Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Need for Speed

Although my recovery weeks are for recovery, I usually fit in my shorter and more intense time trials in these weeks... They are often the only workout for the day. This week I have 2 bike TTs, a short run TT and a 1k swim TT.

Yesterday was the first bike TT... 6 minutes all out after a 15-20 minute warmup. After some debating, Michelle and I arrived at the Germantown Rec circle, our go-to for time-trials or speed work. Why were we debating? Well, 20-30 mph sustained winds and even more forceful gusts and the chance of rain made us fear for our lives. I'm not sure I've ever ridden my bike, not to mention FAST, in that kind of wind. Aero position doesn't make for good handling. But we agreed we had to do this workout... it needed to get done right there and then.

After she used her parents' facilities, we warmed up for 20 minutes and started the TT. I got right into aero position and felt the bike swaying from side to side... scary! But I maintained the position and started really accelerating. I made a point NOT to glance at my speed. I wanted to just go as hard as I could without feeling any sort of limit or desperation. I just wanted to go FAST. That's all I thought of. 1 lap done, I was feeling like I wasn't giving it my all, so I pushed harder for the second lap. The wind was pushing me back on the downhill and helping me on the uphill.

I stopped my Garmin at 6 minutes, my legs feeling like BRICKS. I looked back and waited for Michelle. She caught up and we checked out our speeds... 22.5 mph for her! Holy cow! Why, she was doing that for only 3 minutes last time! Fantastic! I looked at my speed... 23.7 mph for me! YES. And it would have only been faster if I hadn't had to almost stop for a turning car or didn't have a 20+mph headwind.

Again, strides are being made on the bike. I'm really looking forward to smashing some times at the next duathlon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Past couple of days

I forgot to blog about Sunday, so here's some old news and new news.

Sunday, day after my 5K success, I was slated to put in a shorter but more intense brick workout. 1 hour bike, building in intensity for 45 minutes and then putting in a 10km time trial, followed by a 20 minute run at 10k pace. I knew this was gonna hurt. My hamstrings and calves were tired from Saturday, but this was a workout I had to do.

Michelle and I set out to Hain's Point, only to find, to our dismay, cherry blossoms in full bloom. Why is this bad? Think lots and lots and lots of tourists, confused and lost people "driving" and walking all over the place. Even on a day like Sunday, when it was windy and drizzly. Poor conditions for anything, not to mention biking.

But we hopped on our rides and navigated through HP for 45 minutes, building the pace. I was averaging a little over 20 mph, which was fine with the conditions. Started my 10km TT and instantly felt tired. I knew that with the weather, crowds and fatigue this was NOT going to be a record-setting TT. Pushed through at a 23 mph clip when in the clear, 20-21 when dealing with crowds/traffic. Finished up with a 22 mph average, a little over 17 minutes. Not good, but not bad. Sort of where I was at toward the end of last year on a good day.

I then set off on my run, averaging 5:40s, which definitely isn't 10K pace normally (but is after a bike time trial!!). Pace slowed as the run went on, but only to about 6:00 pace. Finished 3.1 miles in 18:09, which would put me at a sub 37 10K, which would be a fantastic time at Columbia for me. My shins were searing in pain, but I was able to ignore it and run strong, considering how tired I was. And I knew I could have kept that pace going for another 3.1 miles. Not bad, being only a day removed from running 3.1 miles all out on a track.

I wasn't terribly encouraged about the bike, but I'm really excited about the run...

Monday AM I swam, descending 100s for about 40 minutes, and then took the rest of the day off. If my training partner can take the day off, I can too (although she was sick...)!!

This week will be relatively easy, leading into 2-3 weeks of torture before Du Nats.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

UMD Invite 5K -- 15:44

I went into this race focused on one goal: Get under 16 minutes for 5K. I ran low 17s in high school and after 3.5 years off from running, I never thought I'd ever be at those times again, not to mention faster than that! Now I had the chance to go under 16 minutes. Crazy. My fitness is as high as its ever been, and I knew that sub-16 was finally in my grasp.

I went with T6 flats for the race because my spikes and I didn't click immediately at Wednesday's workout. I decided to go with the sure thing, despite maybe losing a few seconds. 18 runners in my heat, mostly collegians, and a few club runners, including Wiggy and Billy Askey of GRC, who I decided to try and hang on to (Billy was going for 15:30). My goal for the day of course was sub-16, but my 2010 goal was 15:45... that would be attained if all goes well and I paced myself perfectly. Race started... 77 for the first 400, right on track. But then Wiggy and the lead pack sped up and pulled the rest of us in at 72. Better slow slow down! My group of 5-6 runners did slow down to 75 seconds.... and it stayed that way for nearly 8 laps! Nothing too exciting to report, plenty of passing and getting passed and re-passing and getting re-passed.

With 800m to go, I was getting tired, as Jake warned. I expected this though and welcomed the pain/fatigue, knowing that it meant I had less than half a mile to go. That's not much! My split improved slightly to 74... 600m to go. I was tired and couldn't pick up the pace much, so I just focused on maintaining. I got blasted by on the last 100 by a couple collegians vying for placement, and I focused on keeping stride. Crossed the finish in 15:44! 34 second PR!

I fell to my knees and punched the track with a feeling of victory. I finally did what I had set out to do since I started running again in 2008. I gave it all I had, and was proud of my effort.

A shout out to Michelle, who PR'ed by about 20 something seconds with a 17:42 in the girls' heat. Not quite her epic day goal, but she ran well and gave it her best, and that's what matters most. She showed her coaches and teammates that she's ready for sub 17:30 in the next flat 5K. A special day for FURIOUS CHILL!

I can now fulfill my promise to myself... no more running races until after triathlon season #1 is over in June. It's time to dedicate myself to training hard for Du Nats and Columbia. Bring it!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I'll admit, I've never really ever been nervous before a 5K to the point that I can't sleep well. Until now. The UMD Invite 5K tomorrow has me totally bouncing off the wall. I have never run that long on a track at the pace I seek (5:07 or so?), nor have I run against college-level runners. I'm going to have to try to ignore them as I'll be focusing on my time. But wow, it's got me feeling very antsy in my pantsy.

I've slowed my training as a result, skipping bike hills yesterday in favor of a spin and relaxing. Not feeling too good about skipping an essential bike workout, but if I don't hit sub-16 in this race, I'll be feeling gloomy until the end of triathlon season. I don't want to have to race again until summer. I'd rather just be focusing on my triathlon training and racing.

I'll do my best.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So for the past couple of days I've been dealing with two painful knots on the outside of my left calf and inside of my right calf. I've been sticking it, rolling it, massaging it any way I know. I think the pain is gone now, but I learned that it is VERY valuable to stretch and massage after a big race (like a half marathon). Obvious knowledge, but something I didn't really do well after the National Half.

Yesterday I lifted with Michelle in the AM and that helped stretch things out a little. I was entertaining the idea of taking the rest of the day off... it was rainy and windy and cold, not good weather for the bike sprints I had scheduled. Then Lindsey told me during our chat that I should keep moving to keep the blood flowing. Makes sense. So I got on the trainer (I'm tired of the trainer!) and spun for about an hour. It helped... I was less sore after that! Famous Dave's chicken tenders, whey protein drink, more sticking and rolling, and both knots, for the most part, have dissipated. Sweet! I was worried the soreness would carry into the weekend and hinder me during the 5K. I think I'm past that danger.

This AM I did a difficult ladder down (500-400-300-200-100 at 1:27 pace, with 4x25 sprints between each interval) in record time. I cut down my recoveries to 30 seconds between interval and sprint and 20 seconds between each sprint. It makes the workout harder, but I'm focusing on keeping my recoveries shorter both in the pool and running on the track.

Looking forward to trying my new track spikes tonight!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The training resumes!

I had my time to bask in my National Half success, so that means it's time to get back into serious training mode.

Sunday I met with Dirk and Michelle for what started out as a recovery ride. We rode about 40K relatively easy, and Michelle decided she had enough so she could fully recover from her "tempo race" in which she WON the women's side and gave the men's side a run for their money (I shake my head in disbelief at both her and my pun). Dirk and I continued for 30K more, at a markedly faster/harder pace. I was fading toward the end, but gave the last 2 miles of hills a final push so as not to drop the pace we had been setting. It pretty much turned from a recovery ride to a workout, but in the end it felt good and didn't exacerbate any post-race soreness.

This AM I put in my first swim since Monday of last week. Descending 75s... 5x (4x75 descend to faster than tpace). Totaled around 2000m, and felt fresh, just as I hoped to feel after a week off (with cross training, of course).

Tough week ahead and the UMD outdoor track invite 5K. Sub-16 is in the crosshairs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

National Half Marathon Race Report

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon ever... my longest road race over 10 miles. I was pretty nervous all week but my confidence was building at the same time. I had my plan of going out in 5:50-:55 and building the pace little by little and going all out the last mile. Finish at 1:16:30, and be happy with anything under 1:18:00.

Little did I know what Saturday AM had in store.

Dirk and I found our way to the start after finding ourselves lost in Anacostia (oops, wrong place for two white guys to get lost...), and did our warmups and waited at the start line. I wasn't quite certain how to warm up for a long race, so I did a couple half-ass striders and a 10 minute jog. Big group of runners... evidently over 8,000! I lined up 4-5 rows back to make sure I didn't get sucked into Dirk's pack of elite runners.

The gun (horn) went off and all of corral 1 started out at 5:30 pace or faster... um? But we settled down after about a quarter mile and I assumed my 5:50 pace. It felt pretty slow though and even though I tried, I couldn't keep it at 5:50. My pace was in the low-mid 5:40s. But surprisingly that did NOT feel fast! After 2 miles, I wasn't breathing hard and I felt like I was bouncing. I thought if I felt this good, I might as well keep it up! So I changed my plan... Keep 5:45 as long as I can, until mile 10 and start to pick it up from there.

6 miles in, I was still feeling great. The course had changed from flat to hilly, but I maintained my focus on pace. I was passing people... but not getting confident. There was still 7+ miles to go. Jake was on the course and he told me to trust my fitness, that I am ready for this race. I kept reminding myself of that. Saw Michelle and Brian around mile 7.34502 and that helped keep my confidence up.

Around mile 9, I was beginning to feel a little tired, but nothing to slow me down... but the irrational and unreasonable doubts started to creep in. I reminded myself of what Jake said and ignored those thoughts. Just before mile 10 I saw my family and knew that I was close to the milestone (pun not intended) marker. I had no idea of my current time as I set my Garmin to watch my pace and distance... and I was in for a shock... 57:37!!!! Holy moly! That's 4 minutes faster than my 10 mile time at Annapolis 10 miler in August! I got really excited here. I knew that 1:16:30 was in my grasp, easily. I had been averaging 5:45 up to this point so I knew I was on my way to even beating that time. But this was no time to get complacent, I had a race to finish. Maybe I could break 1:15:00? I began to pick up the pace to the low 5:40s/high 5:30s.

Everything was going great until mile 11.5, when I got my first cramp. Dangit! I haven't had a cramp in a race since freshman year of high school. No water in sight, and I knew I hadn't hydrated properly, having skipped by 2-3 water stations. Not accustomed to taking water at my shorter-distance races. And I ate only half my Gu earlier in the race. This was not the time to finish it, as I'm supposed to eat it just before drinking water. So I decided I had to tough it out. My pace was higher though, close to 5:35, but the cramps were building, both in number and pain. Got to mile 12 and kept reminding myself of Jake's statement and that I only had a mile left. I really needed to pick it up to get under 1:15:00, but I didn't quite have it in me. I passed one more runner (I must have passed at least 20 during the race!!) and gave it all I had to the finish. I still had no idea of my time....

I looked up at the clock... 1:15:22!!! Whoa! I didn't see that coming! I was even impressed with myself... and I'm rarely ever proud of my times. For a first half marathon and first run over 11 miles in 2 months? I think that's pretty good. Dirk ran a 1:07:30something, which is fantastic for his first. He is going to own half-iron races.

And shockingly, I really enjoyed the race... 13.1 miles isn't too long and I can use some speed tactics in it. I just might do some more of these. Also a good omen for half-ironman triathlons!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day off

I took Thursday completely off.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Union Jack Chicken Tenders

So I abandoned my usual stay-at-home strategy for St. Patrick's Day, and met with several GRCers at Union Jack, a British-y pub on St. Patrick's Day (isn't that wrong, somehow?). Tried out their tenders... it had been several weeks since I tried a new plate of tenders. I was a little sketchy as chicken tenders need tender care in their preparation. I didn't know how tender the kitchen staff would be with chicken tenders on a busy night like St. Patrick's Day.

But I was pleasantly surprised! They were sort of crispy, and best of all, spicy! Not tabasco sauce "spicy," which isn't spicy at all. They were hot sauce spicy, which means good spicy. I grade them as top tier tenders, but not quite as absurdly magnificent as Famous Dave's tenders.

This also marked my first paparazzi-ed chicken tender meal.

PRIOR to tenders, I did a light track workout at MCRRC track, ran about 30 minutes easy followed by 4x2 minute race pace (half marathon) sets, trying to keep between 5:40 and 5:50, target pace for Saturday. I had trouble with it. I kept going too fast. I really need to keep my focus at the National Half. If I do what I am accustomed to doing, I'll fail. I hate to say this but I'll be really relying on my Garmin to help guide me through the first couple of miles...

Easy does it!

On Monday AM I went for a paddles/fins, swim about 2000m wearing paddles or fins. Paddles are helping my stroke form, as my cadence has lowered over the span of a minute. That's more efficient! No t-pace swimming. I'll resume that Sunday or next week. It takes a bit out of me. In the afternoon I met with Michelle for an easy 5.5, through Black Hills Park... course was a little hilly for a recovery run but kept the pace down, and picked up slightly at the end.

Yesterday I did something I really haven't done much at all... I took the morning off, completely! I woke up at my usual 5-5:30, but decided right away that I'm sleeping for an extra 90 minutes. As Dirk always has said, I need to trust my fitness, so I did. I can swim another day, after the half marathon.

In the afternoon, feeling rested and refreshed, I met with Michelle at GTown Rec for another round of Schaefer Hills. I planned on doing 5, but decided halfway through that that's what I WANTED to do, not what I should do, so stuck to 4. But I could have done 5... the workout felt awesome. I chalk that up to the extra rest, but also becoming stronger/adapting to the course. I was holding back just a little to make sure my heart rate didn't get too high, but I felt smoother and less fatigued after each climb. Looking forward to these when I'm not tapering! In all, 27.5 miles for the ride.

Michelle rocked too... she did an extra hill for a total of 5!! I fear for the other women at Duathlon Nationals. They have never heard of Michelle Miller... but will know her very well after the race!

Today I'm going to focus on keeping the recovery going. Will eat good foods and keep my workouts easy tonight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I need to recover...

So after a nice run on Saturday, I was ready for Superbrick #3 on Sunday. Michelle and I decided to convene at my place (miscommunication, for sure), where temperatures can reach 75+ degrees as the big window is on the leeward side of the building. You can probably guess where I'm going with this...

We hopped onto the bikes and pretty much immediately didn't feel the workout. Started up the race pace sets.... and bodies just didn't respond. My heart rate was barely making the lowest Zone 4 number of 168 bpm... I haven't had that happen, in, like, ever. Michelle wasn't faring much better, and even got dehydrated after 3 sets. We decided to end the ride halfway through, wisely. It just wasn't getting any better.

Set out on the run, outside, and... what a difference. My heart rate was staying in the desired zone and I was averaging 5:30-:40 miles. So, that went as planned. A little faster than planned actually. Michelle ran well too, and seems to be recovering from her achilles knock successfully. Awesome!!

So I chalk up the poor ride to several things:

1. Did it indoors after biking outdoors for almost 2 weeks, it was hot, humid, and distracting

2. Ran Friday and Saturday, unnecessarily. One of those runs (Friday) was on my schedule, and it was supposed to be easy. I ran hard or long Friday AND Saturday. Need to stick to schedule.

3. Fatigue... 2 killer bricks in the two weeks prior and tough rides/swims all week. I need to make this week a true recovery week in anticipation of the National Half on Saturday.

D'oh. Still learning, evidently...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturated Saturday

I met up with Jordan and drove to the GRC store to meet with the guys for a 9-10 mile run, straying from my prescribed training plan for the day. Good group of guys there. Jesse Dylan Keith and his miracle of a moustache rode to the store via bike, which was respectable, since the DC Tri duathlon that I planned on doing was cancelled due to the driving rains earlier in the AM (HP was flooded), endangering weakling TT bikes like my ZeroZeroTwo. Met Patrick HUGE, who has an awesome name. Jake ran off to use the facilities somewhere midway through the run so we didn't see him until near the end. Ran to the Capitol and back along the Potomac. In all, around 9 miles (I think?). It was fun, but in the end unwise... as I will relate in my next post on Sunday's brick.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Schaefer Hills

This is a build week and my legs are starting to feel it. Two intense swims, bike sprints and a track workout have gotten me feeling more than a little tired. My legs feel fine, but I definitely need more sleep to help my whole body recover.

I got the benefit of sleeping in Thursday to 6 AM, rather than my usual 5 AM wakeup, and made my way to the gym to do some strength with Michelle. During core exercises, we had the pleasure of witnessing a future "Million Dollar Baby," as a female at the gym was "boxing" with a gym-paid trainer. As the trainer noted "Your uppercut is so strong, now when you're up in tha club, nunna them females gonna mess with you no more, you gonna send them home." Indeed.

Met up with The Demon Hunter (Michelle) again for my "favorite" bike workout... Schaefer Hill repeats. Schaefer Road is a road, at least 2.5 miles one way, that trends way downhill going from Germantown, and trends way uphill going the other way. One way takes about 6 minutes (at least), and it rolls, so it's not a straight shot up or down, much like a race course. We pounded it... 4 times up and down, in a little over an hour. My legs were burning and my bike squeaked under the strain, but I maintained a good pace and didn't tire out after the first two. Finished the last one stronger, actually. It was Michelle's first time and she did remarkably well, considering there is a technical aspect to it. She adapted quickly.

A good test for Columbia, which is hilly too. Long weekend ahead...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wicked Wednesday!

Today shaped up to be a tough one... fast ladder swim in AM and GRC track in PM with a busy work day sandwiched in between.

I actually had been "fearing" this swim workout because it sounded so daunting... ladder down (500-4-3-2-1 at tpace) with 4x25 sprints in between each interval instead of recovery. Not sure my arms would hold up to that much tpace and sprints all lumped together. With Michelle motoring through her aquarunning like a reciprocating engine on an early 1900s cruise liner, I knew that I had no choice but to do the workout COMPLETELY and in full force. And it wasn't too bad! I was getting the longer intervals in 1:26 pace, slowing down a little for the last 200 and 100 (tired). So it wasn't bad. I wish I had gone a little faster, but I was conservative on the 500 and 400 thinking that I wouldn't have enough for the rest of the workout.

In the evening, met a large GRC crew for track. In preparation for the UMD Outdoor Invite 5K, I wanted to do 3x1600 at 5:10 pace, working to 5:07 for the last one. I ran with Jesse Dylan Keith and his wonderful moustache, Mike and former high school opponent Jimmy Daly.

Mile 1 -- 5:09
Mile 2 -- 5:08
Mile 3 -- 5:07
Mile 4 -- 5:00 (I decided to tack on a 4th because I was feeling strong after 3. Patrick Murphy helped me push the pace)

That's a very good omen for the 5K. I can average around 5:08 pace and still have enough to push in a fast final mile. I'm pretty confident about this race now. My fitness is definitely there. All it'll take is some practice getting used to the pace and ingraining it in my legs.

Speedy start to the week

I'm beginning my taper for the National Half, so while my overall training hours and mileage will go down, I'm doing the same amount or maybe a little more power/speed work in biking and swimming, while my running is just mileage and a little speed.

Monday I did a fins/paddles swim, first time I've used the paddles in months. About ten 100s of alternating fins and paddles, with some power drills thrown in. Paddles made me swim a little faster, but I made a point of not looking at the clock so I could stay relaxed. I trust my stroke and speed enough now that I don't necessarily need to see the clock to know my pace. Totaled about 2000m. In the PM I met with Jordan and Scott for our first Monday run since the snowstorms. Ran the CJ trail, about 7.6 miles, nice and slow. I forgot how heavy my trail shoes are, I haven't had to wear them for a while!

Yesterday met with Michelle for strength in the AM, and a bike sprint workout at the Gtown rec center loop in the afternoon. Perfect weather. No wind, high 50s... awesome! After a 10 minute warmup, we started the sprint set, 5x3 minutes all out. Course was a little hilly, so as to simulate a race setting. Despite a traffic slow-down point, we both averaged fast speeds.

For the 5 sets, I averaged 24.5, 24.3, 23.5, 24.1, 24 mph!! Michelle must have been in the 23s, as she wasn't too far behind and kept the same distance throughout (and actually gained a little on the last set). So to confirm what we learned Sunday, those cruise intervals and hill workouts on the trainer, as well as strength training, has really upped our power output in these race-pace and faster workouts.

Will post about today's swim and tonight's track workout later.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

23+ mph!

Today was a great day... mid-high 50s, 9-10 mph winds, a perfect day for a journey to Hain's Point for Super-brick #2. I would finally get to bike outside and see how my speed development is going.

Went there with Michelle. I was excited to see how much she would improve as well. We've been training about equally on the trainer during the winter, so we could only improve. Got there and Dirk rode up to meet us. My goal for the day was to stay within my HR zone 4, but also to keep up with Dirk, or keep him in view. Workout was 2x (20 minute ON, 5 minute OFF, 10 minute ON, 5 minute OFF, 10 minute ON), followed by 4x6 minutes zone 4 run.

We took off and after a 10 minute warmup, started our first 20 minute interval. And wow. I immediately felt a world of difference from 2 months ago. My legs felt like they were surging with power and my cadence was high. And I wasn't slowing down. And most of all... I wasn't losing Dirk! We switched leads, and I tried not to draft him to see what I could do with a headwind. On the tailwind stretch, our speeds approached 27 mph. On the headwind stretch, 21.5-23 mph. Incredible. I was averaging 22.5 on flat race courses for shorter distances last summer.... Now I was suddenly averaging 23+ mph, my goal for the winter. And I was feeling STRONG.

Kept up the pace and effort despite traffic stops (the cars just kept coming) for 5 more intervals. Dirk was strong as always. Michelle was also busting loose. She was a low-mid 20s mph biker last year... and she was doing 21-22 today. Just remarkable. And this was all with stop signs and traffic jams near the golf course... We all might have been 1 mph faster if it weren't for those stops.

The excitement was palpable. 35.5 miles... longer than I'll be riding in any race this year.

After the bike, Dirk and I set out for the run. After running a (gulp) 5:19 mile pace first interval, Dirk gave me a talking-to and I slowed up to 5:40 pace. That's still much faster than I ran in tri/duathlons last year. Totaled about 5.5 miles.

So today's brick was a real eye-opener. All those hours on the trainer, both for myself and Michelle, have really paid off. I'm very inspired by her and my own improvement. I'm going to keep it up. Maybe I'll be up to 23.5 mph by the start of tri season. It's very possible.

Who knows how much faster we would have been today if there weren't so many traffic slowdowns/stops...

Furious Chill victorious!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Burned in the water

Met up with Jordan (finally healed), Scott and Jake for another chapter of the North Bethesda Distance Project. Kept an easy pace for about 8 miles, maybe a little more. Good recovery run for me after the bike TT the night before.

Met up with Lindsey Jerdonek, the "rookie" pro triathlete for a swim at Wilson in the evening. I was nervous as heck to meet her, as I knew I was in for a clinic in top-notch speed. And clinic-ed I was. It was a recovery swim for me so I wasn't going all out by any means... but man. I usually started 4-5 seconds behind her, and ended up 5-10 seconds behind... and those were her EASY sets. I knew she was smoking me when I couldn't see the bubbles from her kicking. Anyway, it was a good experience for me. I got to witness the speed of a very fast and accomplished swimmer (although she wouldn't say that about herself)... very inspiring. I want those swimming abilities, badly!

Oh, and those 1:24-5 100s I do? The ones I celebrated and bragged about?

Yeah. That was cool-down pace for her.

Friday, March 5, 2010

All-out on the bike

Yesterday afternoon I hopped on the trainer to do a 30 minute time trial to see what kind of shape I'm in now. While I can't figure out my speed, my heart rate is a good indicator of how much I've improved since my last TT in late fall of 2009, when I set my Lactate Threshold (race pace) at 174 BPM, about 10-12 bpm below my running LT.

After a 5 minute warmup, I started the TT. The first 5 minutes were tough, trying to get my legs in a rhythm and get my body used to the fact that it had 25 more minutes of pain and full-force effort. Once I got the cadence rhythm down, I just had to focus on keeping the effort going. 10 minutes in, I hit LAP on my HR monitor to begin the HR measurement. I noticed that my HR was hovering in the high 170s and low 180s... and it was an effort, that while difficult, I could keep up for at least 20 more minutes. It was tough indoors, but I got it done and nearly fainted getting off the bike, I must have really gone all out. Drowned myself in recoverite and felt better instantly.

My LT HR average ended up being 180 bpm! That's 6 bpm better than a few months ago, showing that my bike fitness has taken a huge leap. I'm almost as fit on the bike as I am in running. I can't wait to get outside and see what that means in terms of speed...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Short recovery

Monday evening I went for a slow shakeout jog with Sloane, about 6.5 miles. Went in with a tender groin, finished with no pain. Slam dunk (copyright The RED FOX).

Yesterday I lifted in the AM and did 30 minutes of dominant leg biking in the PM. The first 10 minutes I felt tight, didn't really feel it, when all of a sudden an amazing string of events took place. First, Michelle texted me that her Pacers coach predicted a low-17 5K at the UMD Invite for her. That's AWESOME, it made me think about 15:45 for myself. Cadence began to pickup. Then Jordan called me, which always perks me up, even when he has nothing to say. Cadence is getting higher. Then I looked up at the television to see GODZILLA blasting MECHAGODZILLA with his radioactive fire. That was all I could handle. I couldn't control myself any longer. I was pedaling, 90% effort on one leg every 30 seconds, at a cadence of at least 105 rpm. YES. Chicken tenders at FD's with Jordan afterwards added to the awesome.

Swam this AM, descending 100s... Started at 1:40 pace, did the last 100 in 1:15!! (that's a personal record for me...)

Oh, for fun.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1k Swim PR!

Woke up this AM with pretty much my whole lower half stiff as a board. Groin area a little tender, so I walked laps around the apartment to try and shake things out. It worked well enough that I felt like going to the pool and hitting up a 1km time trial. Knowing that Dirk just put in a good 400 and 800 at the DC Tri Swim Meet got me feeling like I needed to see where I'm at.

For my last TT, in December 2009, I swam a 14:24, a 20 second or so improvement over a month before. I expected an improvement today and I attacked the first 500m hard. My breathing started getting a little out of control around 700m, but I started kicking a little more and focused on taking in only air, not water. The more tired I get swimming, the less carefully I breathe and I start swallowing water, which causes me to tire out and burp like crazy.

Anyway, hit the wall in 13:42! About a 40 second improvement over 2 months ago. It reflects my most recent t-paces of 1:23-24. I'm pleased with my continued progress.