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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Still under 42

Last Friday was my birthday.

As lunchtime approached I got an idea that I might test myself a little… on “my day”

My idea… since I was scheduled to run 5 at lunch why not try to run that under my age. I thought hmmm…. 43… that’s like 8:35s… doable even factoring in the heat… a high mileage week and some tough speedwork the day before.

A few minutes later I had a revelation… with both fabulous and disappointing news. I was turning 42… not 43… someone who knows me well sent me happy 42nd wishes… and they were right….

Ya see… in triathlons they write your age on your calf… not your age at the time but your age as of December 31st… so even tho I’d been getting a 42 tattoo all year… I’d really only been 41… woot! Oh.. uh.. wait?

Now my goal time was 42… like 8:20s much more of a test.

1st mile was hard… from 0 to running a sub 8:30 pace (at my age J) is not easy… I think I hit 8:28 or so… great already behind.

Mile 2 was easier… almost always is… about 8:06 and mile 3 still smooth at around 8:12.

The heat started wearing me down on mile 4… but managed an 8:20…

Fought like hell for the last mile to hang on… all of the precious seconds I’d banked on miles 2 and 3 evaporating way faster than the sweat off my brow…

managed to bring her in coughing, sputtering and smoking (~8:44 mile) and finish with 14 seconds to spare… 41:46

only for this run… and in my childish mind… do I yet remain, under 42.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Riding with the VeloBrew crew

VeloBrew is one of the local cycling clubs. I’ve kicked around the idea of tagging along on one of their rides for a while now…. But… being that I’m kinda shy and antisocial by nature I’ve always found an excuse to *not* ride with them… I know that riding with a challenging group is a sure way to improve my cycling so this week… I was once again going to try and coax myself into participating.

It helped that they were going to ride a route that I was familiar with… had not done in quite some time… and that I was anxious to do again.

The “B” ride was supposed to leave at 0715… towards that end I had gotten to the gathering point at 0645… I don’t think anyone else showed until just after 0700… in fact I was just before going home and doing a solo ride…

As anyone who has showed up cold for a club ride as an outsider can tell you… roadies don’t exactly rollout the red carpet… I introduced myself to a couple of folks who showed up.. no one was anxious to give me an overview of anything… or introduce me to anyone else… so I just stood around in the proximity and waited.

At about 0725 I asked someone if there was going to be an A and a B ride… He looked at his watch and said… hmmm it’s 0732… I guess there isn’t going to be a B ride today…

FORK! Now I have been lurking here… looking like a dork for 20 minutes… carbon fiber and fit looking roadies everywhere and now… no B ride…

Now I have no particular aversion to getting dropped… but… I have not ridden in a truly fast paceline in… well… a decade… I just don’t want to be a Fred… Much easier to avoid Fredness in the B group… It’s easier to ride than it is to pack my s3!t and leave so off we go.

There are about 30 riders in our group… we picked up a half dozen or so more in the first couple of miles… guys I guess who lived or parked a little further south… about 4 miles in we reached South Ponte Vedra Beach and most of the traffic/intersections were behind us and the boys at the front started whipping up the pace…

I stayed close to the back… not wanting to be in the way… but careful to hold my line and the wheel in front of me. We were up to 24 mph in no time and I was not really sure how long I might hang.

About 5 miles in we reached the 210 bridge over the Intracostal… a major hill for us flatlanders… I was poised and ready determined to not get dropped this quick…

I was quite surprised to find that the group splintered apart like it did… I found myself passing 6 or 8 people and covering a gap to get back with the group… they weren’t really nailing it tho… so I found myself safely tacked on the back at the top…

Of course we went screaming down the other side and hammered for a mile or so until one of the super fit looking dudes in full team kit turned around and started riding back… I figured out later that he went back to the 6-8 dropped riders to see if any of them wanted a tow back to the group… he came back with one guy.

We picked it back up to 24 or 25 once they got back. I still had no idea how long I could hang with these guys and was steadily moving up the paceline (still about 25 strong) to the front.

I made it to the front about the same time as we met a train headed the other way… no it was not coming directly at us but it was only about 35m away running parallel to the road. It basically generated a headwind where none had been before… I got the bit between my teeth tho and put in a respectable pull for 2:30 at 24… then a flick of the elbow and I drifted left and got a chance to watch the bunch go by…

Feeling pretty good at myself and beginning to gain confidence that I might yet finish with these fellas, I decided I needed a snack and a drink right quick while I was at the back again… I did and when I went to put mu bottle back in the cage I missed… aaaugh!!!! What a stupid Fred move.

I slammed on the brakes… and turned around to get my bottle. It was a nice Polar bottle or I might have just let it go.. Once I retrieved my bottle I got a good look at just how far ahead the group had gotten… I was still trying to recover from being on the front and now I was going to have to chase…

And chase I did… after about a minute I saw the tam kit dude headed my way… he offered me a tow… I hopped on and he pulled me at 26-27 for a mile or so until we caught up…

We stopped a few miles later and I thanked the “Dude” who pulled me back and generally tried to recover a bit and take on some calories… knowing that with my (lack of) handling skillz I’d probably do best to eat now… and just steer and pedal later.

After we left the store.. still 24 or so strong we were met with a nasty crosswind… and since we were on A1A… right along the beach we had no protection… the speed went back up to 24 anyway and in just a few miles I was already beginning to feel the effects of the effort… I’d been spinning along nicely most of the morning in the 39 but decided to shift to the 53… Remember this is only my 3rd ride on this bike… well.. I slipped my chain… I immediately pulled out of the line and waved everyone through…

The Fast dude came by me and told me to shift and pedal slowly… I wanted to tell him that I *knew that* but this being at least my 2nd major Fred move of the day I just said thanks…

I had fallen almost all the way to the back with my shenanigans and when I got my s#!t back together and got a chance to look up the road again… the group had split… and I was on the wrong side…. I was not sure whether or not my mechanical problem had been part of the cause… no matter… I moved up to the front of my little group… about 6-8 of us and hit the gas… I was hoping to pull the group back across the gap.. and in so doing perhaps I could redeem myself… if only a little

I was making progress back to the main group… thinking we were probably going to make it… then I looked over my shoulder and I was alone… halfway across the gap… and all by myself.

I sat up for a few seconds and thought about going back for them and trying again… I did the calculations in my head and surmised that If I waited for them… they (and me) would not make it back to the group… so I got back in the drops and just concentrated on making the gap smaller… it took a mile or so but I finally closed down the gap. When I got back on… the guy in last wheel asked me if there were any other back there. I said that there were and he and the Dude went back for them… 5 minutes later only the Dude returned.

Although I was back in the group I was pretty fried…. It was all that I could do to hold onto the wheel in front of me… I did take another pull… and another 6-8 riders dropped.

I knew that as soon as we got back to Ponte Vedra that we would slow down and soft pedal the last 3 miles… I was never so happy to see a stop sign as I was the first one in PVB…

For those guys… it was a group ride … in my Walter Mittyesque mind it was more like the Tour of Flanders… and I finished in the group of 12 out of the 36 we started with…

today… Thursday the soreness is finally beginning to leave my legs.

I can’t wait to do this again.


7.1 miles at lunchtime with 3x1mi @ 7:37 with 1200 jogs.

in the July heat... I was on my limit... and maybe a little bit over it on the last rep.

I love/hate Thursdays

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday at the Rail Trail

Friday at lunch I did an easy 5 miler at lunch… I had no idea at the time what else I would heap on top of that over the weekend.

I had a ride scheduled with Chris on Saturday… bu1 #1 I had a new bike and wanted to ride it. #2 I wanted to work out any technical problems with riding a new bike with new pedals and shoes and saddle…

So I rode 18 or so Friday evening… and man did I ever suck… I thought I must be over trained… undernourished… vitamin deficient… my new bike was awful…. These thoughts went on for 15 miles…. Until I finally decided to check my brakes… yeppers… the brake pads were rubbing… I guess I had misaligned when I put the back wheel on my bike… well… that repaired and I felt like a new man…

Saturday was a rare near perfect day for training. Overcast with a high of like 84F… We rode 2 loops of the local rails to trails, basically 60 miles. For the first loop his GF’s son Aaron came along… good kid… 18 years old… never complained… or fell off… or pulled =;-)

It rained for much of the second loop… we did not really care. Low traffic on the trail meant that we could softpedal side by side and chat like the old friends that we are.

After we finished I packed up the bike and went for a run. Since we rode pretty easy I decided to run 6. Since it was relatively cool… and overcast I took no water… only one gel. Two miles in I started to feel a little bonky… so I ate the gel I brought… then I got thirsty… by the time I hit the turnaround I was completely parched. Then it started raining… cue “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

I run for a while with my mouth open and facing the sky… I catch a bit of moisture but not enough to quench anything…. I probably look like a laboring… lumbering… overgrown baby bird…

Then I had this idea… I’d just run with my hands cupped in front of me… at this point it was pouring… I was making good progress in the water collection area… then I saw a bike approaching… and knowing what kind of idiot I looked like I dropped my hands to my sides and lost my precious drops of water…

After all of these shenanigans I decided to just HTFU and finish my run… I had a couple of bottles in the car… chilling in my cooler. I finished both of them off before I got in my car to drive home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beaches Fine arts Triathlon #3

Too lazy to write a report.... here's a few captioned pix:

Out of the water with old friend and fellow Chattahoochee boy Jay Herring.

Jay dropped me immediately it appears...

Obviously taking my time... the photo guy got 3 shots of me...
No pix of me on the bike... maybe I'm that fast... maybe I ducked into the bushes and skipped the whole thing.

I did show up for the run...

Okay... check out the guy on the right... he wears these Brazillian Cut speedos... at every one of these races... and he often passes me on the run... not a pretty sight...


But not quite ready to go home. Did a nice 40 mile ride with my old friend Chris after the race.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summertime Whews

Playing a little catch-up here. Just remember to you, gentle reader, this is a blog… for me it is often my training/racing journal.

July 3rd:

Rode on the Rails for Trails on Saturday of July 4th weekend… holy mother of God was it hot… 40 miles and I was cooked… which was fine because by 0930 the trail was bustling with rollerbladers and jog strollers…

July 4th:

Went out to Mickler’s for a brick. I had three hours before I needed to pick up my oldest daughter from a friend’s house. I hoped to do a 40/3 brick.

Left right at 0800 the computer on my tri bike went out a couple of weeks ago… it’s been finicky for years and I think it finally gave up the ghost for good… I had my Garmin but it too was on the blink… it would only output the current speed… so… I set out to ride to the Vilano bridge and back… pretty close to 40 miles on the dot. As I topped the first dune in South Ponte Vedra… and just as I pass someone else I get passed… It’s a fit looking dude on a tricked out Cervelo. I thought I’d try to stick with him… although I left 2 bike lengths… just to stay “legal”

And stay with him I did… all the way to Vilano… at ~22mph… Pulled up next to him on the bridge to chat. His name was Tom and he was doing his last long training ride for IM Switzerland… Nice guy.

On the ride back north I was riding with Tom… enjoying the day and hoping I could hold this speed all the way back… I took a sip of water then missed my bottle cage… there it goes… my water bottle skittering down the bike lane on A1A…

Figuring It’s over now… and I’ll heve to ride it back solo I turned around and retrieved my bottle… Just for kicks tho I thought I’d try to catch Tom… I worked my butt off for about 10-12 minutes but eventually I got back…

Since I’d gotten my ride finished early I had time to run 4 instead of just 3.

July 5th:

3 day weekends are nice…. Had no kids Sat nite… both spending the night with friends… so I went out myself… and stayed out too late… slept late… Ended up doing a brick 1 hr ride and a 9 mile run in the evening.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I have basically run the same loop… 5 miles 3 days in a row… and each time in pretty close to 45 minutes…


Easy day… I’d had Monday off from running… and the weather was mild… only mid 80s… so I decided to run a little faster than the 9:25s on my training schedule. I thought 5 9s would be good. I hit the first mile in 9:40… then ran solid 8:50s to finish in 45:xx.


Supposed to be easy again… it was hotter but I felt really good… another 9:40 mile started things off… on the second mile I decided that I was going to run mile 3 fast… but relaxed watching my form… Mile 3 was a 7:20… with the rest of the run at a ~9:15 pace I came in at just under 45.


Tempo day. Warm-up mile, 3 mi @ 8:04, cool down mile.

Warm-up… felt better than expected. Mile 2 – 8:02… hmmm… that’s pretty close… as I’ve been timing my runs all week with the trusty Timex because my Garmin lost it’s mind….

Mile 3 – 7:59 – I would have put on a smile had I not been on the rivet…

Mile 4 – I could feel my pace slipping… the legs felt good but my heartrate was pegged… the heat getting t me too…. 8:40… the cooldown mile was not fun… I think I stumbled to an 11 something… final time north of 46.

All in all… I’m happy with the lunchtime running for the week…