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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the voices in my head

I assume that we all hear voices in our heads…

I have two… funny thing they both wear skirts kind of… one wears a checked blue dress… the other a loincloth

The chatty one in the blue dress is all doubt.. and fear… and about avoiding pain.

I call her Dorothy:

Her counterpart… is stoic. Reserved… and speaks seldom… but he’s always there

I call him Tonto:

Thursday means… speedwork day and this week’s schedule called for 7 miles with 5 @ 8:03.

Well… work got in the way… I headed out late and only had time for 5.

Dorothy: “Maybe just an easy day… you ran long on Tuesday… remember how much that hurt… you had trouble walking straight when you got back (she exaggerates…) you rode pretty hard last night… in the rain… 5 easy would be okay… just get in the miles”

Tonto: “Run Kemo Sabe”

So I take off.

I decide quite on my own (thankyouverymuch) to run a warm-up mile then a sub 8s for mile 2 and 4. I wanted to get *some* speedwork in.

Mile 1 passed in 9:53 and even tho my legs are a little sore from Tuesday I feel pretty good. I pick it up on mile 2… I feel smooth and strong. Running a 7:30 or so pace.

Dorothy: “Take it easy! Don’t burn yourself out on the first one… remember that run 2 weeks ago”

I kinda ignore her this time… I feel good.

Out of nowhere Tonto speaks up.

Tonto: “If one mile you can run at this pace three miles you can”

Sometimes Tonto tries to channel Yoda…

I think about what he said tho… and decide to run miles 2, 3, and 4 all under an 8 pace.

Dorothy freaks out…


I do so immediately (sheesh lady) slow down to about a 7:55 pace. Mile 2 is a 7:45

The next mile or so passes without much chatter… Ricky Martin is on my iPod… and I’m too busy “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and mile 3 is right on target at 7:59

When mile 4 starts I can feel the pace slipping… Dorothy pipes up:

Dorothy: “You know… you can run an 8:15… and still *average* under an 8 pace”

I mentally glance at Tonto out of the corner of my eye… he has his arms folded across his chest… and a tear coming out of his eye like the Indian in the litter commercial.

So… I decide to do what I can with what I have left… I increase my turnover…. Try to flow and relax… that does the trick… I manage to lower my heartrate and pick up the pace at the same time… hmmm.. I think I just learned something… that’s why they call it training. I hold it together… neither voice says anything… ( I think Dorothy was pouting) and finish in 7:56 for mile 4. Cool down mile and a shower… and I’m back at my desk.

An inauspicious beginning – My foray into bike racing

It’s raining… I’m pedaling… The spray of the rooster tails off the 45 or so bikes ahead of me further obscures my vision… I’m not hurting too bad but… I am losing ground. I hear someone on my left say “this is insane”… inwardly I agree but I neither turn my head or reply. My job, at the moment is to pilot this conglomeration of rubber, carbon fiber, flesh, and steel… and keep all of these parts in the right place… especially the flesh…

My adrenalin tells me to go for it… my head tells me that I’ve already hydroplaned a couple of times… Reminds me that I’m already doing 32 MPH and that there is a roundabout that I have to navigate ¾ of in just about a minute… I have no idea how fast I can do that and still keep both tires on the pavement.

I reach the roundabout with the shattered back of the field… cautiously coast thru the 270 degree turn… as I exit I see the field moving away at a pace much more rapid than the one I find myself maintaining…

This was not how I envisioned my first bike race…

How did I get here?

After much angst… and indecision I finally signed up for the Nocatee Stage Race last Friday. OK so I did not sign up for the whole thing. I did, however, sign up for the road race and TT stages.

The Time Trial was no big deal since I have done one of those before and it was only 6ish miles. The Road Race… well I have been racing bikes in triathlons for a dozen years but have never done a mass start bike race before. I picked this one because it was a Road race with few corners and had a specific Cat 5 35+ race.

To say I was nervous would be accurate… having never done this before, my greatest fears were crashing, causing a crash, and getting dropped.. probably in that order.

Packing the Suburban for 2 races was a bit odd… in that it required 2 bikes… at present my road and tri bike have different pedal systems… and I use 2 different pairs of shoes.

Well.. I got all my sh!t together and got it all to the race site a couple of hours before the race. I watched the pro/Cat1/2 race come by a time or two

The clouds rolled in about the time I went back to my car to start getting my act together and get a warm-up in. By the time I was ready to pull my bike out of the car the sky looked ominous so I decided to wait… As I sat there I watched the Cat 4 guys getting ready to race… a serious looking bunch all carrying a set of spare wheels more expensive.

Rains came… and along with it an electrical storm of biblical proportions…

In 30 minutes the rain let up a bit and the lightning moved off… work of mouth spread that the Cat4s/5s/and Juniors would all start together and the race has been shortened to 4 laps of a 7.4 mile course. Before I really had time to get nervous again 40-50 of us were standing at the start.

Okay back to the race:

So I’m out the back… 2 miles into my first road race so… I put my head down and start pedaling… I weave thru a few riders falling back and before I really know what I’m saying I’m yelling at them to help me catch the Peloton. A big guy from Kingsland Cycling club and I trade a couple of pulls… and we almost reach the draft of the service vehicles when I start to get cooked and slide to the back of the paceline that had formed behind us. By the time I work my way back up to the front… the peloton is gone.

For the next 2 laps I kill myself taking long pulls… in part as punishment for having no balls earlier… in part because I wanted our little group to lose as little time to the peloton as possible… part stupid… part anger…

On the 3rd lap I start to open my eyes… not literally.. I’m still squinting… peeking over the tops of my Rudy’s as it’s still p!ssing rain… but I start to take a good look at our situation. We are in a bike race… off the back of a peloton we’ll ever see again. I quit the stupid long/hard pulls and start to get back below redline. As we get to the final corner I calculate how far it is from the finish line.

On the back side of the circuit on the final lap for some reason the guy on the front of our group sits up… I don’t know why but he goes from 24mph to 20… I was 3rd wheel at the time so I decided to just pick it back up and so I roll off the front… I knew we were a forgotten bunch of dropped Cat 5s but… it was a bike race d@mmit... Oh they caught me.. a couple of minutes later. I was not really trying to solo away… just testing the water. As I work my way through the paceline I think on my strategy. I want to be near the front for both the two final corners… on the next to last corner I find myself on the front… cornering confidence has taken a quantum leap in just a little over an hour and I hit the corner hard and accelerate out of it. What is just a little punch for me strings everybody else out. Now… I just try to rest up for the final corner.

Just before the corner the Kingsland guy works his way up the left hand side… I hop on and follow… he passes the lead guy right on the corner… as he does I hit the gas… slingshot past him… I can tell that I have a gap… and only about .3 miles to go. Kingland Guy rips past me just a few seconds later… I’m on his wheel where I stay as we cross the line… the rest of our group comes in 10-15 seconds later.

As we roll down the starting straight… where just an hour and a few minutes earlier I had been terrified.. I have this feeling of elation… even tho we raced for 37-43d places… we had ourselves a bike race. When I finally got off my bike my legs were trembling to the point where I had to lean on my bike for support.

In the end we averaged 24.7 in the pouring rain… not too bad for a bunch of guys who got dropped.

I’ll be back to try my hand at this again… it was just too much fun!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Speedwork

Thursday is speedwork day… at least normally.

I had it in my head all morning that’s what I was up against and kinda psyched myself up for it.

When work finally let up enough for me to think about getting outside I looked at my schedule. No speedwork scheduled... It's *easy* week...

I only had time for 5 miles anyway (dang work) so…

I *started* easy on mile one… knocked a minute per mile off that pace for mile 2…. Then knocked another minute per mile for mile 3… then descended by the same scale on the way back.

It was nice and painful. Calves and hammies tingling… Now it feels like Thursday

Jun - Sep run training plan

Monday, August 17, 2009

Training is going GREAT!

I have but one problem.

I don’t really know what I’m training for…

My training log is b!tchin’….

I’ve never put up these kinds of numbers before:

10 straight months of 100+ miles running

June saw consistent weekends of 60 miles cycling and 10 miles running

In July I had a goal of 3,000 minutes of training for the month…. I hit over 3,500…
Averaged over 100 miles of riding and 10 miles of running every weekend.

August is more of the same with 95 mile rides the past 2 weekends followed up with by a long run. Yesterday was a 20/12 brick.

Ironman training is going great… except for 2 things…

1. I am not signed up to race *anything*
2. My 3 swims this year were all in races.

I have considered B2B… and it’s still open but…. My oldest daughter turns 16 on the day after the race… I think that puts that out of the question… I’ll do this one day… the swim with the current is too sweet to pass up.

GFT is Saturday, October 24, 2009… a possibility… although Lake Minneola is not my favorite swim venue.

The ½ IM route is much easier.

The Florida Challenge Triathlon is Sunday, September 27, 2009
ATLANTIC COAST TRIATHLON (another ½ IM) Saturday October 3, 2009.

I might simply do both of these races and call it a season.

Input? Ideas? Advice?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August Totals

Swim - 15 minutes
Bike - 634 miles
Run - 126 mi

my biggest month ever.

Running to the Mall

My run this morning... ot goosebumps running past the Vietnam memorial... even moreso at the Korean War Memorial....