Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moline Dispatch Picture

Someone gave me this picture today that was published in the Moline Dispatch. Click on it to see full size.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chili Chase Race Report, Week 16 Summary

This week was my highest volume of training yet this year. My total training time was 23 hours and 15 minutes. For the week I ran 61 miles which was more than I have run in a week since I was running cross country at Augustana over 6 years ago. I also had my highest bike week this year with 140 miles. For swimming I was able to get in 12,000 yards over three swims. I also lifted weights 3 times, did speed drills and strides 3 times, lunges, and plyometrics twice, and core work 6 times. I was excited by how well I was able to recover from this high volume. My plan is to keep the volume up for two more weeks before backing down a couple weeks while my family is on a cruise for Spring break. On Thursday I received ART treatment from Dr. Kaminski at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care and that had me feeling great when I left his office! I had a couple good bike workouts with Jeff Castro who is a local triathlete that finished very high at Ironman Kona in the late 90's. The workouts with Jeff were on a computrainer (a fancy device that measures the watts, or power you are cycling at). On Monday we did 5x5 minutes at 300 watts and it was a killer. Friday I did a long run of 13 miles and then finished with 4x200 in 35 seconds on the track at PV. Following that I met Jeff for another 5x5 and my legs were pretty tired. I managed to hold the 5x5 at 270 watts. My favorite workout of the week was actually in a local road race on Sunday called the Chili Chase. It took place in Davenport, Iowa.

Before this run I did my last swim workout and then headed straight to the race. I wanted to get 9 miles in so I warmed up for 3. The race was a 4 miler and it was pretty cold...about 13 degrees with the wind chill. My plan was to tempo run the first 3 miles at 5:40 pace and then race the last mile hoping for a 5:20. The first mile started down a bit of a hill but then came back up a hill and went through a snow covered street and I hit the mile mark at 5:47 feeling very relaxed. I was in 4th place and could see the leaders about 10 seconds ahead of me. The second mile was slightly downhill and I ran it in 5:31 still feeling very relaxed. I was right back on the pace I had hoped for crossing the 2 mile split in 11:19. The leaders were about 6 seconds ahead of me at this point. In the 3rd mile I caught the lead pack of 3 guys and stayed with them waiting to hit the 3 mile mark when I would start my hard mile. I came through the 3 mile mark exactly where I had planned at 17:00, a 5:40 pace for the first 3. I changed gears right away and started running the last mile hard. It was flat for the first half mile but then finished up a long gradual hill nearly 1/2 mile in length. It hurt but I ended up running it in 5:11 and won the race by about 10 seconds. I was really excited about running the workout exactly as I had planned. I didn't think I would be able to run 5:20 once I saw the course finished up a long hill so I was very pleased with the 5:11. It left me knowing I'm in better running shape than I've ever been for triathlons. I was especially glad to be able to do that kind of workout at the end of a week where I did so much training. It was also exciting to watch my wife Jen win the women's race. We each received a gift card to Chili's Restaurant for our wins. It will be tough to stay away from the Chili's Loaded Cheese Fries but I read somewhere that's one of the worst foods you can eat with 3 days worth of fat so I'll have to remember that when we go there. 3 months until my first big race in Memphis...It's coming fast. I think about it every day and it motivates me to lose my last few pounds and to train hard. I have no doubts my biking and running will be at the level I need them to be but I'm still scared to death about the swim...Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Augustana 3K Race Report; Week 15 Summary

My week of training was a little less than it has been partly due to racing at Augustana on Saturday. I didn't want to work out a lot of Friday, then Saturday was race day, and Sunday I was sore and only made things worse by going skiing for Valentine's Day. For the totals this week I trained 15.75 hours. I hit 50 running miles, 70 biking, 9,000 yards swimming, lifted twice, did plyometrics and lunges once, speed drills and strides three times, and core work 5 times.

On Saturday I headed to Augustana to race 3,000 meters in a meet that Augie was hosting against St. Ambrose. There were about 15 guys in the race. I was hoping to be able to run 9:25 which would be equivalent to about 10:03 for 2 miles. I wanted to hit each 800 in 2:30. When the race started I was careful not to get sucked out too fast by some of Augustana's runners. I came through the first 800 right on pace at 2:29. The next 800 I stayed right on the heals of a guy I thought was going 5:00 mile pace and we came through the mile in 5:00. My second 800 split was a 2:30. I knew the tough part was going to be the next 800. The 3rd 1/4 of any race is always the tough part. I passed the runner I had drafted behind for the 2nd 800 because I could feel the pace slowing. I tried to maintain the 5:00 pace but came through the next 800 with a 2:36 split. Ouch! I had let it slow 6 seconds. I now had 3 laps to go. My next lap was my slowest of the race and then I was able to drop the pace back down for the final 400 meters to 5:00 pace. I passed a couple guys on the end and finished in 5th pace with a time of 9:31. That converts to about 10:10 for 2 miles. I was initially a little disappointed because I thought I could run a bit faster but the race was much tougher than I expected. I also know that racing more consistently would help me drop my times but I don't want to load up on a bunch of races right now. It had been 5 weeks since I raced on the track. Next weekend I'll be doing a 4 mile road race in Davenport called the Chili Chase but I'll be using it as a workout so I won't have to miss any training sessions to prepare for it. My favorite workout this week was my long run on Sunday with Dave Terronez. Dave has been instrumental in helping me get my Sunday long runs in. I am very thankful to have someone to meet each week and a set time to get it done. The conversations we have make the time go by much quicker as well. Thanks Dave! On a side not, race directer for the Quad City Triathlon has agreed to a $10.00 race discount for all Tri-Fit members so I'd encourage any who hasn't to sign up for Team Tri-Fit. We're excited about having a Tri Club in the Quad Cities. This week will be a much bigger training week with no races to back down for. DREAM BIG!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2009 Race Schedule

I think I've got a schedule for 2009 pretty well in place through August 30. After that time I'll evaluate where I'm at and decide whether I need to take time off then or do a couple more races. Here's what I've got so far.
May 17- Memphis in May Olympic Distance (Elite Amateur Division) Memphis, TN
June 7- Pigman Sprint Triathlon (Elite Registered) Cedar Rapids, IA
June 20- Quad City Triathlon- Sprint Distance Davenport, IA
June 28- Hy-Vee Triathlon Olympic Distance (Elite Amateur Division) Des Moines, IA
July 11- Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Olympic Distance (Elite Amateur Division) Minneapolis, MN
August 30- Chicago Triathlon Olympic Distance (Elite Amateur Division) Chicago, IL

This will be a very competitive race schedule. Memphis, Hy-Vee, Minneapolis, and Chicago are all pro-qualifying races that will be extremely competitive. The top 3 amateurs in each of those races can turn professional. I am keeping a longer break between Minneapolis and Chicago so I can train hard for a month without worrying about the effects of being tired. I'll probably do a local sprint distance sometime in those weeks to stay sharp but I'll definitely plan my taper for Chicago. I'm contemplating a smaller 1/2 ironman the weekend after Chicago. It will be more for the experience. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week 14 Summary- The Journey Resumes...

Week 14 was a bit of a chapter turn for me. After 12 weeks of solid training I took 4 days completely off last week before starting a new cycle of training. Early in the week I could tell I had taken some time off as I was sore from the workouts. By Sunday night I was feeling back into the groove of training again. It was a good week. My total training time was right at 19 hours. I hit my goal of 40 miles running. I stepped up the biking this week thanks in part to the nice weather. I was able to get outside on Saturday for a 42 mile ride with Tri-Fit director Steve Meek and my ART provider, Dr. Kaminski. Despite being super windy it was nice to be outside for the ride. I suffered the last 10 miles due to what I think was a lack of calories. I felt very nauciuos and weak the last 2 miles and ate everything I could get my hands on when I finished. The distance shouldn't have affected me like that and the ride wasn't hard so I think it was a lack of food. Earlier in the day I felt really hungry during my swim workout. In the pool this week I focused my attention back to drills much like I did my first weeks of training. Over half my yards were swim drills which got very boring but I feel like it is helping me cut down my number of strokes each length. I lifted weights three times, did core work 6 times, speed drills and strides three times, and lunges and plyometrics twice. My favorite workout this week was a bike interval workout of 5x5 minutes hard with 5 minutes recovery between each. I did it on the trainer on my time trial bike fresh out of Healthy Habits with my aerobars cut down. The fit felt awesome and I'm looking forward to training more this year on my TT bike to get more comfortable on it. Hopefully the added comfort will lead to faster times on race day when I put the Zipp wheelset on it. This week I plan to run a 3,000 meter race at Augustana College on Saturday if I'm feeling fresh. My first big triathlon is Memphis in May on May 17 and it feels like that is rapidly approaching. I have a lot of work to do between now and then but have no doubts I'll be ready for a good opener. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quad City Triathlon Club: Team Tri-Fit

I'm thrilled to be part of the start of a Quad City Triathlon club called Team Tri-Fit. The club will be a USA Triathlon club. The director of this club is Steve Meek. Steve and his family moved to the Quad Cities earlier this year from Reno, Nevada. Steve is a former Category 1 cyclist and is a HUGE advocate for fitness. I first met Steve at the Bettendorf Fitness Center and he asked me if there was a local Triathlon Club. I told him they tried to start one a few years ago but it never really got going. This sport is growing so fast and the area has huge interest in triathlons. The Quad City Triathlon fills up well before the deadline and the Crossroads Triathlon and IowaMan Triathlon are other races in the area that are growing very rapidly. When Steve sent me his initial plans of starting a club I was super excited. He will be an outstanding director. He's very well organized, has great leadership skills, and has coached elite cyclists and been in charge of a club in Bloomington, Indiana. I will do everything I can to be involved in helping the club grow. The lifestyle of a multisport athlete is one that values heath and fitness. Steve and I hope to see membership grow in the Quad Cities. We want to help athletes of all ability levels to reach their personal fitness and race goals. I'm very excited to watch this club grow and to help reach out to the community to promote the healthy lifestyle that comes with this sport. If you're in the area we'd love to have you join Team Tri-Fit. There is a website for Team Tri-Fit where you can find information. Membership sign-up will soon be available online for no additional cost or you can e-mail Steve or myself for Team Tri-Fit application. I dropped off my membership form to Steve at the Fitness Center on Saturday and Im' excited to be part of this new QC Tri Club. DREAM BIG!

Recharge the Batteries- Week 13 Summary

Well...through the first 12 weeks of training I was able to put in a total of 508 miles running, 900 miles of biking, and 138,050 yards of swimming to go along with 35 trips to the weight room, 24 sessions of plyometrics, as well as lots of speed drills, strides, and core work. In the first 12 weeks my weight went from 182 lbs. to 162. My fitness grew tremendously and I was pretty pleased. I thought it was a perfect time to recharge the batteries. This is what I oftentimes tell my wife when I need an afternoon nap or even an evening nap occasionally. During summer training I'm addicted to naps, sometimes as long as 2 hours. I decided after working out Tuesday I was going to take a 5 day break. The break meant running, swimming, biking, or lifting. On Sunday I decided the batteries were charged and I rode my bike for 2 hours on the trainer, my longest ride yet. It was hard for me to justify taking time off but I wasn't recovering as well from workouts and felt like my swimming was at a bit of a plateau. The toughest part for endurance athletes is to back down. As a coach, I was often telling kids they needed a break but for myself I always want to do more. I had to remind myself my big races are not until July and August. I started training on November 3rd and only had one day in the first 12 weeks when I didn't train. I know in the short term I will lose a bit of fitness but I believe the tradeoff will be well worth the long term gains I get from this break. During the 4 days off I was able to lay out a pretty detailed plan for myself for the next 3 months. I have set some monthly benchmark goals for myself. Here are a few of them.

1. Swim 3x 500's on 10:00 holding a 6:45 average by the end of March

2. Ride a 10 mile time trial at 23.5 mph average by the end of March

3. Increase my long run to 15 miles by the end of April

4. Run 16:20 for the 5K or 33:40 for the 10K on the track by the end of April

In my week off I was also able to come home earlier to spend more time with my wife Jen and daughter Payton. As you can see I enjoyed pushing Payton around on the car she got for Christmas and Jen, Payton, and I were able to watch the Superbowl Halftime with our 3D glasses...what fun! I'm looking forward to resuming training this week. I'll be starting over with lots of drills in the pool in improve my technique and will start building my mileage running to 65 a week by April and my cycling mileage to 140 a week by the end of April. I'll be running a couple road races and some collegiate track meets unattached in stay sharp and monitor my improvments in fitness. DREAM BIG!