Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: racing (Page 2 of 2)

Daily Reading List — August 15th

Should Non-Celiac Endurance Athletes Go Gluten-Free? – I'm realizing that diet is the hardest piece of the endurance puzzle to figure out. Race-time nutrition isn't the concern for me as much as every day living.

Solved? Not Exactly. – "Welcome to the next level. Now run like Hell."

Macca’s Musings: The Soul Of Triathlon – A great read. How cool would it be to look up and see Macca racking his bike next to yours? I wonder if he made the podium. ūüôā

The 25-Hour Work Week, And Other Radical Ideas For Better Employee Productivity | Fast Company | Business + Innovation – Not saying this would work for everyone, but it works for me. Start with two assumptions: 1) I'm a responsible adult who can effectively manage my time to get the work done 2) I take pride in my work and actually want to do a good job. The result is someone who feels valued and that they can make a difference where they are. People like that don't go looking for some other place to be.

Daily Reading List — June 17th

Top 5 Triathlon Swimming Problems And What You Can Do About It – Haven't been nervous in any water for a long time, but these are good things to review and always have in the back of your mind.

Winning Manhattan Race Report – Was feeling really good about my 3.5 mile swim coming up. Of course, this put me right back into my place.

Google Hangouts upgrade removes ability to host Google Voice calls on your computer | The Verge – Hard to complain about a free service that's so useful. So I won't.

It's just that, well…

New Study Finds It Is Impossible To Lose Weight – I think I know the guy in the before/after photos.

2013 Rocketman 70.3 Race Review

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Unforced smile. This wasn’t just for the photos.

70.3, Half-iron, whatever…not sure what to call it.

This was the most fun I’ve ever had doing a race. Some of my best friends came into town to do the race and stay for the weekend, and a great time was had by all. There were some spots here and there where some of the guys didn’t feel very good, during the race and after, but it was a great experience.

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If you’d told me 12 months ago that I’d spend the next year preparing to do a 70.3 and come in over 6 hours, I’d have been pretty bummed about that. But in the last 12 months I’ve come to realize that every course and every day is different. Even the same course can be drastically different on different days. You just have to deal with what you have on that day. It’s all about race management. Setting time goals doesn’t make much sense considering all the variables.

And this is the first time I’ve felt good about my race management at this distance. Put it this way…

I did the run under 2 hours, and my last 3 miles were at 8:20 and lower. Instead of slugging out a long walkish-jog while beating myself up over the horrible run split I was going to have, I spent the entire bike and the majority of the run holding back so I could empty the tank in the last 5k of the race.

That strategy paid off for me, and I’m sold on it.

Swim (47:11)

Swim is the warmup, and you take what you get.

Swim is the warmup, and you take what you get.

Swim is the warmup, and you take what you get.

I felt great during the swim. There was some chop out at the furthest points from land, but I’ve been practicing open water and was fine with it. I thought I put in a solid effort, somewhere between holding back and going hard. Actually, ¬†I think I put in a 36:00 effort. I was surprised to get out of the water and see it was 47:00. Looking at the results, I only saw a few people in the 30s. Looking at their bike and run splits, the guys who made the low 30s on this course should be swimming in the 26:00 realm with no problem.

I guess what I’m saying is that swim must have been pretty long or there was some crazy current. My sources who wore Garmins during the race are reporting 1.4 miles. Honestly, the chop made it kind of fun and challenging. Everyone always talks about the challenges of run and bike courses. The swim could have been as smooth as glass, and we could have gone faster in it, but the little wrinkles made it interesting.

Whatever–everyone does the same course, and in the end I’m not racing other people. The swim won’t ever make or break my day unless they have to pull me out.

Transitions

Both T1 and T2 weren’t horrible for me, but they could have been a little better. I think part of that is a result of having to bike check the night before. I much prefer a day-of bike check in so that I can pump up my tires and get the bike inspected and ready at the car with plenty of space and tools. Again, everyone had to do it, so it doesn’t really factor in if you’re competitive. It just isn’t fun dealing with that stuff in cramped quarters.

The funniest thing happened in T2 when I picked up my right shoe and noticed that it was tied. I KNOW I left my shoes untied. I looked at the shoe and realized that I’d accidentally left a junk running shoe from last year at my transition and put my good shoe in my bag. So I had to dig through my bag over by the rail and find the right one. Oh well.

Bike (3:14:22)

Man. Maybe the toughest bike ride I’ve done. Granted, I’m not really much of a cyclist. But that wind was relentless and brutal, even for people who live in these parts and spend time in the wind. It was great to get a chance to ride around the launch pads and around KSC, but when the wind is beating on you for miles and everything looks the same, it can take a mental toll.

Just looking at my time, this effort seems horrid, but I’m actually very happy with my bike ride. I didn’t lose it. People were blowing by me in the beginning. Some of them were 70.3 participants, and some were from the Olympic and Sprint. I’m proud to say that I let them all go and didn’t chase anyone.

If the swim is the warmup, the bike is just your transportation to the real race.

I kept thinking to myself as people were passing me early on, “I’ll see you on the run buddy.” During the last 2o miles I was passing lots of slower sprint riders and began passing some 70.3 people too. My heart rate ran a little higher than I wanted for a big part of the ride, but I had to go hard enough to keep the bike upright.

I ate on schedule, and I ate a lot. I did cut back on the fluids because the heat wasn’t bad at all for most of the ride. The sun started coming out at the end, but the wind was the real enemy.

I’m very happy I didn’t have my speed showing on my computer or I may have talked myself into riding harder. This ride re-enforced for me how silly it is to expect yourself to hit some speed average every single day. I can ride this distance stand alone as fast as 21 mph with no problem, and on this course under the right conditions 20 would have been pretty easy.

But not on this day. I had to trust that 17.3 mph was going to set me up for a good run.

Run (1:59:01)

And this is what I was waiting for. I am a sub 2 hour half marathoner (stand alone) every day of the week, but I’ve never had a decent run during a 70.3. I know 2 hours isn’t exactly fast, but I’m 40 years old and weigh 195. I’m not ashamed to claim a 1:59:01 without swimming and biking beforehand.

This run was really nice. What the bike took away, the run gave back. Flat, scenic (except for the US1 section), and reasonably shady considering this is Florida.

My plan was to get off the bike and get into a quick cadence, which I did, once I got the right shoes on. I also wanted to run at about 143 for heart rate most of the way. I was actually averaging about 146-148 for most of the run, but I kept checking in with myself, and I felt great. So I didn’t sweat it. I was still holding back a little for the end.

I only ate one Gu and only stopped at 4 water stations for this run. I took in a ton of calories on the bike, and I’d planned on running a little dehydrated (thanks for that advice Coach Brett) to avoid having to stop to pee and save time on a bunch of water stops.

Around mile 8 I noticed I was picking up the pace a little, so I dialed it back. In retrospect, I think I would have been ok pushing a little bit at this point, but the plan was to coast to the 10 mile mark and then actually run a 5k.

I stuck to the plan.¬†When I hit the 10 mile mark feeling great, one word went through my head…

“GO!”

I didn’t break into a sprint or anything, but I kicked it into that “fun hard” Zone 3 gear right out of the gate. I didn’t hit Zone 4 until I was at about 1.5 miles to go, and at that point, there was no way I was letting up. As my HRM was beeping at me to slow down, I couldn’t help but remember being in this situation last year with 8 miles to go and feeling completely out of control.

This time, I was in control. I was refusing to let my heart rate down instead of trying to find a way to get it down. And I was passing people like crazy. Probably not as many people as I was passed by on the bike, but a lot. And there’s something empowering that pushes you even harder when you know what those people who are walking feel like and know that you feel great.

I held a pretty even pace for the last 1.5, and I think I averaged no more than 8:15 pace for the last 5k. Again, not blazing fast by any means, but at the end of a 6 hour day, I’m pretty proud of it.

Seriously, I’ve been in sprints where I couldn’t muster a 26:00 5k.

Finish Line

For the first time in a long time, I crossed the finish line with an un-forced smile on my face and ecstatic with what I’d done on the day. My slowest 70.3, but definitely my best performance. It was great to feel good enough to stand in the sun and cheer my friends in to the finish. We lost one guy to exhaustion on the bike course, and he was proudly walking around with a bandage over his I.V. wound.

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“Um….I can’t swim. Do you think that will factor in?”

Hey, at least he left it all out there. Maybe if he’d actually trained… ūüėõ

I’ve heard some complaints about water availability and food selection at the finish line, but I didn’t see a problem there. ¬†But I’ll ask it again–can’t a man have just one cold-cold beer after these events?!?! I think it’s a great way to get some calories back into you quickly, and may have kept us from having to call for medical assistance later that night.

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It’s all about the engine AND the bike!

Now, Onto The Logistics and Details

First of all, let me say that I am very appreciative to the Smooth Running team for putting on an event like this here in Brevard County. It’s so nice to be able to do a big race and sleep in your own bed. And the opportunity to race at Kennedy Space Center is one that isn’t going to come around very often.

And I love local race directors. All of them. If for no other reason than the fact that they are willing to stick it to the man (WTC) for their homies. We need more local race directors who are willing to put in the work it takes to put on an event like this.

But (you knew that was coming), I’m going to be honest and put some things out there that you should consider if you want to do this race, especially if you’re traveling for it. I live within driving distance, and I’d happily pay the same entry fee to do the event again just as it was this year.

Here’s where I’m going to be a little critical–and these are the arguments others have, not me. For the fee charged to do this race, there shouldn’t be many (any?) hiccups. That’s just a reality of the market. There can’t be long lines for packet and chip pickup. That’s just not acceptable to some people at this price point when there are other choices nearby a couple of weeks later for the same cost where these things NEVER happen.

Communications with course information and schedule have to be clear and arranged well in advance. You have to realize you’re dealing with a lot of Type A people here. This isn’t a sprint that folks can just show up and do one morning and then wonder later what they’ll do for the rest of the day. A half-iron distance race takes months of planning and preparation from a participant. It’s fair for them to expect all the details to be handled and communicated early on.

Not really my complaints, but complaints some others have expressed. Just being honest and putting it all on the table here.

I’m not competitive, even in my age group, but if I were I’d have been pretty anxious about the fact that there were no timing mats out on the extremities of the course. I’m fairly certain that 99% of the athletes who enter these events want to do the whole course for themselves and would not dream of purposefully shorting the course to get an unfair advantage.

But if you wanted to cheat a course, this one was easily cheated.¬†I get it that there was probably no way to get timing mats out onto KSC. Fair enough. This was a very unique opportunity to ride that course, and if that couldn’t be done logistically, that’s just part of it.

One of my friends visiting somehow rode only 40 miles. He’s not sure where he turned wrong, and he’s not at all upset about it (he was actually appreciative for the chance to get out of the sun earlier), but how many other people made similar mistakes? Yes, it’s the athlete’s responsibility to know the course (which he didn’t), but the final published course and the race day course were not exactly the same. For those of us who did take the time to know the course, this was a little confusing. If I’d ridden shorter or longer because of a last minute change and unclear course markings, I’d have been pretty steamed. As it turned out, the change got us the distance we needed, so I’m cool with it.

Congratulations on your 54.3 Finish!

Congratulations on your 54.3 Finish!

But on the run, it would have been pretty easy for someone who was so inclined to run about .75 miles, sit in the shade and drink a few beers and take a nap for an hour and a half, then get up and trot to the finish line with a very nice run split. Again, I don’t think anyone did that or would do that on purpose, but the opportunity was definitely there. There really should be timing mats at the turns, if for no other reason than people want to go back later and analyze their splits.

Again, a bunch of A-type people.

Personally, I LOVED this event. I actually feel like the organization was pretty impressive for a race this size put on by a small local crew. If you are the kind of person who lets a few little things like the ones mentioned above absolutely ruin your race, maybe you should pass on this one.

But honestly, you probably have a few things you need to work out with yourself on a long run as well. That’s between you and you.

I mean, we’re not playing for money here, and there are a million mistakes I made that negatively affected my performance *cough pizza cough*, so I can overlook a couple of small ones by the race director.

Regardless, I want to end by saying that the volunteers were extremely helpful and friendly, and the turnout on the run course (no spectators allowed on the bike course) by the neighborhood locals was great. The Brevard County Sherrif’s Department did a tremendous job of keeping everyone safe on the US1 stretch, and the roads were closed for us everywhere they could be. I’m especially thankful for the medical team that assisted my buddy off the bike course and got an I.V. in him. This is not the kind of guy who is willing to DNF over something trivial, and they had him feeling right by the time I finished.

I can’t wait to do this race again. It’s officially my favorite triathlon.

Ooooooold Boys!

Ooooooold Boys!

More Reports:
Half Triing

Meals and Miles

The Heavyweight Runner

Deciding To Have A Bad Race

Here’s the thing…

A big part of what goes on in a triathlon is mental. The longer the distance, the more mental it becomes. Maybe “mental” isn’t even the right word. “Psychological” probably fits better.

I totally get obsessing about the details of a long distance event. But I try to keep the obsession part limited to things I can control. Those are the things that will ultimately have the greatest impact on my performance.

My training into the race.

My diet and nutrition.

My taper.

My sleep in the days leading up.

My bike maintenance. Ok…I don’t obsess about everything.

Now I’m not saying I don’t want to know as many race details as I can beforehand–I still want to know as much as I can as soon as I can. And I understand being frustrated when there don’t seem to be many details as race day nears. Those details are vital to know for race day preparation, which is something I have complete control over and starts at least a week in advance, especially when traveling.

Then again, not having those details gives me less to obsess about. I can just plan for the worst and be done with it. Then if something changes for the better, the race gets easier.

But focusing on the perceived negatives of those details (wave start times, aid station locations, transition open/close times, etc.)–I don’t see any upside to that. Focusing on what I don’t like about race director decisions isn’t going to get me anywhere on race day. Those are things that can be considered after the race is completed and I’m considering whether or not to do an event again.

I’ve been one-and-done on a few races because of horribly inaccurate course measurements and the lack of officials to stop my competition from cutting a course, but those are decision I made once the race was over.

Before and during the race, you have to play the hand you are dealt. Otherwise, you are basically making a conscious decision to have a bad race.

There are already plenty of negative surprises that can crop up during a race that I’m going to have to deal with, so why add others to the list that I simply can’t control.

I hope I never have to change two flats early in the bike leg. But if I do, I’ll be glad I didn’t worry about the fact that my favorite flavor gel wasn’t served at the aid stations.

 

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Brick Workouts

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Yesterday’s post started a little bit of an interesting discussion about bricks over on Google+. At the same time, this thread over on Beginner Triathlete was going on talking about the same thing. There seems to be a wide spectrum of opinion out there about the value of bricks for 70.3 distances and beyond. I see the points on all sides, but I think I fall some place in the middle.

What I have to say on the subject is a little long for posting in either of those places. Luckily, I have this venue. Now,¬†I’m by no means telling anyone else what they should do. I’m not a coach, and I’ve probably given out more bad advice than good over the years.

Like everyone else, I used to swear by bricks and ran a 10% run after every bike ride. Why did I swear by them and do them so religiously? Well…because everyone else did. Now I’m not so sure that was a good idea, but it fit into my general training M.O. back then–empty the tank every single time you train. If you aren’t willing to empty the tank, don’t bother training.

Needless to say, I skipped a lot of workouts back then.

Remember, these are just my observations and opinions about what seems to work for me. I’m using “I” and “me” everywhere I can. Feel free to collect your own test data.

The Good

  • For beginners. I think bricks are vital for two reasons when you are first starting out. First of all, you need to know what you’re legs are going to feel like coming off the bike. Secondly, you need to know how long it’s going to last. If you don’t know these two things before your race, you’re in for a really big shock. But really–if you’ve been doing this for a few years, does that feeling freak you out any longer? It’s like a horror movie–really scary the first time, but when you already know what’s coming and have watched it over and over…meh.
  • For sprint training. I get the upside of “learning to run on tired legs” if you are going to need to go hard for the whole race. It kind of goes back to the first point of knowing how long the feeling is going to last and being able to mentally push on through that and keep going hard until it’s gone.
  • For testing a nutrition plan. A run of a few miles after a long bike ride will let you know pretty early on if you ate enough and hydrated right while riding. This can be pretty hard to figure out, and it may take a few sessions to dial it in. I actually think this is a HUGE upside to doing VERY EASY bricks for long distance training. But I don’t do any more of these than I have to.
  • For squeezing in a couple of workouts on limited time. Sometimes I have only one chance to workout on a day, but I need to get two in. This is an effective way to squeeze it in without having to prepare twice. Might as well make it a transition practice while you’re at it.
  • A race rehearsal. Not the entire race, just what you plan on doing out of T2. For me, that means thinking about cadence, form, and keeping the pace down. Yeah…I said keeping the pace down. A one mile run is more than enough distance for me to do this.

The Bad

  • For building aerobic endurance. Maybe there’s no detriment here either, but I don’t see any real value. If that’s the goal of the workout, why not get in the pool and swim instead? I’ll get all the benefits of the aerobic work without any of the pounding I get while running. Not that I recommend that either–swimming after cycling is probably begging for your technique to be destroyed. On second thought, that’s probably a benefit in my case. Aerobic and Anaerobic aren’t the same thing, and that’s important to remember for the second point.
  • “Learning to run on tired legs” for anything longer than an Olympic distance race makes no sense to me. For 70.3 races and up, why not ¬†“learn to ride a bike for a few hours without tearing my legs up” instead? That means staying aerobic on the bike instead of deliberately trashing myself so I can go out and run a bunch of *ahem* shitty miles with bad form and throwing myself into anaerobic zones just to maintain some pre-determined pace I think I ought to do. Not casting stones if you do this. I’ve done it. A lot. I just don’t think it paid off for me.
  • Trashed isn’t just for today. I pay the price for a few days. I have to think of what a long hard brick does to me going forward. If I go out and do a 60m/10m brick on a Sunday and intentionally trash my legs during this workout, I’m sacrificing Monday completely, and probably at least part of my Tuesday, and maybe Wednesday as well. And what do I get out of it really? Maybe I prove to myself that I could do it? I’ve already done that. Again, I do try to get in a couple of long bricks in the middle of my training plan to test my nutrition plan, but I make sure the run is super easy–like “holy crap, I’m embarrassed by this pace and don’t really want to post it to¬†DailyMile” ¬†easy.

The Ugly

  • They take a really long time. I’m lucky to have the best and most supportive girlfriend* in the whole world. She gives me Saturday and Sunday mornings to do what I need to do to train. A 2-3 hour workout means that I’m usually home by 9:30 or 10:00 at the latest on both Saturday and Sunday. She’s never complained once. She’s even ok with me turning that into a 5 hour workout¬†occasionally¬†if it’s a nutrition test day. But I’d feel guilty about leaving her to deal with our three heathens for a whole day every single weekend. She does it all week already…weekends are when she has a chance for some help, and I don’t want to deny her that.
  • “What do you mean ‘all day’? Five hours is not all day!” Well, it would turn into all day if I went out and bricked it hard. Sure, I may be gone for only 5 hours, but I’m definitely going to need a nap that afternoon. And I’d be pretty worthless (bonked) even when I’m awake–basically one more heathen to care for. I know how I end up on the afternoons after a race–not fun for her.

So there you have it. I’ve learned this stuff (for me) mostly by experience and reading what coaches (love Coach Brett) have to say about it.¬†Go ahead and rip it to shreds.

But before you do, consider this one little tidbit…

After tapering, you have ~2,000 calories worth of glycogen in your liver and muscles. You cannot process food fast enough to replace these calories at the rate you’re burning them while racing, no matter how much or what you eat. If you go out and “trash your legs” by going anaerobic, you’re going to be using those calories instead of using your fat stores for energy. Every notice how it seems like so many people¬†hit the wall at mile 20 in a marathon? That’s why. Once those calories are used up, you are bonked.

For me, it’s mile 18, probably because I’m a little bit heavier and much more inefficient, so I burn the same amount of calories to go 18 miles most people do for 20.¬†Another hard lesson (hopefully) learned.

So it makes complete sense to me to stay aerobic in most of my training (with some intense intervals thrown in here and there) and teach my body to burn the fat better. It’s just a simple math problem. In the perfect race, I’d start burning that stored up glycogen about 2,000 calories from the finish. The perfectly executed race plan would see me start my run on legs that aren’t tired and make sure they stay that way so I can finish on strong legs.¬†So even in a brick, there’s no way I want to go hard on a bike and “learn to run on tired legs”.

The only benefit I see there is that you get to bonk. And from that, you learn that you never EVER want to bonk again if you can help it.

*Yes, we’re married, but we still like each other a lot, so I still call her my girlfriend.

[Image Credit]

I Made A Team!

Well…sorta.

I was the number 2 draft pick to swim for the Miles of Love relay team at the Cocoa Beach Triathlon¬†this Sunday. Unfortunately, the top draft pick is having some health issues with her son. ūüôĀ

I’m excited for the chance to get in the open water and give the wetsuit a test drive in race conditions. I’m also excited to see how fast I can do that distance without having to do any other events afterwards. It’s only 400 meters. Not that I can swim that very fast…it’s just that it isn’t a long course compared to the May half-iron distance swim.

Here’s where I’m a little nervous/intimidated though…

I’ve never met the other two members of my team. We’ve been coordinating packet pick up on Facebook, and I took note that our cyclists has a photo of him cycling for his profile pic. And our runner has a photo of her running for her profile pic.

Ummm….yeah. My profile pic most definitely does NOT¬†imply that I’m any kind of swimmer. I’m happy to have people who are strong in their events on my team, but I hate being the weak link.

By the way, Miles of Love is a charity started by a friend of mine here locally. Its focus is helping local families who have children with life threatening illnesses. That could be anything from assisting these families get access to services offered by other organizations to paying for gas to and from the hospital to spend time with their child. We’d love your support in helping families in Brevard County out during their stressful and vulnerable times.

Some Good Race Day Practice

I was about 12 miles into my bike ride last night and sat up to eat a little bit and drink some water. I’d just turned off from a 1.5 mile stretch with a little tailwind. While I was drinking, a guy rides by me in his aero bars. He didn’t blow by me either, definitely catchable. But I didn’t chase.

I won’t lie. When he went straight at the point I usually make a left turn, I was very tempted to follow. But when he looked back to check and see if I followed, it made the decision to turn and ride my own ride much easier. I was committed to controlling heart rate and not worrying about speed, and that’s what I did.

Good to remember on race day when someone tries to goad me into a race at mile 30. Hopefully I’ll see them again on the run. If not, it’s a good thing I didn’t race them on the bike.

Give Me A T-Shirt Or Give Me Something Else

Have you had enough of race t-shirts? Rather have something else (or nothing) instead?

[poll id=”13″]

I guess the benefit of the t-shirt is that it’s more advertising for the race in the future.

Still, I’d like to see some choices available. Things like socks and gu would be way more valuable to me…those are things that really get used up, and they don’t even have to be branded with the race info.

Who am I kidding? I’d take the reduced entry fees every time.

Taper Time Analysis

Now that the hard work is done, it’s time for tapering. That means tending to phantom injuries, freaking out every time I hear one of the kids cough that they are getting the flu and I will catch it too, and checking the weather forecast every 8 minutes.

But it also means filling up the liver and muscles with glycogen and running every mile knowing that I’m only doing it to stay sane, not for fitness.

I haven’t fretted over data/times/pace for this training session like I usually do. Part of that is because I have so much other stuff going on, and part of it is that when training using the FIRST program, it doesn’t really take over your life the way a 6-day-a-week program does. It’s kind of nice.

I did a 23 miler for my last long run yesterday, and I averages 8:59–much faster than I’d planned on running, and a little surprising. I’ve figured out that I need to eat a LOT more than I had been eating (no complaints here), and as a result I have yet to feel the wall this time around.

Anyway, I was going back and comparing this peek week training to the peek week of my best marathon. I’m liking these results:

2003 Peek Week

42 total miles (4 sessions), 6 hours  and 35 minutes (9:24/mile average)

2012 Peek Week

40 total miles (3 sessions), 5 hours and 59 minutes (8:59/mile average)

The two big things I notice are that I ran roughly the same miles in both years, but this year I’ve done it in one less session, and at a faster pace. Also, my longest run in 2003 was 20 miles instead of the 23 I did this year.

I’m hoping this means a faster race. 3:49:59 was the original goal. Starting to think 3:44:59 may be a real possibility. It’s all going to be in the execution.

I’ve been running negative splits every day. Do I start with the 3:55 group for the first half and chase down the 3:45 group, or do I just start with 3:45 and try to hang on? That pace sounds tough for me right out of the gate.

Heart-Throb Rob Fundraising

The whole fam made it out on Saturday for the¬†inaugural¬†Surf Your Heart Out fundraiser for my buddy Rob “Munch” Munchbach who is awaiting a heart transplant. The turnout was great, and it was the perfect morning for a run on the beach and the waves were tasty for everyone who brought a board.

There are more events scheduled for the year, including a “Stroke Your Heart Out” Paddling Challenge¬†and a rugby tournament some time in November. In keeping with rugby traditions, details of that event are still sketchy.

Even if you can’t make it out to participate, please consider helping Rob out in any way you can and like his Facebook page. He needs help pre-transplant with medication and health care costs.

I didn’t race the run, which is probably a good thing since it was perfectly situated on a rest day, so I won’t report any times. I rushed through a 5 mile tempo workout on Friday and needed to loosen up though, so it was great to jog out the first mile and a half.

At that point I picked up a couple of squirmy bodies, one of which was not at all interested in running and stopped several times to clean the sand off her feet. The other was wrapped around my neck until the finish.

But the oldest got to “finish” her first race and was super excited! Kids tri coming up on September 30, and she’s pretty amped about the prospects of placing in her age group!

Random Link Dump of Recent Readings

It’s been a while since I posted a random sample of the stuff I’ve been reading. If you only read one of these articles, read the very first one.

Everyone a Harlot

In healthy patriarchies, men push themselves to earn the respect and admiration of other men. They work to prove their strength, courage and competence to each other. Men pride themselves on their reputation for mastery of their bodies, their actions, and their environment. They want to be known for what they can do, not just how well or who they can screw.

‚ÄėMarathon blues‚Äô can affect Olympians and recreational athletes alike – Someone once told me there was a high rate of alcoholism for former top-level runners and former astronauts for this very reason. I haven’t seen numbers on that though.

This Handmade ‘Game of Thrones’ Board Game Is Gorgeous – The young’uns are loving strategy games these days. Can I justify this?

Cycle Workouts To Improve Your Cadence – Perfect for cross training workouts while marathon training, and a good investment.

Lost Photos – discovering lost photos in your email account – One of these days…

How To Make Caricatures Using GIMP – I hope to get around to doing this at some point.

The Benefits Of A Negative Bike Split – Wait…tell me one more time. It may actually sink in this time around.

Importing SharePoint 2007 list templates (STP) into SharePoint 2010 – Kick Aise. Quick and easy!

How the Lunar X Prize Is a Preview of the New Space Age – Popular Mechanics

How to Develop Film Using Coffee and Vitamin C! Srsly! | Photojojo – Is there anything coffee can’t do?

TURNING TURDS INTO TRIUMPHS – What she said!

An Act of Great Cunning – Whoa!

Senate rules do not allow a filibuster when the bill under consideration has to do with imposing or repealing a tax. If the Republicans take the Senate and the Presidency, they can now repeal the individual mandate. They will not need sixty votes.

A New Racing Blueprint

I’ve had some time to do some reading, thinking, and listening to podcasts since I wrote my IM 70.3 FL race report, and it has me thinking I need to change some things for the future with hydration and nutrition. As much as I ate, and as much as I drank, I’m now thinking it may not have been enough. I’ve never used salt either.

A fall marathon is going to give me a good opportunity to try some things out on a race that’s a couple of hours shorter (hopefully), but still very physically demanding.

I still think my bike pace was dead on, but maybe my run expectations were unreasonable for a variety of reasons. I’ll figure it out. In the meantime, I’m going to try to tear through an Oly distance race in a few weeks and redeem myself a little.

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My Triathlon Packing Plan

It’s been four years since I’ve done an organized triathlon. Ick…that means four years of no open-water swimming. It also means four years of not packing for a triathlon or setting up a transition spot. I’m probably overthinking this, but I thought it would be a good idea to make my packing list official, that way I can make notes as I go and also refer back to it for ideas of things I can do differently.

I like to be pretty minimal on race day–no socks, no glasses, and no shirt unless the rules force me to wear one. This gives me the added strategical benefit of turning the stomachs of the competition in a tight race. The one thing I max out on is food.

Swim:
* Pack goggles, swimcap, race chip, watch
* Make sure to eat a Gu before starting the race

Bike:
* Pack bike shoes, helmet, heart rate monitor
* Make sure bike computer is set to 0 miles and average speed when setting up, one bottle of water on the bike (exchange for gatorade at mile 17).
* Eat an already opened Gu before leaving T1.

Run:
* running shoes, visor, race belt with 3 Gus, water to drink in T2 (not in a cycling bottle). Socks are coming with me this time–I have a really annoying cut on the bottom of my wee-wee-wee piggy.
* Shoes are untied, feet are clean and dry before putting on shoes, race number and Gus are attached to belt, ditch the HRM

Misc.:
Sidewalk chalk to mark my bike row, small towel for transition, big towel for post-race, beverages, plastic cups, many Gus, water, water, water

Wear To The Race
* Trishorts with same board shorts over to wear post-race, flip flops, t-shirt

Am I forgetting anything?

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