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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

98.6 - Sounds Normal to me

Just for grins I decided to take a look at the weather for my lunchtime run.

Yep 98.6 with a heat index of 112F

Pretty much par for the course here for July…  I’ve heard a bunch of my friends from the North complain about the heat…  I think it’s cute…  probably in the same way they laugh at me when I turn on my seat heaters in my car when the temp dips below 65…  they kinda remind me of Eugene Morris Jerome in Biloxi Blues

"Man it's hot. It's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot."

Well I had a tempo run on the training schedule for today 7 mi with 5 @ sub 9 pace.  I have purposely planned easier than normal tempo runs for two reasons. 

  • 1.       I’m training for IM distance
  • 2.       I’m really focusing on swimming right now
  • 3.       It’s really hot
  • 4.       I have a tendency to be overzealous with my run training at the expense of everything else

So off I went armed with a liter of water.  It really didn’t feel too hot at first.  Legs felt surprisingly good.  Warm-up mile passed easily in 10:31.

At the mile mark I sat the water in the shade…  oh yea…  like that’s going to keep it cool… and picked it up to tempo pace.  A quick peek at my garmin showed me that I was on pace and I just loped along for a couple of miles enjoying the day.

But then I got to thinking…  that I wanted to be really tired tonight…  today is the biggest Tour de France stage in the Alps… and I can’t wait to see Frank Schleck put in one of his “baby attacks” where he rides hard for 50 meters then sits up and tries to get someone to come through….  Or see Andy pout because Fabian won’t let him ride on his handlebars for the scary descents….  And if there’s anything better than watching a good bike race on tv…  it’s watching with completely cooked legs.

So I decided to stretch the tempo part out to 6 miles…  *and* run the last two at a sub 8 pace…  splendid idea! (I’m an idiot)

Miles 4 and 5 I still felt pretty good but I was a.)  getting a little tired…  and #2 holding back just a wee bit knowing that I had to pick up the pace soon.

Mile 6 – increased turnover led to more speed…  I worked hard to stay relaxed (I just re-read that and it sounds kinda dumb) and managed to clock a 7:59.

There was nothing relaxed about the beginning of the last “tempo” mile…  I decided straightaway that I was going to have to use leg strength to keep up the pace…. The first glance at the Garmin showed 8:21…  Now I had already decided to do a little write-up about this run… and right then I was just fine with my story ending with failing to hit my goal…  I was okay with it really but then…  I mumbled to myself…  “I like a happy ending” and tried to pick it up…  surprisingly I did… as I ran along I thought “you are just running this hard so that you can post a lower number on the internet”…  so on I ran checking my Garmin often…  to see how fast… and how much further…  another thought that popped into my head was “you are a slave to the machine on your wrist” I inwardly nodded yes…  and added “and to the machine pumping the Neon Trees – ‘Animal’ into my head”.

So I pushed… with a 5k type effort…  heart pumping…  legs churning and until the wrist machine said “7 miles”

the split read 7:50

I slowed and walked to where I had stashed my water…  feeling pretty good

And ya know…  for me..  that’s what it’s all about…  there was no medal, no NBC announcers at Ironman Hawaii, no Boston Marathon Jacket, no coffee mug…  nothing wrong with any of that stuff… and yes I aspire to some of them myself

I just went out and did more with my body than my mind thought I could do…  and now I’m tired…  and I can watch the Tour stage tonight with my legs still twitching from today’s effort…  and though I am far from a world class athlete…  I’ll be able to identify a bit with their suffering and enjoy it all the more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Riding to Buddy Boys

Well..  got the Road ID last week.  Figured I should be ready for when Bob Roll shows up at my house at 0330 some morning…

With the younger kids away at camp last week we had ample opportunity to train…  and train we did.  17 hours total.

I got in 4 good sessions of TI drills last week…  I’m beginning to feel better balance….  Not just when doing the drills but even when I swim a lap or 2.  I’m cautiously optimistic at this point, eager to continue, determined to succeed.

We had a solid week of weights and core…  pretty important stuff IMHO…  but often the first to go when time gets shorter.

Only 4 runs last week but with a solid tempo, a nice hour long trail run, a good brick after a hundy, and a 12 mile long run I can definitely say that they were all of good quality.

4 spin classes last week and the aforementioned century on Saturday wrapped up a nice week on the bike.

Now…  a bit more about the ride on Saturday.  We basically have 2 routes that we ride.  From Jax Beach south to St Augustine, or out through rural St John’s county.  As I planned last weekend’s route I had the great idea…  since we need 100 miles maybe I could combine the two.  I figured a route that would take us to Buddy Boys a little country store right by the St John’s river at the apex of our loop.

We left home well before dawn and put foot to pedal in the grey mist of dawn.  The grey mist worried me…  visibility was poor and our stealth was pretty high.  We stopped 3 miles in and purchased a couple of batteries for our blinky light.  That taken care of we pedaled along to Buddy Boys with only a quick potty/water stop on the way.

Buddy Boys Storefront
Buddy Boys…  our oasis…  in the middle of BFE…  this place is pretty country…  more than kinda redneck…  yet the classier of the two stores we frequent in the vacininty…  this is a billboard out front.

Yes…  the life of a redneck girl right there…  fresh pack of smokes to take her beyond last call…

That was not the funniest part of our visit tho…  the guy who drove up on his lawn tractor…  filled it up with gas…. Then walked into the store with his cell phone hanging from his rubber boots who then paid for his gas with all change…  then wanted to swap another pile of assorted coins for dollar bills…  he was funnier.  He grinned at Judi with all three of his teeth and asked her how far we were riding.  Judi said 100 miles and he performed the most literal double take I’ve seen.

We reluctantly left Buddy Boys and the lifestyle it has to offer and pedaled home in the intermittent rain…  our average was almost 2 mph slower than last week but hydration/nutrition was way better.  We got off the bike feeling pretty good and banged out 4 progressively faster miles of running/fueling/hydrating…  all in all a very good day of training.

We put in another yeoman like 12 miler on Sunday too nice even pace finished feeling like we could have run further.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You knew the plan...

Like the phrase goes:

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry"

I've been studying the Total Immersion books/videos…  and trying to get in the water as often as possible.

With that in mind… we stopped by the YMCA Friday evening…  for Judi to get in a quick swim and for me to do "Superman Glides", "superman Flutters" and a a bunch of other balance drills that make feel dorkier than normal in the pool.  Dorkiness aside I am committed to doing my utmost to improve my swimming so…  Happy Hour Friday finds us at the pool…

Idiot boy here left the car doors unlocked and while I'm fluttering and rolling…  this dude stops by and lifts our laptops

It's hard to describe the emotion that follows…  anger at myself…  regret…  feeling violated…  feeling like I let Judi down…  worrying how this will affect our jobs.

Friday night was full of all of those…  Judi.. being Judi…  was un-accusing and calm as usual despite the fact she was dealing with similar emotions.  We got a police report and started planning how to put things back together.

The first 2 casualties were the planned century (trimmed to 80) and the brick (trimmed altogether)

The 80 was good…  the planned route just looped 10 miles sooner. Which got us finished in time (and with enough energy) to go laptop shopping.

Sunday we had a nice long run planned for the early morning.  Dawn found us a couple of miles in…  and completely soaked in sweat…  it was humid to the Nth degree and about 80F already.  We ran from the house to the UNF trails…  ran the 3 mile loop twice and ran home…  despite getting water along the way I was down 10 lbs post run…. Yikes!  And felt kinda sluggish the rest of the day.

And as old Paul Harvey used to say… "Now you know….  The rest of the story"

Our weekend...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Plan for tomorrow

Ride on Sat:

start at 0630
ride easy… really easy
pack well
·        Food
·        Electrolytes
·        Sunscreen
·        Money
·        Tubes/inflators
Ride easy
Stop only 2x (MJ and buddy boys)
Concentrate more on fueling, hydrating, electrolytes
Ride easy
Run 3 @ 9:30 (eat a gel on the run – for practice)
Finish feeling not dead – like we could do more

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Weekend

I hope that everyone had a fine Independence Day weekend.

I’m not sure why but I have a problem with calling it the 4th of July…  We don’t call Christmas the 25th of December…  but I digress



Judi, her daughter, and my two daughters were all registered for the Cherry Picker Big Bang 5k in Ponte Vedra Beach

We got to the race site in plenty of time yet managed to get to the start line with *literally* 5 seconds to spare.

I love the 5k…  really I do.  I have a 3.1 sticker on the back of my car.

I don’t, however, train for the distance and thusly pay for the effort when I do one (roughly once a year).  The race is basically a loop with an out and back section in the middle.  At the turnaround I was in 5th.  While I had 1-4 in sight most of the time…  and had delusions of a scorching 3rd mile where I would go all Mark Cavendish on ‘em and speed to victory…  in reality I simply held on to 5th… while watching the leader slip to 4th.  My time of 21:22 was about 30 seconds off my time from last year which surprised me not at all.

Judi finished a couple of minutes later and after grabbing a bottle of water we headed back out on the course in search of our children…  We found them a ½ mile back out on the course and each ran in with our respective offspring.

In the end we all got awards (it’s a pretty small race)

After the race we got changed and headed out on our bikes….  And by the time we hit the road it was near 10:00 and getting hotter by the minute.  In a word I felt crappy…  from the first pedal revolution.  The plan was to ride our normal 65 mile loop.  I successfully lobbied for a 50ish mile out and back so that we would encounter “less traffic”.    I pulled all the way to the turnaround into a head/cross wind but it was nothing smooth, easy or fast.  Judi even commented once that I could kick it up a MPH or 2 if I wanted…  in my head Scotty from Star Trek answered her “I caan’t go any faster Captain, we don’t have the po’er”.

  On the way back we traded pulls and I was really happy that there was no transition run to do.  We stopped with just a couple of miles to go and bought lunch which I stuffed into my jersey pockets.

Beach and beer afterwards with aforementioned lunch…  My core temp and the outside temp were both so high that the sea breeze did nothing to cool me down….  But the beer helped.


Ended up with just 6 miles…  ran the trails at UNF with our friend Mark…  nothing much better than running in the woods just after dawn…  even saw a fat Raccoon.


Got up early to try and get back and out of the way of holiday traffic…  almost did too.  62/3 brick…  nothing spectacular but the run did feel good.

Friday, July 1, 2011

June - a good time to have an off month

The beginning of June found me in taper mode for our first triathlon of 2011…

After the race I did something I’ve not done in a few years…. I did not run a step for a week…  barely trained at all.  Then we did the Hammer Jammer see report here:

Which is basically a mock race.  I felt pretty good there.  Sitting on the beach afterwards beer in hand I got a call from my sister that my dad was sick and being admitted to the hospital.

That combined with the fact that my mom is still recovering from back surgery…  and with my kids sick to boot…  another 5 days passed w/o a single entry in my training log.

Everyone is now much better and training is back to normal…  and just in time too….  GFT is in 15 weeks

Time to tighten up and get with the program!

June totals:

Swim: 7.3k
Bike: 329
Run: 88.1
Strength: 170 minutes