Sunday, March 30, 2008
Afterwards, I worked with the kids to clean the house while Tanya took a nap. Once the house was clean, I went and did my work out for the day.
Today was another brick workout. I swam 4,000 yards at Del Norte and immediately changed into my running clothes and ran 3 laps around the Academy. For anyone who wants to know the distance, it's 3.4 miles per lap. I, ultimately, ran 10.2 miles. This was my first long run since the marathon. I felt slow. To my excuse, there was lots of wind, and each loop had quite a bit of elevation gain--of course, there's a descent on the other side of the loop. My time was 1:30 for the run. This is roughly a 8:49/mile pace. As you can tell, I have some work to do. It was really hard transitioning from swimming to running.
Yesterday was the half-Ironman in Carlsbad, CA. The top men's time was 3:58. He ran the half marathon in 1:14. He swam in the 1.2 miles in 22 minutes. That's blazing!
After my work, I hung out with the kids and played games with them. Tanya took off to get ready for her Aerobics presentation. I had dinner with the kids then put them to bed. Spring break is officially over.
Week's Summary: 16:47 hours
Swim time: 5.5 hours/15,000 yards
Run time: 3.2 hours/22 miles
Bike time: 7.8 hours/154 miles
I spent most of the evening after work, reviewing Algerbra--this is a long story in itself--and getting ready for my race.
Saturday morning I woke up and my gut was really out of sorts. I almost decided to bail on the race. But, I figured if it got bad, I'd just pull the plug. It was really just a tune up race.
I got up at 6:00 am and ate a quick breakfast. It only took me 45 minutes to get to the race. There's nothing better than being able to sleep in your own bed before a race! I signed up and began to warm up. I felt a little bad because my team was putting on the race and I hadn't done anything to contribute. I figure when the races start going up hill, that's when I'll put in my mandatory volunteer time.
My stomach was still touch-and-go, but I kept telling myself. If I run into any trouble there's no harm in pulling the plug.
At 9:00 AM the Cat. 1/2/3's rolled out first. The course traveled south out of Belen and then turned east up to mountains. We then turned around and came back; a typical out-and-back course. We started nice and easy. Finally after about 5 miles; my training partner Silvio took a flyer; he was by himself. He got about 75 yards, and peloton let him hang by himself. He was alone for about 5 miles. Finally, a member of Mountain Top racing, Travis Dixon, and Nob Hill Velo, Dave Kerr, joined him. Right away it became obvious that the three weren't working well together and the game remained at 75 yards. We then turned left towards the mountains, and the road gradually sloped up in a false flat. The pace was fairly easy because the three largest teams had someone in the break. After a few miles riding towards the mountains, I saw Dave Kerr and Silvio come out of the break and drift back to the main group. Travis was out there by himself. There began to be some surges to bring Travis back, but his team wasn't have any of it. Every surge was met with one of his teammates.
At this point I began to feel a bit randy; my stomach wasn't bugging me. I figured I'd move to the front and try to lend my efforts in pull Travis back. I went to the front and began to push the pace. The field strung out, but no one would come to help me. A Mountain Top rider sat on my wheel and wouldn't pull through, of course. I tried once more, but wasn't aided by anyone. Our team captain told me just to sit in and wait for a while. OK, no problem.
Finally, we came to the hill and the pace stayed the same as the slope increased. It was a hard effort, which my runner legs weren't happy with. I burryied my head and hung in. As we climbed I could see riders coming off the back...never to be seen again. Finally we crested the hill. And, we began to drop down the other side. The group surged again stringing the riders out in the gutter. After a few minutes, the pace eased up and we regrouped.
The motorcycle escort, Dave Wycoff, was giving up splits to Travis. One minute grew to two minutes. He was riding really hard and was maximizing his tail wind. At the back of peloton, team delgates began to discuss the return trip and the odds not being in Travis' favor to stick the break to the end. They decided to throw everything at him on the way back with the exception of our team leaders who had the best bet of winning. I, of course, was committed to sacrificing my energy to pull back the break.
We hit the turn around and began to climb the back side of the mountain, which was much less of an effort than the front. We crested and there was another surge down the steepest part of the hill. There's nothing more unnerving than descending at 45 MPH with your front wheel inches away from the wheel in front of you and the person in front of you is dodging cracks in the road.
Finaly, the road leveled and it was time to do my job. A hard rotation formed and we were on our way. The Mountain Top riders were doing all they could to disrupt the rotation. There was plenty of cussing and jostling. The pace in the rotation was so hard, I could only manage 3 pulls and I'd have to drift back to recover. Todd Bauer and Dave La Pell were putting a monster effort. As soon as I'd recover, I go back to the front to do my pulls; this wasn't an easy task because you had to get around a bunch of mountain top riders and others just sitting in for the free ride. After doing this about 3 times, low and behold, Travis was about 50 yards in front of us. We had 5 miles to go; the break was neutralized. A few surges went off and were quickly brought back.
A few miles from the finish line, a bunch of emergency vehicles were in the road. We were neutralized as we passed. A rider from another race was lying face down waiting to be attended by the ambulance. I was a bit freaked out. After looking at the incident, I looked forward and saw I was gapped by the field by a good 100 yards. It was an all-out sprint to get back. Finally, The 1 mile to go then the 1 K to got sign came (spray painted in the street). At 500 meters to go, the field began its sprint. I down shifted and began to wind it up. Out of the saddle and for all I was worth, I finished in the pack, which is good for a lowly Cat. 3.
All in all, I was happy with the turn out. I still had a lot of energy. I think I really did well in terms of managing my nutrition. We covered 65 miles in 2:42. That's pretty fast.
After the race, I went with a few teammates and ate at Subway. I met Tanya and the kids at the gym. I decided to take the two oldest swimming. They messed around while I swam laps. I ended up swimming for an hour and doing 3000 yards.
Afterwards I took the two oldest and Mia home. Mia and I took Shane for a walk, and her and I cleaned the bunny cage. It's fun to spend some one-on-one time with her. She's really clingy to her mother and rarely does she want to hand out with me.
When Tanya came home, we ate dinner and watched Michael Clayton. I was a good day.
I took Thursday off to recover, which was very nice.
Friday I did my traditional pre-race ride on the rollers for an hour. I felt much better at this point.
The thing that's taking the biggest toll on me in terms of training is getting up early and swimming before work. What makes it especially hard is slamming 2 days together early in the week to allow recovery time for my race. After a couple of days of normal sleep, I feel great.
Saturday's race is in Belen on a fairly flat course with one hill. I have the option of racing with the Cat. 1/2's or with the Masters 35+. I figure I'll mix it up a bit and race with the big boys.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I'm really getting mentally tired from all this training. I think after this block, I'm going to start to taper the hours a bit. Unfortunately the body can't sustain a tremendous work load for too long or you begin to shut down--one way or another. I haven't ever really gotten to this point, but I'm beginning to see the early warning signs now (i.e. disinterest in important things, hard to sleep, raised resting heart rate, lack of ability to mentally focus). I'm getting the feeling that things are about to change at work for me in terms of responsibilities. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing?!?!
I need to go, I have some running to do.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
We were on time to church for the first time--ever! Today's Easter Sunday. I'll talk a bit more about the family events in my next post. But, it was really fun and the kids got to spend quality time with their cousins and had an Easter dinner and Easter egg hunt. They had a blast!
After church I rode the trainer for an hour-and-a-half and did big gear strength building stuff. I
In total I had 19.5 hours:
5.5 hours swimming/14,750 yards. I'm really disappointed I didn't reach my 15K weekly goal
2.5 hours running/18.22 miles--I'm gradually increasing
1 hour yoga
10.5 hours bike/190 miles
I think I did fairly good considering I lost a day to make the trip to Utah.
There's a road race scheduled next week, and I need to decide whether to do it and recover a bit (decrease in training quantity) or push through. There is an opportunity for a 200K bike ride for the same day. We'll see.
I have a big presentation I need to get ready for for tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Finally, my final first of the day was I went down on my bike early in the ride. Of all the last 8 years road racing, I've never gone down. There's been some really close calls, but I've always kept the rubber side down. Well, that changed today.
I just got done taking a long pull and was drifting to the back of the group. I put my head down for a second and had my hands resting on the top of the bars--not grasping. I ran into a manhole with a sizable black top lip. It knock the wheel out right from under me and I was on the ground faster than you can say "Mashed Potato!" Fortunately, we weren't going very fast at the time. So, I got a good hipper and a bruised palm. My bikes fine; the bar tape is ripped. Other wise it wasn't too bad.
Honestly, I've had "falling on my bike" at the back of my mind for the last couple of weeks. Falling is a fairly common thing for races (i.e. once or twice a year). I thought it odd that I've never gone down over the last 8 years. I knew it was only a matter of time. Well, I got it out of my system; hopefully I'm done for the next 8 years.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Once at the dealer, I test drove and inspected the car. It was legit. The paperwork went quickly because we'd taken care of everything in advance. I drove to Cafe Rio for lunch and was on the road back to Albuquerque by 2:00 PM.
I listened to a book on tape I rented at Hastings, which was entertaining. I was able to avoid getting a speeding ticket coming into Moab because the person in front of me got it instead. I pulled into our driveway at 12:00 at night, and I was exhausted.
The car drove great and is really solid. This, hands down, was the best deal we could have gotten. I'd definitely recommend Forrest Motors in Provo, UT, if you're looking to buy a Honda Pilot or Odyssey.
As soon as I got home Tanya grabbed the keys and took off with the car; I slumped off to sleep dreaming of 100's of mile markers as I passed them by.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I pulled the map off the Georges Bicycle's website, which is very involved in the cycling community and puts on almost all races in the Boise area. Also, almost all the races they put on are in this same area (southern Boise). This is also where the Tuesday night rides occur during the early part of the year until it shifts to Bogus Basin hill climbs. So, I'm guessing George's had a hand in selecting the route. I like George's; it's a great bike shop. Mike Cooley has been nice to me.
Given the bike route, these are the things I'm hoping: they've blocked off the roads--especially Gowan and Pleasant Valley road. I hope people plan on goat heads--this is the area to get them. I also hope people work on thier TT descending skills coming down Pleasant Valley on the return trip because you've got a good mile of fast descending. I also hope people hydrate well because it's going to be toasty.
I was also able to do a little sleuthing and see how my local Boise competition is doing. They had a TT there this weekend, and one of my prime competitors was at the TT. He's my former next door neighbor; he's a former Kona competitor/navy seal. He's been out of the game for a bit but I'm certain he's primed and ready to pull out the stops for Boise's first IronMan. I honestly don't think I have much of chance against this guy because he can run like the wind. He's turned out a 2:30 marathon. At any rate, it's good to start getting geared up for Boise. This will be my first tri since my inagural in Oklahoma last September and I think I've improved a lot since then.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
About a half-hour after my workout, it really hit me. And, I was tired. We had some family in town (brother-in-law and family) from Alamogordo, so we had a family barbecue. I was knackered for the rest of the day.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
After heading 25 miles south, the race organizers had us turn around and head back to Hillsboro (into the headwind). Once we got to Hillsboro we turn west and headed 8.5 miles up hill to Kingston. This race has changed many times over the years. My favorite was starting at the I-25 offramp, heading to the city of Hillsboro, climbing past Kingston up to Emory Pass and coming back. We haven't done this in a long time.
Based on the fact that this race ended with a climb, I knew I really would be a contender. Running is the anti-climbing excercise. If you run at all, your ability to climb on the bike is negated! So, my objective for the race was to hang tough with the group until we got to Hillsboro and climb to Kingston at my own pace.
From the get go, a small group went off the front including 2 people from our team, and another person from the "other" large team. There was another person from Nob Hill Velo. This being the situation, it was our team and the other large team's goal to block any efforts to bring the break back in and follow any new groups trying to bridge. This is actually a very good position to be in because the monkey is on the other teams without a participant in the group to bring back the break--in so doing, they're using alot of energy while we're fairly fresh.
There were a few hard surges to try to bring the break in, but nothing to serious. Half-way to the turnaround, one of team members in the break got a flat. The break was down to 3, and we had one member.
After the turnaround and into the headwind, there were times when we were gutterballing it, but not for long enought to shed anyone. I was really enjoying my ride, eating well and staying hydrated.
Just before we got back to Hillsboro we came accross our team mate who popped out of the break. The break was down to 2, and we didn't have anyone in it. This changes things!
Immediately, we went to the front and started push the tempo up to reel in the to people in the break. We dropped into Hillsboro and turned west. At this point, the pace went up dramatically. Unfortunately, I was behind a few riders that couldn't hang and I got gapped. The real challenge to road racing is being in the right place at the right time. I wasn't and got gapped. I was happy though that I made to Hillsboro with the pack. The picture below is from the climb to Kingston (taken after the race). You might notice that the roads are wet. It rained and hailed on us while we climbed, which made coming back down a bit cold.
This is the finish line (well after the race so the crowd was gone).
After the race I didn't stick around to see the result, but Ronny McD called, and I answered. I really need to stop though. It's not becoming of an IronMan to crave the Big Mac!
All in all, it was a good trip and a great way to start off the road racing season.
Total hours 13
Swim: 3 hours/8200 yards
Run: 1 hour/6.5 miles
Bike: 9 hours 150 miles
This week was toned down to be ready for the race. Next week is a rest week. I'll post my race results when I find them out.
This is a picture of the front of the B&B. This building was built in the 1880s. There's not much left of the city. It used to be a silver mining town and was one of the biggest in New Mexico. The picture below is the only other building still standing back from the 1880s. This is the Percha Bank building. It's now a museum of sorts.
As I said I'm not really a big fan of B&B's but my team mates talked me into staying. I called and negotiated a $30 futon with an additional $10 for dinner the night before. The $30 included breakfast.
While in Kingston, there were no TVs, no cell phone reception, or no electronic media. Dinner was a great lasagne dinner. The lasagne was perhaps the best I've ever had and had very unique ingrediants: honey and different cheeses. I ate well until I was full and retired to my futon alone in a basement and pondered my stay in Kingston and the race tomorrow.
It turned out to be the right choice staying at the Black Ranch Lodge.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Just before the TT start time. Silvio let me use his disk wheel in the back.
Here's me after the TT cooling down
I finished the 20K TT in 30:49. This averages 25MPH. I was very pleased with the results considering this was the first time riding my bike, first time wearing my new shoes, first time riding a disk.
Friday, March 7, 2008
There's all these little tasks that need to be done, that also add to the anxiety:
-USCF registration (Racing organizers that provide your annual license)
-Checking your bike's mechanical integrity
-Making sure you have all your race food/nutrition
-Making sure your wheelsets are up to par
-Coordinating logistics with team mates
-Registration for hotel
-Packing for your trip (including all contingencies for inclement weather)
-Prerace activities (eating right, resting, prerace ride, stretching)
-Shaving legs (this gives me the most anxiety because it takes so long and its benefits are very marginal)
Well, I've done a good job in scaling back my training this week in preparation for the racing weekend. Today, I'm feeling really saucy, which means my legs are ready! Last night I rode my TT bike on the trainer for the first time. I felt really good and comfortable. My first real ride on it will be in a race (TT on Saturday in Las Cruces). Most people would say this isn't a good idea. I'd agree, if this race meant alot to me, but I figure it'll be a good baseline of performance for me to compare against in the future. I'm really more excited about the Hillsboro road race on Sunday. The competition is stiff and the terrain offers rolling climbs, long climbs, and lots of wind. I'm going to bring a camera and post pictures when I get back.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Now comes the task of tweaking the position to get it as comfortable/aero as possible. I also have to sell all the parts I pulled off. I Love Ebay!
If you see a silver streak passing as you leisurely drive down Tramway, that's me! Don't bother honking though, my speed will exceed sound!
We've been looking for a good deal on a Honda Pilot and we came across Forrest Motors out of Orem, Utah, that sells Honda Pilots and Odysseys exclusively. They buy at auctions and sell at a reasonable margin. They blow out the cars. Tanya had one car she was ready to pull the trigger on and it was sold before she could call the dealer. They sell 6 cars a day--that's good if you only deal in a few models.
Anyways, they publish an inventory list. If there's a car you want, you contact them and they'll post a video of it on YouTube. If you like it, you put a deposit down on it. I'm certain this is the best deal we could have gotten on the car we wanted. We ended up paying $6000 less than the Kelly Blue Book Value: Cha-Ching! I'm flying out to Utah sometime next week to pick it up and driving home the same day. If I could, I'd send Tanya so she visit her friends and get the maiden voyage on her new auto. Here's the video:
Monday, March 3, 2008
The day started out with church. Then we came home. I jumped on the treadmill because I wasn't too excited to go outside in the cold. I ran for 30 minutes and felt really good. I think my running legs are starting to come back. I'm not going to push it for the month of March and just do 3 runs at 30 minutes each a week. I don't want to fatigue my legs for the road races, but I also want them to be ready to put on the miles after the Gila. I'll only have a month to build after the Gila for the Boise half-iron man. Hope it's enough.
After running, I kept putting off riding and played video games for awhile with Ethan. Finally Tanya yelled at me to go and ride or I wouldn't end up riding and be grumpy afterwards. She was right, and I went.
Due to being tired, I vowed to ride in zone 2-3 and not let my heart rate exceed 145 BPM. Also due to the looming clouds overhead threatening rain at any possible moment, I decided to stay close, which, ultimately lead to me riding the fingers. Here's the GPS of my ride: All fingers including La Luz!
View Larger Map
The ride lasted nearly 3 hours, consisted of 4000 feet of elevation gain, and 41 miles. I was able to keep my average HR at 127, which is quite a feat considering the incline grade going up La Luz.
I trained this week for 19 hours
Swim 5:45 hours/ 15,400 yards
Run 1:45 hours/ 11 miles
Bike 10:30/160 miles
Next week I need to scale back my training to be fresh for my race(s) in Las Cruces/Hillsboro. This will require tale 3 days of swimming and 2 runs rather than my 4/3, respectively. I'll need to have 2 recovery days and lots of sleep. I don't want to go to the race feeling mentally/physically tired because this is a fairly competitive and challenging race. I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
OUr group ride was very stop-and-go, which makes getting a good tempo ride in impossible. I started to realize my legs were just tired. I think it's just an accumulation of all the last few weeks of training volume. There was no snap, and mentally I was exhausted. So, I decided to bag my race tomorrow. Crit's tend to be short and intense. I don't want to dig myself too deep before the season really gets started. So, no sense on blowing the money and energy on a low-low priority race.
During our group ride, a novice rider took out Jane Gagne--a highly experienced rider with lots of racing years under her belt. It looked really bad. Bad enough that she couldn't continue the ride and had to be helped into her ride. After that, I broke away and came home myself.
I met up with the family at the gym. Tanya just got done doing a double. The kids were getting ready to go to a big birthday party at the gym. So, after a quick bite to eat with Tanya, I went home and started to take care of the small things that get neglected at home.
I cleaned the dog poop in the backyard. You can imagine there's alot for a mastiff. I did the laundry. I cleaned the bunny cage. I replaced a free wheel hub on my 404 Zipp wheelset to make it compatible with my new SRAM/Shimano set up. I put the cleats on my new cycling shoes I got for my birthday last October--they've been sitting in my closet waiting for the new season.
My last chore turned out to be a bad one. We have lots of mice in our backyard that have dug under our foundation and under our bathtub. At night, we sometimes can hear them moving around. I've diligently set mouse traps at night, which is really time consuming and gruesome. However, the mouse still keep coming. We're worried that the mice will find a way into the house; this is why we're putting so much energy in trying to eradicate them.
Anyways, we decided to buy poison. We figured this would be more effective and less of a gruesome task afterwards. I was very careful to put the poison deep in the mouse holes and cover them with big rocks so Shane wouldn't be able to get to them. Well, he got to them and ate all the poison. Stupid dog!
Afer freaking out and doing some research with the web, we found out the poison is an anti-coagulant that makes the mice/rats bleed to death. We also found out the volume of poison Shayne consumed doesn't meet the toxicity level that would be deemed fatal. However, dogs respond differently to the poison, and the symptoms of the poison, generally, do not manifest themselves until 3-5 days after consumption. Vets generally provide pets vitamin K to negate the impact of the anti-coagulant. After going to Walmart and Walgreens, I was able to find some Vitamin K at Whole Foods. Shane will be taking 2 tablets of 25mgs every day for the next week in his peanut butter biscuits, which should avert any problems.
Afterwards, I met Tanya at her sister's house to celebrate her 30th birthday.