Sunday, May 31, 2009

4 Down, 3.5 to Go

Another great week of training in the books. Weekend sessions included a 13 miler on Saturday with about 12k/40 minutes of high end tempo work over very undulating terrain and today's 80 mile ride w/50 miles @ just above goal IM pace (avg. of 272/norm of 277 watts). Yes, slowly but surely I'm already preparing my body for IMFL by inserting small doses of IM pace work into the mix. HR was staying down in the high 140/low 150 zone and the watts were very easy to produce despite some residual fatigue from yesterday's run, not to mention the past 4 weeks of good training.

So... it's all coming together. Another few weeks and I'll be ready to roll for R.I. 70.3. This "crash" approach seems to be working out pretty well; Not that I have any other option if I want to race well by mid July!

We had some great results this weekend too: Nick Dufresne returned to action and won the Ludlow tri, leading wire to wire and the Donatellos (Jeff and Kat) went 2nd/5th overall (both winning their AGs) up at the King Pine Tri. Not too shabby.

The action REALLY picks up over the course of the next 2 weeks as we have athletes racing @ Mooseman (Olympic and long course), Rev3, Eagleman 70.3, Kansas 70.3, Boise 70.3 and a bunch of other locales. I expect some BIG results and even BIGGER PRs.

Game on.

Time to eat (again) hit the sack and get up/get back to work. Another big week ahead.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dangerous Dave

So my most consistent, hardest working athlete, Dave Smith from Virginia Beach, VA, stepped up and got the job done this past Sunday at the Rocketts Landing Triathlon in Richmond, VA.

3rd place overall, including all pro/elites in attendance. Dave walked away with a little loot and, more importantly, a GREAT bike split/average power output of about 285 watts; not bad for a 24 year old (or are you 25 now Dave? I forget) full time PE teacher who only weights a buck 48 or so. You start pushing 4.2 watts/kg over the Olympic distance and you're really getting somewhere...

Keep an eye out for Dave at Ealgeman 70.3 in 3 weeks time. Based off of what we saw this past Sunday, he's got a 270+ watt bike leg and a 1:2x low run in the legs. If he can throw those splits down, he'll certainly make an impact in the amateur race, that's for sure.

Other shout outs go to:
  • Newbie Quinn Borchard (another one of my workhorses), who won his AG and placed very high overall in a stacked sprint race in Encinitas, CA.
  • Cyclist Thom Connor for shrugging off a full workweek and a bunch of missed training time and still managing to set a new PR (and pretty respectable avg. power of 291 watts) at the Crank the Kanc TT.
  • UConn triathletes John Babcock and Evan Barry who went 1st and 3rd overall, respectively, at the 6th annual Bobby's Run 8 miler in hilly-as-hell Vernon, CT on Saturday. Both of these guys got up and rode long the next day as they continued prepping for the Rev3 half IM that's right around the corner.
  • Triathlete April Bowling's breakout day at the JCC Tri in Marblehead, MA after rebounding from an oh-so-fun case of fifth disease (training and racing isn't much fun when your joints are screaming in pain)
  • and... last but not least to Marty Miserandino for his PR day at the JCC Tri as well.

That's a wrap. Seems like everyone is doing well. The real fun begins next month when the crew starts hitting the 70.3 scene along with a few other major events, one of which (I have to keep it under wraps for now) will include an attempt at a national record. More to come here in early June.

We have A LOT of horses in the stable right now and they're all chomping at the bit to get out and run free. Although some of the athletes I work with have already begun racing, MANY are still locked down and immersed in heavy training. That's all about to change within the next 3 weeks or so.

Exciting times. It's going to be a very good year.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fired Up

Man... nothing gets me more fired up than watching live results from 70.3 races. Florida 70.3 came to a close a few hours ago. I was tracking the tail end of the men's race as I waited for the rain to subside before I headed out for today's long run.

Pretty stacked field, with Santiago Ascenco from Brazil running his way up into 3rd place overall. Santiago is the the tough bastard who made my life miserable for a good 6 miles at Muskoka 70.3 last fall. Usually, when you pass someone mid way through the run they don't have the stones to up the ante, suffer and make a go to have at it and stick with you. Not the case with this kid. I had to hyperventalate through miles 7 - 11 on the Muskoka course before he finally popped and fell back. That was probably the most painful race of my life to date. Here's a pic from an epic day that I'll never forget:Anyway... I carried a little extra spark into my hilly 17 mile long run today, and passed through the 1/2 marathon mark in 1:22 without too much effort. Not bad considering I laid down a good block of training this week. Yesterday's set of pace intervals on the ECV course were executed at an avg. of 304 watts per 11.4 mile loop, so the form is starting to return. I'm about 2 months out from being ready to ROLL. Just have to make sure that I overhaul my shitty swim stroke before I pull the trigger and start racing long again.

Another good week in the bag. Time to eat and then start working on the house again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My New Steed

It's been 14 years since I spent much time on a MTB (Mountain bike racing is what led me into the world of triathlon back in 1995) but man oh man is it nice to be back! Don't get me wrong; I won't be trading my 70.3/IM focus in for Xterra anytime soon, but it's nice to get back to my "roots" and add a bit of variety into the mix by getting off road 1 - 2 x per week.

Thanks to Seaside Cycle in Manchester MA for setting me up with the latest addition to my 2 wheeled "family" (although I parted ways with my old Cervelo P2k to help finance my new steed).

Awesome ride tonight; 2 hours of singletrack with only 1 significant crash to speak of. Over to the TT course tomorrow for some extensive 70.3 pace work. I commited to Timberman today (couldn't pass up on the opportunity to mix it up with the field Keith Jordan has assembled) but REALLY hope that I can bring my fitness up to par so that I can join the fray at RI 70.3 in 2 months time...

The fire has returned!

p.s. The Gary Fisher "Paragon" is a 29er; I can't get over how much more effective the bigger wheels are. I'm easily traversing the same singletrack that use to force me to dismount and run over a decade ago...

Monday, May 11, 2009


Man... these past couple of months sure have been "interesting." LOTS of change!

I ended my season, or should I say, my season was ended for me, prematurely last year when my right knee started giving me problems. It took me a few months of no training/rehab to get back to the point where I could actually start training again, but just as I was beginning to do so, life stepped up to the plate and threw me a bit of a curve-ball; Michelle and I pulled the trigger and bought a house!

I guess that I didn't know what I was getting myself into, because the entire process, between our initial look at the place way back in January, to now, sure took A LOT out of us. Our house (see Michelle's blog for pics/story) is the quintessential fixer upper: GREAT price, great location (I'm looking at the water right now as I type), good size lot (>1/3 of an acre), good size (roughly 1900 sq. ft), TONS of potential but... In need of A TON of work.

The bottom line: Your priorities suddenly shift when you see water dripping through your roof and pouring down your walls during the first rain storm, an interior that desperately needs rehab in order to even get it to the point where you can safely move in, windows that need to be replaced immediately, etc. etc.

To make this process even more fun, our closing was delayed by about a month thanks to an old plot plan snafu that left us both pretty stressed out. Upon closing, we then proceeded to cram 4 or 5 months of work into 4 or 5 weeks and worked non-stop to get the place in semi-move in condition by the end of April.

Needless to say, serious training turned into a "do what you can/when you can" approach this Spring, and I'm suddenly faced with the reality that it's mid May and I'm a good 2 months away from being in top form.

My biggest obstacle right now though isn't time, it's focus. When you're away from something for a long period of (i.e. the 4 - 5 hour rides, long, hard pace sessions, etc.), and are still pressing hard on a daily basis to keep up with everything else in life (work, house related projects, etc.) it's tough to summon the mental focus needed to bang out the BIG sessions that bring your fitness up to where it needs to be on race day.

I won't lie: Short course prep certainly seems a lot more manageable right now; a 75 min. workout on the trainer or a 1 hour, intensive track workout is A LOT easier to manage at this point in my life.

But... a short course athlete I am not. Although I enjoy the short course prep, I can't say that I really enjoy the races (they hurt too much) and know that relatively speaking, I'm not very good at them. However, given everything else going on right now, short course racing will have to suffice until I'm able to bring my long course fitness back up to par.

As it stands, I'd say that RI 70.3 is in question, and 70.3/I.M. racing very well might have to wait until late Summer/Fall.

The month of May will prove to be a critical block. This past week was a pretty good one for me training wise, but one good week doesn't get you anywhere. I need 8 - 10 good weeks.

So, on that note, time for my Monday morning run. It's easier to stay focused when you take it one day at a time :)