Four miles, give or take

Yep, day two of Marathon Training. 4 miles on the schedule.

Did 5.2 in 46 minutes – 8:45 pace. Heh. Two days and I’m off my schedule. But it’ll make up for only running 3 tomorrow.

Went longer than I intended because I was “in the groove”

Went slower than usual because it was lunchtime and hence hot and wet.

Had a huge positive split (8:36/8:22/8:23 for the first three miles and 8:53/9:50 for the last two) when the sun burned through the clouds midway through the run and began quite literally beating on me.

Had a crap-eating grin the whole time.

Tri #2 is tomorrow. After donating blood and dealing with heat and humidity for the last two weeks, my goal is just to finish again. I’d like to improve on my last time, but frankly, I don’t see it happening if it’s hot. I do think I can improve my run time, though, and at least this time, I shouldn’t freak out as much on the swim.

Pushups start on Friday.

Single Step

Three miles today, just as planned.

Headed out with Christian for the first time in a long while. He hasn’t been running, but did the first mile stronger than I’ve ever seen him.

Life is good.

OK, OK, all right, pretty good, pretty neat…

So I dig the Doors. Sue me. Actually, my friend Trey’s mom probably should after one too many times of me knocking down her porch railing after one (or twelve) too many beers and an ill-staged recitation of “I am the lizard king…”

OK, business first:

MARATHON
Primary marathon looks like it’s back to being Mystic Places. My little brother, who is well on his way to kicking my butt in the grand game of life, and his lovely wife are heading up. I’ve missed out on riding the MS150 with him, and cannot pass up the chance to run with him. Plus, he’s done Austin a couple of times, so he’ll be able to talk me past the dreaded “Wall”

I am going to still plan on running New York. Two weeks recovery – I’ll run Niantic as a long run in preparation for New York. A really, really long run, and hopefully a fast long run.
Continue reading OK, OK, all right, pretty good, pretty neat…

Open Water Swimming!

Three reasons tonight why I love my wife –

1. Bathtime is Daddy time (provided he’s not working late). She thinks I do this as a favor to her. I think she lets me do it as a favor to me.
2. The comment a couple of months ago about “Hey, you don’t look completely ridiculous in those (bike clothes)” after I’d dropped the first fifteen-ish pounds.
3. ‘Cause even though my mother is arriving for a week tomorrow (and is apparently trying to eat gluten free!), she says “Sure, why don’t you go swimming tonight” and means it when I mention it after the boys are in bed.

Not pausing to ask twice, I threw the wetsuit in the car and boogied on down to the Mystic Y. Parked at Williams Beach, stripped down to the compression shorts, pulled on the wetsuit, walked past the sullen teens sneaking cigarettes on the beach towels while trying to figure out if anyone will mind if they start making out on the beach before dark, and waded out into the water.

Wetsuits rock. This being my first swim in the wetsuit, I didn’t know what to expect. Well, I did, kind of – I’ve been in over the top of my neoprene waders enough in my fishing days to recognize the slow, cold, creeping wet as I waded out to waist deep water. But once I took the plunge and started swimming, things were much better. The suit was really nice – kept me toasty, and had exactly enough flotation to ease my fears of drowning. I could concentrate on figuring out how to navigate and breathe without remembering not to sink all at the same time.

I swam for about 20 minutes. Not sure how far, my guess is 500 yards or so. There’s a row of pilings in the river about 20 yards off the beach, about 25 yards or so apart. I swam the length of the row four times, then out to a collapsing structure twice, and back to the beach.

After last week’s tri, durteemartini mentioned “You have to go all arms on the swim so you can save your legs”. I think she’s completely right, especially in a wetsuit. I was getting next to no results out of my kicks, but the pulls felt really good.

Back to the car – for tonight, call it the “Transitionmobile” – out of the wetsuit, pull on shorts over the other shorts and a shirt, pull on the sneaks (no socks!) and hit the road. The idea was to do about 20 minutes total, since the wife was thinking about heading to the grocery when I got back, and it was quarter to nine as I was getting out of the water.

Head south towards Mason’s Island – what a spectacular evening for a run! The temperature was perfect, the humidity was perfect, there was a total lack of annoying insects, and the first fireflies I’ve seen all season. As I crossed the bridge to the island, a guy and gal were fishing, and had actually hooked a fish! Good on them. Turning south to run along the east side of the island, I looked out past Dodge’s island, out towards the mouth of Fisher’s Island sound and the open Atlantic.

The moon was large and red coming out of the summer haze on the horizon. The sun had set, but it was still very much twilight, so the effect was almost one of a second sunrise. I almost came to a complete stop as I tried to take in the evening – the green of the land, the indigo of the sky, the muted blue-green of the sound, and the moonrise.

Wow.

Glance down at my watch, and I’m approaching the 10 minute mark. Almost time to turn around, ‘cept not quite. The legs feel good, so I continue “out” for another minute, and turn around at about 11:15, and pick up the pace on the way back.

FLYING.

Or at least feeling that way. Slow down to chat with the folks fishing – they lost the fish, but are using freshwater trout rigs with like four pound test line. Poor them. Pick up the pace again.

For some reason, I remembered there being a hill on the approach back to the Y, but I haven’t run on Mason’s island for a long while. There’s not a hill, maybe a slight rise, and before I know it, I’m back at the Y. 21 minutes round trip. So I did cut a minute off of the trip back, which is all good.

Got home, cleaned the bathroom, and rinsed out the wetsuit. Chocolate milk and a couple glasses of water – pshew, I’m ready to sleep. Night y’all.

Weekend / ABC’s

So, following the performance of which I’m becoming increasingly happy, I was pretty much a slug for most of the weekend. Friday – best laid plans and all, but wound up blowing off the workout.

Saturday was 0701 hop-on-pop, as always, followed by T-ball, trip to the Stonington Farmer’s Market (mmmm, littlenecks), yardwork, and re-grouting the bathtub. Sunday, we took the bikes, trailer, and boys downtown – I tweaked the front deraileur on the MTB so I can get into the BIG RING now, so we were really hauling heading downhill. Stopped at the hardware store on the way down to buy some two-part plastic weld to do a little repair work on a turntable I picked up off of EBay, so we headed down the Stonington side of the river instead of River Road. Still not so bad as far as traffic went. The ride was good – no residual knots from the tri.

Today, work was hectic all morning. We’re hammering out a proposal for the folks I support’s boss – spent about 2 hours working out details in the morning before my clients had other meetings. I did some tweaks, and right about the time I finished, Chris calls up from the Lab to see if I want to head down to the Atlantic Beach Club for lunch. No, I say, but if you don’t mind me riding along, I’ll go for a quick jog along first beach while y’all eat. Whatever, says he.

So I tag along – I work with great people. They sit down to eat, I sneak into the bathroom, change, and head down the beach. Low tide, so I get to run on firm, packed sand. Nice and springy, but not smooshy. First Beach is great, too, since it’s got a really shallow grade – when the tide is out, it’s WAY out. Head up to the Cliff Walk at the other end of the beach, out past Ruggles where the nice portion ends, and turn around. Back to the ABC in about 35 minutes – good run.

Only downside is that this ends up being the quickest lunch in the history of ABC lunches – guess no one wanted “dessert” on Monday, and the folks are packing up as I walk onto the patio from the beach. Darn. The upside is that we stop by Dunkin’ D’s on the way back, and I wipe out any caloric deficit from the run by sucking down a Turbo Iced Coffee w/ cream and sugar. Ah, well – that’s why I run.

I’m revising race goals for the year after getting drawn for NY. Part of it is NY, the other part is that my wife’s sorority is having a big to-do over our Alumni Weekend, and she’s been asked to help put it together. Downside is that the shindig is the same weekend as Mystic Places – she’s headed to San Antonio; I’m staying with the boys. It all works out in the end, I suppose – I still get in a marathon for the year. I’ll run locally next year. I may still see if I can get up for Hartford.

Rough race schedule is as follows:

6/30, 7/14 (Bastille Day! Allez!), 7/28, and 8/11 – Terramuggus Tris. Oh yeah.
7/10 – may break down and do a race on a Sunday – Sailfest Road Race (5K)
August?
9/5 – New Haven Road Race (20K)
Oct? – may still try Mystic Places – my bro was talking about coming up, and may bring babysitting. Plus, I think this is my best chance for qualifying for Boston (Total pipedream, but such is life)
Nov – NYC Marathon.

Will update as soon as I have a chance to screw around with style sheets…

Well…

I am a triathete officially now. Results will be here, I assume. Or maybe here

I’m not sure if I’m pleased or not – mostly because I don’t have the results with me, only breathless looks at the clock as I went through the transition area. I think my times were: ~11 minutes for the swim, ~40 minutes for the bike, and ~25 minutes for the run, for a total of about 1:15, give or take 5 minutes. The swim, I know, took forever. The whole thing’s still kind of a blur, so the times may be off by up to 10 minutes either way.
Continue reading Well…

Jitters

So I’m doing a Tri tomorrow. Not quite sure why, but I’m all worked up about it. Actually, I do know why I’m all worked up about it – the new junior engineer in the office is doing the race, too. She’s great – smart, attractive, picks up new stuff quick, etc, so on and so forth. And she’s 10 years younger than I am, which means that I’m getting stomped.

Not that I wouldn’t get stomped anyway; it’s just that this time I’m getting stomped by someone I know.

I don’t think it’d bug me as much if we’d run together before, but until lunch on Monday neither of us knew the other were into running, etc. And schedules being what they are – Monday she didn’t have shoes, Tuesday I had T-Ball, today was a wreck – it’s an unknown. So tomorrow’s the first time we’ll get to judge pace, etc, for each other, and I don’t want to seem rude. But I’m kind of nervous about the whole Tri thing anyway…

AND to top everything else off –

Congratulations! You have been accepted into the ING New York City Marathon 2005! We are so glad to have you joining us along with athletes from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Sunday, November 6, is less than five months away, and all of us are working hard to ensure that your race experience is the best ever. Coming off an incredible event in 2004, this is a challenge. But we love challenges, and you can expect a number of enhancements this fall, such as a smoother start for the fastest runners and dozens of great live bands along the course. We’ll keep you posted between now and then, but in the meantime bookmark http://www.ingnycmarathon.org, our official Web site, and visit it often for the latest news.

Crap.

Now this isn’t just an exercise in theory.

Back to the question at hand, though: Item the first – any cyclist knows that the absolute last thing that you want to do the day before a huge ride is major work on the bike. So what do I do tonight?
1) Swap wheelsets – this is kind of justified, I was checking spokes, and the winter set had one spoke where the nipple wasn’t even finger tight.
2) New brake pads. Again, somewhat justified – the old pads were original from 2001, and were pretty well glazed. Not squealing, but I didn’t feel a whole lot of grab on Sunday’s ride.
3) New cassette – finally threw on the 12-23 SRAM I’ve been staring at all spring.
4) New chain.
Yeah. But being smart got me fat. Jeff pointed that out a couple of days ago. I think that’s my new motto.

Let’s see – blew off Monday as a rest day after Sunday’s epic. Ran 4-ish Tuesday noon-ish after spending the morning sitting the baby (Hey Jon – remember, “the sitter’s not supposed to sit upon the baby”) while Missy and Jake checked out Kindergarden. Jake was kind of freaked out about the whole deal, but there’s a bunch of kids from his pre-school in his class. Half day, afternoon – jeeze, I wish I had his schedule. Then actually got to play at the t-ball practice. The dad-kid ratio was about 2/3, and there were only about 5 kids at the practice. So we let them actually try to hit, and tried to keep the other kids entertained by playing catch. Good times, except I have no gauge on how hard I throw any more.

OK, back to tossing and turning.

Suckers

Fixedgear notified me of Subaru’s Race to the Tour contest. Looks like they’re going to send me to France for a month of riding and writing. I can’t wait.

Sure, there’s the whole bit about actually getting selected for the gig, but as far as I can tell, that’s a mere technecality.

Here’s what I want to know – who is the poor guy who actually has to pour through the thousands of wanna be Henry James’ to do the choosing? How much bad prose can one person read?