Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I have learned this year

First off, the mighty magnolia is just a little over 10 days away and the training is winding down.  There is not much I can do at this point to make myself better for this race.   Riding the race course a few times and swimming some is all I have planned.  I'm sure I will run some too. 

This summer of triathlon has been all over the place.  It started out pretty good then progressively got worse only to be really good for me at the last race.  I can tell I have gotten stronger and smarter.  I just think back to what I used to do/think and I can only laugh.  I was such a noob.  I am guess I still am a noob.  It is/was fun being a noob. What have I learned you might ask?  Well I have learned it takes some consistency.  The 2 months leading up to my last race were my most consistent.  On a side note those past 2 months were the first 2 months I started training with people that were faster than me too.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I was putting in good mileage on my bike leading up to that race and even had to take the last 2 weeks before the race completely off and still had my best bike to date.  Probably my best bike for a while too.  I have also learned it is better to train with people that are faster.  Duh.  When I first started training with this group of guys I was the slowest.  Now I am equal to or faster than everyone. There is no question they have pushed me to where I am now.  I have also learned that I just want to get faster from here.  Who doesn't right?  The thing I can get faster at would be the run.  The best way to do that would be to lose more weight. I have lost a bunch so far and want to drop like 10 more pounds.  These will probably be the hardest 10 to drop.  Maybe I can get some help from this person?  It has definitely helped in the past. (good luck at Kona too)

So from here where am I headed? I do have some race plans for the rest of the year and next year.  After my triathlon I will be putting the bike and goggles down for a while.  I plan to just run up to the Stennis Space Center half marathon on Thanksgiving weekend.  I need to up my mileage before that race.  From there I plan to do a triathlon in Gulfport in March and hopefully do the bike leg of the NOLA Half Iron.  I also want to race Memphis in May and Heatwave.  Memphis in May has been moved to Tunica, MS at the casino resort and I want to check that out.

The last thing I have learned is I am not very good at this blog thing.  Oh well, it is pretty fun sometimes and it adds some accountability.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tri4Life Race Report-Finding my Rhythm

Finally a race report that I am actually looking forward to writing. Let me preface it with this. Saturday I did the Tri4life Triathlon that consisted of a 1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and a 5k. This was my "A" race. I had a few goals going in as I guess I do in all of my races, but I chose not to blog about them with my race luck last year. With that being said my goals were to average over 20 mph on the bike and run a 5k under 30 min and no walking. Leading up to the race I hadn't been able to train as much as I wanted to but what can you do about it. I actually only rode my bike twice in the last 3 weeks leading up to the race.

I rode up to the race the day of with Jeremiah. The race started at 7 so we left Hattiesburg at 4:30. I wanted to do this so I would get to sleep in my own bed the night before. There is something about your own bed. Anyway, we got there in plenty of time and did all of the prerace routine stuff. I got set up talked to a bunch of different people and waited for the race to start. Once again, no warm up.Why? I don't know. Race time.

We had a time trial swim start every 5 seconds. I hit the water and got into a good routine, but I didn't start my watch. I'm such a noob. I messed with it about halfway through the swim and finally hit start. For some reason I couldn't find start. This was a watch I don't wear very often. Once again, a noob move. I hadn't been training by heart rate all summer so what do I do come race time? That's right. I wore my heart rate monitor. I had a good rhythm the whole swim and before I know it I am done. My swim time was 5:10. That's very fast for 1/3 mile. So the course was a little short but who is counting. I made my way into T1 feeling pretty good.

I made my way out to the bike mount. I had a good flying mount and got out onto the course. Another goal for this ride was to not be passed. Once again I looked for a good rhythm. I wanted to definitely average over 20 but to also have an even bike. By that I mean to not get into the red zone too bad and not be able to run. With that being said I averaged 24.5 mph for the first 2 miles. Whoa. Slow down. I would definitely be in the red zone really quick doing that. I felt great. I found my rhythm and started picking people off one by one. The first part of the course was very flat. Once I got to the hills I just stayed within myself. Sure I slowed down some but still kept the effort steady. It was mostly rolling hills. I stayed in the aero position for most of them but got out in one of them but only by choice. Once again, no red zone. We had one big hill that I went up fairly easily and got up to 32 mph coming down. That definitely helps the average. On the way back, I just kept the effort up and started checking my times. I really liked these times. I still hadn't been passed and was continuing to reel people in. I got back into the park and what happens? I get passed. No way, this isn't happening to me right now. I wasn't going to get passed especially in the park so I got him back right at the line. Actually, the only way I could pass him was because he had to clip out and I was already on top of my shoes. Had he passed me it wouldn't have been so bad. I reeled him in from a long way away but nonetheless he didn't pass me. I dismounted and made my way into T2. I averaged 22.4 mph on the bike. That's right I said 22.4. First time over 20 mph and obviously my fastest average ever.

Once I got into T2 I wasn’t feeling so good. Who ever does? Maybe the last second pass jumped my heart rate up. I did the whole shoe change race belt swap and made my way out onto the course. They didn’t want us running out where they were biking in so had to run on a makeshift trail through the trees. The trail was dark and full of roots. I was really careful running through there. The last thing I wanted was to fall flat on my face. Stupid me didn’t think to take off my sunglasses. Oh well once we got out of the trees it was fine. I hate to say it but I ran conservatively. Who runs conservative in a 5k? I do. I couldn’t stop thinking about the run in my last race where I blew up. Plus, they didn’t have a mile marker so I had no idea how I was running. At the turn around I saw a friend of mine and had a new run goal. Don’t get caught by him. Soon after I saw him I saw my training partner and speedy runner Jason so I had a newer goal. Don’t get caught by Jason. I knew if I could hold Jason off I would have a decent run. Once I got back into the part I had my rabbit sized up. He had passed me right after we got onto the run but I wasn’t going to let him beat me to the line. Plus, it was like I could smell Jason back there which I was right in thinking so because after the race he said he had me sized up to pass me. On the last turn I was running hard. We finished down a hill in the trees again with all of the roots but I didn’t care. They told us to be careful at the finish but I was all out. I held Jason off and beat the other guy in front of me. It was the first time I had to hold down some projectile vomit from exercising. `My run time with T2 included (they didn’t take it out) was 30:20. My usual T2 time is around 1:20 so I will say I ran a 29 flat. Even though I ran conservatively I will take it. I finished in 1:12. I was just a few minutes behind Jason. I beat him on the bike and swim and he smoked me on the run. I was 7th in my AG and 66th overall.

Team H.A.M.R. (our tri-club) had a good showing. We had a few age group winners and plenty that placed and Jason was 4th in our AG. I had a blast. That was a great race especially being a new race.

With it being on 9/11 they had some firemen that did the race. They biked and ran in their full fireman gear. They said it added 45 extra pounds. They were brave. They all finished together and at the finish we all lined the finishing chute and gave them a huge cheer. It was pretty neat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Slipping Again

It seems like I am getting good at this.  Since I'm not that great at much (read swimming, biking, running) I am good at not blogging. Life and work seem to always get in the way.  Especially work.  I have one GOOD year and they double my expectations for the next year.  I can't complain too much though I did get a big year end bonus and an all expenses paid trip coming up in November.  So needless to say without having much time on my hands I haven't had much time to train.  I have been able to run some but not as much as I would like.  Oh well what can you do about it.  As my next race approaches (Sept 11) once again I am back in the pool.  I am so inconsistent about swimming.  I think I will be ok come race day though.  My plan is to get in as much swimming as I can these next 10 days.  Looking at my schedule I should be able to swim 5 more times.  I will be fine

Back a couple a weeks ago I was logging alot of miles on my bike.  In fact, I had the most miles I have ever had.  124 miles to be exact.  Most of that was done in groups too.  Our newly formed tri club has regularly schedules rides.  I hope this helps me in these next 2 races.  I'm sure it won't hurt.

Now that it is September I am anxiously awaiting 2 things.  Anyone want to guess what those are?  Football and cooler weather.  In fact, we (Southern Miss) kick off the year tomorrow.  Let's go Eagles!!  The cooler weather won't hurt either.  Just for it not to be in the 90's would be great.  Come on Fall.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maiden Voyage on the new Wheels

I had my first bike ride on my new set of wheels.  They are the HED Jet 6 on the front and the Jet 9 on the back.  They are nice.  I can really tell a difference.  Some people say they don't make a difference but I can tell that I can maintain a faster speed at a much lower power output and that's what we are all looking for right?  I have since had 2 other bike rides on them and it has been more of the same.  Thanks again HED. 

We also had our first scheduled tri club bike ride.  There have been other ones already but this one was the first one I could make.  There were six people show up and we road on and off of the trace for 31 miles.  We maintained a good pace but it wasn't too hard.  I actually got in about 75 cycling miles last week without any on the weekend.  I need to keep that up. Hopefully all of this will pay off come September 11.

I now do have some minimums set for my weekly training.  50 miles ridden 20 miles run and 2 hours swimming.  What a detailed training plan!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not a Race Report

Well folks here I am again with a post.  I told ya'll that it would be once a week from now on and I am just delivering on that promise.  First up we had our first tri club meeting.  We had a great turn out.  There were more people there than expected plus I know some people that weren't there that will participate.  H.A.M.R.-Hattiesburg Area Multisport Racing.  There are already plenty of workouts and activities set up for the club to participate in.  I think that we should be able to get Hammer Fuel to be a sponsor easily.  I just look at it as a chance to gain some friends and a chance to push myself even more through group workouts.

Also, my race wheels came in and are now on my bike.  She looks really fast.  I just have to be able to make her go fast.  I will get my chance come Saturday morning.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Race of Grace Triathlon Race Report

Well apparently this has become just a blog for my race reports. I know it has been a while but I do have a good excuse and some great info to tell you.  My excuse has been my job.  Why does my job have to get in the way with triathlon?  Why do we have to work?  Why can't I just be independently wealthy?  Oh well I did finish out my year at my job in good fashion and the race wheels have been ordered.  They should be here some time next week.  More on that in a moment.  Now I just have to wait to see if I won a free trip to Hawaii from my job.  I should know sometime soon. I promise I will have at least one post a week.  That is my promise to you.  I know you people aren't just the same without my riveting blog being updated.  I do have two new avenues of accountability but I will update this blog.  Onto the race!

I decided to enter this triathlon the week of the actual race.  I did it on a whim because a few other people here from Hattiesburg were also doing it.  My plans were also to go up the night before and stay in a hotel but that was also scratched.  Jason and I ended up driving up the day of.  We left at 4:15 and got there in plenty of time.  I did the whole prerace routine.  (packet, set up transition, warm up)

First up, 1/4 mile swim.  It was a time trial format based on finishing time.  I conservatively said 9 minutes.  My swim went well actually.  Especially for the small time I put into it.  Hopefully that will change soon.  We might have a masters class getting set up where I swim.  I finished in 7:49 and felt ready for the bike or at least I thought so.

 Transition went well and I hit the bike course.  It was really starting to get hot about this time.  On the out of the course it was all uphill or so it seemed.  I could tell I was not going very fast. I hit the turnaround anxiously awaiting all of the alleged downhill.  I must have been wrong because the back also seemed all uphill.  Once back into transition I was just ready for this race to be over.  I'm not making excuses but it was a pretty tough bike course.  It was on all chip seal road which always slows you down.  The guy that won averaged 23 mph and he can do that in his sleep so I know it was tough.

I finished my 5k.  That's about all I can say about it.  I finished and also it was HOT!!

Right after we left the race the bank sign said 98 degrees and in the Yukon it said 92 degrees so I am sure it was somewhere in the middle.  The race organizers did a good job with the heat.  They were passing out sponges out of baby pools filled with water and ice and had a well placed aid station with water and gatorade.  They also were giving massages and had plenty of good food.  I will definitely do this one again.

To date this is my longest triathlon (1/4 mi swim, 18 mi bike, 5k) and still just my 3rd one.  I also didn't anticipate even racing this one.  I'm not going to get to upset over it.  I do have my 2 "A" races of the year upcoming.  Sept 11th-Tri4Life and October 9th-Mighty Magnolia (hometown race) with a 5k thrown in on August 21st (which I should be running with some friends and I hope to beat)

When I first started looking for race wheels I found a website that definitely has the best deal going.  http://www.tri-zone.com/
Not only were there prices lower than everywhere else but they gave you a 15% credit on items purchased for other product.  I ended up getting my tires and tubes and a pair of bike ihorts and I still have money left over.

Lastly, we have our first hattiesburg tri club meeting tonight.  It will be interesting to see how many people we have show up.  I am guessing more than most people think we will.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Soak Up the Sun Triathlon Race Report

Well this past Saturday was Soak up the Sun triathlon and my first triathlon of the year.  It consisted of a 275 yard swim, an 8 mile bike and a 2 mile run.  This was my first triathlon ever last year and I guess if I don't count the flat tire in last year's Eagleman Tri this would just be my second triathlon ever. If I were to use just one word to describe this race it would be....medium.

I had to work in the Jackson area on Friday so I went up and stayed with a friend.  We had plans to eat some lasagna at his house but his wife felt sick (she is pregnant) so we had to go out for pizza.  After supper we went over to his house and played a bunch of Wii.  The whole time playing I am thinking man I hope I don't hurt my arm or something crazy.  We had a blast and I didn't hurt anything.  Saturday morning I was up before my alarm.  I got up, showered, got dressed and headed to the race site.  It has really been getting hot here lately and Saturday was no different.  At 5:45am the temp was 75.  I know that it is not that hot but it was still somewhat dark out plus add in the humidity and it can be brutal.  I got set up in transition in exactly the same rack as I used last year.  We are such creatures of habit or at least I am.  The girl next to me had a temple set up complete with 2 towels and a crate to sit on.  She had all of her stuff laid out over the space for like 4 people. I sat around and talked to a few people from Hattiesburg that were doing the race and some people I knew when I lived up there.  I didn't warm up at all.  They started us in waves in a time trial format 5 seconds apart.  You decided what wave you were in by your estimated swim time.  Last year I was conservative on my swim time but got caught behind a ton of people.  This year I got in the second fastest group and it made all of the difference in the world.  Every year at this race they have a kids division (under age 14) that always goes off first before everyone else but they wait until everyone is out of the water.  We finally started and the people were going off into the water one by one.  I lined up to a friend of mine's brother.  He is the guy I want to beat.  It was my time and off in the water I went.  I just wanted to get through the swim with no suprises.  I did not have any swim time goal because I had just swum for the first time in 7 months Monday before the race.  I settled in good and just concentrated on long gliding strokes and staying relaxed.  I didn't get passed but had to pass a few people but not nearly as many as I had to last year.  It was much less congested.  That was a smart move on our part getting in the faster wave.  Before I knew it my hand was hitting the bottom and I got up and headed to transition.  My time was 4:18 which was good enough for 5th out of 30 in my age group. 

I came into transition put on my helmet and shoes, grabbed a drink of water and headed out on my bike.  The transition area is in a grassy field and then we had to make our way down a path and out to the mount line.  I did a fliying mount and got going.  I already had my shoes on.  I didn't clip into my bike and put them on while out on the course.  Next race I will.  Transition time 1 minute. 

I didn't just jet out on the bike partly because I did that last year and plus it is all uphill until you get out of the neighborhood.  Last year I felt like I couldn't calm down at all so I thought just taking it easy until I got to the main road would help.  I had the same problem this year but more on that later.  The beginning of the bike course is all down hill and you can really get up some speed.  My plan was to do that but not get out of control on the heart rate.  The first third of the bike was really good for me.  I was moving along good and staying in control.  The second third really sucked,  I don't know why but I couldn't get going.  It was like I lost my focus.  Who knows?  The last part was just ok.  I rode the hills good in that section but I still wasn't moving like I wanted to.  As I headed towards transition I made a mistake that cost me some good time.  I got out of my shoes too early.  I thought that transition was closer and I missed out on bombing down the hill towards transition and you can't go as fast out of your shoes as you can with them on  Stupid.  My bike time was 25:05 for a 19.1 mph average and good for 11th out of 30 in my AG .  BOO.  Not what I wanted at all.

T2 was nothing special.  I racked my bike and put on my shoes.  The time was 1:08.  Pretty good.  Both of my transition times were faster by a ton this year. 

The run was awful.  Once again, I couldn't get going.  I also couldn't find my form.  My heartrate didn't feel out of control but I don't really know because I didn't wear my monitor.  This isn't good for just a two mile run.  Anyway on the second half of the run I did find my form and came to the end in a good time.  I just wish I would have found "that" the whole run.

Now that is pretty good form.  I know when this picutre was taken and it was right near the end when I found my legs.  My run time was 17:51 good for 15th out of 30 in my AG.  I finished in 49:12.  13th out 30 in my AG.  That is 7:50 better than last year. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Race Week

Well it is finally here.  My first triathlon of the year is Saturday.  I am super pumped.  Pumped to test the legs and lungs .Normally I don't have good luck with a race when I write about it but I will take that chance.  I get to go up and spend the night with my best friend and go over to the race site Saturday morning.  Do people still have "best" friends?  Well I do.  I have pretty much known this guy all 34 years of my life.  He raced with me last year but isn't going to be able to give it a go this year.  He hurt his knee.  You gotta watch out for those door jams.  His brother will be racing and he is who I am going after.  He got me last year but I am gunning for him this year. I thought for sure I was ahead of him last year only to pass him while he was on the back of an out and back run. 

Of course I have some goals for this race. Don't we have to? A wise man once said that if you don't aim at anything you will hit it everytime.  I don't have a true race goal.  I have a bike and run goal so to speak.  My bike goal is to average above 20 mph .  I know to some of you that isn't very lofty but baby steps first.  I averaged right at 19 mph in this race this year.  I have been pretty upset at some of my bike averages lately but only to find that my Garmin has been screwing up.  Apparently I am not the only one having this problem.  I spoke to Garmin about it and it seems that the 310xt has had it fair share.  I also don't want to get passed on the bike.  I want my run to be in the 8's.  That's it.  It could be an 8:59 average but that will work.  If I hit my run and bike goal the race will take care of itself. 

I found my way to the pool finally and didn't drown.  I am swimming at the pool at the university gym.  I have missed that place.  I can't say I went to the gym much while I was in school but just being on campus makes me miss everthing about it.  Also, swimming in that pool brings back the memories too.  I took a swim class in this pool last year and I honestly think I can still hear coach Mary yelling at me about my breathing.  She would always tell me to look out of the corner of my goggle to keep my head in the right position to breath.  I need to remember that along with long gliding strokes, catch the water, continue to kick, and everything else to remember while swimming.  I have actually been pretty happy with my swimming.  I know the week of the race is not the ideal time to start back swimming for the first time since October but it hasn't been that bad.  That has more to do with my overall fitness than anything. My plans do include to go to the pool a lot. 

Well my bike is all clean and ready, my clothes are all washed and ready and my bags are packed.  Am I ready?  Yes no make that a YES!  I am ready to push myself to achieve some results and have some fun along the way.  Having fun really does work.  If I can muster up a smile when I'm out there on the run struggling I seem to find another gear.  Hey, it seems to work for Chrissie Wellington and she seems to be doing ok.

Race report to follow after the fact. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Breakthrough Brick?

Well I won't go quite that far yet but I did have a good brick on Saturday.  It was also my longest bike portion of a brick too.  I actually had 2 good long rides on Friday and Saturday.  I got off of work early on Friday and headed to the Trace.  I am getting tired of the same old section I always ride so I decided to start at Epley and head towards and go through Sumrall.  I also saw a guy getting a field sobriety test before I got started at Epley Station at 2 in the afternoon.  Someone started their weekend a little too early and on the wrong foot.  It really gets hilly after you leave out of Sumrall and seems to never end.  I don't think I went downhill very much at all until I turned around and guess what?  I was loving the hills.  What in the world is wrong with me? Normally I would do anything to avoid them but I was looking forward to them.  I guess I am getting more used to them.  I really liked that ride out from Sumrall and am going to head that way again soon.  I got up Saturday early to do it again.  The weather was bad but not too bad.  It looked like it would only get worse so I decided to ride more but ride closer to where I was parked in case the weather did get bad.  I parked at Jackson Rd and headed to the university.  I wanted to have an extra long warm up because later in the ride I had planned to do some race intensity work.  After leaving the university I went exactly halfway back to where I started and turned around.  So before I even started I had a 12 mile warm up.  My thoughts behind this were that I was feeling better at the end of my rides than I was at the beginning so I thought maybe my warm ups were too short.  This proved to be correct.  During my race intensity I averaged just over 21 mph in the rain and wind.  That is a good number for me.  I finshed up my brick with 33 miles on the bike .  On my run I ran a 5k with my first and last mile at a 8 min mile pace.  Once again good for me.

With just a few weeks until my race I have plans to workout in the mornings and in the afternoon if time allows.  Sometimes I have to leave for work really early.  I also plan to do more hills and even do some hill workouts on my trainer.  So far so good.

Well it seems that I have at least been training for 2/3 of my triathlon.  I still haven't stepped foot in a pool.  I actually don't have a pool to go to.  I am about to join the Payne Center and start swimming there.  You just can't beat their price.  165 for six months and they have a sweet gym too. 

With my company my year ends in July.  Being in sales if I do X amount of sales for the year I will receive a year end bonus.  Depending on how much over that X amount I receive an even bigger bonus.  I have already surpassed the number and contiuing to do more.  I thought I would let ya'll in on what I will be purchasing with a tiny part of that bonus. Anything to keep me motivated. I am trying to decided on which ones I want.

Race Wheels

  One of these two. Or.............

This pair of Easton. 

I am leaning towards the HED.  I can get them in clinchers and I don't really feel like messing with tubulars.  We will see.  I need to get my butt to work and make that bonus bigger!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Race of the Year

I had my first race of the year this past Saturday.  No the tornadoes didn't stop me or the race from happening.  It was the first of three Woolmarket Duathlons.  This one consisted of a 5k followed by an 11 mile bike ride. 

When I woke up early Saturday morning I checked the weather.  I wanted to make sure that we still had a small window for this race to even happen.  I checked the race website and they had posted that the race was still on.  The winds were blowing like crazy and I was looking for every excuse not to race.  I packed my bike and headed towards the coast.  The forecast showed that there probably wasn't going to be any rain but plenty of wind.  Believe me there was a lot of wind.  The forecast said 20-25 mph sustained winds and up to 35 mph gusts.  Awesome. 

Nonetheless I showed up to the race about 45 minutes before start time.  There were probably about 100 people there to race and there would have been plenty more had the weather been nicer.  I went and signed up, paid and got my race number. I saw some friends of mine there and sat around and chatted with them.  I got my transition spot set up and was ready to go. 

So the race starts and we are off.  My goal for the 5k was to go out at a decent speed but not push too hard because I still had to ride my bike.  I had done a trial duathlon before and riding after running is definitely different than anything else I had ever done. The first half of the race was all downhill and it was an out and back which meant the second half was all uphill.  It was so muggy.  I guess it was so muggy because it was about to start raining or that the fact this is South Mississippi.  I saw it was 90% humidity the day before.  I finished the 5k and headed for my bike.

I got on my bike and the fun began. We rode back down the same road we had just run on.  Once again all downhill.  I think I forgot my legs in transition because I was going nowhere, even on the downhill.  We were riding right back into the wind.  I even slowed down on a downhill that I was pedaling on.  My fat butt was slowing down going down a hill, unheard of.  I found my legs after about mile 4 and I started to push the pace. This was just when the skies opened up and it started pouring.  My goal for the race was to make it hurt on the bike.  I did, some.  I kinda wimped out because the biggest hill was on the highway where we would be headed right back into the teeth of the wind.  My midrace goal was to not get passed and do all of the passing.  I probably passed 15 people.  I kept pushing the pace but the wind was no joke.  The last leg of the course was on a major highway for about 5 miles.  This wind was crazy.  At one point during a gust I knew I was going down.  It blew me sideways probably 4 feet.  I passed a few more people on the last big hill but got passed myself by 2 people in the last 2 miles or so.  I raced to the finish line and passed one of those people back.

I ended up averaging right at 18 mph on the bike.  I wasn't too thrilled but then again I won't ever race in wind like that again. Of course the weather was really bad here in Mississippi with all of the tornadoes and stuff later in the day.  I know I could have average 20 mph or better on a normal day.  I will get my chance soon.  My first triathlon is in less than a month. Woot woot!!

On another note there is a rumor about a Hattiesburg or Pine Belt Triathlon Club.  I sure hope so. There is a big one in Jackson that has a bunch of members.  Maybe we can have that here in Hattiesburg.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Race Time

I really need to start blogging more.  I have not been doing so hot.  I keep putting it off because I have some much to talk about.  I need to do it more and talk less.  On to the fun stuff.

April brings my first race.  I am doing the Woolmarket Biathlon on April 24.  It is a 5k followed by an 11 mile bike race.  They put on a series of 3 each summer and this is the first.  I know this course very well.  We used to live not far from where they put the race on.  It actually gets pretty hilly towards the end.  I am really looking forward to it.  Not only am I racing but I am working backwards.  I will run first then bike.  I guess I won't need to hold anything back on the bike for the run and I am anxious to do so.  My plan is to absolutely hurt myself on the bike.  I have a hard problem with pushing myself on the bike and I am looking at this as a good hard training ride.  I don't know why that is.  I can really push myself running and swimming but I fall short on the bike.  Part of the problem is most likely the distance involoved. 

After April I race at least once a month through October.  I love racing.  It beats the heck out of training.  Training blows.  Not really but it isn't racing.  Speaking of training I have been very happy with it.  I have been getting in a good bit of workouts.  I have even been getting up early and training.  I cannot complain.  I have also been seeing some progress.  I am most happy with the run. My speeds are alot faster than last year.  I guess this happens when you put in the time.  Most of my faster speeds can be attributed to my weight loss.  I have lost 29 pounds since September. Thank you Athlete's Eutrophia.

I have also started reading Chi Running again.  I just wanted to fine tune my running form.  I don't get caught up in all of the mind over matter mess.  I just want to have a good running form.  I want this form.

This is Mirinda Carfrae.  The professional triathlete known for her athletic running style.  Just a side note on her,  don't be suprised if she takes down Chrissie Wellington this year in Kona.  I'm not predicting, I'm just saying. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Who Dat?, Progress and a Birthday Party

Let me start by saying that I tried to tell everyone all football season that my Saints were going to win the big one.  And win they did.  Honestly, I cannot believe it myself and I didn't think it would happen but it did so WHO DAT?

I have been getting in a good bit of training.  Most of my biking has been on the trainer doing the Spinervals.  I have been able to take out my tri bike out on the road some but not a ton.  I plan to start doing my Saturday brick very soon.  I have been mostly running.  Why?  I have no idea.  Last year I dreaded running.  Hated it.  Now, I will run before I will do anything.  Maybe because it is the easiest thing to do.  All you have to do is put on your shoes and head out the door.  I have been using my time trial workout from my Spinervals for running.  The workout is 3 minute warm up then 7 x 90s at LT plus 10 beats then 3 minutes tempo at a progressively faster speed every minute.  This has helped tremendously.  I am running at a pace that I couldn't even do 30 seconds of last year.  I guess that will happen if you put in the time.  Needless to say that I have seen some progress and I'm pretty stoked about it!  I put that progress to the test in a 5k not too long ago.  I had a goal time of 25 minutes and also a goal to run an even race.  By even I mean pacing myself.  I called a friend of mine in the middle of the week to see if he wanted to run and we decided to do so.  It was pretty chilly that morning (38) and I couldn't decide to wear gloves or not.  I didn't but my hands never got cold.  My feet did before the race but that was it.  Maybe if I wore socks that wouldn't happen.  When the race started I intentionally held back.  We started off down a hill so I really had to hold back.  People were flying by me but that was ok.  I passed all of them later. My first mile was 8:10.  I settled into the race and just stayed the course.  The course was roller after roller which was good.  My next mile was 7:58.  I looked down at my watch and thought that sub 25 was a good possibility.  My last mile was my slowest but not because of my fitness.  I actually got bored.  For the whole race we had been running up and down hills and then we hit a huge flat section and I slowed down.  Towards the end I put my head down and brought it home.  We finished up that hill that we started on.  It wasn't bad because it was the end.  I headed towards the chute and finished in.....24:55.  Sub 25.  Again Progress.  It was a very small race with not too many people and I even finished 2nd in my age group.  I actually finished behind a guy I graduated with, Jason, so Columbia, MS was well represented.  Actually he lived in the same neighborhood as I did so Lakeview was representing! Go Lakeview!!  I feel like I actually could have pushed harder and I will get the chance to do that March 19th at a night 5k no less.

Last but not least Mr. Jackson Ladd Hancock turned 2.  We had a party complete with lots of food, family and friends and even Elmo himself.  He got lots of gifts and had a blast.  Jacob had fun too and of course all of those new gifts were for him not Jackson.  Happy Birthday Jack Jack!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where do I even begin?

I know that it has been a while since I have "blogged". I have so much to say or to write about I almost made an outline for this. I know all of you people out there are just dying to hear what I have to say. First, I have to start by saying out that I need everyone's help. How can you help me you ask? I need more followers of my blog. So if you are out there reading this and haven't followed me yet (Beth) I need you to follow me. It takes all of 2 minutes to do so. The reason I need you is that I know a guy from college that also blogs about his triathlon that has more follows and I can't have that. So just tell everybody or just join yourself. Thanks in advance.

Second, I had a great holiday. I actually got some time off and enjoyed it immensely. We had a great Christmas and I actually got some great gifts. Of all of the gifts I got (not including money) all of them had something to do with triathlon except for a wallet and a pair of pajamas I gave to my Dad on the spot. Sorry Mom I just don't wear pajamas. The one gift I have enjoyed the most has been my new Garmin 310XT. It is as good as advertised. I do admit that it is a bit of overkill with me because I already had some watches that do all that is does but now I just have one that does everything and is waterproof. I also got a cadence meter for my bike and a quick attachment kit for my bike that is all compatible. I know that no watch will ever make you faster. You still have to go out and put in the work but this one tracks progress better than anything else I have seen. It is also wireless so I don't have to plug it in to my computer. I also got a new pair of running shoes, a new pair of bike shoes, a spinervals DVD and a new road bike. I really didn't get a new road bike I just got my road bike back from my brother in law which I have set up to my indoor trainer permanently. This is the road bike that actually got me into wanting to do triathlons. It is also not a bad bike for only costing me a Nintendo Wii. Thanks Jim. I have been putting the DVD to good work. It is a time saver that has 3 separate workouts on it. There is a technique one with lots of high cadence and one-legged spinning, a time trial one and a sprint/power workout. On the box it rates the difficulty of each workout with the last 2 being 9.5 and 9.9 out of 10. I would rate it a little bit differently. The time trial one is the hardest. The workout on it is 8 separate sets of 90 seconds at time trial effort plus 10 heartbeats per minute. Let's just say that it is really hard. What makes it so hard is that you do the last 4 sets at one cog up from your hardest gear. It is perfect for me because it is only 30 minutes but very beneficial. My plan is to be doing these workouts in the morning and then my regular workout that night. In my workouts I have also been doing more weights. Jennifer and I canceled our gym membership so I got a set of kettle bells (also for Christmas). They included a workout DVD and I have been doing it 4 times a week.

Enough with Christmas let's talk about one of the books I have read recently. The name of it is "Born to Run-A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen". This book is all over the place just like the title. With that being said though it is a great book. I couldn't put it down. The books talks about a bunch of different topics but there are a few key points. The books features a group of ultra running tribesmen from Mexico called the Tarahumara. It also talks about ultra runners as a whole, why shoes aren't good for our feet, why we should run on our midfoot and the author's search for the right shoe. Let me just start off by saying that these ultra runners are crazy. I can't imagine running 100 miles or more at one time and some of them being even longer. Also, after reading the book I can see why people are hurt so much by running. I do believe that it might really be the shoes. I am pretty much living proof of this theory. When I first started running and bought my first pair of running shoes I got fitted at a running store. I do overpronate and I do have pancake flat feet. I left the store with a pair of Brooks that had a good bit of stability in them. After running in them for a while I never had any problems. When I changed my running style and stopped being a heel striker I bought a new pair of shoes that didn't have any stability. Now my feet hurt when I run in my old stability shoes. Either way I haven't had any injuries and that is all that really matters. With all of that being said just read the book. It is really good.

Each and every New Year most people make resolutions that hardly anyone ever keeps. I didn't make any this year. Instead of resolutions I set some goals. I didn't make many just a few. With this blog trying to make myself more accountable I plan to share those with you. That way you people can call me on my bluffs if I have any. My first and main goal is to compete in an Olympic distance triathlon. I have one I am looking at in the summer and then one in the early fall. Either or both of those will be fine by me. In case you are wondering they are the "Heatwave Classic" and the "Alabama Coastal Tri". Also, I plan to compete in all of my triathlons without a "C" on my leg. You triathlon people know what I'm talking about. I also want to run a 5k in under 23 minutes. Lastly, I want to run a half Mary next fall or winter. With these new goals I need to find a good training plan so if any of you know of any good ones please let me know. I hope I haven't put everyone to sleep.

I almost forgot to talk about my Saints. The Who Dat Nation will be rolling into South Beach for the Superbowl. Along the way we have probably made two Hall of Fame quarterbacks retire. Sorry about that Kurt and Brett but we are on a mission. With Brett Favre being a fellow Golden Eagle and his wife being a triathlete I was somewhat torn as to who to root for in last Sunday's game. Well, not really. 42 years of shame and no superbowls made that decision for me. I guess I will start seeing Brett's wife out riding her bike more since they are now back in Hattiesburg. Black and Gold Superbowl!! Who Dat!!