Friday, April 30, 2010

The Wind Is Not My Friend!

I love riding, and even though long rides can be uncomfortable on my backside and make my legs burn, I still love it...I guess I'm just sick in the head. Today was the first time I can ever remember getting mad during a ride.

I wanted to ride the bike course for the Taylorsville Lake Triathlon that I have coming up, so early in the week, I made plans to get up early in Saturday and head down to the lake and ride the route. About Wednesday I started to pay attention to the forecast and it looked inevitable that it was going to rain...a lot...on Saturday. So I changed my workout schedule and did tomorrow's ride today.

I typically always ride and run early in the mornings. So heading out at 2:00 this afternoon in 80 degree heat wasn't ideal, but it was the only way I could get this ride in. Something that I didn't see in the forecast was hurricane force winds!! As I was driving home from work I noticed that the wind was blowing my car around a little bit...which was not a good sign. If the wind can blow your car, imagine what it does to a bike!

The wind was horrible today. As if the course wasn't hard enough with all the massive hills, I also had to battle what seemed to be a constant wind. It would gust sometime and literally blow me 3 or 4 feet in one direction or the other. I wasn't able to get down in my aero position very often because I had to keep both hands on the handlebars to keep control of the bike. It also seemed like every hill I went up I was facing a headwind, making it twice as hard. About half way though my ride I started to feel myself getting angry at the wind. I may have even cussed it once or twice!

I got started a little later than I wanted and since we had a big 60th birthday party (you know who you are) to celebrate tonight, I didn't get to do the entire 56 mile course, but I cut out a few miles and still managed to get in 43.50 miles of it.

Here's the elevation profile of the route I did today:

The route ranged from 486 feet above sea level to 846 feet. I climbed a total of 1014 feet!
That gigantic, long hill around mile 33 was not fun, but the huge downhill before it was. I got up to 38.5 miles per hour coming down that hill and then almost instantly, I was going 9.

Total Time for the 34.5 miles was 2:17:20, for an average pace of 19.0 mph (which isn't bad considering the elements).
Avg HR = 148 (zone 4 - a little too high, but I was pushing it pretty hard)
Max HR = 167

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Shoes

I've always thought it was weird how excited most women get over getting a new pair of shoes. I feel this way every day except for the three or so days a year that I get a new pair of running shoes. Today is one of those days.

I've logged a total of 330 miles on my current shoes since December 27th (a Christmas gift from my Mother-in-law). Several years ago I ran in a pair of shoes way too long and it led to a few injuries, so now I keep a very accurate log of how many miles I run in my shoes. I don't wear them for anything other than running, so it's fairly easy to keep track of. I have a reminder set on my training log at 300 miles...that's when I start trying to find time to head to Swag's and get a new pair.

I've got several issues with my feet, so not just any shoe will do. My feet are very flat and I overpronate, so I need a good stable shoe with a lot of arch support. A few years ago I found the Asics Gel-Foundation shoe and I've been in it ever sense.

Other than knowing that my feet and legs will like my new shoes (it's literally the same shoe I've been wearing for years, just a new pair), I like comparing the soles on the new vs. old. You can tell a lot by the wear on your soles.

Here's a picture of the soles on my shoes (the ones with 330 miles on them):

I've circled in yellow the area's the are showing the most wear. Good news is that it's the middle of the foot, indicating that I'm a midfoot striker. The heals didn't have much wear, so that tells me that I don't need to worry about being a heal striker...which can lead to injuries and really slows you down! Excessive heel wear would also be a very good indication that you may be engaging in overstriding, especially if you are not experiencing the same "uniform" wear in the midsection section of your shoe, that you are in the heel.

I also did a "tilt" test. This is done by placing your shoe on a table, or flat surface, and "eyeball" the tilt or "lean" of the shoe. If it is significantly leaning, or rolling inwards, you may find that you've worn them too long and it's no longer capable of absorbing the amount of stress, and impact, for which it was designed. My tilt test checked out fine, so for now, all appears well with how my foot is hitting the ground while running.

So happy new shoe day to me! I'll spend some time smelling them before my next run...that new shoe smell fades pretty fast when you are sweating on those long runs! 

Ran 6.43 miles in 50:38 (7:52 min/mile).
Just a little short run at a comfortable pace with a few good hills. I didn't want to push it right on the heals of the miniMarathon. I'll do a longer run this weekend.
Avg HR = 152
Max HR = 163
Followed-up the run with 45 minutes of weights (back, biceps, abs)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Open Water Swimming

This past Sunday morning, I met a group of people at Taylorsville Lake for an open water swim. This was my first time swimming in my new wetsuit and I had mixed results.

The water was chilly at first, but I definitely felt the wetsuit doing it's job as once I was in the water and swimming, I never felt cold. The swim was organized by VO2 Multisport and they had a pro triathlete and an open water swimming coach on hand to give tips and answer any questions. The wind made the water choppy and we did some simulated starts with lots of people in the water at the same time getting kicked and punched (fun stuff!). It was definitely good to get some more experience in the open water.

I'm not nervous about swimming in open water. I don't have a fear of drowning and I know that I'm a strong enough swimmer to take in some water and roll with it. All this being said, after swimming about 500 meters, I was completely out of breath. I wasn't pushing it, but it felt like I couldn't get enough air with each breath. I felt close to hyperventilating!

At the time, I wasn't sure what was going on. I knew that something wasn't right. My initial thought was that my body was tired from running the miniMarathon the day before. But this didn't make sense.

In order to make sure that I hadn't lost my swim fitness (not sure how that would happen), I headed to the Mary T. Meagher pool this morning for some laps in the Olympic size pool. I swam 2 miles at a comfortable pace and never once felt out of breath. The only variable is the wetsuit. Is it too tight? Was it restricting my breathing on Sunday at Taylorsville? The only way to find out is to wear the wetsuit in the pool and see how my breathing is. Sure, this will look funny, but I've got to get this figured to before May 15th!

1h 25m on the bike
10 minute warm-up
30 minutes in Zone 2
45 minute Spin class with some good 2 minute intervals
followed by a 10 minute cool-down
Avg HR for the workout was 129
30 minutes of weights (legs, chest, triceps, abs)

5 minute warm-up
3200 meters (2.0 miles) swim with no rest
1st mile in 34:59
2nd mile in 36:11
Total workout (excluding warm-up)= 1:11:10 (35:46 min/mile)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

KDF miniMarathon Race Results

Official Time = 1:46:30 (8:07 min/mile)

768th out of 10,715 overall

630th Male out of 4633

110th in Age Group (30-34) out of 655

I accomplished 1-1/2 of my 3 goals for the race. I came out uninjured and I improved on my PR for this race (by a whole 20 seconds), but not my PR for this distance. I also failed to run a negative split.

Here's my splits:
Mile 1 -> 8:09 (8:09)
Mile 2 -> ????
Mile 3 -> 23:52 (8:01)
Mile 4 -> 31:57 (8:04)
Mile 5 -> 39:44 (7:47)
Mile 6 -> 47:57 (8:12)
Mile 7 -> 55:52 (7:54)
Mile 8 -> 1:04:31 (8:39)
Mile 9 -> 1:12:35 (8:04)
Mile 10 -> 1:20:45 (8:10)
Mile 11 -> 1:29:08 (8:22)
Mile 12 -> 1:38:04 (8:56)
Mile 13 -> 1:45:49 (7:45)
Mile 13.1 -> 1:46:30 (6:50)

As you can see, I was all over the place. Once again, not being able to keep a steady pace hurt my overall performance.  First half was done in 52:18, second half in 54:12...not exactly the negative split I was shooting for!!

Weather held off and it turned out to be a beautiful day to run. My legs just didn't cooperate. I started to feel it around mile 8, but I didn't want to push it so hard that my legs would be shot for this upcoming week's workouts. So I settled in at a comfortable pace and then pushed it once I got past mile 12. The fact that I ran the last 1.1 miles at a good pace means that I had something left in the tank, but this race was meant to be a training run for me, not one where I'm dead at the end. 

Open water swim at Taylorsville Lake in the morning, should be nice and cold! Can't wait to try out the new wetsuit!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon Goals

I try to set goals for every race I do. Tomorrow will be no different.

Since this race is technically a training race for my Triathlon next month, the #1 goal is to come out of the race injury free and feeling good. I've listed this race as a Priority 'B' race on my training plan.

Goal #2 is to beat my PR for this race and a half marathon.

Best time for the three previous times I've run this race was 1:46:50 in 2000.

My PR for this distance is 1:43:39 in last year's Louisville Half Marathon, which is a really flat course.

Goal #3 is going to be what I really focus on...and that's running a negative split. I described what this means in a previous post.

The 51-49 principle is what I'll try to follow. So for the sake of knowing what my splits should be, I'll set a goal finish time of 1:43:00

That means I need to do the first half (6.55 miles) in 51% of my total time, or 52:32 (8:01 pace). The second half would then need to be done in 50:28 (7:42 pace).

The first few miles of the race are through the hills of Iroquois Park, so keeping the slower pace is a good idea there anyway. I did the 3 miles of Iroquois Park in 8:01, 7:54 and 7:53 during the Papa John's 10 Miler earlier this month, so holding that 8:01 pace shouldn't be too hard.

Here's the plan:
Mile 1 -> 8:01 (8:01 pace)
Mile 2 -> 16:02 (8:01)
Mile 3 -> 24:03 (8:01)
Mile 4 -> 32:03 (8:01)
Mile 5 -> 40:04 (8:01)
Mile 6 -> 48:05 (8:01)
Mile 7 -> 55:56 (7:51)
Mile 8 -> 1:03:38 (7:42)
Mile 9 -> 1:11:20 (7:42)
Mile 10 -> 1:19:02 (7:42)
Mile 11 -> 1:26:44 (7:42)
Mile 12 -> 1:34:26 (7:42)
Mile 13 -> 1:42:08 (7:42)
Mile 13.1 -> 1:43:00 (7:51)

Weather could be a factor as rain and possible thunderstorms are predicted for tomorrow. As of right now, looks like the temperature will be in the mid 60's with a 30% change of rain during the race. I can't control the weather, so I won't worry about it!

Easy 1 hour on the bike to keep the legs loose. I also did about 20 minute of stretching and some core work.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

miniMarathon Route

If you are running the miniMarathon on Saturday, I'm sure that you know the course has changed slightly this that the finish line can be on Preston and Witherspoon by Slugger Field and Waterfront Park. I don't mind the change, although the course planners got pretty creative once the race gets downtown...lots of quick turns during that last mile. I will enjoy running right past the new KFC Yum! Center (aka Louisville Arena).

As for the course elevation, according to MapMyRun, there's a total change in elevation of 411 feet (194' of ascent and 217' of decent, for a net total elevation change of -23 feet. So the race is downhill...keep that in mind as you head up those hills in Iroquois Park during miles 2-4! Here's the elevation profile:

As you can see, the first two miles of the race are where all the monster hills lie. So be sure and get those legs warmed-up before the race! You'll find some smaller hills when you go into and out of Churchill Downs through the tunnels, the overpass on 4th Street at UofL and then again as you turn onto River Road near the end of the race. That being said, once you conquer the park, it's basically cake.

If you want to see the whole route, click here.

Here's a cool image from Google Earth showing the last few miles of the race:

I'll talk about my goals for the race tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Negative Splits

I've found that one of the hardest things for me to do is to negative split a course, whether it be running or riding.

This basically means the second half should be slightly faster than the first half. There shouldn't be a huge difference, and as a general rule, the 51-49 principle is usually recommended. So the first half of a 10-minute or longer event (race, training run, etc.), should be completed in 51% of the total finish time. In road running, nearly all world records have been set with the first half run slightly slower than the second half.

Case in point was the Boston Marathon on Monday. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot set a new course record with a time of 2:05:52. He ran the first half of the race in 1:03:27 (50.4% of finish time) and the second half in 1:02:25 (49.6%).

The main thoughts behind the 51-49 principle are the following: If you go out too slow, you will never be able to catch up. If you go out too fast (like I did in the Papa John's 10 miler), acidosis increases rapidly and your body will never recover. It's easier to tolerate high acidosis for short periods (like at the end of the race) than long (like the whole race). Your joints become more lubricated and muscles warm up when you start out slower. Best of get to pass all those people that passed you early on in the race!

So why don't people (including myself) follow this principle? First off, it's tough to hold back at the start of a race. Adrenaline is pumping and you can be running faster than you think. Then there's the confidence issue. If you come out "slower", will you have enough left to pick up the pace during the last half? Some people even have the misguided belief that time "gained" early in a race by going out fast is greater than that gained late in a race.

The best way to learn/teach yourself to do negative splits is to practice them in your workouts (you race the way you train). I've attempted to do this several times, but with my RunKeeper App acting up lately, it's been impossible to tell what pace I am actually running until I'm done.

I'm going to attempt to pull off a negative split during the mini-marathon on Saturday...more on that later this week.

Warm-up (1.2miles): 9:46 (8:08 min/mile pace), Avg HR = 143
1/2 mile intervals
1) 3:10 - Avg HR = 158
2) 3:14 - 161
3) 3:15 - 161
4) 3:17 - 165
Total workout - 3.20 miles in 27:48
The plan was to do a total of 8 intervals, but due to the lack of sleep the night before, I wasn't feeling it, so I stopped after just 4. If there's anything that I've learned, it's that if your body doesn't feel right...don't force it!
After the running, I did an hour of weights (legs, chest, shoulders, abs).

I did a Fartlek run this morning. Which means that once every 10 minutes, I picked up the pace for 1 minute.
I ended up covering 7.16 miles in 54:06 (7:33 min/mile pace). This was a pretty good run and I feel good heading into Saturday's race.

Warm-up (6:22 of drills)
Swam 0.6 miles in 20:47 (34:38 min/mile pace)
4 x 48yd (1 lap) intervals
1) 40.92
2) 40.90
3) 40.38
4) 39.94
Cool down (4 minutes of easy swimming)
Total Workout: 1776 yards in 37:24

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boston Marathon

Today was the 114th running of the Boston Marathon. This is the Super Bowl of running. It's the most prestigious and historic race in the world. Unlike most running races, not just anyone can enter. You have to qualify to get the opportunity to torture yourself for 26.2 miles...and qualifying is not easy. You have to run a marathon under these times within 18 months of the Boston Marathon:


Men 3:10:00 (7:15 min/mile pace)
Women 3:40:00 (8:23 min/mile pace)

M 3:15:00 (7:26)
W 3:45:00 (8:35)

M 3:20:00 (7:38)
W 3:50:00 (8:46)

M 3:30:00 (8:00)
W 4:00:00 (9:09)

M 3:35:00 (8:12)
W 4:05:00 (9:21)

You see the pattern. So for me to qualify for Boston, I would have to run 26.2 miles at a pace of 7 minutes and 15 seconds per mile. This is laughable. I could maybe hold this pace for 4 or 5 miles right now. Let's just say that running the Boston Marathon is not on my list of attainable goals...maybe once I'm in that 50+ age group!

Anyway, today's race was one for the record books. Kenya's (is this country a big surprise to anyone?) Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot won, breaking the course record with a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 52 seconds. This is a pace of 4 minutes and 47 seconds per mile...for the whole freaking race! I can't run one mile this fast...seriously...neither can you.

That was 82 seconds faster than the record set in 2006 by four-time winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, who's not related. I'm surprised how popular the name Robert is in Kenya (right). The 2010 champion wins the $150,000 first prize and an extra $25,000 for setting the course record. Not a bad $275,000 day for "Robert".

It should also be mentioned that American Ryan Hall, who finished third last year, fell out of the top 15 near the halfway point but sprinted through the final mile to challenge last year's winner, Deriba Merga for a spot on the podium. He missed by 2 seconds, but his time of 2:08:41 was the fastest ever for an American in Boston, six seconds faster than Bob Kempainen ran in 1994.

As for me, here's what I've been up to:

Another brick, similar to what I did on Saturday.
Only difference is that this one consisted of a shorter bike and a longer run.

Covered 10.33 miles in 32:57 (18.81 mph). Avg HR = 139 bpm. It was a short ride, but had some challenging hills.

It was a little colder yesterday (39F) than Saturday, so I had to deal with taking gloves on and off and also taking off the wool socks I had on for the bike and putting on my running socks.
Avg HR = 112

Covered 6.90 miles in 54:21 (7:52 min/mile pace). Things felt pretty good coming off of the bike. The course was challenging with a downhill at the beginning, some rolling hills in the middle, then a big uphill climb at the end. I felt really good and could have continued at this pace. Avg. HR = 154 bpm

Total workout: 
Avg HR = 147
Max HR = 172 (that big hill at the end of the run) 

2hr 15min on the bike. Pretty steady riding with a 45min spin class thrown in the middle. The class consisted of some long hills and long flats. There were also 5 intervals at the end which got the HR up into zone 4. Good ride, legs felt surprisingly strong after the two bricks this weekend.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


"Bricks" refer to training on two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race. Usually a brick is a bike/run because it's easier to set up for than a swim/bike.

When you stop biking and start running the legs feel “strange” and heavy. It feels like you are running with bricks in your shoes...thus the name of the workout. Your heart rate goes up as your body tries to switch the blood from flowing into the muscles used for biking to those used for running. This feeling is more pronounced at the start of the run and usually the legs get better as time passes - although probably never as fresh as those you have when you run without biking before it. 

Brick workouts help shorten the time our legs take to start feeling more normal thus allowing you to run better and faster. Today was my first brick workout this year (not counting the sprint triathlon I did last month).

Covered 33.56 miles in 1:45:36 (19.07 mph). This was the same route that I rode last Sunday, I just cut it a few miles short. Lots of good hills. My legs were really burning coming off the bike! Avg HR = 137 bpm

Forgot to unstrap my bike shoes while I was on the bike, but other than that it was a pretty good transition. 
Avg HR = 108

Covered 3.6 miles in 27:39 (7:40 min/mile pace). My legs really did feel heavy and my toes were still a little numb from the chilly bike ride (it was only 47F this morning!). After about a mile and a half I felt like I settled in to a more comfortable run. My HR was high right off the bike, then a little lower than I expected for the middle part of the run, then peaked toward the end. Not sure what was going on there. Avg. HR = 151 bpm

Total workout: 
Avg HR = 139

Thursday, April 15, 2010


With the Taylorsville Triathlon coming up in 4 weeks, I figured I better go ahead and buy a wetsuit so that I could get in a few practice swims before the race.
Here's the wetsuit guidelines set forth by USA Triathlon:
  • USAT rules state that competitors may wear wetsuits if the water temperature is 78 degrees or lower.
  • USAT rules also state that if the water temperature is between 78.1 - 83.9 degrees, competitors may wear wetsuits but will not be eligible for awards.
  • If the water temperature is 84 degrees or above, participants may not wear wetsuits. 
The current water temperature at Taylorsville Lake is 60F...yes, I found it online. I wouldn't guess that it would warm up more than 5 or so degrees come May 15th. So it's obvious that I will need to wear a wetsuit if I plan on being in the lake for 45-50 minutes!

I went down to Swim-Bike-Run of Kentucky in Lexington to buy a wetsuit. Sure, there are lots of places around Louisville that sell them, but no one has an endless pool where you can try on various suits and actually swim in them before deciding on which one to buy. I tried on 4 different suits and ended up going with the 2XU C:2 (pictured below).

I told myself that I would not look at prices until I swam in all of them so that I could make an honest decision on which one I liked. Fortunately, the one I like was the cheapest of the full sleeve suits! It wasn't cheap, but it could have been a lot worse!

Believe me when I say that getting a wetsuit on and off is no easy task. I had to have help getting all 4 on and it took me around a minute to get each one off...I'll have to practice this or it will do some damage to my transition times. Notice to all of my neighbors...if you see me in the yard wearing a wetsuit, spraying myself with a hose, then running through the yard trying to take off the wetsuit as I run...don't be alarmed.

I may end up taking back all some of this stuff I said about wetsuits...we'll see once I actually race in one.

Ran some ladder intervals.
1 mile warm-up run (8:10)
5 minutes of drills, then the intervals.
Intervals were run on the indoor track. Started off with 2 laps, taking a 30 second break, then adding 2 laps to each interval until I was up to 14 laps (1 mile).
2 laps - 0.14mi - 0:53 (6:18 min/mile pace)
4 laps - 0.29mi - 1:52 (6:39)
6 laps - 0.43mi - 3:02 (7:13)
8 laps - 0.57mi - 4:09 (7:16)
10 laps - 0.71mi - 5:14 (7:22)
12 laps - 0.86mi - 6:21 (7:23)
14 laps - 1 mile - 7:26
Total workout: 4.5 miles in 48:21

Swam 1.2 miles (distance of swim in Taylorsville Lake race) in 41:47
5 minutes of drills
Total workout: 2400 yards in 49:54

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    "No Snoopy, No!"

    Let me set the scene: I've got less than a mile to go on my run this morning. I feeling good and I'm running at a pretty good pace. I'm annoyed that my RunKepper App is not working, but all in all, it's been a good run.

    Side note: I see people walking their dogs most mornings now that it's not 20 degrees out at 6:00am. I also get barked at from dogs behind fences. If you followed this blog since last summer, you know that I had a Jack Russell chase me on my bike nearly every Saturday morning. Dealing with dogs is part of running/walking/riding. My dad takes dog treats with him on his walks to appease any strays that try to start trouble. I love dogs, but we all know that not all dogs are friendly!

    So back to my run this morning. I see a lady up ahead with two dogs, both on leashes. There's a little one, some sort of fluffy lap dog, and a larger one, some type of Bull Terrier if I had to guess. As I get closer to her, both dogs notice me and start to bark. She's holding both leashes in one hand and both dogs are pulling to get at me. Just as I pass her, I hear "No Snoopy, No!". At the same time I hear the sound of a dog running with a leash dragging behind. Snoopy (the Bull Terrier) was coming for me...and he was pissed!

    I had two choices, take off in a sprint and try to outrun the dog, or stop.  I'm no expert, but I know that A)running from a dog will only make them want to chase you more, and B)I can't outrun this dog. So I stopped, faced the dog and waited.

    He ran right up to me and was barking and showing his teeth. I didn't look him in the eyes (another tip I picked up somewhere along the way), but I didn't take my eyes off of him either. He was down in an aggressive squatting stance staring at my shin, looking like he wanted to take a bite! Finally, the owner caught up and grabbed Snoopy by the collar and pulled him away from me. She was apologizing profusely, but I didn't respond. What I felt like saying was "if your dog is too strong for you to control, you need to get a smaller dog!". I just turned around and started running again.

    It turned out to be no big deal. The only thing hurt was my tempo during that last mile. When I run in more rural areas, I'm always looking to see where the closest tree is that I could climb if some wild animal gave chase (seriously, I do this). But I never really thought about having to do the same while running behind the St. Matthew's Mall!

    Ran 9.97 miles in 1:17:45 (7:47 min/mile pace).
    Avg HR = 159 bpm (upper end of zone 2, with lots of spikes into zone 3 on hills)

    Swam for 24 minutes. Lots of drills, covered around 1056 yards.
    After a warm-up, I did about 15 minutes at what I would consider "race pace" and I couldn't help but notice that the girl in the lane next to me was swimming MUCH faster than I was. I'm not the fastest in the water, but I typically hold my own with other swimmers in the pool. We both finished up at the same time and I made a comment about how fast she was. Turns out she swam in High School and then went to Missouri on a swimming scholarship. I don't feel nearly as slow after finding out this little tidbit of info!

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    New Gatorades On The Way

    Over the next few months, expect to see a series of new Gatorade product lines focused on the serious athletes and the health conscious consumer. Here some of what you can expect:

    G Series – The "G Series" is a three-part regimen designed to fuel every step of sports performance. Stage 1 (Prime) is a gel filled with B-Vitamins, carbs and electrolytes to be taken prior to workouts. Stage 2 (Perform) is just the good 'ol Gatorade (or G2) that you've been drinking all along. To be consumed during your workout. Stage 3 (Recover) is a re-hydrating protein drink to be consumed right after your workout.

    G Series Pro – This line includes the G Series Pro Endurance Formula that will come in ready-to-drink form, powder and powder sticks (are these like those tea powders?). G Series Pro drinks will be available in pouches and bottles tailored for athletic users before, during and after their workouts. This line will sell exclusively at specialty or premium stores like GNC or Dick's Sporting Goods. The Gatorade website says that this is the stuff that pros have been using for the last 15 years...and it's now available to you!! Woo Hoo! I guess they think we can finally handle the "good stuff".

    G Series Natural – Another line that the company is marketing as natural, or the G Natural line, will be available at some Whole Foods stores. G Natural is sweetened with sugar and a lower-calorie G2 Natural will be sweetened with a stevia extract.

    As long as they don't put Tiger Woods on the bottles anymore, I might actually consider buying some of this new stuff...

    2h15m on the bike. 45 minute spin class thrown in the middle. Lots of good, long hills today. Good Force building workout.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Back on White Lightning

    With the exception of the sprint triathlon a few weeks ago, I haven't been on my bike since November. All of my riding has been indoors on the stationary bikes at the gym. The weather's been nice enough the last few weeks, but getting in a ride just hasn't worked out. So I planned early in the week to get in a ride this weekend. As it got later in the week, the weather looked to be warmer on Sunday, so I moved my Saturday workout to today.

    It was still a bit chilly as I headed out at 7:15 this morning, but it felt great to get White Lightning back out on the road. My training called for a two hour ride, so I planned on heading out for an hour and then turning around and heading back.

    This was my first ride since we've moved, so I was eager to see what my "normal" route was going to look like. Suffice to say, I'll have no problem getting in my hill work! The total elevation change for this 38.71 mile route was 2189 feet!! It was a little more uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back.

    Here's the elevation profile:

    That gigantic uphill portion at the end was brutal!! Time out was 1:02:10, time back was 1:00:03. Lots of big hills at the beginning and end, but those "little" hills in the middle are actually pretty challenging! The route took me down Taylorsville Lake Road towards Taylorsville. I'm going to make it a point to try and do the bike route for my May 15th Triathlon that takes place at Taylorsville Lake at least once before the race. I thought I could ride down there from home and then do the route...but after seeing how challenging it is just to get there, I think I might drive the bike down to the start!

    Workout Totals: 38.71 miles in 2:01:13 (19.16 miles per hour average)
    Avg. HR was 141, which is right in the middle of Zone 3 (intensive endurance) - good Build Phase ride!

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    My legs are shot!

    My legs were feeling a little heavy on Sunday after the race Saturday morning. I thought the day off would be enough for them to fully recover. They were still tired on Monday, but I put in over 2 hours on the bike anyway. Then did running intervals yesterday...I paid the price for all this today.

    The plan was to work on my negative splits today (I'll post on this philosophy later). I did my first mile in a little over 8 minutes with plans to increase my pace throughout the run, finally finishing at a pace around 7:35-7:40 per mile. As I ran, I felt like I was running faster...but I wasn't. I was asking for speed, but my legs weren't giving it. I don't feel overtrained, but it's clear that my legs need a rest. Low output with a high perceived exertion is the definition of overtraining. So I'm making the decision to scrap my next run and only do some easy riding/swimming for the next few days. I'm too close to my first big race to blow it now!

    Running Intervals (1mi x 4 with 1/4mi jog between each)
    1.23 mile warm-up at 8:20 pace (Avg HR = 139)
    1st mile - 6:57 - Avg HR=163
    Recovery jog - 2:02 - 152
    2) 7:11 - 166
    Rec - 2:10 - 155
    3) 7:24 - 167
    Rec - 2:10 - 156
    4) 7:21 - 168
    Rec - 2:10 - 157
    1.23 mile cool-down at 8:49 pace (Avg HR = 157)
    Total Workout - 7.38 miles in 58:34

    5 minute warm-up with drills
    1 mile swim in 33:37
    2 minute cool-down
    Total Workout - 1.13mi in 41:38

    Ran 9.64 miles in 1:21:15 (8:25 min/mile pace)
    I thought my RunKeeper App was messing up, no way I was running this slow...come to find out, it was accurate.
    45 minutes of weights (legs, abs)

    Few more pics from the finish of the Papa John's 10 Miler, which was inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (courtesy of Brightroom):

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Build Phase

    Today marks the start of the Build Phase of my training. Typically, this stage consists of three, three week periods. But, due to my knee injury back in January, I had to make some adjustments and cut this stage down to a single, four week period. Details on the change can be found here.

    I've been in the Base Phase up until this point. Base Phase was done mostly in my aerobic training zone (zone 2), building my endurance. Now things will start shifting into preparing for an actual race. Volume won't be as high, but intensity will increase. I will be doing more intervals and tempo rides/runs while maintaining the endurance that I established during the Base Phase.

    I've been running and riding at a pace that corresponded to a target heart rate up to this point. Now most of my workouts will be done at "race pace", keeping an eye not only on my heart rate, but what my actual running/riding pace is. Lots more time in zone 3 than before...this should get interesting!!

    Some pictures from Saturday's Papa John's 10 Miler (thanks Mom!):

    I'm the guy in the red shirt and gray shorts. 

    Amazing how I'm able to run, smile and wave...all at the same time!

    This is around mile 7, looks fall instead of spring...where did all the leaves come from?

    2h15 on the bike. Had trouble keeping my heart rate up right enough, but it was a tough workout. No spin class today...I guess the instructor is on Spring Break!

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Papa John's 10 Miler Report

    Dropped off Jessica and Kate at my parent's house around 7:00am and headed over to the starting line at Central Ave. and 3rd Street. Not many people there, so I had time to jog a little and get loose. I made the same mistake as last year and drank way too much water last night and this morning. I port-a-potty stop around 7:30am wasn't good I stood there at 7:55am waiting for the gun to fire, I had to go again...but it was too close to race I ran the whole 10 miles with a full bladder!

    Here's link to the route: Papa John's 10 Miler Course

    Race started and I got into a good rhythm quickly. I felt like I was running a good pace. Once I got to the Mile 1 marker, I realized I was running way too fast. First mile was 7:02! I knew that I needed to slow down...a lot!! I have a very hard time determining how fast I am running. I often have no clue what my pace was for a training run until I get done and see my time. I really need to figure out how to do this. Running this fast out of the gate could be disastrous!

    Second mile was more at the pace I planned. Goal pace was 7:48 per mile, and I did this one in 7:41. I now knew what pace I needed to hold. Saw Jessica, Kate and my parents along the route during the second mile. It's awesome having a family that comes out to support me!

    Third mile was the last flat mile before heading into the park. Time for mile 3 was 7:53. Now I had slowed down too much. I already knew that keeping a steady pace was going to be an issue!

    By the time we hit Iroquois Park, the crowd had thinned out and most of the people around me were running at the same pace(s) as me. The first hill in the park seemed pretty hard - not to mention that all of the sudden the wind showed up - and it was right in our faces has we climbed the hill. I ducked in behind some tall dude and did a little drafting. Who knows if it helped, but I thought I was smart for thinking of it! I took some water at the Mile 4 marker and saw a time of 8:01 for the 4th mile. I was going to have to step it up to finish under my goal of 1 hours, 18 minutes...and 8 minute miles wasn't going to cut it!

    Mile 5 consisted of the hills on the back side of the park. I know the park well so none of this was any surprise to me. I knew what lie ahead and I kept telling myself to increase my cadence going up hill. I did a few cadence checks throughout the race and I was always in the 29-30 range for 20 seconds...which is good. Mile 5 time was 7:54.

    First half of the race was done in 38:34 (7:42 min/mile). I was on pace for a time of 1:17:08 - but I knew this was not accurate considering how fast my first mile was. Throw that out and my pace was 7:53 min/mile. It was time to push it.

    Mile 6 is probably the toughest of the race. It consists of the last (and largest) hill in the park. Your legs are spent, but you know that once you make it to the top of this hill, it's all almost all downhill to the finish. I ran mile 6 in 7:54. Pretty good time for this monster hill!

    Mile 7 was fun. I was relieved to get out of the park and seeing all the people cheering along Southern Parkway gave me a boost. I ran a blistering 7:37 for mile 7, and I was feeling good about beating my goal time.

    Mile 8 was flat and mostly downhill. I was feeling good and was doing the math in my head to determine what I needed to run these last few miles in to finish under 1:18:00. I also saw Jessica, Kate and my parents again cheering me on. I had to run all the way across Southern Parkway to get close enough for Kate to see me, so I figure that cost me 5 or 6 seconds (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). Time for mile 8 was 7:50.

    By mile 9, I felt like I had it in the bag, but I knew that my pace was slowing. I was kind of gauging what I had left. I knew that I still had to conquer that Central Avenue overpass and I wanted to have a kick left at the end, so I held back a little. Mile 9 time was done in 7:52.

    Turning onto Central for the start of the 10th and final mile was crazy! There were tons of people there cheering and it started to rain as soon as I made my way up the ramp. By the time I got to the top it was raining pretty hard and I swear the wind gusts were 30 miles an hour up there! It was all I could do to stay upright! Headed down the other side of the ramp and decided to empty the tank. I picked up my pace to a level that I knew I couldn't maintain very long, but there was only around a half mile left. I checked my watch as I entered the stadium and saw that it was 1:16:30. I had a minute and a half to finish...relief...I was going to beat my goal time! Sprinted to the finish for a mile 10 time of 7:46 and an overall time of 1:17:35.

    I still had to pee, so I found the nearest port-a-potty!!

    I cut 5:48 off of my best time for this race, which was last year. So far, all three of my races this year have resulted in PR's. Pretty good start to 2010!!

    PJ 10 Miler Results

    Official Time = 1:17:35 (7:45 min/mile)

    488th out of 6925 overall

    421st Male out of 3212

    68th in Age Group (30-34) out of 482

    1st half in 38:34, 2nd half in 39:01

    Good race, full report later.

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Papa John's 10 Miler Goal

    So as with any race that I've done before, the goal is to beat my PR (Personal Record).

    I've run this race two previous times:

    2001 - Time was 1:23:33 (8:21 min/mile)

    2009 - Time was 1:23:23 (8:20 min/mile)

    I was 10 seconds faster last year than in 2001. I didn't realize the times were that close until just now...kind of strange.

    Based on my training runs, if everything goes according to plan, I should smash my PR tomorrow.

    I'm shooting for a time of 1:18:00, which would equal a pace of 7:48 min/mile.

    This is a Priority C race, so the main goal is to have fun and stay injury free. Next week starts the "Build Phase" of my triathlon training, so I need to be in tip-top condition...because the workout intensity is about to increase!!!

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    Catching Up

    It's been a busy week, but I've been able to get in some good training sessions. Here's a recap of my week:

    Monday's Workout:
    1h25m on the bike. This was a pretty easy ride just to get me legs back after Sunday's race. I kept the HR is Zone 2 and did about 30 minutes of weights (legs, chest, tricpes and abs).

    Tuesday's Workout:
    Running intervals.
    1.23 mile warm-up (9:29) - 7:42 min/mile pace
    (8) 1/2 mile intervals
    1) 3:08 - avg HR 159
    2) 3:16 - 160
    3) 3:18 - 160
    4) 3:21 - 161
    5) 3:22 - 163
    6) 3:24 - 163
    7) 3:24 - 162
    8) 3:25 - 163
    1.23 mile cool-down (9:58) - 8:06 min/mile pace
    Total workout - 6.46 miles in 55:14

    Swam 1488yd in 30:39. This included some drills at the beginning and end with about 15 minutes of easy swimming in the middle.

    Wednesday Workout:
    With the 10 miler coming up this weekend, I wanted to get in a good run with a pace slightly above "comfortable". I ended up going 7.15 miles in 55:22 (7:44 min/mile pace). My heart rate stayed around 159-165 for most of the run with my average being 163. So I was at the top end of Zone 2 and the bottom end of Zone 3 (intensive endurance) for this run. I was pushing it pretty good, but I think I could hold this pace for 10 miles. More on my race goals tomorrow.

    Thursday Workout:
    1h15min on the bike. Spin class was made up of lost of hills and intervals. Legs were a little tired at first from the run on Wednesday, but they warmed up about 10 minutes in. Good overall workout, average HR was 133. Did about 30 minutes of weights (back, shoulders and abs).
    Swam for 15 minutes. Mostly drills and sighting practice. Covered 720yd.

    Papa John's 10 miler coming up on Saturday. I'll take a look at my race goals tomorrow.

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