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April 30, 2007

No brakes!

Interesting piece by the NYT on fixed-gear bikes.

Dad built me a fixed-gear bike when I was 10, complete with drops (and brakes). I won my age group in what was probably the precursor to the Jacksonville Cycling Classic back in the early 80's. I remember the bike being so highly geared it took me a while to get it to speed, but once I did I was flying. All of the other kids were on BMX bikes and spinning their brains out. The next year I moved up an age group and finished second. They also changed the rules that year and outlawed drops in the single speed category. Too bad aero bars were still a couple of years away.

Running in Des Moines

10 Miles in Des MoinesWhile in Des Moines on business last week, I was able to get in a long run. It wasn't easy to do because the weather didn't want to cooperate and many of the paths that make up Des Moines great network of trails were underwater. I was finally able to run on Friday morning along the river to the north. I did encounter a few sections of underwater paths, but for the most part it was a very nice run. It would be fantastic if Jacksonville would commit to a series of trails like many other urban areas have developed. Here is a map of my run with splits.

2007 Tour de Forts

Mike McLamb and I rode the Tour de Forts yesterday. Fortunately, much of the smoke from the south Georgia wildfires had not yet started blowing in the area we were riding. Later on in the day, the sky was filled with smoke and would have made the ride very difficult. More difficult than it already was. We rode in the lead pack from the start, until I missed a jump at the 27th mile just north of Big Talbot Island as we rode across a causeway bridge. Up to that point, I had held my own and kept up with all of the accelerations, but the speed coupled with the incline were too much. I pretty much popped and couldn't bridge the gap. Mike was hanging off the back of the lead pack hoping I could make it, but when he realized I wouldn't, he dropped and waited for me. We forgot to agree ahead of the ride what we would do in that scenario. I should've told him to ride on without me. We ended up in a pack of 6 guys that were all doing the 61-mile route. The other guys in the pack were all very strong and we were able to work together and still finish the loop in 2:40. Here is the Tour de Forts map with splits.

Fun ride, and a good warm-up for my inaugural long loop ride this Saturday.

Drake Relays 2007

Drake Relays 2007

While in Des Moines last week, I was able to attend the Drake Relays, a premiere national track and field event. I was only able to attend Thursday evening, but that was OK because it was the distance festival. Men's and women's 10k, 5k and high school girls 3000 and boys 3200 were held. As I arrived at the venue, I ran into a member of the UF track team. Go Gators!

While there, I saw an Iowa state record set for the girls 3000, and saw some phenomenal performances in the other events. It's amazing how fast these kids are!

April 23, 2007

One square per visit

The Butler girls will be in trouble if this ever happens. We go through toilet paper at our house like crazy.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Crow calls for limit on loo paper

Singer Sheryl Crow has said a ban on using too much toilet paper should be introduced to help the environment.

Crow has suggested using "only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required".

The other question is, how will this be enforced? I imagine sophisticated toilet paper dispensers. One ticket please.

April 22, 2007

Snake day at the Baldwin Rail Trail

Coral snake on the bike trailOn Thursday, I did the 40-mile loop out at the trail. The scariest part of the ride is usually sharing the road on Otis Road, US 301, and county roads 121 and 119. This past week, the most danger I saw was after I got off the roads and on the trail. The first snake I saw was a harmless racer, but then I came up on a water moccasin that was lying across the trail. I aimed for the tail end and hammered past, not wanting to slow down for a second look. A litle farther down the trail, I encountered this booger. As I went past, I thought it was a king snake. I decided to circle around for another look. Coral snakes are pretty rare. To my surprise it really was a coral snake. He was a little guy, and much like the description I have heard. He was kind of floundering around on the trail, not sure where to go. He wasn't fast, and didn't appear able to see very well. I was able to get close for a photo, something I wasn't willing to do with the cottonmouth. The coral snake was the last snake I saw on the trail that day. Despite stopping for the snake, it was a fairly fast training ride, finishing the 41-mile loop in 2:01.

Weekly training recap

Good week of training, despite being out of town for 3 days. Was able to get some swimming in while in Birmingham. There is a really nice YMCA on Lakeshore Blvd. that I use whenever in Birmingham. Totals for th week are:

Run 18.20 miles
Swim 6600 yards
Bike 84.5 miles

Total time was a little over 9 hours. The plan called for 10, but I finished a couple of workouts faster than I planned. Next week I'm looking at an 11 hour week, then a 12 hour week the first week of May. Then a 2-week taper and the race. Wow, four weeks to go.

April 16, 2007

I would be interested to know if Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press has ever run a marathon

Because, if you aren't an elite and you are running the Boston Marathon, you are an "also-ran" according to an article I read this morning regarding the conditions of today's Boston marathon.

A slow pace usually leads to a more tactical - and more exciting - race up front. More of a concern for organizers is how the weather will affect the 20,000 also-rans, who will be out longer and more likely to need medical care.

Wow. There were 432,000 marathon finishers last year in the United States. That's approximately .14% of the US population. And that doesn't factor in people who finished more than one marathon last year, which would make the percentage of actual participants even lower. And the majority of marathon finishers can only dream about qualifying for the Boston Marathon (including me, the closest I've come is a 3:37 when I need a 3:15).

The bottom line is I don't think "also-ran" is a very good word to describe the people who have the ability (and the nerve) to toe the line in Hopkinton.

April 15, 2007

Quality brick yesterday to wrap up rest week

I was happy to round out my sub-par week of training with a good brick yesterday. I didn't think being on the road was going to disrupt the training much, since I planned on running the boardwalk while in Atlantic City. Unfortunately, I was only able to do one run of 4 miles and my 11-miler was cancelled because of atrocious weather. Thursday morning the weather was rainy, 38-degrees, and 20 mph gusts. My swim on Friday was replaced with a long run on Friday and a quality brick yesterday.

I met up with the Open Road group ride yesterday morning at 7:30 and while it was a small group, the effort was pretty good. There were some good jumps and I was able to work with the lead group until the turn-off for the short loop. Heading home, I met a guy named Mark and we put in some strong efforts to break from the rest of the group. We maintained a good tempo of 25-26 mph and never saw the rest of the group. Total mileage was around 44 miles. Once home, I put on the running shoes and ran 2 miles. This is the first good run off the bike I've done this year and my legs were feeling sluggish. It's funny how your legs can feel that way, even though you are going faster than you think. I was sure I was running north of 8:00/miles, but the splits were in the 7:45 range. For the Disney Half, I want to run between 1:45 and 2:00, so that is a confidence builder.

The coming week will include some more travel, but here's the plan:
M - Run 12
T - Swim 2000 (might get moved to Thursday)
W - Swim 3500
R - Bike 40 (tempo and drills including time in the aero position)
F - Swim 3000
Sa - Bike 50, Run 2 off the bike
Su - Run 5 (tempo)

IM Arizona is on

IM Arizona has started and the pros have just come through T1. The age groupers will come through shortly. My neighbor Peter King is racing, so I'll keep an eye open for him. I have the athlete tracker page fired up. Lyndon Box and his wife Lesleigh are also in Tempe racing. I think the Box-man is looking to qualify for Kona and break the 10 hour barrier.

In other racing news, James did the TriAmerica distance triathlon down in Clermont this morning. The distances are 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) for the swim, 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) for the bike and 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) for the run. Anxious to hear how the race went. He was going to leave Jacksonville this morning around 4 or 4:30 and said he was going to be ticked if they cancelled the swim because of the weather. I think they replace the swim with a 5k run if the weather prevents the swim.

Regarding the weather here in Jacksonville, it is rainy and yucky. With the girls sick all week we decided to stay home from church.

UPDATE 1: Lyndon just finished the swim in 1:05:24.

April 9, 2007

Don Imus has inspired me

My apologies to Molly Cardozo for calling her a "blog mocker." And for this picture. And for anything disparaging I might have ever said about ADPi's or UCF or UCF ADPi's.

Just don't make me apologize on Al "The Moral Compass" Sharpton's radio show. By the way Al, Steven Pagones is still waiting on his apology. Maybe when Imus is reinstated you can do it on his show.

Consistency pays

I'm taking tomorrow off. I will be unable to do any training, and it will be good for my body (so I'm told). I might be able to get some stretching in (another thing that I've been told is good for me).

The last couple of days I have put in some quality training. I had a good, but short 2000 yard swim today. Felt comfortable the entire time. I did 3x400 (swim, kick pull), followed by 300 swim, 200 kick, 100 drills. Then I did a 300 swim cool-down.

Yesterday was a 5-mile tempo run. I did the Ortega River Run course and I must've had a massive tailwind going down McGirts because I was cooking at 6:50 pace. Got the heart rate up, but not too high. Maybe around 165 or so for the hard effort.

Saturday was my longest ride of the year. I rode from the house to the rail trail and did the 48-mile loop that includes Plummer Road, 301, CR 119 and 121. Total distance was about 64 miles. But they were tough miles with a nasty headwind coming out of the northwest. Gusts up to 20 mph I think. It's demoralizing when you are cranking as hard as you can and you look down and you're only going 16 mph.

The rest of last week included:

M - 1500 yard swim. Cut short because the Y pool had been emptied and refilled, and when the refilled it, I swear it was 50% water, 50% chlorine.
T - 10 mile run. Longest run since the River Run. Hip felt good and I maintained a 7:51 pace.
W - 3000 yard swim.
R - 29 mile bike ride with Mike and Lori.
F - 3000 yard swim.

Good volume with some good, hard efforts tossed in. This week will be a down week, and then a 3 week build up. After that, a 2 week taper and then the race.

April 6, 2007

Coming soon to the back of an Acura TL near you

Needed to order some stickers with the neighborhood's website address to put on some signs we ordered. Couldn't resist creating a sticker for me while I was at it.

April 5, 2007

Comparing March 2007 with March 2006

With the commitment to lay off the run after the River Run, running mileage is down 50%. Swim volume is 23% greater and bike volume is a whopping 122% greater. Still need to do more work in the pool. Overall fitness is pretty good with all of the cycling miles.
















April 4, 2007

He said it, Part II

""We've kind of turned Ohio State into Runner-up U., haven't we?""
- Steve Sprurrier, 4/3/2007

April 3, 2007

He said it

"We're a basketball school again."
- Urban Meyer, 4/2/2007

Good run this morning

First long run since the River Run over 3 weeks ago. Trying to give my hip a chance to heal. The therapy seems to be working as well. This morning I ran 10 miles at a 7:51 clip. Not too bad, and I felt good during the run. When I returned home, I worked on stretching out the gluteus medius (sp?) and the lower back, areas that seem to have been giving me trouble. Heart rate was a little high for some sections, but nothing terrible.

I also ran 6.5 this past Sunday and couldn't get the heart rate below 160, although I was only running an easy 8:00/mile pace. I think I was dehydrated.

Those Gators are wasting taxpayer dollars

The Florida DOT just put this sign up along I-75. With the win by the Gators last night, it already needs to be replaced. I hope we waste more DOT money and that sign gets bigger and bigger!

April 2, 2007