Friday, November 26, 2010

Catching up from Newport...

Its been far too long since I've updated.  Many things have been going on that have made it hard to keep this blog up to date.  I'm happy to say those things are done and gone now...  so things should be getting back to normal here and I'll be posting regularly again.  This post is going to be a bit of an epic catch up though...  so bring a pillow.  You may need a nap halfway through.  I'm going to break it up into categories...  so skip through them at will.....

Work:  I'm THRILLED to say that the brutal project I was working on is finally dead and gone.  I've never gone through a more stressfull, obnoxious, ridiculous, nighmare inducing, last minute, pathetic pre production (planning) phase of a show EVER, and I've never had such an awful time onsite either.  That show quite simply SUCKED.  Its over.  The client was happy, and I'll never subject myself to such conditions ever again.  I went through with that show to the finish because of members of the team I cared about and have a long history with.  If they had not been on that project I would have bailed.  It was that bad...   but now its over.  And now I don't have to spend all my time working, stressing, worrying, losing sleep, and being too exhausted to get workouts in.  Now its on to better things.  I'm promising myself that I will be much more careful about the work projects I take on going forwards.  I'm going to try and keep my training and racing plan ahead of my work plan and take on or deny jobs accordinglly.  I've also finished the last of the scenic design projects on my plate and do not plan on taking on any new ones for the forseeable future in order to free up more time at home to train.  For now though I don't have to work again until December 27th so I have a nice chunk of time off to get caught up on life again.

Life:  As far as the rest of things go...   life is going well miraculously.  I'm very very lucky to have met such a wonderful woman who put up with a lot from me while I went through the stress of the Chicago show.  I have not been the easiest person to deal with lately and the girl has been fabulous about it all.  I'm really very lucky that she has been so patient with me throughout my ridiculous work travel schedule and my lack of focus on our relationship while I was going through all of that.  She and I are doing very very well and I've really been enjoying our time together since I've been back in town.  I've had a little bit of time to catch up with some friends of mine as well and I'm really looking forward to spending more time with friends and catching up with everyone after I sort of fell off the face of the earth there for a while. 

Thanksgiving:  Yesterday was thanksgiving.  I had a fabulous day with the girl that started with up both running in the Newport Fed Pie Run 5 mile road race in the morning.  I ran this race last year in 34:04 and I really wanted to try and smash that and set a new PR this year.  But my right leg has not been super strong lately and I have to keep my marathon plans in mind.  Sometimes racing really fast and hard takes a serious toll on my legs and takes me a while to recover from.  I really agonized over what to do in the race and in the end I decided to help pace the girl to a new PR for her at that distance.  I really wanted to race it but I knew that I have to run a 19 miler on Saturday and that it was pretty likely I might hurt myself if I wasn't carefull.  So I sucked it up and decided to behave myself and just enjoy the run and pace the girl instead.  Mind you I didn't decide this till five mintues before the race start after my right leg still felt stiff in my warmup run.  Fortunately I was able to find the girl before the start and line up with her and my friends Chris and Melissa at the start.  The girl wanted to run 8'30s which considering she is a "ten minute miler no matter the distance" (her words) was an ambitious goal I thought.  However she had just run a bunch of 9 minute miles in her recent half marathon so I had great confidence she could pull it off.  So we lined up and off we went with the sound of the gun.  During the race I had many really great moments... and a few not so great ones.  The not so great ones were getting passed by anyone in a turkey hat, the guy dressed as tinkerbelle, the woman with a stroller, and watching the fast guys racing towards us on the out and back section.  At all of those moments I wanted to be running FAST!  I wanted to crush the idiots in costume and race to a PR and enjoy the sensation of struggling for air and running as fast as I could.  However...  these moments were very much overshadowed by looking over at the girl as she was clearly working really hard to push herself.  It was really fun to see someone else doing that.  I experience the race from a different perspective this time.  I matched her pace which for me is my long run pace.  So I was quite relaxed through the race and able to enjoy a lot of moments I sometimes miss.  One of my favorite moments in the race was somewhere in mile one where the 500 or so runners were all in a big bunch and all you could hear was the sound of footfalls striking the ground.  Other than that it was silence.  A magical sound...   just fabulous.  Other highlights for me were looking over at the girl and the ocean and the beautifull scenery and really just taking the whole experience of the race in.  I people watched a LOT during the race and that was fun too.  At the mile three mark there is a guy yelling out splits.  The girl was right on target for 8:30s.  A little ahead of it even.  She was doing great and looked really strong too.  I was psyched for her but I knew there was a big hill coming.  At the hill she started to slow a bit so I went out in front just a little to act as a carrot for her to chase and hoped she push through it.  She did great and we crested the hill well and started to pickup speed on the downhill and into the finish.  The rest of the race went great except for the annoying guy in the red shirt that kept getting between us.  I was determined to finish side by side with the girl and eventually we managed to get around him and cross the finish line together.  In the end the girl managed an 8:38 average!  She did it!  I was really proud of her and I really enjoyed getting to experience the race from a different perspective.  After the race we chatted with a few friends and I ran into an old highschool/college buddy of mine and got to catch up a little so that was fun.  After that the girl and I spent a fabulous afternoon of napping, cooking, eating, cooking, eating and taking the dog for a long walk on the cliff walk.  A fantastic way to spend thanksgiving!  We had a fabulous meal and a great day.  Hope everyone else did too!

Training:  Well...   here's the thing.  My triathlon training lately has been AWFUL!  The last time I got on a bike was the outdoor spin bike in LA a few weeks ago!  UGH!  And the last time I swam was also out in LA as well.  Double UGH!  The only thing I have kept up on is my running.  I have been faithfully keeping up my run schedule with the exception of missing two out of three midweek runs the week I was in Chicago.  I was pretty sick that week with a cold on top of being exhausted and working a million hours a day and not sleeping so it just wasn't worth it.  I have however faithfully kept up my long run schedule in training for the marathon.  So on the plus side my marathon training is coming along fine.  Well with the exception of some tightness/soreness/pain? in the top of my right leg.  Beyond that its fine.  My biggest problem lately has been that I'm STILL fighting this cold I picked up in Chicago a week and a half ago.  I thought I had it kicked but today it feels like its coming back.  Which sucks...   especially as I have a 19 mile run planned for tomorrow.  The soreness in my right leg is why I decided not to race yesterday as I didn't want to make it worse and jeopardize my marathon training.  On top of all of this I did a LOT of stress eating while I was in Chicago.  I just decided I didn't care.  That mixed with other recent eating and drinking habits means I'm currently at 148lbs which is ten pounds over my race weight.  Not good!  So I need to get back on the diet train and watch my nutrition more carefully.  I hope and think it will all figure itself out once I get back into tri training full swing which I'm hoping to do starting Monday with a full week of training.  Although really I'll be starting today.  The bike is currently sitting on a brand new Kurt Kinetic trainer waiting for me to get a workout in.  So I'll spin today, run long tomorrow, rest/easy swim on Sunday and then get into full workout swing mode on Monday I hope.  So thats the plan.

Racing:  I think I have my 2011 race plan all worked out.  It goes like this....

1/7-1/9 Disney Goofy Marathon Challenge: 5K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon on consecutive days.  (all done at long run easy pace)
2/13 Donna Marathon in Jacksonville, FL - Hoping to race the full marathon if I feel ready, backup plan is to race the half, or just spectate if need be.
6/18 Patriot Half Ironman Triathlon, MA
7/10 Amica Half Ironman Triathlon, RI
8/21 Timberman Half Ironman Triathlon, NH
9/?? Firmman Half Ironman Triathlon - Considering various options... Aquabike, entire race as a training brick?, doing just the swim as part of a relay?  Will depend on how this falls with my training plan.
10/29 Beach to Battleship FULL Ironman Triathlon!  Yeah!!!

I have not yet decided which of the half irons will be truly RACED and which will be more like training bricks under raceday conditions.  I need to carefully look at my training plan once I get that together and see how they fit in and then take it from there.  Ultimately though...   my entire 2011 season is all about the full ironman at the end of it.  EVERYTHING in front of that has to be thought of with that in mind.  Thats the only goal and the only race that matters.  Everything else is about getting to that start line healthy and strong and ready to race.  Its going to be a fun year!  I can't wait!

And some quick Swim/Bike/Run updates....

Swim:  Haven't swam in weeks...    was just starting to get a groove going in the pool and then work got in the way. Time to get refocused in the pool and start working with the girl as my coach and see what I can do to improve my technique and get some speed in the water.

Bike:  Ordered a new bike!  I just placed an order for a Cannondale Slice 4 Tri bike with SRAM rival components.  It will look just like the one pictured below except that I'm changing out the chainrings and crank to a SRAM force crank and chainring to shave a little weight, and because I'm lame and like everything to be matchy matchy.  I'll also be moving my SRAM S60 Wheelset over to this bike.  I'm very excited to get on a dedicated tri bike in 2011.  Its going to be a bit of a wait though as it won't arrive at my bike shop till late January / early February and then we'll start the fitting process.  I'm lucky in that I'm a common size and if for any reason the bike doesn't fit me then I'll simply return it and try something else.  However I'm confident and hopefully we'll get along.  My fit chart from the bike shop indicates the geometry will suit me and the SLICE has a reputation of being a great bike for runners over a lot of other tri bikes.  I'm told its well suited to those who come to traithlon from a running background.  It may not be quite as fast as some other more aggressive tri bikes, but its geometry lends itself to runners and keeping their legs fresh.  At least thats what the bike shop and the literature tell me...  we'll see if its true in training.  I'm glad I was able to buy a tri bike with SRAM Rival on board as I've been really happy with that gruppo on my road bike.  Should be a snappy shifting bike and a TON of fun. 

Run:  My run training is progressing well with my long run tomorrow up to 19 miles now.  Almost at the peak before the taper.  Just a few more weeks to go.  So far everything is ok other than fighting this cold that has been making breathing a bit of a struggle and slowing my pace down, and this odd pain at the top of my right leg somewhere in the hamstring area.  So I've been trying to stretch and be good and baby it and be carefull and so far so good.  Sometimes I wonder if distance running and a total lack of pain and discomfort are even possible.  Part of me wonders if its just because of the lack of cross training lately?  Not sure...

So thats a quickie catchup of all thats been going on lately.   Time for me to go get on the trainer now that I'm out of excuses!

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