Friday, June 27, 2008

Airports, traveling and the old people next to me

Maybe it is just the cynic in me or I travel too much, but with the current state of the travel industry it seems that airports have become breeding grounds for idiots and the worst our nation has to offer. What happened to treating people with respect? Consumers treat airline employees like shit, while granted some of these employees are not the best and brightest and deserve a little harassing at times, but no one deserves what travellers are dishing out these days.

Additionally, what used to be a sanctuary of peace and quiet; a great place to get some work done - the frequent flier clubs - have become virtual nurseries. I'm used to the influx of kids out of school for the summer traveling with their parents, but the number of screaming, running and generally obnoxious kids running through the clubs these days seems to be high.

Yes, poor me...ah, it's early and I'm in the Continental Presidents Club waiting for my flight to Oregon. I'm really looking forward to this weekend for a few reasons:
1. I'm running the Pacific Crest half-marathon tomorrow and riding in the LiveStrong Challenge 100-miler Sunday.
2. This marks the end of the big training for IMLP and Monday is the start of the taper!

Oh sweet, the old lady and he husband are reading the newspaper out loud to one another!
"Honey, Russia beat Spain yesterday."
"I know."
"They play Germany in the finals."
"I know"
"Roddick lost"
"I didn't know Russia and Spain were at war."
"No, they were playing soccer."
"Who cares."
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Light at the end...

This is it...the last really tough week before the taper!
Time flies when you are suffering.

This past weekend, I did my last really long run, 3 hours in the hilly terrain of the Catskills. I felt really good and strong. I made it through the three hours and felt good.

I'm off to Portland, Bend, Eugene Oregon this weekend where I will run in the Pacific Crest Half-Marathon in Bend on Saturday and then ride the LiveStrong 100-mile ride on Sunday. All the while I will be working and shuttling to Eugene for the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials...check out our program site here: http://www.mastertheshift.com/ and our team picture from the Austin LiveStrong ride last year.
Then the 4th of July weekend at our house in the Catskills for some rest and relaxation.

On the road again...
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Chase Corporate Challenge

The day began with an hour and a half ride in Central Park with "Climbing Repeats" on the schedule...as anyone knows, there are no "climbing hills" in Central Park so I ask my coach and he said just try to follow the power ranges , cadence and heart rate outline as a Climbing Repeat Interval.

I got through the first two interval and went really hard on #3 which made my legs scream that there was no way I was doing #4...here the breakdown:

SRM #1:
Duration: 7:57
Work: 191 kJ
TSS: 17.6 (intensity factor 1.152)
Norm Power: 415
VI: 1.03
Pw:HR: 12.69%
Pa:HR: -14.53%
Distance: 3.225 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 671 401 watts
Heart Rate: 113 158 147 bpm
Cadence: 67 95 80 rpm
Speed: 14.5 34.7 24.3 mph

SRM #2:
Duration: 7:42
Work: 183 kJ
TSS: 16.6 (intensity factor 1.136)
Norm Power: 409
VI: 1.03
Pw:HR: 13.75%
Pa:HR: -18.3%
Distance: 3.182 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 162 662 397 watts
Heart Rate: 121 159 151 bpm
Cadence: 64 93 79 rpm
Speed: 15.6 33.4 24.8 mph

SRM #3:
Duration: 7:12
Work: 184 kJ
TSS: 20.4 (intensity factor 1.304)
Norm Power: 469
VI: 1.1
Pw:HR: 21.73%
Pa:HR: -12%
Distance: 3.201 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 982 426 watts
Heart Rate: 136 169 161 bpm
Cadence: 63 104 89 rpm
Speed: 18.8 35.2 26.7 mph

I was pretty well cooked after that workout, but I had signed up for the Corporate Challenge with the Rodale team. A 3.5 mile run was not sounding good and I wasn't sure my legs would respond, but I got over to the start after a little warm up run from the apartment and figured I'd go for it and go as far as I could to top off the training week.

I caught up with Anthony Rodale at the start line and we got a chance to catch up...Anthony did St. Croix and is signed up for 2009. The rain started to fall right as the horn sounded and I took off trying to navigate through the masses and get some clear road. I hammered away and hit the first mile in just under 6:00, still feeling strong I power through the race with a 21:10 finishing time...I was really happy with that effort considering it was a big day.
My good friend and coworker from Runner's World, Kathleen Jobes, won the women's race. She placed 53rd in the US Olympic Trials this past spring...super talented runner.
Well, it's a rest day and I'm looking at my workout schedule for the weekend and it is brutal...
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Monday, June 16, 2008

No racing this weekend...

With the long weekend of training and the big storms that rolled through Saturday night, I felt like racing the sprint race Sunday morning was not the best decision. Instead, I headed out and logged 2 hours on the bike (much more productive than less than an hour racing).

I had a terrible run on Saturday in the heat and humidity, had a sweat rate fast than I could get fluids...yikes!

So, I'm a little tired and worn out today with a 3500yard swim on the schedule which I'm debating doing...need a little mental day.

Good news this morning is that my father-in-law has just been cleared for the transplant. This will start on June 23rd. He will go into isolation and can see family only. He will have full access to emails, phone, stationary bike and TV. He will be in for a minimum of 21 days. This is the most life threatening part of the treatment. He has actually responded quite well to all the treatments to date so our hope is that his body is tough enough to take these lethal doses of chemo and the transplant combined. Within 2 weeks of the procedure we will know if he is out of the danger zone and headed down a path of recovery. Then at some point once he is through the entire protocol there will be a new body scan and round of testing and we will know if it worked.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Escape From Alcatraz Race Report

Just back from an amazing weekend in San Francisco with my brother and his wife. The weather was spectacular with no fog and warm temperatures.

My brother and I competed in the Escape From Alcatraz race on Sunday. It was a perfect day and again, this is a must do race for any triathlete: great course, well run and in a cool city.

Since I had done this race for the first time last year and this was my brother's first go at the event we stuck to the schedule and things that had worked so well for me last year. We boarded the ferry and sat near the exit doors to take in the sunrise and great view of the city and Alcatraz island as we headed out to the swim start.

The pro field went off and then the stampede of cattle out the doors...it is really an amazing rush doing the shuffle and then leap...

I jumped off and went hard right away to clear the boat, about a minute in I turned over on my back and looked back at the island, the boat and all the people jumping off. I sighted right at the radio tower thinking I was taking an aggressive sight line for the current and what had been told to us the day before. This is one swim where there is no getting into a rhythm or feeling smooth through the water with all the surf and wind...I took in my fair share of salt water and felt like the swim would never end. I kept getting closer to shore but not to the beach on shore where I wanted to end up, I was too far up current so about 200yds from shore I swam parallel to shore to the finishing beach. The waves were picking people up and planting them on the sand. I caught one in and got deposited right on a rock, my big toe on my right foot took the brunt of the blow. I ran up the beach and up the stairs where I had a little vertigo and had a tough time balancing while putting my shoes on. Finally, with the shoes on, wetsuit stripped to the waist and swim cap, goggles and neoprene cap still on, I ran to T!

T1 was a bit tough with cold hands trying to get the wetsuit the rest of the way off and bike shoes on, but I managed...although not as quickly as I had hoped.
I set out on the bike with the hammer down. My plan was to just go for it on the bike and see if I could survive through the run. Having the road bike made a huge difference on the climbs and descents as it was easier to handle and allowed me to take a few more chances. I was struggling a little to get to my upper limit until I hit Presidio Park. In the park, I found that next gear and put the hammer down all the was back to transition. T2 was better, a little difficulty with the socks, but I knew with the dirt and sand on this course they would come in handy.
I set out on the run and felt like crap! The first mile I felt like I needed to puke and that I was going to have to stop and walk. I held it together and got into a comfortable pace to the first set of stairs. Right before the base of the stairs I finally started to feel better and made a big effort to get to the top and to Baker Beach. I hit the beach and made the turn around and coming the other way was my brother, he was hot on my heals. I did my best to push my pace and not kill myself up the sand ladder...that thing is a killer...and hammered back down for the final 2 flat miles to the finish. My legs were feeling a little heavy but I kept a good pace and treated it like a training interval.I came through the finish chute and notice that I was going to break 2:30...I was really fired up as last year I barely broke 2:40.

My brother came in a minute behind me...he has a much better run than me and he uncorked a good one to try and reel me in, but today, I got to the line first.
We savored the joy of finishing and headed back tot he hotel for a shower and then to the Buena Vista for "Irish Coffee" and a huge brunch.
I made it back to NYC last night and whoa is it hot here! I didn't get much time to rest and recover from this race as my coach had me out on the bike and a good run this morning. The legs liked the bike and felt like tree trunks on the run...
It was a great trip, I just wish my wife could have come along, but we are trying to save vacation days for when the baby comes...maybe a family trip next year.
Next up is A LOT of training! A couple of really tough weeks before the IMLP taper. This weekend, we are headed out to Long Island to spend Father's Day with Jen's family and I get to do the L/Gold Coast Sprint Triathlon Sunday. Then in a few weeks I head to Portland, OR for work and run a half marathon on Saturday and ride 100 miles in the Livestrong Challenge the next day...load it up!
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