Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tune up ride

I squeezed one in before the massive pack for the trip out to Kentucky.  Easy hour or so out on the lake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunday Sunday Sunday!

This weekend will be the pinnacle of my triathlon journey thus far.  On Sunday, I will attempt to complete Ironman Louisville. I thought, in the free time my taper has thrust upon me, to document my journey to this Sunday's race.  For me, completing triathlons is not about the actual race.  Rather, the race is a means to an end.  Having a race is motivation to get out there and train.  It encourages me to eat healthier and get more sleep.  The race itself is a celebration and enjoyment of the hours and miles put in during the previous months.  Therefore, I thought I would document the past few months of training and see what I've accomplished.  Whether or not I finish (in 12:00 hours?  fingers crossed!) IM Louisville, I've already achieved my goal.

So, one way of looking at my progress is to look at the actual training numbers.  I signed up for IM Louisville on 10/31/2010.  Since then, I've:

  • Run 1,127 miles in 161 hours and 48 minutes (7 mph)
  • Biked 1,963  miles in 143 hours and 19 minutes (14 mph) [This includes my bike commuting]
  • Swam 92 miles in 52 hours (1.8 mph).

At least, that what I recorded in my Garmin account.  I'm sure I've missed workouts.

Another way of looking at my training, is to document the various events I've completed in training.  So, I:

  • Ran the Cowtown Marathon
  • Ran the Oklahoma City Marathon
  • Completed a few Splash and Dashes with TriOKC
  • Biked the Tour de Meers
  • Biked the Tour de Pain
  • Biked the Norman Conquest
  • Biked the Spin Your Wheels Ride
  • Raced the Route 66 Olympic Triathlon
  • Raced Buffalo Springs 70.3
  • Raced Arcadia Sprint Triathlon

But wait, there's more!  What do you do when you train all alone with no one to talk to?  You listen to Podcasts and free Audio books from the library. So, in the past few months, I've listened to:
Many many episodes of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, Zen and the Art of Triathlon, This American Life, Left Right and Center, and Car Talk.  I also discovered Filmspotting. As for books, I listened to: Moby Dick, Thunderball, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a few Sherlock Holmes books, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Great Gatsby.  I also maxed out my free Pandora subscription listening to the Tool station.

Oh yeah, I also took the Oklahoma Bar Exam in July, but that doesn't really fit into things.

Well, if you've made it thus far, I think you have the stamina necessary to complete an Ironman yourself. I suppose the point of this post is to confirm that my personal triathlon experience is much more about the journey itself, and not the destination.  I'll try to remember that 10 hours into Ironman Louisville.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Arcadia Triathlon RR

I've been fairly busy trying to squeeze in as much time on the bike, in the pool, and on my running shoes as I can before taper time.

I went on a long ride out to Jones with the good people of BikeHers.  Paula's spin instructor led the ride and I was able to meet a couple of good people with a lot of biking experience.  I also met a fellow triathlete who has participated in many, many Ironmans.

This past Saturday, I rode in the Spin Your Wheels 62 mile ride.  I rode 10 or so miles to the start, and another 12 or so back.  In all, I got in about 90 miles.  I highly recommend the ride.  Well staffed and supported.

Quick aside, though.  Do groups of triathletes draft each other when out on training rides?  Unless they're training for the Tour's Team Time Trial, I don't really get it.  Train as you race, and drafting is a no go.  I ask because on each of these rides I've done, I've seen pacelines full of TT bikes.  Seems dangerous. /rant

Yesterday, I raced the Arcadia Triathlon put on by TriOKC.  I signed up on a whim, thinking an extra open water swim would do me good.  Paula was also able to join me, which made it all the more fun.  Here's a quick race report:

I warmed up by swimming the course twice, putting in 1000 meters before the race.  Since today was a training day, I wanted to get my money's worth out of a supervised lake swim.  After setting up my bike, I headed down to the water.
The swim was a clockwise triangle that started on the east side of the beach.  The swim was pretty uneventful.  There was a little bumping and grabbing, but nothing substantial.  I exited the water feeling pretty good.

(Very quick video of exiting the water)

I took my sweet time in transition.  Again, not racing but getting everything together.  Once on the bike, I decided to see what was left in my legs after yesterday's 90 miler.  I was a little sluggish up some of the hills, but felt solid overall.  My Garmin wouldn't turn on and I took that as an excuse not to pay attention to my heart rate.  I'm sure it was through the roof.

Just after the turn around, another racer and I would exchange places.  I was faster on the flats and descents, and he was quicker going up hill.  After cresting a modest hill, something happened to his bike and he pulled off the road.  I slowed and asked if he needed help.  After stopping and seeing what was going on, I handed him my bike tool.  I wished him luck and said he could return the tool after the race.  Back on the bike I went and pedaled into T2. I figure I lost about 45 sec to a minute helping him out.  But again, this was a training day.  Right?

I managed to catch 4 or 5 racers that passed me when I pulled over.  Heading onto the run, I was right behind another guy in my age group.  I figured this 5K was going to be a battle royale, but he wasn't up to the challenge.  I settled into a 6:45/6:50 pace or so and just kept grinding.  I picked off a few people, and kept it steady into the finish.  Before I knew it, the race was over and I was eating Oreos and sipping on Gatorade.

I checked the tenative results, and I placed 3rd in my age group.  Sweet.  Check out the prize.  I love practical awards:
(I've always wanted a pull buoy.  Honestly.)

Paula and I ate some breakfast at Pops and then continued on with our day.  All in all, it was a good race and experience.  Would race again!! A++

So, with less than two weeks until IM Louisville, the taper has begun.  But not before I completed 4250 yards (2.4 miles) at the YMCA tonight.  Slow and steady and finished in 1:16:18.  

Now, time for all the chores around the house I've been putting off during training.