Wednesday, April 30, 2008

 

Proud Day

It's all about balancing life...

Life just got a little more complicated...my wife is pregnant! We've obviously known for the last few months but now we are letting everyone know...here are the details:
- Due date is November 7th
- No, we are not finding out the sex. It will be a surprise
In the short term this has made my training easier because Jennifer is always tired I can sneak out for a ride or a run while she sleeps.
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

 

Bronx Biathlon Report

The week leading up to this race I told myself "If it is cold and raining this is a no go, no need to risk illness and/or road rash right before St. Croix." HA!

I woke up Sunday morning and it was raining and about 42 degrees...perfect! I was already awake at 4:00am so why not go to the race and see what happens, but be cautious.

As I drove out of the city the rain intensified and the sky got darker, but by then I was in pre-race mode and excited to throw down some fast miles on the bike and see if I could run anything decent after.

I registered, racked my bike and went out for a warm up run, it was pretty chilly.

The course was a 3 mile run followed by a 20 mile fast bike course and then repeat the 3 mile run. I got up near the front for the start and when the gun went ff saw a bunch of people sprinting past me...
Within the first quarter mile I caught and passed a bunch of people who shot out a bit fast and just missed the top two guys break off the front, so I was running in third all alone. Felt good on the run and blitzed through T1.

This was the first ride with my new disk wheel and with the wet roads and wind I took it easy, but kept the power on. The course had a metal grated drawbridge crossing that was treacherous. We got to cross that 4 times. I made up a little ground on 2nd place but not enough. I hit T2 and blasted out for the run, there was no catching 1st or 2nd so I looked to see where 4th was and never saw the guy. So, I went pretty hard on the run but was never pushed or chasing a rabbit.

I ended up 3rd and was very happy to have gotten in a strong effort before taking off to St. Croix.

Details:
Run #1 - 0:16:53 06:02 min/mi
T1 - 00:37
Bike - 0:48:53 24.6mph
T2 - 00:28
Run #2 - 0:17:27 06:14min/mi
Total - 1:24:17

Sunday, April 27, 2008

 

Walk

On Saturday, my wife and I woke up and took separate paths to the South Street Seaport for the Lymphomathon Walk. My wife cruised down the west side path on her cool new Specialized all tricked out with fenders, a bell and rack. I, on the other hand, had a training session on the calendar and decided to run the 7 or so miles from our upper west side apartment.
If you have never been to NYC, running around the island is amazing. I headed south on the path, passing the WTC site, into Battery Park and up around to the east side and the seaport. There are so many amazing stories in this city and running through and around here away shows me a different side to this place I call home.
The Lymphomathon is a walk to support the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF). My father-in-law was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma this past December and has been undergoing chemotherapy. It has been a very trying time for her family and so we all committed to raising money and walking in the Lymphomathon. Hazel's Team is what we went by and our team raise the most out of all the teams - over $25,000!
It was a great day for the walk and very inspiring to see my father-in-law in such good spirits.
If you would like to donate please do so by following this link:
https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=260453&lis=0&kntae260453=34D274E618484C6DA04042600059D1CD

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

 

Home at last...

I am tired of hotels, rental cars, airplanes...enough complaining, although my last day/night on the road was one for the books...

I returned to my hotel room Tuesday evening, wiped out from a long day and ready for my first night with no client entertaining, looking forward to ordering room service, kicking up the feet and watching some hockey playoffs. As I approached my room, I could smell smoke from a cigarette, I got closer and could tell the smoking was coming from the room across the hall from mine (I was on a non-smoking floor). I quickly got into my room in hopes that none of the odor would follow...too late, my room smelled like a dirty ashtray. I called the front desk to alert them of the smoking and asked to move rooms, by that time I was nauseous.

I quickly packed up my belongings and met the bell manager outside of my door where he could hardly stand the smoke and was on the radio calling security...I got my new keys and headed to my new room. Dinner, rest and hockey were delayed...the bell manager was very apologetic and said that he would add a bunch of points to my Marriott Rewards account for the inconvenience, I'll let you know if that happens.

So, my fourth hotel room in seven nights, where was I again?

I'm home! Unfortunately, my pregnant wife has been dealing with our sick dog the entire time I was on the road so, I got home and immediately had an appointment with the vet. We have a 14-year-old black lab and we know any day her number will be called, but right now she is like the energizer bunny and just keeps going on.

Nothing dire with the dog and we would just have to put up with the sickness until the meds took hold...oh fun!

As for training, I skipped my swim on Monday as the hotel pool was a joke, 90 degrees and SHORT...Tuesday, I got in a great run along the lakefront and I just finished my Wednesday ride which I held off on to be able to do at home on my TT bike.

I might race a duathlon this weekend, we'll see how the weather is as I don't want to be out in the cold and rain before heading to St. Croix.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

 

Did I say this is fun?!?!

There is nothing like Boston Marathon weekend, and especially this year with the Women's Olympic Marathon Trials contested this morning.
One woman took it out right from the gun and was flat out flying until Deanna Kastor hit the gas and blew by her on the last lap, she ended finished second making the team, it was a courageous move to be the rabbit all morning.
It has been a busy weekend with our work programs and trying to fit in some quality workouts. As I landed in Boston late Friday night, my coach had sent me my new running pace limits and they knocked my socks off. So, Saturday was my 2hour run day and I had to use the new pace guides...oh boy. I started off good and felt good. I was running around the Charles River path and I have to say Boston is a very disappointing place to run because the path is continually interrupted by stoplights.
Anyway, I headed west, up the river, and was making good time. I started a steady state interval as I made the turn to head back east...wham, a nice stiff headwind! I powered through the rest of the run, but definitely felt a little jet lag in the legs.
Today, I headed out for a long ride, again Boston is not a good place to ride...the roads are brutal and it takes a bit to get out of town to hit country roads that are in bad shape. I busted out a little over 70miles. The legs felt pretty good, fatigued from yesterday's run but I feeling strong on the bike.
Off to Chicago tomorrow morning, let the tapering for St. Croix begin!

Friday, April 18, 2008

 

Must Do Ride

Arrived in Monterey, California Wednesday night for the Bicycling sales team dinner and meetings on Thursday. Thursday afternoon the advertising team went for a group ride out of Monterey and along the 17 Mile route which goes along the coast, through Pebble Beach and loops back around after a good climb and screaming decent.
This was a great ride with a bunch of guys who can ride and are just good people.
This was one of the prettiest rides I've ever been on and cannot wait to get back to go longer and further in this area. It is truly spectacular!
You can find information on Monterey riding here: http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6610,s1-2-15-7448-1,00.html
I'm currently back at LAX in the Admirals Club waiting for my flight to Boston. Today is a REST DAY on the training Calendar...I'm feeling good and looking forward to a great weekend of big workouts, my last before St. Croix!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

 

Training and Travel

This is a crazy time of year with work and is a true test of being able to train with a hectic schedule. As I write this, I’m on the first leg of a week long business trip.
Today I’m fling from New York to LA to catch a flight up to Monterey for the Bicycling Magazine sales meeting before the Sea Otter event weekend.
Friday, I will be flying back across the country to Boston for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon trials and Boston Marathon Expo for programs with Runner’s World and Running Times.
I’ll miss the marathon on Monday, as I will be flying to Chicago for a conference.
Returning home next Wednesday.
I spent some time on the phone with my coach last night going over my training schedule and making sure I don’t miss key workouts. Luckily, I’m accustom to traveling with my bike, so the Pinarello Paris is along for the trip and will allow me to keep right on schedule. Here is a look at my workout schedule for the trip and thoughts on how I’m going to fit it all in:
I got my run workout in this morning before heading to the airport. Tomorrow I have an hour and a half bike session on the schedule. The Bicycling Magazine meetings are scheduled for 9am to 2pm…that’s right, it’s Bicycling Magazine and they have let time for an afternoon ride and better yet my good pal and Bicycling Associate Publisher, Joao Correia, is on the Bissell Pro Cycling Team (check out his blog http://www.joaoisme.com/) so I’m sure I will get in a nice workout with only a few hard efforts. I also have a swim scheduled for tomorrow and that might be missed unless I find a pool. The pool that I found online (www.swimmersguide.com/query/Main1.cfm) is closed for renovations and the hotel does not have one.
Friday is a scheduled REST DAY and I’ll be traveling to Boston for most of the day. If there is time for a swim when I get to Boston (I know that hotel has a pool) I’ll get it in then.
Saturday calls for a bike session followed by a long 2.5hour run. My programs at the marathon expo do not start until the afternoon so I’ll have plenty of time in the morning to get some good workouts in and I’ll throw a swim in if I have yet to have the time to hit the water.
U.S. Women’s Marathon Trials are first thing Sunday morning and they should be really exciting on the 4-loop course through the city. I have a 4.5 hour bike workout scheduled followed by a little brick run. After the trials, I’ll b spending my afternoon laying down the miles and pounding the pavement before the Runner’s World party that night.
Monday is a morning flight to Chicago with only a swim scheduled, the hotel has a pool, and so I’ll hammer that out Monday night after my meetings.
Tuesday is a run session, which will be easy to do before the day gets going.
Wednesday, I get to go home today! I have a bike session scheduled that I will do in the morning before meeting and my flight home.
Only a few weeks to St Croix, no time to be a slacker!

 

South Beach Triathlon – Part III

What a cool race! I met the two guys who finished in front of me, great guys and the guy who won was my friend from the bike mount line…Karma!
The Results:
Swim 12:50.2
T1 1:58.1
Bike 47:33.6 (Normalized Power 321 – 24.1mph) – 3rd fastest bike split overall – The Pinarello Montello is wicked fast!
T2 0:28.7
Run 27:55.4
Overall 1:30:46 (3rd in the 35-39 AG, 5th Overall)

My first real podium spot!

Now, back to training, as St Croix is in a few weeks…feeling good!

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I’ll try to be better about that in the future.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

 

South Beach Triathlon - Part II

My strategy going into this race was pretty simple – gas it!
I’m not the strongest swimmer, but I can hold my own and wanted to get a good start, find some feet to follow and come out of the water in the top 10. For a ½ mile swim I figured sub 13 minutes would make me happy and I’d like to be around the 12-minute mark.
For the bike, this is where I have put in a good deal of work and seen some power improvements over the past few months, so I wanted to really test myself. I wanted to stay as aero as possible and lay on the power. We were told the course was 18 miles, so a sub 50-minute ride would be strong.
Running has been my weakness and I’ve worked with my coach to start to improve that leg. The key was to see how I could deal with the heat and humidity and keep a good pace. Sub 30 minutes off the bike for 4 miles was a goal in this situation.
With transitions I was aiming for a sub 1:40…

The starting gun was a small canon bolted to a table that was one loud little sucker…I positioned myself in the front of the pack with 30 seconds to go…15 seconds…I lowered my goggles and cleared my mind, focusing in the distance down the beach to the water and across the water to the firs buoy…readying my watch my heart rate was a nice and easy 61bpm…my mind was clear and focused…Bang…
A great start, I bolted down the beach to the water and made a big forward dive into the salty waters…I had cleared the field and led out to the first buoy, wow this is unfamiliar territory, I could feel a guy on my toes, in the draft. I came around the first buoy and got a look back and the front of the pack had really strung out…My mind was focused on keeping smooth through the water and good technique, I couldn’t help thinking “it’s cool to be in the lead” and that would not be the first time that though would cross my mind…
At about the halfway buoy a guy had come up next to me and pulled in front, I slotted in behind him and worked on my draft. I’m not all that comfortable sticking right in someone’s draft, on their toes, so this was a good chance for me to practice. The two of us were jamming along and we quickly caught the back markers from the wave in front of us. I lost my leader and ended up navigating these bobbing heads like a drunken sailor…some of these people weren’t even attempting to swim. I got to the final buoy and the turn for the beach, found a little clear water and got back into a rhythm. About 100 yards off the beach people were standing up trying to run through waist deep water, I kept swimming until my pull-through hit the sand and then got up to run (5 feet into the water).
Running up the beach, 500 yards to the transition area, I looked down and hit my watch 12:XX, I think I’m 4th or 5th out, NICE!
Into transition, I got out of my speed suit and then the duh moment…I looked down at my shoes and helmet and froze DUH. Finally, I got the glasses, helmet, shoes, bike, GO thing and headed out of transition. I’m not sure why the race director put a mountain bike division in one of the first waves but they clogged up the bike mount line. I picked guy who looked like he had been here before to follow…oops, nice bike, disk wheel, aero helmet guy couldn’t mount his bike…I was yelling at him to get going or move over, sorry Chris!
On the bike and rolling…a bit of slower wave traffic, I decided to gas it to the first causeway bridge to see if I could get into some open space. Up over the first causeway and I was in the clear, picking off slower riders, looking for other guys in my age group…there goes one, there’s another and finally my swimming drafting buddy…”Wow, I’m leading, it’s cool to be in the lead!” I kept the hammer down, riding about 80%-90% all out, looking down at my SRM, I was doing about 25-28mph with a nice high cadence 90 – 110rpm. Focused and staying as aero as possible I was feeling good and moving. In downtown Miami I saw Chris Lieto first, then Ben Collins and then Maca headed back to the beach, Lieto was flying! I got to the turn-around and almost took myself out coming into the turn way too hot. Back on the power, I took in some fluids and started noticing I way picking off people who were going faster and on nicer bike and then there were very few on the road in front of me. Back into South Beach I looked at the SRM and it read over 18 miles and under 50 minutes…ok, the course is loner than 18 and I’m on goal pace. Winding through South Beach, I hit the final straight to the transition, got my feet out of my shoes and positioned myself on the bike for a good dismount and running start into transition. The transition line was coming fast and I ad not hit the brakes, at the line I launched myself into a full sprint, a flawless dismount, I could hear people oooing and ahhing and a “Sick move!’ thrown out there.
No brain-fart in this transition…rack the bike, helmet off, hat on, shoes on, run! That was fast! (Faster than Lieto)
My legs felt heavy and I was under-striding, very awkward feeling, but I felt good and got a good pace. Finally, things loosened up and I let my mind wander a little: “I think I’m leading my age group wave, how is this? I’m LEADING!?!?” Running is not a strength, so I was hoping that there was a chance that I put enough time into people on the bike that I could hang on…Mile 1…I was not tracking time at this point, I just was going as hard as my heart rate would let me. My legs were strong under me, but my heart rate was redlining…just keep going! At the turnaround I knew I would see where the guys chasing were, and, about mile 2.5 I saw the first one, clearly a faster runner than me, I focused straight ahead and just tried to maintain. The second guy went the other way soon after. Could hear the footsteps coming, and they were fast. Passed with less than a mile to the finish, I tried to stay on his hip but that was more funny than serious. The second guy came by soon thereafter and seemed to be faster than the first, again I attempted to hang with him but fell back and got my mind right to just focus on going as best I could to the finish.
Up the sand dune and down to the finish, I think I was finishing third in my age group…WOW!
Across the line with a little fist pump and a smile, I went hard today!

Monday, April 14, 2008

 

South Beach Race Report - Great Race!

Alright, so the first test of the season went pretty well, Ive definitely found some speed and power on the bike and have found improvement going from the bike to the run, but not good enough...so, the quest to improve continues...
First, I have to say last week was a crazy week with work that included a last minute day trip to Detroit on Thursday for a meeting with Dodge. This through off my entire plan for getting my last bike workout and packing for my early Friday morning flight to Miami. I got home late evening Thursday night, jammed out a few laps through traffic and all the people out enjoying the first spring day in Central Park, got home to eat and pack all my gear.
For this race I took all the equipment I am planning on using in St. Croix other than wheel selection as my new Zipp 808's and disk have not arrived yet.
I got into Miami around 1:00pm on Friday, very lucky that my American flight was one of the ones flying last week, picked up my bike, got the rental car and headed off t the hotel. I was happy to see that the hotel was just a few blocks from the event site...grabbed some lunch and started to try and acclimatize to the heat and humidity.
Friday night was a VIP party for sponsors, celebrities and pro athletes. I got the chance to talk with Chris Lieto...What a stud! Probably one of the nicest, down to earth guys I have come across. We chatted about his new company Base Performance and training. I took a lot from the conversation, especially his take on fitting training into a busy life. Thank Chris!
Saturday morning I slept in, had a nice big breakfast and let the day heat up a little bit before heading out for some training. I set out around 9am for a run on the run course, a super flat out and back on the boardwalk of South Beach. I was really feeling the heat and humidity, my heart rate got up there trying to keep my body cooled. I got back to the hotel and headed out on the bike to spin the legs out and make sure everything was set up right for the race. I remember saying to myself "oh boy! the Pino feels fast!"
I spent the rest of Saturday hydrating, resting and a little time at the expo. Saturday night was the pasta party which we stayed for a little bit of and then moved on to a restaurant for dinner. A good chicken dinner with a small glass of wine is the pre-race norm...calm the nerves. Got back to the hotel and set up for the morning, set the alarm for 4:00am and hit the hay around 10pm.
Race DAY!
Got up, drank a bottle of water and ate a PowerBar. Stated my stretching/yoga routine and had a little coffee with a bagel. Headed for the race site, which opened at 5:30 and got a good rack spot, 2nd bike off the isle. Set up transition, walked the in's and out's, practiced my T1 and T2 routine and headed out to the water.
Got in a good warm up swim, 7:00am the star spangled banner and down the beach to the start. I felt good, no nerves just excitement to get going. The Pro/celebrity wave took off at 7:15 and my wave was set for 7:30.
Toed the line in the sand...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

 

The Season Begins

My first race of the season is here and I'm not sure what to think...

I've been training since the Monday after Thanksgiving with the ultimate goal being completion of Ironman Lake Placid. The race this weekend is a sprint down in South Beach Miami. I'm not concerned with the distance, my conditioning or anything like that, it's just the first race jitters...after a long off-season there is always that thread of doubt: do I remember how to get a good start, will I screw up transition, will my body respond, and on...

Also, there is a great deal of excitement and anticipation...I've been training a lot and have noticed some good gains in what I experienced last year, so I'm ready to try it out and take a little test.

I'm off to Miami on Friday and will report how it goes...

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