Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In Between Phase

Now that I've wrapped up my tri training for the season I'm sort of in that in between phase where I don't really have anything specific to work out for so my motivation is at a low point. I am starting to ramp my running back up in preparation for my marathon training which officially starts in mid-September, but after two-a-day tri workouts running once a day doesn't seem like a "workout". I'm sure that once I'm running 18 mile long runs I'll be singing a different tune and will miss the days of a 14 mile bike ride in the morning and 3,000 yard mid-day swim.

Last week I was on a six mile run and at about mile four I was nailed by a painful side cramp - it wasn't really a traditional side ache but more of a muscle issue. It got so bad that I had to walk quite a bit and then ended up cutting my run short by 3/4 of a mile. Since we were in San Diego for the weekend I didn't do any running on Fri, Sat, or Sun but did go Monday morning before work. Once again my side cramped up at around mile three so I stopped and walked a bit; it wasn't as bad as the previous cramp but it still hurt. This morning I ran six miles and started feeling it come on around mile four - I pushed in on the muscle and massaged it as I ran; it never got bad enough to stop so I'm hoping that next run it won't bother me at all. Today in the pool I got a side ache in the same area as the cramps but I couldn't tell if it was a true side cramp or the issue that has been bothering me while running.

Friday is my last day of work then next week we pack up and head out for Portland. I'm looking forward to the move but there are definitely some things I will miss about California. I'll keep up on the running throughout the move and am planning on finding a pool once I'm up there for Jen and I to swim at. We'll also try to get in some rides before the days get too short (and rainy!) in Oregon. I suppose I'll be getting quite a bit of use out of my trainer this winter (gotta get my legs in shape for skiing after their six year hiatus in CA).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Santa Cruz Sprint Race Report

Sunday morning I was up at 4:45 and had a piece of toast with peanut butter and jelly along with a small glass of chocolate milk. I had put everything together the night before so I just grabbed my bags and bike and was out the door at 5:05. I arrived in Santa Cruz at 6:20 and was checked in and setting up my transition by 6:35; I was able to set up on the outside end of a rack right in the middle of the run in, bike out, run back out exits. After eating a Power Bar and hitting up the port-o-john I put on my wetsuit and make the quarter mile walk down to the beach – yeah, that’s right, quarter mile walk. When I was crossing the last street before the beach I looked to my left and saw Jen coming across the street with a coffee which I am holding in this picture:

I headed down to the water and zipped up, put my goggles and cap on, and jumped in the water for a quick warm up swim – holy crap was that water cold. My forehead went numb after a couple minutes so I got out of the water for the pre-race meeting. After five minutes of trying to hear what was being said the meeting was over and I was walking back down to the beach to get back in the water; suddenly I heard a countdown and then people were shouting go, go, go. I ran into the water with five or six other guys and started swimming. As I rounded the first buoy I got stuck in a bit of a jam because there was someone that must have gone out too fast and was now clinging to the buoy for dear life. I navigated my way around him and a couple other guys and swam on. A few moments later I looked up to sight and noticed that I was on the outside of the pack 6-10 feet away from the nearest swimmer. This was the only time in the swim I thought about sharks and within four strokes I was back in the pack with a safety in numbers mentality. After rounding the second buoy I tried to pick up the pace a bit and pushed for shore – I believe I was in sixth place in my AG after the swim – total swim time 12:05, including the .25 mile run up to transition, so my swim was most likely around 9:30.

This isn't me in the following picture but it gives an idea of what we had to run on from the beach to transition - my feet are still a bit sore today:
T1 was pretty smooth - I pulled on my socks, shoes, helmet, and sunglasses then grabbed my bike and ran to the mount line - T1 1:28.

The bike ride was pretty much flat for the first three miles of the loop then curvy with a very slight incline for the second three miles – we did this twice. I was passed by three guys on tri bikes and passed three guys myself. After the first couple miles the moisture from the fog started building up on my sunglasses making it difficult to see very well. I tried riding with them pulled down on my nose but then my contacts started drying out. Finally I pushed them back over my eyes and settled for running my finger over the lenses every few minutes to clear away the moisture buildup which actually worked pretty well. On the flat part of the ride I was averaging around 22/23 mph but on the curvy/incline section I was averaging around 18//19 mph for an overall average of 20.5 for the 12 mile ride. Total bike time 33:38. Here I am coming to the dismount line – it came up very quickly and we were flying downhill on a wet slippery road so I was only able to get one foot out of my shoe – I just clicked out of the left pedal and ran into transition with one shoe on:

I ran my bike into T2, pulled off my one shoe, took off my helmet, threw on my shoes, grabbed my hat and race belt and hit the road – total T2, 0:47.

The beginning of the run was a small uphill then it was basically a flat out and back. I kept a strong pace and passed two guys within the first mile. A few minutes later I was passed by one person but he was 50 so I didn’t stress on AG competition. A little bit later I saw the leaders coming back from the turn around and of course they all looked like they were 25-29. I hit the turn around and picked up the pace a little bit but didn’t want to push too hard and die out at the end. Once I reached the downhill before the finish I took a glance over my shoulder and saw one guy coming up on me. I pushed hard but he passed me near the end and I couldn’t catch back up. So this is the point in our story where we run into a bit of a snag – since I crossed the finish line basically right after the guy who passed me the timing equipment didn’t pick me up and I didn’t get a run time. Luckily I talked to the guy who passed me right after the race and Jen had a picture of us together so I have his race number and name. I talked to the race director and she is going to check the system manually to find me at the checkpoint before the finish, or something like that, and update the results. UPDATE - race director contacted me and let me know that she found me and my overall time was 1:09:05 which put me 3rd in my AG and 21st overall. Turns out the guy who was third in my group was actually in another AG so that moved me into third and she will be sending my award! I was under the impression that my total time was 1:09:41 but even if that was the case I would still be third in my AG so it's a time issue, not a place issue which is a bit of a relief for me.

Total time: 1:09:05 - 3rd in AG, 21st Overall, 19th Overall Male

Overall Male Results

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Month in the Books

July totals:

Swim: 42,500 yards
Bike: 331.5 miles
Run: 49.35

Clearly I have not been running all that much this month even with a half marathon thrown into the mix, but whatever. I have on the other hand been swimming quite a bit and I am eager to see how it impacts my swim this weekend at the Santa Cruz Sprint. The highlight of the month was my new PR at the Jungle Run Half Marathon on July 13th - 1:40:42.

This week I've been taking it easy due to the pending race but I've still managed to get in a brick w/ a fast run on Sunday (3mi, 6:53 average), a fast run Monday evening (4mi, 7:12 average, last mile 6:15), a swim yesterday, and an easy 14mi ride this morning.

The race this weekend is a 650m (approx) swim, a 12 mile bike, and a 5k. I haven't thought too much about my goals but I think the course is fairly flat so I hope to have a pretty fast bike and run. The swim is always up in the air for me but if the distance is around 650m (they say it's variable due to the current, tide, etc) I would be happy with a time around 11 minutes. I would like to average around 19/20 mph on the bike and have an average pace in the low 7's for the run.