Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quadruple Digits!

YAY!  I did it!  I crossed the 1000 miles biked this year threshold!  I took Monday off, but tonight I squeezed in a quick bike ride around the industrial area by my house after working through softball practice.  It helped that the temps were in the mid-80's and dropping (without too crazy humidity).  I knew I was getting close and figured I would put in enough time to cross the milestone.  I spent 44:44 minutes (totally thought of EMZ) riding mostly flats for 11.2 miles!  Nice average pace too!  I've pretty much decided to attempt another century in October (Ride the Rivers) so I will have to make these kinds of quick rides routine a couple days a week on top of some longer rides on the weekend.  If I can really put in proper training, I should blow all kinds of milestones out of the water.  Go me!

Swimming = 9.56 mi
Biking = 1002.4 miles!!
Running = 128.9 miles

Monday, July 22, 2013

Show Me State Games 2013

Well, third time wasn't necessarily a charm.  The Show Me State Games triathlon is the only race I've done three times.  And it certainly didn't go the way I'd have liked it to.  Overall, I made more than one race worth of mistakes that made for a pretty sucktastic day.  But, on the flip side, I finished yet another triathlon - something unfathomable just a few years ago.  So I should try to celebrate the accomplishment.

Leading up to the race I had a pretty light week.  I did get in a couple runs, but that was it.  I guess we'll call that "taper".  Got everyone off to bed reasonably early Saturday night and warned them of the early wakeup call.  Thankfully, this race is so low key that there really isn't a time when transition closes and the race itself starts at 8 - late by triathlon standards.  The event is held at Phillips Lake on the south side of Columbia, a mere 30 min from my house.  So we rolled out of bed at 5:45, woke the kids up about 6:15 and struck out by 6:30-40ish. 

I got my packet (pre-registered on the last day for online apparently - saved $5) and T-shirt and bodymarked.  Set up my transition area (which was tough with people hogging the unassigned racks and ground space.  I mean - really - 3' worth of towel and stuff PLUS another couple of feet for your bike?  I know this is a small race, but leave some room folks!)  Will teach me to get my spot earlier.  Still had time to kind of stand around.  Took a few pics with my family (which apparently I need to harass to take pics because they didn't take any OTHER pics the rest of the day!).  And then, after very brief race instructions, they sent all racers 39 and under (me for 3 more weeks) into the water and said "GO!"

Not all of us were even in the water when they said this so I had to ease on in over the rocks at the bottom of the boat ramp and then start swimming through some of the dense lake vegetation at the edge.  I had a hard time finding a rhythm and there was some very minor contact.  Pretty soon I was at the back with the fast folks zooming to the first buoy ahead of me.  They must have sent the rest of the racers shortly after that because they passed me too.  I seemed out of breath from the start and kept having to stop my regular stroke and do a side or back stroke to try to get more air.  I didn't think the first buoy would ever get there. 

The trip to the second one wasn't bad, but it was a LONG way from there to the end.  The boat ramp never seemed to get any closer, but I would look back at the last buoy and it would be a little further away so I just kept going.  I'd try to count through 5-10 strokes before I would take a break.  I was suffering and pretty much decided I have no business doing an Oly while I was out there.  I was super tired and ready for the swim to be done.  I was almost to the shore and I hit even worse lake weeds that felt like ropes tying my arms under the water and not letting me through.  Not fun!  It wasn't like that the last two years.  They must need to spray or something.  Finally got out of the water at 26:57 minutes (according to Garmin).  It was supposed to be a 1/2 mile swim, but my Garmin said it was 0.56 (though looking at the map, I may have zig zagged a little).  Slower than last year, but the course was shaped a little differently.
I tried to run into T1, but I felt completely out of breath so it was a shuffle at best.  I grabbed my helmet and at the last second decided not to dry off my feet and put on socks.  Instead I just put on my bike shoes (bare wet feet) and headed out.  There were almost NO bikes left.  This is always so demoralizing especially since the 40 and over crowd started 5 min AFTER me. 

I felt for sure the heavy bike miles this year would pay off and I could just CRUSH the bike leg.  Nope!  For the first mile or so I still felt completely gassed from the swim.  I couldn't push a bigger gear and was just hanging on.  I tried to get a drink to ease the scratch in my throat that started on the swim.  But I just didn't feel steady so I didn't drink much.  I felt progressively better, but continued to get passed.  The course isn't that hard with just some minor hills.  I tried to increase my pace, but I think I just maintained.  I felt a little better as it went on and was able to drink more.

I averaged 14.5 mph on the bike which is solid for me (and especially given how bad I felt the first few miles).  Made it back to T2 in 1:02:56 (Garmin) and and made the supremely stupid decision to remain sockless.  I had a bit of trouble getting my running shoes on, then grabbed my race belt/number and fiddled with clipping it on as I walked over to start the run.  I took a handheld this year because of the fiasco with water last year and I was glad I had it to sip on whenever I walked (which was, as always, way more than it should have been).  The cloud cover remained so it really wasn't that ungodly hot, but I just felt like I had nothing to give. 

I spent the entire run bargaining with myself to run even the shortest amount.  I would say to myself "run to that tree", "run until you pass five people coming back towards you", "run through an entire Hail Mary".  Whatever!  I got to the water station and kept going.  They had some music on that I could hear for a few minutes - nice break from my mental dialogue. First mile came in just over 12 min which is about par for the course for me.  But about this time I notice the rubbing on my ankles.  Oh, did I wish I'd have taken the 30 seconds to put on socks.  Jeez, that burned.  But it hurt about the same whether I walked or ran so I continued to force myself to at least run little bits.  Second mile came in pretty close to the first.  OK, I can live with that.  Dear God, only a mile to go.  Man that spot on my ankles is really on fire.  Just run to that next tree, nope the next one.  Come on - suck it up!

Final mile was slightly slower, but I finally got across the finish line for a 38:04 min run (though it said "moving time" was 36:13 - and I didn't stand still so not sure if part of that is my T2 time).  It sure as hell wasn't pretty.  And a little annoying that it took 2 hours and 10 minutes total.  But another tri in the books regardless.  Took off my tennis shoes post-race and saw the blood that making a stupid game day decision to go sockless gives me.  I know better.  Not sure what the hell I was thinking.  Those BURNED in the shower too.  Ouch!

Got back to JC in time for school registration so that is taken care of.   Not much else to speak of over the weekend.  Went out for fried chicken last night and so MMNW was on the higher side (162.4). 

Swimming = 9.56 mi
Biking = 991.2 miles
Running = 128.9 miles

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Business Trip Run

Who says you can't get in your workout while on a business trip?  Not this girl!  I had to be in Kansas City for two days for two different client meetings and it just didn't make sense to drive back and forth so I quickly jumped on Priceline and booked a room at the Kearney, MO Super 8 (looked like the best of the cheaper options).  I headed over about 4:00 and enjoyed chilling out for the evening.  I indulged a little for dinner with some beef broccoli.  Slept fitfully thanks to a loud a/c unit and finally got up a little before six when it just seemed ridiculous to keep trying.

I headed up to Jesse James Park - just a couple miles from the hotel.  It is a nice little community park with a 1.35 mile paved trail.  It goes around a lake and big amphitheater as well as a disc golf course.  At 6:15, it was already super muggy even though the temps were in the 70's.  But it was just me and a couple of old guys out there.  I did the full loop and then the loop that had the cutoff by the lake for a total of 2.0 miles. With a race this weekend, I didn't want to overdo and running is my weak sport.

I wrapped it up, showered and still had about a half hour to watch the Tour de France (which I can't get at home) before I had to check out.  Busy with work and family obligations so didn't get much else of a workout in the rest of the week so I felt good about getting something done while away.

This morning I repeated the Show Me State Games sprint triathlon for the third time.  It was  1/2 mi swim, 15 mi bike and 3.1 mi run.  The run course has no shade at all and is always so blasted hot and humid.  Storms rolled through yesterday and I'm sure we are at 99% humidity.  But thankfully it was still overcast without lightening this morning.  Race report will be up tomorrow.

Swimming = 9 mi
Biking = 976.0 miles
Running =  125.9 miles

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vir-Tuesday Run

Two busy days of work knocked out a few of the items I had on my to-do list.  God bless the value of a daughter in day camp.  Didn't get motivated to get out the door last night even after watching the wickedly cut bodies on American Ninja Warrior.  I had planned on taking advantage of the time I had to wait on my daughter at softball practice this evening to get in a short run on the Katy Trail.  But when about half of the girls indicated they couldn't make it and with pretty solid heat/humidity - coach called off practice.

So I sent out a note on FB asking if anyone was game to share a few slow-ish, easy-ish miles with me.  Bob Jenkins (Team Virtus) was up to the task.  He is working on hitting 100 miles running between June 20 and Aug 15 (was 50, but he hit that yesterday so now he is shooting for more).  He is also having a little friendly competition with his teammate Lukas Lamb.  I haven't heard what will come to the winner or be inflicted on the loser, but it is sure to be hilarious (I mean, these are the guys that brought you the golden Speedo bet).  Lukas has to double whatever miles Bob knocks out.  Bob assured me he intends to win with heavy usage of fractional miles.

We started off at a pace that I think was a bit slow for Bob, but had me redlined before the first turn.  I looked down and we were at just over 9 min/mile.  We stopped for a second to stretch (Bob is having some issues in his calf).  We slowed down a smidge, but kept on and the first mile came in at just over 11 min/mi average (including that stop to stretch).  But I started having to walk to get my heartrate under control.  I was gasping for air and seeing numbers above 200 bpm.  But Bob was his usual good sport and slowed down when necessary and let me control the pace.  We finished with an outright stroll while we chatted about a shared acquaintance (not that we should be surprised that JC is a "small world").  Total = 3.15 (to make sure that Lukas would have to do 6.3)
Here's to your 6.3 miles Luke!
I shared with him my intention to find a trainer and work on my running this next fall/winter.  I know I need to add some strength work and also build my pace.  I know that I can do better.  I don't have any intention of shooting for a podium, but being less likely to be in last place would be nice. 

Still toying with doing an Oly later this summer - will probably see how the sprint goes this weekend.  Mike says he just can't get motivated to do anything but run so the home grown option (at least on his end) might be off the table.  He suggested a long run, but I am struggling with running so maybe just the cookout!  I could always just do my own.  I could also sign up for Lake St. Louis in late Aug (though I need to poop or get off the pot as far as registration goes).  That 1500 m swim is still kind of scary.  I know the bike wouldn't be too bad.  The run wouldn't be great, but wouldn't be awful either.  Also eyeing another bike century in the fall to find some redemption from my Tour De Cure attempt.  Saw a possible event on FB today that I am going to check into.  Regardless of what I end up doing, I need to continue to work on my consistency.  Maybe I need a good challenge too!

Swimming = 9 mi
Biking = 976.0 miles
Running =  123.9 miles

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Less than Consistent

Last weekend I got a nice start to a solid training week with the long bike ride Saturday.  Then I ran on Sunday evening from Stacy's house to the Governor's mansion and back for 5.2 miles.  Monday I wrapped up the "good start" with an open water swim at Stephens Lake Park after taking the kids to the dentist, meeting a friend from out of town for lunch, and getting a couple hours of work done at the office.  Left my Garmin at home, but swam for quite a while in the "lap area" that appeared to be about 50 yds long.  My son even did four or five laps with me!  I'm estimating that I did about a half mile though it was likely more.  I did rest a lot though. 

But the rest of the week kind of fell apart workout-wise.  Some because of the busy week, but some because the siren call of the couch in the a/c was too enticing.  Didn't help that my daughter played five softball games between Tuesday and Saturday.  Only two more games!

But Walter wasn't going to let me off the hook over the weekend.  I took the kids to mass on Saturday night so that I could get up early this morning and head off with Walter for a ride to Wardsville and back.  Forgot to turn on my watch until about half mile in and then again for a bit after a pit stop at the c-store.  Really have got to work on that! Watch had 26.4 and MapMyRide.com had 27.3 so we'll go with that.

The rest of today was pretty lazy.  I kicked back and enjoyed some Netflix.  Also caught up with my sister and her husband about their performances this morning at the Pewaukee Triathlon.  Kind of glad I didn't go up for a repeat this year since the course changed leaving the comparison factor frustrating. 

Going to be another busy week with a ton of stuff going on with my work and my daughter at a Science day camp all week (plus softball and piano as usual).  I need to go to KC for a couple days too.  It is basically a "taper week" though as I have the Show Me State Games tri on Sunday.  We'll need to head back to JC asap afterwards too because it is school registration and uniform exchange day. 

Still need to figure out the rest of my summer/fall race plans.  I haven't registered for anything yet.  But my training is less than consistent compared to what I'd like to do.  Hey Mike - you still think you might want to host a home-grown Oly?  At least if I didn't pay for it, I wouldn't hate myself so much for being super slow.  And I might even win my age group!  LOL  Unless Superkate comes that is.

Swimming = 9 mi
Biking = 976.0 miles
Running =  120.7 miles

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

I was quite surprised at how sore I was after the 4th of July trail run with the Virtus boys.  Like, "hard to stand up or sit down without groaning" sore.  I used my foam roller a little bit and did some self-massage.  But I was still feeling it even when I agreed via text to meet Walter this morning for a ride.  I figured I wasn't going to feel significantly worse so what the hell.

Woke up to a lovely sunrise shortly before my alarm went off.  I changed my clothes, gathered my things and flipped through the paper for a few minutes before heading off to meet up at Summit Plaza.  We headed out with temps in the low 70's and hammered our way through a fair amount of relatively flat terrain from Holts Summit to New Bloomfield to Guthrie to the Hwy H turnoff (averaging over 14 mph - good for me).  I think I felt like I needed to pee within the first few miles.  Oops.  But the morning was beautiful as we rode past green fields under blue skies.

Then we climbed a lot of hills - some flatter and long, some steep and short and some both.  After one of the most brutal hills, there is a turn where we could turn to do the "extended loop".  This isn't the best time to ask me if I want to do more miles.  I was totally gassed from that nasty hill and still felt like I needed to pee.  I begged off and we headed into Fulton.  The mini mart came up sooner than I had expected and was a welcome relief.  I took my pit stop and grabbed a snack and got back going down the road.

More hills and my average speed kept dropping while my heart rate kept spiking.  But before long, we could see the New Bloomfield exit and knew we were in the home stretch.  Tried to hammer it some more when back on the flats.  Felt bad when we were almost back to Holts Summit and I still felt like I had something in the tank.  But apparently I burned some matches I hadn't realized because the last few hills on Old Hwy 54 kicked my butt.  So glad to see the plaza and my car.

Rest of the day was filled with laundry, buying my son new shoes (size 10 mens for my 12 year old), nap, etc.   Great to start the day with a good workout - and even better when enjoying a beautiful mid-Missouri morning.

Swimming = 14,970 yds = 8.5 mi
Biking = 948.7 miles
Running = 115.5 miles

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4.4 for the 4th

I've been enjoying Bob Jenkin's recent blog posts over on the Team Virtus site about his climb back onto the fitness wagon.  No one would ever call Bob "dainty", but the dude is quite the adventure racer, race director, etc.  He wrapped up an entry on their blog yesterday with:

"So..how about a 4th of July run tomorrow morning at Binder?"

Binder is a big city (state?) park out on the west end of Jefferson City.  It consists of a large lake (which I have fished oodles of times with my dad from bank, wading and boat).  It also has a campground and several loops of singletrack trails full of roots, rocks and dirt to make all sorts of hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers happy.  The Facebook talk identified the "red loop at 7 AM" as the plan.

I got there a few minutes early kicking myself that I had forgotten that starting on time really isn't the Virtus way.  I snapped a quick photo of my car's dashboard to note the amazing morning temp (59° on the 4th of July!):

Soon, Bob was driving like a maniac down the causeway past the Virtus van and re-smashing some nasty road kill.  Just after they parked, Adam showed up (apparently his firing from the team is never permanent).  I had stuck a sign that said "Party This Way" that I found on the side of the road so that it pointed into the trail opening.  I should have taken a pic.  It was cracking me up.

After hearing about how fat and slow the guys are (yeah, right - my ass!) and a quick game of "not it" for who would lead us off, they took off at a ridiculous pace ahead of me.  Within a minute or two, they had dropped me and my heart rate was in the mid-180's just trying to hang on and navigate the really rocky trail.  About a mile in, I had my only ankle turn of the day just as I was thinking about how much I hoped I wouldn't fall like I did the last time I was out there in December (for which my ankle hated me for months).  Just before I got back to the end of the trail (1.33 miles), I could hear the guys cheering me in.  So embarrassing to always have people wait for me.  I promptly told them they are full of shit about being slow. 

After some brief discussion about time and how much more to do, we jumped in the Virtus van and headed over by the bait shop.  We then ran the green loop (which is the first and last part of the Kicks in the Sticks route I did last summer for my birthday).  They talked about "dialing it back", but again I was dropped shortly after entering the woods.  I tried to pick up the pace when I could and ease my way down the gnarlier terrain while catching my breath.  We popped out of the woods about half way through and chatted for a minute as two mountain bikers came out behind us.  Then we finished up the loop and they dropped me at my car.

It is always fun to hang out with such great guys who don't care that they have to wait for me and are very supportive and encouraging.  Maybe someday I can hold my own better with them.  When we were all done, my Garmin said 4.40 miles.  Luke posted this pic of us on Facebook pointing out that FOUR of us ran FOUR point FOUR for the FOURTH (and asked where everyone else was).  Cool beans!  And the Garmin map looked like curly ramen noodles (plus it looked like we drove across the lake).  Fun!

Team Virtus "Where's Everyone Else?" Pose
Average moving pace was 14:51 min/mile.  Sad that I can walk that fast on pavement.  Though there was about 490' of elevation gain/loss over the 4.4 miles too.  And I just get so afraid of falling and really derailing this fitness thing that I take some sections pretty timidly.  Wish I could learn how to take pics while running too.  It was very pretty out there.  And I should really get to work on my running.  Easier to do when you have great people to do it with (or at least in the same woods).

Swimming = 14,970 yds = 8.5 mi
Biking = 915.0 miles
Running = 115.5 miles

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Whiney Ride

Stayed up a little too late, got up a little too early.  Long day of trying to get work done with server issues at the office.  Riding the crimson wave (Clueless reference - just rewatched that the other day) doesn't help either.  But with temps in the mid-80's (and dropping throughout the ride) and starting and ending on the gloriously flat greenway, I really didn't have much to bitch about.  After all, I didn't have to meet up with two friends willing to go at my ridiculously slow pace.  Thank God for Walter and Prenavi or I might be writing about my 5 mile ride.

I spent a good part of the first half of our 29 miles a bit whiney - wanting to turn back after the first hill.  But I enjoyed the downhill that followed and some moderately flat stuff after before whining a bit again as the route to take was discussed at a quick stop.  I knew I was in deep when they talked about the "Nine Hills" route.  A road shouldn't be named after its hills.  Prenavi promised gorgeous scenery and she was right (when I wasn't hunched over trying to get up the hills that we faced BEFORE we got to that road).  And Walter opted to make me hate him less by turning before the big hills on the road.  But on a tour of western Cole County - you are still going to face hills.  He always says it "builds character".

We rode out to St. Martins, on to Elston before looping back to St. Martins and heading back into town.  As we got closer to town, some of the terrain is flatter and I started to hammer it.  I was about out of water and gatorade (since our slow pace, stoplights, etc had this take longer than 2 hours) and I just wanted to be done.  I knew there was only one more ridiculous hill and then a bunch of fun downhill and flat terrain before a little heart rate bump back up into the parking lot.  It is easier not to whine when you know the end is near (though I probably quit by the half way mark).

Max speed was over 38 mph.  That is the "good" part of hills.  The other day I mentioned breaking the speed limit.  It was on Eastland Drive that I am pretty sure has a speed limit of 30 mph.  Will definitely double check that.  I'd be damn proud to be ticketed for breaking it on a bike though.  It is a bit scary.

Total aside: MMNW was 162.4.  Pretty freaking happy with that after all of the food indulgence on vacation.  I should be able to shave a little off that if I don't go too crazy over the holiday weekend.

Swimming = 14,970 yds = 8.5 mi
Biking = 915.0 miles
Running = 111.1 miles