Monday, June 16, 2008

Ironman France Race Week

It always comes fast. The race is officially less than 6 days away. We leave for Nice on Wednesday. The adrenaline is running high, as this will be my first race outside the US. I always struggle with this week, because of the slow down. I continue to change my clock, as tomorrow night I will try to wake at 3:30am and only be off France time by 3 hours.

Last weeks numbers are about what you'd expect: 6400, 126 and 40. I missed a bike on Saturday, but it just doesn't matter anyway. All of the miles are easy, with the exceptions of some intervals in the heat, but I am acclimated to summer weather now, even though it has been mild in Nice the last few days.

This training period has gone very well. Probably my best ever and on less bike miles. I am also very fit; about 148lbs @ 5% body fat.

I want to thank all of my team-mates, training partners, friends and family for supporting me. The pressure is definitely on to qualify for the world championships. It may be possible with 8 slots going in my age group.

I am hoping results and maybe tracking? will be on either:


click on English version tab.

Thanks everyone! I will post a race report when I can.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Pat Bell Time Trial

I'm now into my second and second to last week of tapering. We leave one week from Wednesday for Nice. Wow, that came fast!

Last week I did the 11.7 mile Pat Bell TT in Southboro. I figured with three weeks before the race, I could do an all-out anerobic effort on the bike to test my speed. Boy, what a surprise! I can't figure out what is going on with me, but I was just flying and it came easy. 26.3 mph average! Not bad for an endurance guy. I think I started 2nd or 3rd to last with everyone going on 30 second intervals and finished about 2 minutes in front of everyone. 4 out of the 5 folks there are just out for a workout - I know, but I'm at the top of the list for 2008. We'll see how long the roadies let a triathlete have the fastest time in 2008! I'm sure they will be out to beat that time this week. And speaking of, we are going through a heat wave here in New England. Everyone is asking me if I'm out training in this weather and the answer is YES. I look at it as a good opportunity to acclimate to these temperatures, as I may have to race in this weather in two weeks. Today's 8 mile run was in the mid-90s and sunny.

I am trying to change my body clock which means up every morning at 5:am and I am going to try to get to 3:30am next week. On EST the race is at 11:30pm, so anything I can do to get closer to that time I am going to try. Unfortunately, I have been tired and a you-know-what and ... now for the stupid stuff. Two injuries; neither related to IM training. (1) I was pumping up my tubular disc wheel, which is diificult to do; you need to hold the "crack pipe" on the valve and pump. It can take up to 14 bars, which is almost impossible to pump and my right hand slipped off and the pump handle sent a blow to my ribs. I heard a pop and then two days later, it only hurt when I took a deep breath and tried to sleep anywhere near on my right side, ughh. Same pain as when I cracked my rib diving for the line drive at short stop. (2) Running sneakers + wet grass on soccer field = sprained wrist. The other coach and I covering the two open position so we could have a two full sides to scrimmage. I went to take a shot and slipped. Luckily, I have aero bars on both my bikes, because it has been KILLLING me. That's the only position I can ride in without pain. I need a wrist brace or something to immobilize it, but today the pain is a bit less. I hope to get 45 minutes in pool tonight and that will make me happy. Else I'll kick, do one-armor no-arm drills and try again on Wednesday.

This weeks numbers. Some volume, but mostly low intensity.

M: S-3200, B-32, R-10 (6min/4min fartlek)
Tu: B-28 (11.7 patebelltt), R-10
W: S-2600, spin 2omin, R-5
Th: B-39, R-8
F: S-2.4mi, spin 2+hours, R-3
Sa: B-20, R-6
Su: B-52mi

S: 10K yards
B: 218mi
R: 42

The swim was a two loop with friend Karen and co. (co. for the first loop). She wanted to get the open distance in (1:15). She is doing Lake Placid for the first time in July. I did most of the pulling. That's my longest swim in a while and no more of that during taper. This week I will begin to shut things down and try not to inflect dumb injuries upon myself. Other than that, everything is great and I am ready to go!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Training Period Ends - Taper Begins

The hard part is over and I am now into taper phase. I will continue to bike and run, but distance and intensity will be lower. I will also add some rest days to make sure I am doing the right thing. This picture is a section of the bike course in the Alps. It is good to see that a couple of the guys are actually riding tri-bikes, as most just ride on road bikes with clip-ons. Anyway, the pre-race excitement has begun and I am starting to prepare for travel as we will be flying to Nice in a lttle over two weeks time - wow that came fast! - need to get ready!
I am very pleased with my training. Things have gone really well and I feel good. This week's long ride was out to the Quabbin area in Central Mass. with lots of hills and flats! When I say flats, I'm not talking about flat road, I'm talking about tires! We had three flats within 52 miles of riding! (luckily I had none) - it made for a long day. We covered 100mi in 7 hours! and we never really stopped except to refill bottles and fix flats. I think the storms the day before washed a lot of junk onto the road. Big thanks to team-mates Dave for the route planning, Steve for pushing me and Gary for hanging in there. It really was a scenic ride with lot's of climbing. I really appreciated having the company. I solo'd a 3 mi ran-out-of-time transition run, followed by a 23mi LSD the next day in which I continuously had to hold back. I modestly have to say the 100mi ride felt like nothing and it felt good to do some 22-23 mph surges with Steve to put pressure on the legs. The running is just coming easy for me. The 23 miles went by fast and I finished without really being tired. I am probably running better now than in April, so maybe it was just meant to be and is promising for Nice. The numbers this week are good. I could've used another long bike, but with the thunderstorms this week and all, I will just get in a medium bike this week. Showing up to the pool just as it was being evacuated because of lightning was also a bummer, but I managed to get the swim in later anyway (in between storms).
The numbers:
  • M: Well deserved and planned rest day
  • Tu: S-3K, B-8 (4x Flagg Hill), R-10 (4x1mi)
  • W: B-100, R-3 (trans)
  • Th: R-23mi (7:45 pace LSD)
  • F: S-1K (open no WS), B-26, R-7mi
  • Sa: B-18, R-3
  • Su: S-3K (fast Walden loop), B-12, R-4
  • Swim-7K
  • Bike-164mi
  • Run-50mi
It (again) seems like a lot of running, but I really needed to do the long-bike/transition run then long-run the next day thing. I think this ranks in importance over the mileage and is key for a good ironman. All of the distance covered over multiple consecutive days.
The body feels excellent. No real issues and I will continue to take good care.
I am also trying to change my body clock, which is going to be a test. I am gradually getting earlier and earlier, and will try to split the time difference before flying out. I think it is best because I want to avoid being jet lagged the day of the race. Anyone have any suggestions?
The race is less than 20 days!