Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: ironman

Self Supported 140.6 Run Route – First Idea

I’ve been kicking around a few ideas for how to structure the run for the (yet-to-be-named) self supported 140.6 I’m planning on doing next year. There are two basic paths of thought here–one is to do a bunch of laps of the same course. That’s what I’ve mapped out here. This is a 5.23 loop around my neighborhood beginning and ending in my driveway.

There are some big support benefits to this course.  First of all, we have plenty of room in the driveway to set up an aid station for people to put their stuff. We can also rent the neighborhood pavilion for the day and set up aid there. That would give us aid stations at Start, Finish, 3.5, 5.23, 8.8, etc. We could also have some volunteers make sure the intersection between 1&2 and 3&4 have some liquid and food if needed.

The downside of this course is that we’d have to do 5 laps. That would get old after the 2nd lap for sure. Then again, it’s a flat and fast course with very minimal traffic, so there’s really no reason to complain.

Another possibility I’m considering is a two-lap 13.1 course. I’ll post that layout later. There are definitely some advantages there too.

Daily Reading List — October 29th

Why Proprietary Big Data Technologies Have No Hope Of Competing With Hadoop – It's a good time to have procrastinated and not gone with a proprietary vendor yet.

Copy that Race: 5 Lessons from Kona – 34% of the bikes at Kona had power meters on them. I don't want to hear any more about Ironman (capital 'i') being for rich people.

Does Bigger Data Lead to Better Decisions? – HT @jfloyd.

The CEOs Are Wrong: Smart Machines Will Replace Millions Of Jobs – Millions. *pinky finger next to mouth*

Dang Guv’ment…Again

I always said that if George Bush ever figured out how good my life is, he’d find some way to come and screw it up. Now, because he shut down the guv’ment for a couple of weeks, the 2014 Rocketman Triathlon has been pushed from the Spring until the Fall. My original plan was to do that 70.3 in May, then train up to a full self-supported 140.6 in October.

Now it’s looking like Rocketman will be in October as well. Push the 140.6 to November? Maybe, but that means I won’t get my best performance out of 70.3 OR the 2014 Space Coast Marathon. Boo!

New plan… Since I’m going to be a few weeks shy of peak shape for this year’s Space Coast Marathon, I’m going to run it with no watch…just run. Then I’ll do the Celebration Marathon in January, kick in a Master’s swim class beginning in February, and start training for 140.6 immediately.

There are some Spring 70.3s I may consider (Haines City?), and I’m also freed up to do the Wickham Park Ultra in May. Interested to see how far I can make it before I miss the cut off. As always, I will be on the Trainerroad for the duration.

Or…I can focus on growing my belly.

Daily Reading List — May 13th

Mental fatigue impairs physical performance in humans – One of the things I've learned from triathlon training. Stress is stress. Traveling makes you tired too…maybe not as tired in the exact same way as a long run, but your body takes the stress regardless. It can't be discounted.

IronMan SwimSmart Initiative – Some great ideas here. Good to see they are coming up with some different ways to keep people safe and comfortable. The rolling start is a cool idea.

Customize the Sharepoint Access Denied Page – People stop reading as soon as they see "Error"

Whataburger spicy ketchup and mustard soon to hit supermarkets – "Whataburger"? Oh…they're talking about "Water-burger".

Ironman 70.3 Haines City Course Preview

I ended up riding long on Friday night because I had a schedule conflict on Sunday (Disney Princesses eat breakfast on a very tight schedule), but I went over on Saturday and checked out some of the course by car and on foot. Here’s what I’ve got…


The lake level is down…we’re in a drought here. I guess that’s the reason for the recent swim course change. I read on the site that it’s clear water, but it didn’t look especially clear to me. I didn’t get in, but I’d guess visibility of a few feet at the most. I’ve done a bunch of lake swim races in TN, so it’s about what I’d expect for a shallow lake swim. The beach for entry/exit looks pretty nice.

I didn’t see a single alligator if you’re someone who’s concerned about that. 🙂

Oh, and swim wave times are posted now.


My original plan was to go ride the course alone, but I’m glad I didn’t do that. I’d definitely recommend going with a group if you’re planning on getting a ride in before the race. It’s not the condition of the roads that is a problem, but the sections I saw were relatively narrow and in rural areas, so I’m not sure how safe I’d feel riding them alone. Admittedly, I’m a lot more cautious about when and where I’ll ride my bike than most people are.

The worst road conditions are on Masterpiece stretch, but I read that they are patching it before the race and repaving for next year. As long as the holes are patched and it’s clean, shouldn’t be a problem. Still, flat changing skills are never a bad thing to have.

There’s a really quick downhill and uphill right out of transition, which is something to be prepared for if you transition barefoot with with your shoes already in the pedals since that will probably be a higher traffic area. I’m a little torn between rushing to get my feet strapped in while in traffic to get up the hill quickly or waiting until I’m on a straight flat section with less traffic and dealing with it then. Right now, I’m thinking better safe than sorry, so I’ll probably just mash up the hill and wait until N. 30th street to deal with my feet where the course looks like it may open up a little.

The turn from Ledwidth onto 14th street at the beginning of the course is a little rough too…again, only really matters because it’s a higher traffic area and right in a turn. I’m not really expecting to get up to speed until after this section.

One concern I’ve had is winds. Here on the coast they are relentless, but the air in Haines City was pretty calm, at least on this day–small sample set.


I didn’t check out the whole run course either, but the section that is in the park is a really nice, wide path. It’s concrete, not asphalt. Not a lot of shade, and it was pretty hot already at ~11:00 am, as expected. If you are expecting a “Florida flat” course, this isn’t it. But, again, by East TN standards it is far from hilly.


It looks like the Library parking lot is the transition area, and it’s set up with wide and easy to find entry and exits naturally. It is a terraced lot, and I’m not sure if they’ll only use the top, bottom, or both. If you’re on the bottom terrace I’d think it’s a little disadvantage because there’s slightly more hill to deal with and a longer course to cover.


For folks with kids, this is a great location. There’s a very nice park with a couple of playgrounds, splash pad, etc. They’ve marketed it that way, but it lives up to advertising. My kids had a blast playing while I was checking things out. Parking may be a bit of an issue for your supporters unless they get there early. This was a very happening spot with the locals…parking lots were pretty full. Also, I’m not sure how they’ll handle access to the majority of the parking spots at the park itself since the course cuts off access to that. More than likely, athletes arriving for the race will take those spots pretty early. With three kids under 5, the Missus is going to have a helper come with her to transport them around because there may be some hiking involved for them.

Feel free to post any questions in the comments and I’ll answer them if I can!

12 Step Recovery For Mileage Junkies

My name is Scott, and I’m a mileage junkie.

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? It feels good to say it out loud…like a weight off my chest. Now if I can just get some weight off the rest of my body.

I’ve been reading “Be Iron Fit”, and while it’s mostly a collection of the same advice and information I’ve read before, I think I’m actually letting stuff sink into my thick skull this time. I’ll chalk that up to the author’s effective way of preventing the material.

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The mileage junkie aspect of my personality is just the tip of the iceberg of training mistakes I’ve made, but it’s the only one I’m trying to address right now. If you don’t know, a mileage junkie is someone who focuses their energy on racking up miles in training. This indirectly makes you a “pace junkie” by my estimation, and that’s a much more accurate description of me.

I like to tell myself I’m running on heart rate and not feel, but that’s not true. The truth is I usually try to walk a thin line between feeling ok and pushing my pace, and then pay attention to my heart rate…afterwards, when filling out my log.

I justify this by telling myself I’m training to throw caution to the wind for the running leg on race day based on feel and guts. That may not be an altogether horrible idea for sprints and olys, where my biggest fear is finishing with something left in the tank. But for 1/2 and full iron distance I’ve finally decided to give in a listen to what the science has to say about things. In most other areas of life, I start off by listening to science first, but in this case I’m going to blame my superstition and stubbornness on previous marathon training programs that specified mileage and tricked me into obsessing about pace.

I’m generally more disciplined about heart rate zones on the bike during training, at least for 80% of the ride. The trouble is, I end up looking at my computer and getting worried about average speed. Then I spend the last 20% of the ride jacking my heart rate up to see if I can squeeze out another .2 mph for the ride. Again, probably doesn’t hurt me much for shorter races, but it’s just not workable for 140.6.

I’ve done one 70.3, and the program I used referenced specified HR training and runs based on zone 2 minutes instead of miles. Of course, the first thing I’d do is figure out the number of miles I need to run based on “my pace”, then proceed to go out and try to run even faster than that. I ended up veering off of this schedule to suit my own needs. It worked out…for that distance. That time anyway. But I know I’m going to have to humble myself to the actual data and listen to some people much wiser than me to get where I want to be for 140.6.

I will train in zone 2.

I will train in zone 2.

I will train in zone 2.

I will train in zone 2.

I have much more to say on this, but I won’t spill it all it into a single post. I haven’t finished the book yet anyway. Right now I’m focusing on re-wiring my brain before I start training for a 70.3 the way the schedule says. That’s the second step.

Training for a 140.6 in January 2013 will be steps 3-12.

I’m glad this 12 step program doesn’t call for me to make amends.

A Tech,Education, and Fitness Link Dump

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D) – Not often Mr. Reynolds writes something this verbose, but when he does, it’s almost guaranteed to be quotable.

And if I’m peeing all over the wave of hope-and-change hype that got him into office despite his obvious unsuitability, it’s to help ensure that nothing this disastrous happens again in my lifetime. I realize that it’s painful for those who fell victim to the mass hysteria to constantly be reminded of their foolishness, but I hope it’ll be the kind of pain that results in learning.

It’s Not A Mirror, It’s A Crystal Ball – How and why @techcrunch works. And why traditional media is failing. I hope TC doesn’t get watered down by this latest dust up.

The Amazing Colossal Syllabus – The worst thing about this mentality is something I’ve noticed in adults too: their idea of learning is attending a class regularly and getting a certificate of completion. The notion of internalizing the course material and applying it to situations not specifically addressed in the text is completely foreign.

Dim & Dash: Breaking Up – I was once accused of pulling a “frat boy move” when breaking up with a girl this way. Maybe I should have considered that a compliment since she seemed to have a penchant for frat boys.

Quick Math for Understanding Any Goverment Program – Our congressional representatives often measure their success by how many pieces of new legislation they’ve been able to pass. I think a more accurate measure of success is how many pieces of legislation they’ve been able to repeal.

Mauricio’s Ironman – Love reading these race reports! Can’t wait until I get my turn.

Jogging beats weight lifting for losing belly fat – HT @sram9. Personal fitness, like personal finance, is 20% knowledge and 80% behavior. Those numbers may be even more skewed for fitness.

Firefox for Android Tablets Unveiled – Wait…and we still don’t have Chrome on Android devices? This is good news at least.

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