

So my mom is pretty awesome, not only do I say this because it was mothers day yesterday, but how many mom's would want to take time during their special day to ride a bike next to me while I ran for 14 miles?  And she did it with a smile the whole time, talking to me to help me dull the pain...there was a lot of pain yesterday.  I was in pain at about mile 4 and really wanted to turn around, but I kept to it, and she was there the whole time offering me water when I needed it, but at the same time not offering it to me too often to make me feel like I was sucking.  Although it wasn't a pretty run, I did get 14 miles in at a 6:35 pace so I'm happy with the results.  I just wish I would have felt a little better.  Not to worry though, after my mom did say that she noticed I was hurting early on, she just didn't want to say anything.  It's nice too because I know she'll hold me accountable.  I had jumped on the trainer for an hour before my run and if I would stop for any to refill my water bottle...she would say something like, "Get on your bike, why are you stopping?"  I guess my mom wants to go to Kona just as bad as I do...Thanks Mom!!!!!

Saturday was a fun filled day which started at 4:00 a.m. to get ready to ride up in Barrington.  I had never done this ride, but had heard a lot about it.  We met there at 6:00 a.m. and rolled out.  It was cold, but sunny and we thought the rain had all moved out.  About 30 minutes later the clouds started...and 30 minutes later the drizzle started...30 minutes later it's pouring, I'm freezing and we are only half way.  After a quick pitstop in Hebron, home of the 1952 High School State Basketball Champions and 2010 3rd place Bass Fishing Teams, we made our way back.  The ride back was less windy, making it faster.  The route was awesome and we got some solid riding time in.  I felt good the whole time, so let's hope things are shaping up well for the season.

Saturday afternoon my parents came over and my dad helped me to hang some new interior doors in my house.  Wow what a difference!!  It's like I have a brand new house, they still need to be painted and I have to get some door knobs to put on, but they look awesome.  It's awesome to have my dad help me do these things because not only does it save money, but I get to learn how to do all sorts of cool things, and the right way to fix something.  Thanks Dad!!!!!!  I'll get some pictures taken soon and I'll put them up.  Oh yea and I'll have a new project to work on very soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Not Sore Anymore!

After I raced that 10k a few weeks ago my legs were sore for about a week after the race.  I was kind of fearful that my legs would continue to be sore for the duration of this week because of the half marathon, but I'm happy to report that they are back!

I taught class at Endure It yesterday morning and had a great workout.  I wasn't sure what would happen going in, but right away I could feel that the power was there...always a great feeling!  The workout was as follows:

15 minute warm up
10 x 1 minute
-30 seconds 120%+ (~420 watts)
-30 seconds RI
5 minute easy spin
8 x 1:30
-45 seconds 110%+ (~400 watts)
-45 seconds RI
5 minute easy spin
5 x 1 minute
-30 seconds MAX (~450 watts)
- 30 seconds RI

I was definitely happy with my results, especially considering I looked back at numbers last year around this time, and I'm killing those numbers right now!!!  Let's hope that transfers to the race course in two weeks.

I also went and got a little swimming in last night.  Let me tell you what might be "easy" and relaxing for a former collegiate swimmer is not so "easy" for this guy.  It wasn't terrible, just not always easy which is alright.  We swam at a pool I had never been to before and I felt like I was in a hot tub...way too warm, and at a high school pool too...wierd!  I may be taking the day off today, but I'll have to wait and see about that one.  I will say I'm feeling pretty good right now, let's hope that continues for the next couple of weeks and through November!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Dogs!

A 2 mile run makes these two pups happy!

And best of all tired too!!!  2 miles is their limit now though, it's already getting warm for them.

Come on Legs & Reworking the Long Run

So my legs are still feeling a bit trashed from my race on Sunday.  I spun on my mountain bike with Chad yesterday for a little over an hour, I rode again this morning on the trainer for an hour, ran an "easy" 3 miles and rolled on my Grid from TP Therapy, and still my legs are sore.  I think I might just have to grit my teeth and fight through the pain.
I was thinking today on my run about how incredible some of these pro triathletes are.  One in particular is Terenzo Bozzone.  The guy has raced 3 half ironman's in 3 weeks and placed 2nd, 1st, and 1st.  Seriously?  What an incredible athlete!  Yes I know he is a professional and this is all he does, but still impressive none the less.  I have to think if he can do it "why not me?"  Not race 3 half ironmans in 3 weeks, but why not fight through the pain?  And really it's not pain, just discomfort and soreness.  It's nice when my "easy" 3 mile run was still well under a 7 minute pace.

I'm thinking I need to rethink my long runs on the weekend, especially seeing the pace I ran this past weekend.  So I'm going to need to rework some things, and will start to push the pace a bit.  I also need to make sure I'm running on some softer surfaces because the roads are going to wreck me for long runs.  So I'm going to be hitting up Waterfall Glen, the Prairie Path, Springbrook, Herrick Lake, and hopefully the bike path up by my parents as well.  At least I know I'll have a sherpa to ride water for me...thanks Mom I just volunteered you for that, so you might want to keep your Sunday mornings open.

Another beautiful day here in Chicago, get out and enjoy it!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Palos Southwest Bank Half Marathon & New GU Energy Sampler

Cory had wanted to run another half marathon, and actually I had wanted to run this one last year, but didn't for some reason.  So we decided to sign up for the Palos Southwest Bank Half Marathon this morning.  The original plan was to run it easy with Cory, well I changed my mind about that...sorry Cory.  He did awesome by the way, he has run 1 time since the marathon in November, and it was a struggle let me tell you, I know because I was with him.  I was amazed at the pace he ran today on zero training.  How you can run faster than 8 minute miles for a half marathon when you have done no running is unreal to me.  Awesome work Cory!!!

I had a plan going into this race, I was going to go out at a 6:15 pace and then just try to hold on.  The race plan lasted until...the starting line.  Whoops!  This course was awesome and fast, and seeing how fast everyone was going out I couldn't help but to drink the koolaid and go with.  As we run through the first mile at a sub 6 minute pace I thought one of two things would happen.  Either I would slow down and still be able to hold on to my 6:15 pace overall, or I would blow up big time.  Well neither of those things happened much to my surprise.  Going through mile 2 (my slowest mile of the day) I tried to bring it back a little.  The problem was that I couldn't slow down, so I made the decision to just run by feel and to try to hold on.  At that point I knew that I still had 11 miles to go but I felt fine.  Obviously it was early in the race, but my legs seemed to be there.  As I kept running my pace was right around the 6 minute per mile area and people were slowly coming back to me.  I caught one guy and he asked me if I had ever run a half marathon before.  Kind of an odd question, not sure why he asked it, but I answered yes and then made it my goal to drop him like a bad habit.  I mean really why would he ask that?  Did I look like crap at mile 5, was it because I wasn't wearing a "race" team shirt?  Thanks to Lululemon I was rockin the most comfortable gear at the race!  Zero chaffing and all around super comforable, I LOVE my Lululemon stuff...if you haven't checked them out yet, you have to get in there!!

Alright back to the race.  The nice thing about this course is that it was an out and back.  So at the turn around I saw that I was in the top 25.  That was cool, and then the competitive juices really started flowin for me.  I would look ahead and just started picking targets to run down.  I was able to bring back quite a few people.  I did see Cory and high fived him on my way back which gave me a huge boost.  I kept bringing guys back all the way until the end of the race.  It was an awesome day, and another nice test of fitness.

Chad decided to run this race this week and he killed it.  I don't know if it's a PR for him or not but he had an awesome race...and he even gets to race another half marathon next week.  Good luck with that!

I was fortunate enough to finish 16th Overall, and 3rd in my Age Group, so for the 2nd time this year I was able to bring home some hardware:

Thanks to GU Energy and the Blueberry Pomegranate Roctane that I had at miles 4 and 9 I felt awesome the whole race.  Also to Brooks Running for my T6 racing flats, so comfortable and light!!

GU Energy also has a new product that's going to hit the market.

The GU Energy Sampler is about to take the world by storm!  Not sure what GU products you like the best, or you love the variety that GU offers, pick up a new sampler with all of your favorite GU flavors, Chomps Flavors, and Brew Flavors.  Apparently there are new FTC guidelines for bloggers so here is the disclaimer we were instructed to add...

"GU Energy provided the Performance Energy Sampler free of charge for me to review and the opinions that are above are mine."

Alright now that that's out of the way here is what you have to look forward to when you open up the box:

Time for some relaxing with my awesome dogs.  They are exhausted thanks to my Mom picking them up yesterday to play with Maverick.  Thanks Mom!  It's nice that I don't have to have two dogs "pawwing" (is that how you spell it?) at me so that I would pet them.