Monday, July 4, 2011

FireCracker 5K Recap

Today; July 4, 2011, Shelby and I completed the Ann Abor Firecracker 5K.

Pre-Race Goals:
No Injuries
Not to Embarrass Myself (First 5K in 7+ years)
Time Goal: Break 19:00, (stretch goal: break 18:30)
Have Fun

Summary:
Shelby and I arrived at race site at ~ 7:30 AM for an 8:00 AM race start
A brief warm was completed that included a couple of stride-outs and a few minutes of stretching.
Looking around before the race started, I picked out quite a few people that I dubbed as "fit-runners" based on their slender builds, and race attire.
I am by no means "big" but when I see "fit runners", I realize that college football, and triathlon has "changed" my body in comparison to a lot of endurance runners.
I lined up at the start of the race (a first for me) and was wondering where all of the "fit runners" I saw prior to the start had gone.
The gun went off and I found myself in the top 5.
I was quickly swallowed by a large group of runners, and a sense of calmness came over me. (There they were)
After going out at 5:20 p/m for the first 1/4 m, I settled into a comfortable pace (5:42)
Time passed by and the on-sluaght of people passing me came to an end, I began to overtake some athletes.
I felt my legs come around and settled into a rhythm starting around mile 2.5.
I maintained the pace and cruised in to the finish.

Mile Splits:
Mile 1: 5:41
Mile 2: 5:49
Mile 3: 5:47
Mile.16:0:44
Total: 18:02

Additional information is available here:

Overall Lasting Impressions:
I felt good throughout the event
I was pleasantly surprised by my time, but also realize that if I ever want to be "competitive" for the overall win in most sprint triathlons, I really need to work on improving my foot speed (or really increase my swim form). However, this time is encouraging given my lack of training due to injury (stress fracture ; September through May) and due to work schedules.


The performance of the day/household goes to Shelby. Shelby had a fantastic day, just missing her time goal, despite suffering from a bad side cramp/pulled muscle the better part of the last mile

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dexter Ann Arbor 1/2 Marathon

Race Recap:

Pre-Race Goals:
1. Do not risk re-injury
2. Run even to negative splits
3. Sub 1:30 finish time.

Result:
Goal 1: Check
Goal 2: Check
Goal 3: Check

There were a couple of times during the run that my foot started to bother me more than I would have liked. The pain usually lasted a couple of strides and then gradually lessoned. I noticed that the pain was most intense when I allowed my stride to lengthen and I was running in the direction of automobile traffic(i.e the wrong side of the road runners are supposed to run on. The distance was shorter).

First Half Split: 44:16
Second Half Split: 44:14 (That was close)

Mile Splits:
6:43, 6:46, 6:48, 6:49, 6:50, 6:43, 6:44, 6:41, 6:47, 6:44, 6:40, 6:37, 6:29, 1:00


Additional Information available here:

In Summary:
I am pleased with my performance given that I have only been running for just over 5-weeks and after taking nearly 7-months off due to a stress fracture.
I was very concerned going into the race about the possibility of injury and overall fitness levels.
I approached the race cautiously in fear of lack of fitness, endurance, and hitting the "wall".
Over the course of the run I kept waiting for that "wall" to come, but thankfully it never did.

I did feel fatigued towards the end of the run but felt confident that I could have maintained this pace (on this day) another 4-5 miles if I needed to and there was adequate on course supplies. Also, I dont know if I have ever finished a race/run where I have not felt fatigued at the end no matter the distance.

It was nice not to really have too worry about nutrition/hydration during a race (in comparison to long-course triathlons) and my strategy was to grab water on the odd numbered miles and gatorade at the even numbered miles. This worked well for the race, however, I was feeling dehydrated during the later miles and more so after the run was over.

My preparation for this race was spent largely running with Shelby. Shelby competed in the 10K and did an outstanding job (new PR for the distance). I owe my race results to her and am thankful to have her as a running partner.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Operation Muncie: May Totals

May is in the bag. My totals for the month (by discipline) appear below:

Swim: 29,500 yards
Bike: 14.75 hrs on CompuTrainer
150.5 miles
Run: 112 miles


Thoughts *& Lessons Learned:

Swim:
My swim form is coming back, but I am still a long ways off of the endurance and speed a year ago at this time.
I have noticed that there appears to be a direct correlation between swim fitness and running fitness, and as my running fitness has increased so too has my swim.

Bike:
I have begun to close the gap from my fitness last fall to where I was just 1-month ago. At the begining of May I was averaging about 60 Watts lower per given heart rate over a set period of time. I believe I am closer to 40- Watts now, however, my endurance and overall sustainable top-speed is very undesirable.
One session of speedwork/intervals completed to date

Run:
I have been run limited due to the onset of shin spints, work load, concern of re-injury, etc, nonetheless improvement continues.
No speedwork or intervals completed to date


Overall:
Each of the totals represents arroximately 2/3 of the amount I have completed in previous years for the month of May and is very similar to the totals for January/february.
The body is only capable of taking on so much after taking 7-months off due to injury.

Upcoming "key" workouts:
Ann Arbor/ Dexter Half Marathon
Waterloo Sprint Tr

Monday, May 9, 2011

OpM Update: Week 1

Totals since April 28, 2011:

Swim: 8,800 yds
Bike: 12.0 hrs
Run: 39.1 miles

Highlights:
Swimming:
Killer workout on Saturday w/ Jess and Shelby
This was one of those workouts that you remember for a long time and are proud of yourself that you made it through alive

Biking:
2.5-hr effort on the CompuTrainer at target HIM heart-rate.
Power has reduced about 60 watts from last August for given heart rate
Two seperate rides with Shelby enjoying the great weekend weather

Running:
A 14-mile run w/ Shelby on Sunday around Ann Arbor


Leg:
Not any significant issues with my heel. Still some pain going up inclines, and at "faster" paces.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Operation Muncie

Mission: Get in shape to perform "well" at Muncie 70.3 on 7/9/2011




Today, May 1, 2011 I began in what I will be referring to as "Operation Muncie". I am not quite sure what the "operation" entails other than from here forward I will be doing as much as I am capable of and as much as my (achillies/heel) allows me to to try to get ready for Muncie 70.3 which takes place on Saturday, July 9th, 2011.

Time is short, the amount of work required is significant. The biggest factor is being smart with training and not "over-doing" it to the point where my stress fracture well fractures once again.

One year ago, I watched Shelby and Erin compete at Muncie, which brought back good memories of my previous outings at the venue. On that day last year I declared that I would be back in 2011 and would set a PR for the distance.


- - -

Given the set of circumstances and lentgth of injury (7+ months) I know that I will at least make good on the first part of the declaration.

Over and out,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lance

Meet Lance:


Lance is my Bike, err, I should say that Lance was my bike (RIP). I named him after the cycling great Lance Armstrong, whom I share the same birthday (September 18) but different year.
I have been called Lance numerous times while cycling. I wish it was because I could ride like him, but it's not; He is the most popular US cyclist and the period when I was "mistaken" for him often came at the height of his 7-Tour de France victories, and I was out riding. People saw a cyclist and put the action with a name. A similar thing has happened with Forrest Gump while running.

Lance is the grandson to T23, and the son to Blade. T23 was my first road bike, and Blade representing my first TT/tri-bike (to be discussed at a later date)

Below are some of the special memories that Lance and I have shared together:

July 2, 2008:
I meet Lance for the first time
I was/am awestruck by his profile, his lines, his weight, stiffness, and beauty. (okay, it's getting out of hand)
My first ride with Lance was only 1-mile but I was almost scared because of how he handled and the speed at which he could go with very little perceived effort

July 3, 2008:
My first real ride with Lance
We set a season PR on my favorite training course by about 2.4 mph

July 12, 2008: Muncie Endurathon
Our first race together. The conditions were not ideal for riding with thunderstorms and a driving rain the duration of the ride
Nonetheless, we set a new PR for the distance and went from 119th place to 19th place coming into T2 posting the 21st fastest ride of the day


















August 2, 2008: Steelhead 70.3
We share our first (and only) crash together
Two riders got together coming into T2 too fast and not knowing where the dismount line was
Lance and I do an end-over but manage to come out relatively unscratched

May 25, 2009: Betsy
Lance meets and falls in love with Betsy
The two remain close to this day
In fact they moved in together on 8/1/10 and have shared a room ever since
I have had to keep my eyes on these two; I can hardly keep them separated and have caught them in the "act" on more than one occasion. (see April 16, 2011 for evidence that I did a poor job keeping them separated)













July 12, 2009: Ironman Switzerland
Lance and I travel to Switzerland to compete in our first Ironman Triathlon together


















December 29, 2009: Lance meet CompuTrainer
Lance and I are introduced to the CompuTrainer with a 75-minute ride
The three of us would go on and spend 325+ hours together

July 25, 2010: Ironman Lake Placid
Lance, Betsy, Shelby, and I travel to Lake Placid, NY to compete in IM LP
Lance gets upset with me for not riding faster and getting passed by so many riders
I'm Sorry Lance

August 8, 2010: Sylvania Olympic Distance Triathlon
Lance and I break the 60-minute mark for the bike leg setting a PR for the distance at 58:50 which was good for the 4th fastest ride of the day



















September 12, 2010: Rev3 Cedar Point Full-Rev Triathlon
This would be Lances last race
He went out with a bang helping me set a PR for the distance (despite missing a turn and riding an extra 3.87 miles) and recording the 22nd fastest bike split of the day

March 2011: Man Down. Call an Ambulance
Lance is diagnosed with a non-operable break (near the bottle holder on the downtube)

April 13, 2011: Last Outdoor Ride
Lance, Betsy, Shelby and I share our last outdoor ride together

April 16, 2011: Beer
Lance and I have a beer to celebrate and honor the good times shared together
You can see evidence of Lance and Betsy's relationship on the wall behind me. They produced a tri-cycle (named Tri), which is going to grow up one day and be the fastest, most aerodynamic bike in the world (after it loses its training wheel))














April 17, 2011: Good Bye and Thank You
Lance, Betsy, Shelby and I share our last indoor training ride together, riding a total of 122-minutes
Lance being the trooper that he is agreed to donate his organs to his son (to be named upon his delivery)

States & Countries that Lance and I visited together:
Michigan
Indiana
Ohio
New York
Florida
Switzerland
Canada

Number of races with Lance: 13
Miles spent with Lance: 6,247
Hours on the Indoor Trainer with Lance: 354
Top Recorded Speed with Lance: 67-mph (IM Switzerland)

Modifications Awarded to Lance:
S-bend aero bars
R2C Shifters
Quarq Power Meter
Fi;zik Arione Tri2 Seat
Hed Jet Disk, Hed Jet 9
Speedplay Pedals

Awards & Distinctions:
Age Group Fastest Bike Split: 8
Top-5 Overall Fastest Bike Split: 6


- - -

Lance
7/2/08 - 4/17/11
R.I.P

I will miss you Lance. Thank you for all of the great memories. I am sorry I could not ride to your potential and not being able to spend more time with you. Your end came too soon. May you be reunited and ride in peace with your father; Blade, and grandfather; T23.

Betsy, Shelby and I will take good care of your son(s). Miss you.

RideStrong...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Injury Update

It has been a lottle while since I have blogged. I tend to go through these phases so all of my dedicated followers will need to be patient with me.

My latst attempt at recovering from my injury was to basically stop doing everything (s/b/r, weights, etc), this was largely inspired by lack of inspiratioin/motivation on my end. It's been 7-months since the injury first showed its presence, which is about 7-months too long...

I recently started running again, and for the most part things have felt about the same as they did before (at any given time during the recent 7-months), but it got to the point that I basically said "screw it. I am going to do this". This last about 1.4 weeks where I built up to a 3-mile run before the pain became too intense to continue and I took another 2-weeks off.

Most recently I have started running with Shelby and have also started to bike once again (I love my CompuTrainer). Yes the pain is still there, but it does not seem to be getting better and/or worse with activity.

One of my friends, Leah, has recently started to have her own bout with achillies issues with symptons that sounded very similar to my own. Several weeks ago Erin suggested that I go and see Clint (runguru.com) for a consultation. I didnt take her advice,,, Until today.

I am the owner of custom fitted orthotics. From the initial feel of them they feel wonderful. Keeping my fingers crossed that they are the solution.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

NYC Half-Marathon

Pretty impressive half marathon debut for some of the top finishers
One of the lessons I have to keep reminding myself: To get faster at long distance, sometimes it is necessary to get faster at the shorter distances (5K, 10K, etc).

On the return to running front, my obervations:

I am really out of shape.
No increase in pain
My average heart rate for a 3-mile run on a treadmill was 178 bpm at 8:30 pace.
No elevation
My legs are sore


I am running, and that is a good thing..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Live from Seat 16D

I soon will be boarding my flight to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend a meeting for work. As I sit in the airport waiting for my flight several thoughts are crossing my mind that I thought that I would share with my loyal followers (all 2 of you).

Thought 1: The Sun WILL Come Out Tomorrow

I have had this song stuck in my head for the past several days. Not really sure why, as I haven’t heard the song recently. It could be partially due to warmer weather and spring is just right around the corner. However, as it may, there are no signs of the sun out right now, which is fitting for the mood I am. All I can say is that some days are better than others, and I keep telling myself “Self cheer up. Tomorrow will be a better day. The sun will be out tomorrow”.

Thought 2: Technology is great, but…

Technology is great but it in my opinion it has set “communication” skills back several decades. Prior to computers, text messages, email, etc, people actually used to talk to each other. As I look around the airport very people are talking. People pass by each other with zero interaction, head held down, zero eye contact, a missed opportunity. Today, I see people (IMO) hiding behind keyboards writing messages to from people instead of picking up the phone and actually talking to that person. Sometimes it is a matter of convenience, but my experience suggests that it is done to potentially avoid talking to someone. Is there really something “wrong” with talking to someone about a serious topic that you inquired about? I am guilty of this myself as I sit here writing this.
Thought 3: False Reporting
In the last several days I have witnessed several inaccurate news reports, miss-information, and coverage of the events surrounding the condition of nuclear steam generators affected by the earth quake/tsunami in Japan. I agree with the coverage in that there is a risk, that damage has been done, that there is a potential for additional damage, and that there is a potential for additional exposure. I do however, disagree with the “5-W’s” that have been reported on the topic. For the most part I have stopped watching news/media coverage of events (outside of the weather) and have found that I am much “happier”. I won’t say that ignorance is bliss but I grow tired of the hype that is built around the often the most basic topics and storylines. I understand that it s the “job” of the media to provide coverage, but I also realize that it is there “job” or in there “best interests” to make that coverage 1. Interesting to capture an audience, and 2, To fill a time slot. NOT EVERYTHING is NEWS Worthy, there is no need for sensationalism, and there is a lot of value in verifying the accuracy of the story/coverage prior to publication. If the media had actually interviewed “experts” in the area, and/or knew the conditions and events of incidents, then they might know that the succession of events that has taken place is predictable.

Thought 4: Time to go to my seat. Seat 16D

That’s all folks

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Snap. Crackle. Relief?

Last week represented a series of highs and lows for me in terms of working out.

The week started with plans of starting to run again. After my first run, I suspected my achilles was not yet ready due to the level of discomfort experienced during and then in the days after the run.

In the following days I had made up my mind that I was not going to run or bike again for another 2-months. As you might imagine this was not sitting well with me, my levels of frustrations continued to grow, and my overall motivation to continue doing much of anything fitness related were plunging.

This past Saturday, I met with Jess for a swim session where she displayed her swimming skills, and I did my best impression to avoid looking like a floundering finless whale with a broken tail. My ankle/achilles felt pretty "rough" in the morning...

My "routine" called for me to lift weights after the swim. I had considered throwing in the towel after the swim but gave it a go. During my third set of a modified lunge/leg press I heard a snap, a crackle, then felt a movement in my left ankle/achillies area extending up and around my calf. It felt as if something was moving around in my lower leg, and it wanted out. It wasent really painful, but my mind was terrified about what might have just happened and I stopped the workout.

Later that day, I realized that the pain was substantially less than the level experienced in the morning, and at anytime in the previous 4-5 months. I dont really know what happened. I have my speculations, but at this point I dont really care. I know that at this point things continue to feel really well, and I was even able to run 1/4 of a mile on monday with no discomfort during, or after. This is a complete 180 from the run I did the week before.

Next time I go grocery shopping I will be buying a box of Kelloggs Rice Krispies. I have never been so relieved to hear the sweet sounds of Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

42

On Tuesday, March 1, 2011 a little girl asked me "How old are you?", before I responded I asked her "How old do you think that I am?". Her Response "42". This caught me off-guard. Do I really look like I'm 42?

In other news, I ran on that same day. I completed the run as perscribed: Walk for 3-minutes, run for 30-seconds, walk for 3-minutes, run for 30-seconds, repeat for a total of 30-minutes. The session was completed on a treadmill, to help control pace and to limit stress on the achillies (no hills elevation changes). There was some pain while running, but at this point it is manageable and encouraging. I have noticed the pain is more intense/sharp when my left leg crosses the center line of my body (due to a muscle imbalance I am working on). I will repeat this session two more times this week, and if the pain remains the same I graduate up to running for 60-seconds at a time (at 9:00 minute per mile pace)....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 2011 Recap

February 2011 is coming to a close and with it comes a close to my complete break from running (outside of a couple of aqua jog sessions)in attempts to recover from a frustrating case of achillies tendonitis in my left achillis (imagine the irony).

In terms of numbers the month of February 2011 has not been impressive. Without looking at my log file, I believe that I biked somewhere in the vicinty of 16-hrs, swam in the ballpark of 24,000 yds, and aqua-jogged 3-hrs. It has been hard for me to get inspired enough to run in the water, and have been guilty of offering to give up "my" lane as soon as the pool became remotely busy.

The month of March 2011 will be better.

I made my first attempt at running again on December 1, 2010 only to have my tendonitis flare up once again shortly after the turn of the calendar year. I took 2-months off on the first go-around, and have done the same this time. I am mostly confident that things will be different this time around and here is why:

+I started lifting weights again (primarily with my legs to even out muscle imbalances)
+I have been stretching and icing a lot more than in my previous attempt.
+I have been Retuled, where my bike fit was adjusted by lowering the seat 2-mm and moving my left cleat back 1-mm.
+I have become a fan of compression socks, and can honestly say that I believe that have played a signifcant part in my recovery. My strassburg sock is another great ally.
+ Peaceful Mountain tendon rescue is good stuff
+I will return to running more intelligently this time (start slow, stay slow, stay short, stay flat)for a minimum of 6-weeks, and will continue to stretch much more frequently than before.

I wish that I could say that I am pain free, but if I did it would be a lie. The pain is significantly less than ever before, it seems to move around from day-to-day, and it goes away (always) by the next morning.

So that is my plan. It is more structured than previous plans, I have identified key areas that I neglected in my previous recovery (October to December), and should have addressed long-ago.

Not keeping my fingers crossed on this attempt at running, I am moving forward confidently (slowly).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Biked Today

I rode my bike today (albeit on the CompuTrainer) for the first time in over a month. Granted it was only for 45-minutes at a very easy effort (heart rate 105 bpm), but it felt great to back in the saddle again.

Running is still a "ways" off yet, and so is being able to push off of the wall with both feet in the pool, but I am hopeful that I will be able to start training again with some sort of normalcy once again. March 1st?

Not really concerned about performances anymore for the spring/early summer, I will just be glad when this has been put behind me for good.

Keeping both fingers crossed.