Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Long Run and Long Ramblings

Its Saturday today so time for my long run.  But first lets talk tapering again.  As I mentioned yesterday I suck at tapering.  So this weekend I'm still going for some long efforts, but I'm going to do my best to stay relaxed about them.  So I went for my usual 13 mile run this morning.  However I picked a very flat and easy course along the bike path and I kept my pace to easy relaxed 9 minute miles.  The run felt really good.  It was pretty hot out.  So hot I should have run shirtless...  but somehow the inner ghost of fat Nick still exists and makes it awfully difficult for me to remove my shirt.  You'd think at 138lbs I wouldn't be so worried about it.  Sigh...   anyway.  It was a nice easy run.  I enjoyed the pace and I spent pretty much 100% of it lost in thought.  I barely remember the run.  It was one of those great mental days where I just drifted from one thought or daydream to another as my feet ticked by underneath me effortlessly.  I love those runs.  They are much better than the I'm trying to run 8s the whole time over a long haul efforts where I'm constantly staring at my watch and the miles are dragging by.  So today felt good.  It was nice to run on the bike path.  I hate thinking about my routes.  I find remembering directions to be difficult and frustrating.  So I like boring out and backs where I don't have to pay attention to where I am.  I've done many of my long long 15+ mile runs on the bike path.  I haven't run there though since March, so it was nice to get back out there.  It feels very familiar and comfortable.  Other things I'm pleased with today are that I did manage to keep a relaxed pace, and when other faster runners passed me today I made no attempt to speed up to catch them.  Which isn't always easy for me.  So kudos to me.

Speaking of running....   since I started to get all super organized about my running and started to track every last bit of data with my runs (also pretty much the same time I got my Garmin 310xt I've been tracking everything with the SportTracks software.  Which incidentally is free, brilliant, and can also track your swimming, biking, weight and other health metrics, and just about anything else you can think of.  I started using it at the end of August of last year.  Since that day last year I have run 994.55 miles!  Almost at the 1000 mile mark.  My average pace for all of that is 8:27/mile with an average cadence of 94.3 and an average heart rate of 155 beats per minute.  I've burned 93,500 Calories.  Wow thats a lot!  Its kind of fun to track all this stuff.  I can also track all sorts of other things such as the amount of distance I've covered in general while excercising including biking and swimming in that time frame which is 2000 miles.  (Keep in mind I only just bought my bike and started swimming in April).  I can't wait to see where that number is at next April.  Its going to be HUGE.

Today is the first day of the Tour De France which I'm very excited to start watching soon.  I've been a fan of the Tour since the 7th grade when I was living in Belgium and learning to speak french.  Our french teacher had us watch the coverage.  So I learned to love the sport of cycling, and all about the strategy of team multi day cycling tours and to speak french at the same time.  I'm a HUGE Lance Armstrong fan.  I've followed his career since his first victory at le Tour.  He is just an amazing individual.  Love him or hate him he's done more for the sport of cycling and for Cancer research and awareness than anyone else on the planet.  You can argue that all you want...  but you'll be wrong.  : )  If you are at all of the opinion that Mr. Armstrong has ever used a performance enhancing drug then please stop reading right now, close your browswer, and don't ever speak to me again.  The man has been tested more times than any other athlete in the world and never gotten a LEGITIMATE positive result thats held up.  And on that note lets hope that this is the cleanest year the tour has ever seen and we won't have any of that nonsense going on.  Other cyclists to watch that are my favorites are of course longtime friend and often teammate of Lance George Hincapie.  Such a trouper and an amazing individual.  I hope he gets another stage victory this year.  He deserves it!  And then there's the sprinters...   Mark Cavendish who is just simply amazing.  The dude just explodes at the end of the race.  I've seen him come flying out of the worst jumbled packs with no leadout and just fly to the front of the pack like everyone else is barely pedalling.  He's amazing.  Team Radioshack this year is pretty stacked with some impressive cyclists so I really hope that Levi and Popo, Andreas can do their best to man up and work their asses of for Lance.  And I'm glad to see that Contador is no longer on the same team as Lance.  That dude has a thing or two to learn about respect.  I beleive in Karma though so he'll get whats coming to him.  I'd love to see Lance take win number 8 this year, but I'm just pleased to see him out there one last time and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do when he starts doing Triathlons next year.  With that said...    Bonne Chance Monsieur Armstrong et RadioShack equipe!  Vive Le Tour!

In other randomness after a very long stretch of constant road trips for work, trying to cram as much training in as possible when I was home, vacation, busy stretches of work etc my appartment had become quite the disaster area.  Which is so NOT me.  I'm happy today though that after a few things I still have left to do this afternoon my appartment will be back to its usual state of clean enough for Mom to visit or I'm not ashamed to invite someone whose never seen it over mode.

I swear that triathlons have six disciplines and not 3.

1.  Swim
2.  Bike
3.  Run
4.  Shop
5.  Laundry (seriously...  all those workouts generate a hell of a lot of laundry!)
6.  Cleaning (theres never been more beach sand, sunscreen, body glide, chain grease and other such stuff all over my shower, bathroom floor, a constant stream of water bottles to wash etc..etc...)

Anyway...   I'm finally all caught up with it again which is great.  And its also eliminated another excuse for me not to get serious about starting to date again.  I've been so focused on training at work that I've been purposely putting that aside and not dealing with it.  But nothing is going to happen with that unless I put some effort into it.  So I need to get moving on that front too.  So much to do and so little time!  Oh and yeah...  I have my first race in a week too to keep in mind.  Speaking of which...

I think I may try and setup a transition training day.  Hopefully I can find some other club members that are also interested in it so I don't look like a weirdo doing it myself.  I want to do exactly what Ray did which he describes in his blog post here.  So I need to figure out when...  (which is hard with the TT and the fact I have OWS mon, wed evening, and plans on thursday night) and where (I need to find a big empty parking lot.  Maybe a high school or elementary school).  And hopefully convince some other people to join me.  I want to drill over and over again getting out of the wetsuit and going through T1, do a couple of laps around the parking lot to elevate my heartrate a bit and then go into T2.  It may be overkill but I like to overprepare and know that I can do anything in a race without thinking about it.  Hence why my training includes long runs, long rides, and bricks that far exceed the distances I'm racing.  Knowing I can complete and race those lengths means that the race will feel very easy and I can go much harder.  I also think I want to leave my shoes clipped into the pedals and I want some additional practice with that before I commit 100% to that approach.  At the very least I'll do that on the way out of the shoes.  I haven't decided yet about the way into them.

Well thats enough rambling and procrastination for one day.  Time to go get showered after my run and start the laundry and finish cleaning.  The problem with have a bathroom thats currently all sparkly and clean enough to eat off the floor is that you don't want to use it to get cleaned up!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend of training!

Next up for me...   one last long effort tomorrow!  Nancy and I and maybe some others are going for an 82 mile ride tomorrow.  Should be fun!  Its going to be really hot tomorrow so I'm going to have to stay on top of hydrating along the way.  And then after that Its taper, taper, taper!  I promise!

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