Sunday, July 29, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Jul 23 - Jul 29

Felt Like Olympic Gold This Week
If you could win a gold medal in training then this week I may have earned a gold.  After possibly my worst week of training last week, this week was a complete reversal and I found myself setting PR after PR. This probably speaks more to simply being very rested than anything, but it is always nice to set 9 different training PRs in a single week across all disciplines and different levels of intensity.  In the spirit of the 2012 London Olympics, I set 2 of those PRs in swimming, 3 in running, and 5 on the bike.  In comparison I "might" set 1 a week during a typical week in a late season build.

As for the Achilles, well the Achilles held up for my longest training run in many months. There was a little bit of additional discomfort following this run, but I remain cautiously optimistic about its progress.  Realistically I know that my Achilles will probably never return back to fully normal and I need to work within its limitations.  Lately that has been with some intensity but always with a full recovery day between runs.  I have fared better than expected in my shorter races as of late, but the real test will come at Rev3 Dells in two weeks. As of now the plan is to wait and see how it feels.  If I feel like I need to pull the plug mid-race I can always do so.  I know going forward that I need to pick races that are bike-heavy and run-short. Straight and flat run courses will be an additional bonus. As of now, even though I am less prepared for it than I can be for Ironman Wisconsin, it looks like Ironman Louisville is getting my full attention.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 245 Miles / 22 hours 20 minutes

Swim: 20,831 yards / ~12 miles / 6 hours 18 minutes
Bike: 195 miles / 11 hours 16 minutes
Run: 38 miles /  4 hours 34 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Jul 16 - Jul 22

With Timex Team Member Lauren Goss at Chisago Sprint
If you read my update last week, you know that I got sick towards the end of last week and I was hoping the sickness would clear up quickly without the need for antibiotics.   Unfortunately my sickness progressed from bad to worse on Monday, and to just dreadful on Tuesday and I finally made the call to go on antibotics to help combat this bacterial infection of the lungs that I had acquired.  It also meant yet another dismal week of training that consisted of mostly running errands on my bike including to PT - yes I still have an Achilles issue as well - and to Costco were I got a Z-Pak.  It probably didn't help that this biking was done midday in over 100+ heat, and 110+ heat index but when you commit to NOT using a car there really isn't any other choice.  I started feeling like I was rounding the corner today but I am nowhere near back to 100% as I sit here writing this and would expect at least another 2-3 days to to return to near normal but I have my fingers crossed.

David Thompson in route to 15th 70.3 Victory
With all that being said, I was supposed to race at the Chisago Lakes half ironman.  Chisago Lakes is another great midwest prize money race that always brings out a stellar field including perennial winner David Thompson.   There was absolutely no way I was going to do the half, but midweek fellow pro and friend Lauren Goss informed me that Midwest Sports were throwing some money at the sprint race as well.  The plan was just to make it an easy day and see some old friends and cheer on the half racers including fellow Madison pro Jackie Arendt.  Unfortunately on race morning I spied fellow pro and Minnesota #2, Devon Palmer on the rack and I knew that if I wanted to win that it would be the fight to the death.  On a good day I feel like it is pretty equal draw but when you probably shouldn't be racing it wasn't even close.  He broke me midway thru the bike and I was in the box big time.  I was told I had a 3 minute deficit to make up on the run but I not intention of racing for the win at this point and just putz in for 2nd.

The kiddos chasing DKT to his Win at Chisago 70.3
I did get a chance to spectate the half race and it was actually pretty electric to see DKT come in with his 15th 70.3 win.  DKT had a substantial lead and was all smiles as some kids chased him down the finishing shoot.  To top it off they had Jay-Z's Forever Young playing and was a great remainder to me that there is no better way to spend a Sunday morning.

I also wanted to give a special shout-out to my homestay Cally Warren.  She provided a great last minute homestay and I even convinced her to do her first triathlon.  With no swim experience and a borrowed commuter biker - with bike rack I might add - she rocked it.  She didn't even want any goggles for the swim.  Her attitude regarding the whole thing was amazing and I truly wish more people were as free-spirited as she was.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 126 Miles / 10 hours 44 minutes

Swim: 8,774 yards / ~5 miles / 2 hours 46 minutes
Bike: 112 miles / 6 hours 48 minutes
Run: 9 miles /  1 hours 09 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Jul 9 - Jul 15

$200+ at Costco and not a single thing that is junk
While the cats are away they mice will....buy berries???  Yep, I have got to get healthy and since leaving Tucson I have felt like I am constantly sick.  I have no doubt that it is simply the environment that I am living in and the food I am fueling my body with.  While Tucson provided me with a stress-free living and a great routine, I find that I am unable to keep the same sort of healthy habits here in Wisconsin.  There are endless reasons for this and many words I could write, but simply put, it is always about creating a stress-free environment to grow and recover from.  My situation in Madison is anything but. With that being said I have no roomates for the next 10 days and I am going to take this opportunity to right this ship in the meantime. The first order of business in this ship-righting was to stock the freezer full of berries today.

The plan for the week was to rollover my fitness and incorporate lots of short intense workouts to stay fresh to race at both Evergreen Triathlon and then do an aquabike at Ironman Racine. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I did feel pretty darn good, but I started to feel an impeding upper respiratory infection on Thursday evening. Although I woke up on race morning with a slight headache and some chest congestion, I didn't feel like I needed to scrap the race.  However, after the race I felt terrible, and I decided to scrap going to Racine and instead headed back to Madison to get back on the road to recovery. Today I pretty much feel like I death, but hopefully after a full rest day today, I can at least get back to some light recovery work tomorrow.


Here is a short recap of the race at Evergreen.

Swim: With record high temps in the midwest the lake temp was still 82 degrees and this race was not wetsuit legal.  I lined up next to Bryan Rhodes and Christie Sym along with all the other elites and all the collegiate athletes that were also going off in our wave.  We got the start signal and we were off.  Unfortunately a quick swipe of another's arm down my leg and my timing chip was gone.  For a moment in time I thought about that chip and what to do, but then snapped back out of it and realized that I was now behind the eight ball.  I swam feverishly to try to close the 10 foot gap that was created instantly by Rhodes. I rounded the first buoy in 4th place and I saw a few other swimmers to my right.  I did the smart thing and dropped back and stayed on their toes as I relaxed and let them dictate the pace. Half way thru the swim I figured out who the feet were and I knew they were feet in races past that I couldn't hold. The swim was long and I actually started to get cold during the swim despite the 82 degree water, but I knew forging ahead would simply be a waste of energy.

T1: Coming out of the swim I told the volunteers that I lost my chip and they told me to continue on. I was stoked to come out of the water with Tami Ritchie and I continued on to my bike.  When I got there I found my chip wrapped around my helmet strap. Now usually I always make up 10-15% of the T1 total time compared to my competitors, but I don't exactly have a lot of experience in unstrapping a timing chip and restrapping it in T1.

Bike: On to the bike I went and I tried to keep a relaxed pace until I could get my power online.  Once again my power didn't come online by itself and instead required a reset and repairing with my PT. This may seem simple but when your Edge button is flaky, is tucked between the aerobars, and you are moving at 30mph it is anything but.  Anyway, my power did finally come online and I was surprised at the level of watts I was pushing for the perceived effort. I quickly dialed it down as I worked toward 2nd and 3rd place.  In the first few miles I was able to see a tiny speck in the distance and the time check said I was 1:35 back from Rhodes in 1st. Naturally Rhodes had a lead vehicle, and I find that once a great biker is in the lead of the race that there is no way they are going to reliquinsh the spot. The advantage of a lead vehicle is too great.  Nonetheless I pedaled like a man possessed as to drop 2nd and 3rd place and not provide them with a free tow.  I could tell that I was gaining on Rhodes and I could actually start to see his wheels spinning but I was never able to close the gap and remained :45 seconds back as I rolled back in to transition

Run: I transitioned as quick as I could and made sure to get time splits to Rhodes and from 3rd and 4th place.  I started out on the run destined to catch Rhodes and ran tall, strong, and fast. I got multiple check points, and being a local race in my old stompin' grounds, there were numerous people that knew me by name and gave me splits. The split at half mile was down to 39 seconds, then at 1.5 mile it was down to 37, at 2.75 it was down to 26 seconds, and then at 4.5 it was down to 12 seconds. Unfortunately fellow local pro Jared Milram had moved into 3rd place and was only about 15 seconds down from me. Jared made the pass and I tried to go with him, but after 20 seconds I cracked and I was done. Stick a fork in me done. In that moment I had known that I had not only lost 1st place but also 2nd. With a sizeable gap to 4th I throw in the towel and I decided that I would have to be happy with 3rd. I used the last 1.5 miles as my cool down and trotted it in for 3rd place. It was disappointing but that is the way racing goes sometimes.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 155 Miles / 14 hours 49 minutes

Swim: 15,888 yards / ~8 miles / 4 hours 44 minutes
Bike: 126 miles / 7 hours 35 minutes
Run:  21 miles /  2 hours 28 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Jul 2 - Jul 8

W/ Team Timex Member Jackie Arendt
It was another roller coaster week for me that was filled with ups and downs.  After some long bikes last weekend I was in no shape to get back on my bike on Monday and opted for an interval run in the midday heat.  That was followed up with a decent swim practice, but things quickly went south from there as I developed some sort of stomach bug flu that had me down and out until Friday morning.

On Friday I didn't feel quite right but I knew I had to get in some semblance of work done to get the body fresh.  I opted for a patented strategy of workouts that have a fair bit of intensity but with very limited volume.  The plan initially was to at least aquabike Ironman Muncie 70.3 and then race the following day at Decatur Lakeside Triathlon, but with the sickness I opted to shuffle the cards and ended up at the Pewaukee Triathlon instead.   I'm not going to write this race up so here is a quick summary for those interested.

Swim: With record high temps all week I was not surprised that Lake Pewaukee was boiling. Because this isn't a official USAT race they don't abide by wetsuit rules. There is no way this would have been wetsuit legal, but even with the heat, there was never a doubt that I would wear a wetsuit.  With the heat, I knew that busting out hard in the swim was not a wise option and opted to dial it back to something more like 70.3 pace.  I found some feet off the second swimmer and hung tight. I could tell the swimmer was tiring and had planned to pass him after the final turn buoy but my plans changed when I was blinded by some of the worst place sun I have ever experience.  I could not see anything and opted just to relax and leave it up to the bike.

Bike: After an always speedy transition, I exited transition in 1st place with Paul Eicher close behind.  I focused on creating separation right away and never looked back.  For the second race in a row I couldn't get my Powertap to work despite it working fine in morning warm-up. After a few restarts of my Edge 500 it was still "no bueno" and I decided to scrap racing by power and decided just to pedal like a man possessed.

As we rolled out of the twisty turning subdivisions I started to look back to see what kind of gap I created.  It was sizeable but it wasn't growing as quickly as I expected.  It would stay like this and everytime I thought I was finally "out of sight out of mind" this white helmet would appear in the distance.  Finally late in the bike ride he was gone and I could relax knowing that with a bum Achilles that I could just set it on cruise control for the win.  Unfortunately the racing gods had other plans for me and decided that I needed to be stopped by a train.  Yes a moving train.  As I sat there I could see transition in the distance, but I couldn't get by. Every second seemed like an eternity.  Finally the train passed and I burnt a massive match to get the bike back up to speed only to have to slow down again as I rolled into transition.  

Run: I headed out on the run with the goal of maintaining a conservative pace on this challenging run course.  I ran with a focus on good form and took a glance back at the 1/2 mile mark to see no one. I soldiered on to a little out and back that would give me the information I needed.  It told me with 1.5 miles left to go that my lead was at roughly 45 seconds.  As a result, I picked up the pace in order to guarantee my victory.  After a few challenging descents I took another glance back and could now see no one.  I put it back in cruise and ran it in for the win.

Later I would find out that the biker behind me was actually a Wisconsin uber-cyclist who was part of a relay. Those relays started at the same time as us.  This information would have been nice to know, but I will chalk it up as my own fault for not knowing enough about the race.  Anyway, I was happy with the win and happy to share it with fellow friend, pro triathlete, and local Madisonian Jackie Arendt.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 92 Miles / 11 hours 25 minutes

Swim: 15,946 yards / ~9 miles / 5 hours 37 minutes
Bike: 66 miles / 3 hours 48 minutes
Run:  17 miles /  1 hours 59 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Jun 25 - Jul 1

Madison => Elkhart Lake => Madison 
My definition of hot is the point where dogs no longer have any desire to chase after you and instead sit idle under any shade they can find.  As a biker, that is a good thing, and thankfully this week was hot enough to keep the dogs at bay.  This allowed me to get in some stress-free LSD (Long-Slow Distance) work.  Now, I'm never a fan of LSD work, but in this case it was better than driving the 2 hours to The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin for a birthday party.  It also gave me the opportunity to travel on some roads that I would have otherwise never been exposed to.

I discovered that there are a lot of great roads to the northeast of Madison.  If anyone has a desire to replicate this ride then you can find the ride file below.  Keep in mind I didn't see a gas station for over 60 miles.

As for the rest of the week, well it was pretty much status quo.  Two solid master swim practices and some light running earlier in the week.  My Achilles didn't really show much improvement at all this week but it wasn't for the lack of time devoted to it.  Oh and my bike legs showed up to play on Monday morning for some redonkulous intevals - too bad they didn't show up the day prior though when it counted at the Copper Creek Triathlon.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 364 Miles / 28 hours 33 minutes

Swim: 19192 yards / ~11 miles / 6 hours 14 minutes
Bike: 329 miles / 19 hours 20 minutes
Run:  24 miles /  2 hours 58 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes