Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lazy Thursday

This morning I could not get out of bed. I woke up to go to the bathroom at about 7am and wasn't sure if I would make it there. I was accused of having Mono and making out with random girls. Anyways, I finally dragged myself out of bed at 11 and made it to work at noon. Luckily I have a flexible schedule so no one cares.

My present state of body is more than likely due to running at the track last night. I didn't drink any Gatorade during or after like I normally do so I probably needed electrolytes...because Brawndo's got electrolytes...Anyways, this week has consisted of swimming on Monday which went very well. I finished my first workout of more than 2000 yards with 300 and 200 yard sets. I really hate kicking drills though, they seem to take forever. Tuesday was Abs and Spin class. No 6 pack yet but, I'm not sore anymore and I can make it through the whole class without having to stop. Also, if you've never used Gliders for an abs workout I recommend giving it a try, they're pretty tough. Spinning went as it always does, I power through without any problems and left a puddle of sweat on the bike and mat. We did a few sprints and hills which was challenging, mainly the sprints since my legs seemed to tighten up after them. I always wonder how much resistance other people in the class are using.

Track was great last night, not a lot of people. We were trying to decide if the lack of people was due to Boston or the threat of major thunderstorms (which never happened). I doubt that many people from the track groups ran Boston on Monday. The workout was 4-5x1000 @ 5K pace with a 400m rest. I chose to do 4 as did a lot of other people since I still didn't finish before them. I think my average pace was around 8:25/mile which isn't bad considering all this muscle I have to carry around...I've been dying to use that line but haven't had the oppotunity. After track I was talking with the fast people and one of them was telling me about the Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh, NC which I considered doing this past year. If you don't know what this is, I suggest you google'll either be sick or thank me. Basically, it's 2 mile out and 2 mile back but, after the 2 mile out you have to eat 12 Krispy Kreme donuts then run back. The guy I was talking to said it wasn't that bad until the masses of people showed up at the donuts. He managed to keep them down on the way back, I was impressed. Then we were talking about costumes during races and how one guy runs this marathon every year dressed as a lighthouse made of wood with a functioning that again if you have to. I have problems running a marathon in running clothes and this f-ing guy is doing them faster than me wearing a wooden box.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Very First Duathlon

Yesterday I "raced" my very first duathlon with the D.C. Triathlon Club and it was a success. It started off as a 3.2 mile run, 16.5 mile bike and a 3.2 mile run however, the weather didn't cooperate. The small race was being held at Hains Point in Washington D.C. right along the Potomac River. If you've never been around DC, Hains Point is a small peninsula near the Jefferson Memorial right near the 14th Street Bridge. It used to be known for a very incredible sculpture called "The Awakening". Sadly this moved to National Harbor.

Anyways, the majority of Hains Point was shut down due to flooding concerns since the water was already up to the bottom of the benches along the shore. (I meant to take a picture but I forgot.) The race was shortened to a 3.2 mile run and about an 11 mile bike, fine by me since I was not looking forward to being soaked. Luckily the rain held off long enough to finish the bike without everyone getting completely soaked.

I've never run or biked with this club before so I had no idea what the competition level would be. Considering I'm around 255 pound with a lot of muscle it's usually safe to assume I'll be slower than most people. I think there were about 20 people in the "race." I managed to finish the run in about 28 minutes and finished before 3 people, much to my surprise. I've never cycled for time before and I've never ran before biking. I feel as though I did pretty well for my first time. The 11 mile or so bike took me around 38 minutes but, I passed 2 people along the way...the course was 3 loops and I was passed by two or three people but, they did finish the run a lot sooner than I did.

Definitely a great time and I'd definitely do it again. Now all I need to do is add the swim portion which will more than likely be at the first triathlon.

Today was a little different. It was such a nice day so I decided I would do a bike/run since the second run didn't happy yesterday. I biked about 15 miles on the Mt. Vernon Trail along the other side of the Potomac River...I'll never be biking this trail again unless it's early in the morning. It's narrow with a lot of turns and very busy. It was by far the slowest ride I've been on. At one point it was impossible to pass someone for about 5 minutes because of all the people and not being able to see around turns. I got sick of this and detoured on to the road and finished the last mile that way. It turned out to be a great idea since it ended up being a 22 mph mile. Anyways, I finished the bike without incident unless you count falling over when I was stopped because there is so much play in my pedals I couldn't turn my left foot far enough to unclip my shoe.

The run was fairly brutal but I ran about 3 miles and felt out of breath the whole time. My legs didn't hurt but they were definitely tough to move. I'm very interested to see if they get used to this transition.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Race Weekend Recap

(This should have been posted on Wednesday or Thursday but google wouldn't let me.)

It's a little late but here is my first real post about my training...

This past weekend I ran the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon with my girlfriend. It wasn't my best time but, I decided it would be more fun to stick with my girlfriend since I've never finished a race with her...and it was more fun running with her the whole time. I know I pissed her off a lot before and during the run. I was tossing and turning all night and she had trouble sleeping which made her a tad bit crabby in the morning. I'm not sure how many times she told me to slow down during the race. Maybe it was a good thing I did considering the heat and humidity. I've never seen so many people passed out on the side of a half marathon course. The full marathon course entrance at mile 10 was shutdown due to the heat and humidity after about 2 hours into it. I think about 2/3 of the marathon participants made it before it was closed, congratulations to them. By the end of the race 15 people had been sent to the hospital.

I've been wondering about the people who required medical attention during and after the race...did they not train enough? Did they skip important training runs because of the late season snow? Did they run too fast? Were they experienced runners? Did they drink enough water/Gatorade? I guess I'll never know. I played football in the south and never had any problems during practice in August. It's hard to imagine passing out from running. The closest I've come was when I stopped sweating on a 100 degree day last summer around mile 14 of a 16 mile run after drinking close to 150 ounces of water. I walked/ran the last 2 miles but never felt as if I was going to pass out. Hopefully everyone in St. Louis was alright and everyone will learn from their mistakes.

I'm pretty well into training at this point...

This week has been fairly light as far as training goes. I swam about 800 meters on Monday with 2 other people, 1 being my girlfriend in the lane. I wasn't keeping track of time but the other girl in the lane kept me on my toes since I was determined not to let her pass me which she didn't...until she switched to an open lane. Last night was Wednesday so it was track night. It was a great night for running and my running group ran at a different track which happened to be almost empty, lucky us. The workout was 6-8 x 600m with alternating 200m and 400m recovery periods. I stopped after 7 of them since most everyone else was gone...someday I'll be faster and finish when people are still there. Overall it went pretty well. Today I did a spinning class but took it easy after 20 minutes since I'm signed up for a Duathlon this Saturday. After spin class I ran a mile at about a 9:20 pace hoping it will help my transition from bike to run so my legs don't feel like my whole body does when I try to swim...a brick.

A little bit about myself...

I'm 27 years old and I live just across the Potomac from DC. I've been running for about 3 years. I have run 1 marathon and 5 half marathons and plan on running another marathon in the fall. I'm a member of the DC Tri Club and the DC Roadrunners. I sort of fell into running when I thought it was pathetic that I couldn't run a 10 minute mile and then it snowballed from there. I suppose you could say that I've fallen in love with running as most people who try it do. I'd like to think that I read more about running than the average runner since I do about 1-2 hours of reading about running (now swimming and biking) a day. Reading about running is probably one of the most enjoyable things I do and I rarely hate running unless I'm doing it on the treadmill. I decided I wanted to start doing triathlons at some point during marathon training. I tend to think of myself as a very competitive person which likely stems from playing football and lacrosse. I hate to think this but during marathon training it seemed as if running a marathon just wasn't enough of an accomplishment for me, plus those long runs get boring (not unlike this blog will be) and there seem to be less triathletes then there are runner. It's obvious I'm not alone in feeling as though a marathon is not enough of an accomplishment considering the amount of 50 milers, 100 milers, the Barkley Marathons, Badlands and countless other races longer than a marathon. My marathon time was not nearly as fast as my training runs would suggest it should have been mainly due to an injury and too much activity the day before the race. Hopefully triathlons will help...they better since I'm signed up for three already. I've always know how to swim but, I really started swimming in January and struggled with rotary breathing at first. After 3 or 4 swims I got the hang of it and can swim about 1000 meters in 24 minutes. Now I'm working on breathing on the other side of my body, which is like trying to swing a baseball bat or a golf club from the opposite side you're used to.

My first Tri will be on May 7th in Lake Norman which is just outside of Charlotte, NC...wish me luck.