Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Skipped workouts :(

My regular wednesday 6am swim was canceled this week and next week! I slept in and should have went and did somethign but oh well :) The pool is under new management and they are closed for cleaning. We will see how the new people do. They are adding a Masters swim coach for lap swims Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I might have to hit that a few times during the winter base training sessions. The goal is to maintain the current 3000 yard (120 laps) and increase up to a 4500 yard continual swim by next year at this time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

First day using the PowerTap

Went out for a loop around the Lake on my regular 12 mile route. 38 minutes of sunday morning quiet time on the bike. I have taken this course many times so I tried to ride it like I normally do. Having the power tap on the bike has shown me a few things. I am capable of a lot of power but that comes with a cost. Regulating the power output is going to be a priority over the winter. The front of the bike does look a bit odd now. I have the aero bottle first, then a Shimano Flightdeck computer for cadence and then the Power Tap head unit. I hit 956 watts going up this hill but the recovery was a few minutes to let the HR come down.

I got back home and tried to install the software to get the info off of the Power Tap head unit. Man that was cumbersome! Working in the IT field I know my way around computers but this was confusing at first. There was no auto run.exe on the disk which I thought was odd. I tried to install the software on my Gateway MX3215 laptop which is only a few months old. I got the inital program in and tried to update the software for the Power Tap. This didn't go so well. The site is no longer the same address so I had to go to the website manualy. From there I downloaded the drivers for the USB connection. Now the normal user, would they know to do that? Having the automatic updates is invaluable for the non computer person. The less user interaction the more successful the product will be. I ended up getting the thing configured and all my info off of the head unit. the interface is quite nice. Upon launching there is a popup of Floyd Landis, kinda funny now all things considering :)I will try to post a screen capture of the ride.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Spirit of Racine Half Ironman '06 recap

Spirit of Racine.....I tried this race last year for my first half and had the worst performance of my life. There was a lot of trash talking between me and a friend of mine Jeff (JWM). We were talking smack last year and this year too.

Quick recap of '05: 107F, anywhere from 4 to 6 foot waves, 2 vomits in the swim, 4 more on the bike followed by a 2 hour visit to the med tent for dehydration and my first DNF.

Fast forward to 06.-----> Got into town on friday late around 11pm after dropping off the kids and went to get some well needed rest. Saturday morning had my last bit of solid food at the hotel. New strategy this year of liquid clories only till after the race. From here on chocolate Ensure Went to registration and got a free pair of underwear from the Jockey sponsor. Go figure? Now it was starting to set in. The reality of I am doing a half IM tomorrow! I went to bed at 10pm and fell asleep right away. My wife shut the light off at 10:20 after reading and I woke up.....for the night. Not good. Nerves started to kick in, flashbacks of last years miserable race and getting a DNF. I tossed and turned got up 3 times and had more ensure for calories and decided to get packing to head down to the transition area around 6am. Met up with JWM and Joe Ryan and the nerves started to go away (thanks guys, I needed it). The horn went off and all nerves were gone and I felt great.

Swim - Water was cool and refreshing quite the opposite of what I was expecting. Swim was smooth woth some 1 to 2 foot rolling waves. An incredible (for me) time of 49:15 which included a 1/4 mile walk to the transition which I walked the entire way waiting to throw up. I didn't this year and I knew the swim went great!

T1 - nothing special, just socked up and went!

Bike - I was aiming for a 3:30 split and the new course really lent itself to that. Nice and smooth with out too much wind. I had to stop on the side of the road after a mile out. My aero bottle fell out and there was no way I was going out without it. Stopped lost 4 or 5 minutes re-attaching it. Those damn velcro straps suck when you are in a hurry! Took 2 water and 2 Infinity at each available area and downed all of it before I got to the next one. I was trying to get as much liquid nutrition as I could. I ended up pulling a 3:14 bike split a PR for me!! For next year I will be putting in more miles on the bike. Up to this race day I have only 500 miles in on the bike. Just think if I would have had more miles in (like double that) I will definately be under 3 hours.

T2 - pulled in and saw my wife standing at the end of the isle. I gave her a kiss and then changed socks, threw on the running shoes and set off on the deathmarch.

Run - I have had trouble with the ITB since the Madison Marathon in May. 3 Cortisone shots later and we are in Racine ready to go (or so I thought). I walked up the hill and then started to jog a bit. Went through the first couple of aid stations and the ITB started to flare up. I knew I was in trouble now. I kept on pacing with some girl and we got to talking during walk breaks (she was in pain too) and decided to pace together. I saw JWM and didn't realize I motivated him to get going so I wouldn't catch up with him (previous trash talk threat of beat JWM. Saw another training partner of mine and he offered some words of encouragement to keep me going. I never caught either one of them as the second half really hurt and now starting to hurt both ITB's so there ended up being more walking than running. I stuck it out and saw the last downhill to the finish. Adreneline must have kicked in and I ran as fast as I could to the finish and crossed the line at the clock time of 7:33. Crossed the line did some math and figured that I might have made my 7:00 goal. I finished the run at a miserable 2:53. 53 minutes off my run goal but finishing the entire race at 7:03, 3 minutes off the worst case finish time goal.

Overall impresions - I didn't beat my goal time, I didn't beat JWM but I did beat the course this year. I was on pace to break 6 hours but the ITB kept me from running the last half of the marathon so I had to walk it. After chasing the demons from last years race I will be wearing a smile about this race for a long time to come. I can now say I have finished a half IM. I realized that day that I am now ready to goto the next level. I asy this as I know what to different this time and I know where I need to improve for the "long haul". In the mean time, I will rehab the knee and look towards next year.

I'm in!! (not what you think...)

I just got confirmation from Stu at simplystu that I am in for the Training with power seminar put on by Cycleops Power. Seeing that I just got a Power Tap yesterday this seminar will prove very useful in training. The clinic is limited to 50 people and with IM-Wisconsin happening that weekend I am suprised I got in. I will be sure to take a few pictures and report what happened :)

Mad City Marathon'06 recap

Well this has been a fun, but trying year. I managed to hit my goal of finishing the Racine Half Ironman this year and the Mad City Marathon. This was a long road with injuries and what not.

The first goal was the marathon. I had a lot of ITB trouble previous and I started routine cortisone shots in the knee just to do it. Last year I did this it topped out at 70F at the finish. The day of the race this year it was HOT!!! The start of the race was a steamy 75F. Who could have planned for that one? Well off and running and everything felt good but I could tell it was going to be even hotter. The picture of me tearing it up with the capitol in the background was 2 miles from the finish. At this point it was just under 90F. The previous 6 or 7 miles were spent trying to keep cool. Running at 200lbs is not the easiest and doing it at 90+F is worse. I was constantly dumping water over the head and down the back. God that felt good!! I ended up finishing the same time as last year. While this is not exactly what I wanted(my goal time was 29 minutes faster) considering the temperature difference from last to this year to me it was a success. This is the first time in the history of the Mad City Marathon they closed the course due to the heat for all the marathon finishers after five and a half hours.

Recovery time for this race was one day. I was off swimming the next day and running again tuesday in preparation for Racine. Just a few more weeks to go and the A race for the year is on!

Day one

I just picked up the Powertap SL at my local bike store to use for a few weeks. I took it out for one short ride and was pushing 767 watts going up a hill!!! Man that has to change if I want to do it consistently for 112 miles..................

This is all in the quest to do the Ironman Wisconsin in '08. I will be training like I am doing it in '07 but it is for real in '08. Got the commitment from the family and we are off to the races. So training begins September 11 with the first swim at the pool.