Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Plan 2014 and 910XT

I just thought it would be a good idea to post something, especially since my last post was pretty negative.  Things have definitely gotten better since my last post, we are adapting to life without our Willie,  work is slightly better, and my health is much improved. 

I should talk a bit more about my health, and what I think is the result of my getting older.  I mentioned that about two weeks ago my lower back was in bad shape; well, it was and I haven't gone running at all over the past two weeks.  I couldn't believe how much pain I was in, even more than I typically deal with the stenosis I have in my L5/S1.  I went to my sports doc three times over a ten day span to try and make it better.  I am noticing that every little thing that typically hadn't bothered me much is now becoming more than just a nuisance.  I think that it is a combination of age, lack of fitness, diet, and activity (I shouldn't be playing soccer...so painful the following day).  True, getting older sucks, but I think if I can improve my fitness, lose weight and eat better, I will be able to improve how I feel overall.

With regard to training, I haven't been doing too much lately, only where I think I am not going to damage myself.  I got in a couple rides last week which was great (one in Washington, DC - ~30 miles and the other ~48 miles on Sunday).  I do have to point out that my Sunday ride was absolutely miserable.  Around 30 miles in my legs were getting tight, and then at 40 miles I was in full on cramp mode; every muscle in my upper legs were going nuts.  I guess I was a little dehydrated and hungry.  As for swimming, I did manage to get in the pool every other day over the past two weeks which has helped me actually improve my swim a bit.    I hope to do my first run in two weeks tonight.

Racing....nothing really on the calendar for the rest of the year.  I had been planning on doing the Atlantic City International Triathlon on September 15th, but that just isn't going to happen now.  I am in no shape to even try and do an Olympic distance race with any hope of actually competing.  I need to put something on the calendar to get myself motivated and in training mode.

Lastly, I have had preliminary conversations with my lovely wife and family about my next Ironman.  As of right now the plan is to do Ironman Arizona in 2014.  This will give me a solid two years to:
  • Save money for the trip (there will be FIVE of us going)
  • Train properly, 2013 will be the year of increasing speed and Olympic distance & 70.3 races
  • Position myself for a chance at a Kona slot
That is about it for now.  I hope to be feeling good tonight and get in a productive run.

**Oh, I forgot, I ordered and received a Garmin 910XT about a week ago.  I used it for the first time in the pool last Thursday and within 20 minutes it was not functioning properly and there was water under the glass.  WTF?!?!?!  I called Garmin, they confirmed the unit was defective.  I returned it to Road Runner Sports and am awaiting my replacement.  It seemed really cool when I had it, I'll try to give a full review once I get the new one.  Cheers!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Willie & IM NYC

So much to write down, but so little time (I am at work and have a busy day ahead of me).  I supposed I will start with the good stuff.

The Good Stuff
This past Saturday was Ironman NYC, or Ironman New Jersey as it has been more commonly knows.  I watch it off and on throughout the day via IronmanLive and tracked a few people that I knew were doing it.  I couldn't believe how fast the swim times were; I don't think anyone swam slower than 1:15:00, which is absolutely incredible.  I am thinking that this might be the race for me to do in the future considering swimming is by far my weakest discipline.  Hell, I could probably post a 55 minute swim and cut a minimum of 25 - 30 minutes off of my overall time. 

So there were two people that I was tracking throughout the day.  On is a friend of mines husband (they live in the UK), and he was shooting for a Kona spot.  He had a killer race, finishing in just over 10 hours and ended up 8th in his Age Group, no knowing if he had gotten the golden ticket to the IM World Championships.  The other is a fellow Blogger and now kick ass "Ironman" Yaz (NJ Training), who was doing her first Ironman and ended up 4th in her Age Group (11:37:?? or something like that).  WTF?  How awesome is that?  The big questions for Yaz are: Did you qualify for Kona?  If so, are you going?

So as I was sitting there watching the numbers change on IronmanLive and their finishing times become reality, of course I got the itch back.  I had a talk with my wife last night about my desire to do another Ironman race again soon and we semi-agreed that 2013 is too soon (baby is too young, finances, etc.), but 2014 is a good year to target.  So it looks like 2013 is going to be get my ass in shape year (sprint, olympic and Half Iron distance tri's) and then plan for a return to IM and hopefully a Kona spot in 2014.  Thank you to Scott and Yaz for the inspiration!

The Bad Stuff
Last week just sucked.  That is all I can say.  In brief here is what my week looked like:
  • Tuesday – My birthday….had to take my nine month old little girl to get blood tests; which mean I had to physically restrain her so the tech could take blood. She cried hysterically BOTH TIMES the tech tried; the second attempt (in her other arm) was successful.
  • Wednesday
    • I found out that the job I had been counting on getting, well I got a call from the hiring manager telling me that they have two other candidates that they are going to focus on.  In short, I am out.  F**K!!!!!!!
    • My wife took our dog (Willie) for a routine vet appointment only to find out he has a couple months to live. Then when they got home, it turns out he has internal bleeding from “mass” in his abdomen; I rushed him to the animal hospital and after some x-rays and a draw from his abdomen, then a conversation with the doctor I had to make the horrendous decision to have him put “to sleep”. Sitting there with him on the floor as he passed away in front of me was one of the worst experiences of my life. Then, upon arriving home, I have to explain why Willie isn't with me to my two young daughters. The 30 minutes that followed were filled with all of us crying and trying to comprehend what the hell just happened.

    • The last pic of Willie and I, just before...
      One of my favorite pictures of Willie
  • Thursday – I spend most of the morning trying to console my distraught children (and wife). I took the day off from work because I could barely hold it together myself.  Then throughout the day I had to collect every dog thing from around the house and hide them in our garage until we can figure out what to do with all of it. 
  • Friday – I had a bi-weekly conference call for work, during which I was singled out on for sucking and for not being able to use our internal system properly (I am actually very good using the tool).  Then I am sent an email from our National Sales Manager reiterating that I suck and there is a ":)" at the end of his comment.  Really? 
  • Saturday – IM NYC and also check out the Olympics.
  • Sunday – I woke up with a sore lower back, no big deal. So then I decide to play soccer and my back is much tighter than normal.  I soldier on and it never loosens up.  I spend the rest of the day walking around like a decrepit old man, taking Advil and suffering.  (I had a doctors appointment today to try and fix it).
So that just about sums up last week; maybe I am being overly dramatic, but then again I live in a house with four females (it is bound to rub off on me).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

RR: Born to Tri (Sprint)

Swim (.3 miles): 9:56 (2011 - 9:55) - 83 out of 354
The sky was a bit overcast, but the sun was peeking through. I was able to wear my wetsuit and I felt good getting into the water and spalshing around.  The swim was in the ocean which was also a good thing. Nothing spectacular here, it was over pretty quickly; however, the toughest part was the long run to transition.  Honestly I thought that I would have been faster than my 2011 time, but I suspect the south to north current may have played a bit in slowing me down.

T1: :57 (2011 - 1:05)
I was in and out realtively quickly.  The delay was in getting my wetsuit off, otherwise it was pretty good.

Bike (14 miles): 34:16 - 21.0 MPH (2011 - 34:14 (21.0MPH)) - 65 out of 354
As was the case in 2011, I never felt all that great on the bike.  I should have been faster, but I just didn't have it in my legs.  I haven't been out riding and running much, so that is the simple reason.  In the past I easily could have maintained 22 or 23 MPH on such a flat course, but not on this day. I did the best that I could and that is all that I could ask.

T2 - :41 (2011 - :46)
I was in and out as quickly as I could.  I think I picked up a couple places...although I lost them on the run.

Run (3 miles): 22:22 (7:27/mile)  (2011 - 3.4 miles - 24:01 (7:37/mile)) - 134 out of 354
Of couse this is my weak link as of late.  I trudged along at an easy pace and of course my Garmin 310 crashed on me somewhere before mile #2.   In the end it was a beautiful morning and there are worse places to be than running on a boardwalk with the ocean a stone throw away.  In typical "me" fashion, I finished the last 1/4 mile strong, passing a couple people and not getting passed.   I am certain that the run distance isn't accurate, but I can't confirm that because my Garmin crapped out on me.  If not, dang! good run for me!!!

Final Time: 1:08:14 - 68 out of 354 (2011 - 1:10:02 - 84 out of 279
I am pretty happy with my race overall.  In 2011 I finished in the top 30% of all athletes; this year I was in the top 20% of all athletes.  On a side note, I am sitting at #2 in the Jersey Shore Multisport Race Series 40-44 Age Group Standings.  As a result I am thinking of doing the last race in the series later on this summer so that I might actually get an award.  Ah, who knows what I'll do.