Monday, June 28, 2010

A Day at the Races

Was hoping this would be a good one to start the season (first sprint tri of the year) - however, that's not the case. In thinking about what needs to change next time (pretty much everything) - I've determined I can cut at least half, if not all, of the time off that would have enabled me to reach my goal for this race.

Things to work on, set up, another couple minutes to rethink transition instead of rushing through it and I would have already had the pump on 50% for the duration of the event rather than remembering that about a mile into the bike leg and having to balance the bike and reduce basal (heard a lot of on your left for some reason during that time). And since I'm setting records for transition speed (or slowness) - item #2 on the list would be having the monitor ready to go - and practicing more with it. Since sprint event #1 a year ago, where I went through about half a bottle of test strips because it was raining, my hands were wet, and as a result the strips were wet (the meter doesn't like that) I did get a self contained unit (strips inside so you don't have to touch them) - but haven't practiced with it enough (note to self - perfect practice makes perfect).

Warm up - what warm up? The water was 86 degrees - isn't that warm enough? Again pressed for time - need to get in the water and swim a bit (even though it was a bit "murky"). Final thought - the nice people in the boats are there for the racers safety - however, I don't wish to stop and see them again. At the start HR was about 35 BPM higher than normal. Also decided to start in the middle of the pack as most people had spread out single file down the shore line. Did alright on the first 200 (of 600 yards) - rounded the bouy, and then I don't know what happened. Lost my rhythm, lost my mojo, had a panic attack seeing the pink swim caps catching up, whatever, but couldn't seem to relax. Headed to the boat at 400 and waited till the HR was below 160 - then finished it out - but by that time there was no catching up to the rest of the green caps. In practice HR is usually in the 140s at tops. Speaking of caps - need to practice with one of those on too.

As noted - transition needs to change - one more question in a sprint tri for a diabetic is to sock, or not to sock? I prefer to avoid potential blisters - but maybe trying it without socks (after practicing this way of course) would help - I can't afford to have double the transition time (twice) in a short race? And for the run - got a pair of Yankz Saturday afternoon. Actually was happy with the bike time, not overly satisfied with the run, but (final lesson of the day) - didn't know what I was getting into before I did it. At least I wasn't last in my age group.

And for icing on the cake - BGs were in the 200s (not where I like them) for both the bike and the run. Morals of the story - practice the way you're going to play (how many times have I said that as a coach?) Learn from your mistakes. Remember there is a bigger goal in mind next May.
And as a PS - congrats to Coach Ed Leibowitz (Triabetes coach) on completing IM CDA Saturday. Lots to learn from the resources we have available - hope this helps someone along the way as well. Next up is a 10k on the 4th of July (with 50,000 friends in the Peachtree Road Race) - then an Oly in Chattenooga on July 11th. In the meantime working on the things that can be improved...May is still a long way off.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

End of a Long Week

Had a decent week of workouts (until today - maybe Sunday's don't like me for some reason). Wednesday I spent over 2 hours on a stationary bike - not a pleasant experience - probably lost 5 lbs. of water weight on that one - but stable blood sugars (I've been experimenting with various types of breakfast bar and following some other guidance from Coach Ed L.)

Thursday was a good 7 miler on the streets of Alexandria, VA - not too hot, not too humid. A bit of knee pain toward the end - but overall a good workout. Friday as a swimming day (Sunday should have been) and I continued to slowly progress in terms of stroke strength and breathing technique/capability. Hopefully I'll be good to go this coming weekend when I have to do 600 in a lake at one of the state parks (sprint tri #1 for the season).

Saturday was the Jackson County Brevet - a ride to benefit those with Aplastic Anemia. For a first time event they had pretty good attendance - about 500 from what I was told. I opted for the short (35 mile) course - though many others did the 65 and 100 mile routes. Everyone was together for the first 14 miles - after that the groups thinned out and I was able to use my brakes less. Was chased by 2 stray dogs (wondered how that was going to work out if they actually caught me and I was still "clipped in") - saw a llama (or something similar) in someone's front yard (we're talking rural Georgia here - and no, I didn't spike the water bottle). Overall a nice ride - roads were in better shape than some of other areas I've ridden - no traffic - and they were less hilly.

Sunday I learned yet another lesson (I see Bart Simpson writing this on the blackboard for me primarily because that's something he does, and I'm too tired to do it) "I will not do my long distance runs in the middle of the afternoon". It was 94 - humidity not too bad - decided a nice 3 mile loop - somewhat shady - would be in order for the day. Mistake. Felt like I was carrying a ton of bricks the entire time (adding another ton each time around). And this was supposed to be a day to keep the HR in Zone 1 - it was there about the time I walked to the back of the car - should have stopped at that point.

Early mornings from now on if at all possible. Looking forward to the day off (from training) tomorrow, and of course my "later" flight to DC (leaving at 7:25 instead of an hour earlier - get to sleep in!!).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Enjoyable trip home

So much for the wish for low humidity - 88% on Sunday, but at least the temps were in the 70s. Actually had a very nice run early Saturday on the Montour Trail - fairly close to the Pittsburgh Airport (for anyone ever travelling in that area) It's a railroad bed that's been converted to a multi-use trail - nice flat run along a creek, below the hills that surround the area. Did an out and back loop - saw a few people on bikes, a running group moving at a decent clip, some walkers and even someone out reading.

Sunday was sort of a trip down memory lane - I ran in my hometown of Titusville, PA. Most of the run was on the streets (some that need repaving work done in a few places) of the town where I grew up. Many of the Facebook friends I have grew up in homes along the route - was thinking about that along the way. Ran most of the old Charity Classic route (a 10k that was held while I was growing up) and through Drake Well Park (world's first oil well over 150 years ago now) and ended up still being able to run up Spruce Street Hill (it seemed much easier when I was in my teens) to finish up. A quick weekend visit but some quality running time - and with good blood sugars this weekend!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nice to be in the Pool

After 3 consecutive days on the bike this week it was nice to have a dip in the pool this morning. Certain body parts were a little sore! Not that I'm biking anywhere too fast (blaming that on the little hills that seem to be everywhere), or swimming too fast for that matter either (blaming that on the fact that I like to breathe frequently), but good for a change of pace. Running both days this weekend - hope the humidity in PA (going for my nephew's graduation party) is less than it is here (hot and humid in ATL this weekend - summer has finally arrived!)

Monday, June 7, 2010

11 months to go

Pushing to get to 5/7/11 and hopefully be at or near the finish line at this time of the evening (including the time zone shift so we're not cutting things too close). Watched baby Martin today as he worked on crawling forward. Seems that at times he would like to skip the whole crawling thing altogether and push himself onto his feet and walk - just not there yet and it will take some time. Realize the same is true with training for an Ironman - doesn't come quickly, requires lots of work and practice, but the finish line is out there...waiting...just like the toys Martin is trying to retrieve.

No workout (off day) after yesterday's blood sugar adventure (prefer to see 34 preceeded by a 1 when looking at my BG monitor). Got some input and insight from Ed L. today what may have contributed (someone else needs to cut the grass and/or I don't need to be exercising 4 hrs. afterward. As noted above...lots to learn. Looking forward to a bike ride tomorrow - and then getting a bike tune up done.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Met with Pratt Rather - Insulindependence Board Member, RAAM finisher, Phrendo member - on Friday afternoon. He had flown in from Oregon with his family for his dad's 75th birthday celebration this weekend. Pratt is involved in several breweries, most notably one that seems to fill my fridge, Sweetwater Brewing, based here in Atlanta. Good stuff!!

Not only do they make beer (the newest Sch-Wheat, not yet on the local supermarket shelves, but highly recommended by yours truly when it does hit), but they also actively support diabetes fundraising efforts...(for anyone in the area on June 19 please check out

Hopefully others on the Triabetes team will have a chance to meet Pratt at some point during the year (I think he's running the Ragnar event). We had a good conversation with the folks at Sweetwater about hosting a documentary screening this fall/winter. I also learned a bit about his newest venture in Bend, OR and was promised some names locally that may be able to help me with the biking aspect of the journey to St. George. Overall great guy and a big supporter of the Triabetes team...I'm fortunate to have his assistance!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back Stateside

We finally made it to southern Poland, however, the "bug" caught up with me as well so sightseeing was limited. Had an overnight layover in Amsterdam on the way home. Checked out the downtown. Warning - if you should ever visit - watch for bikes. I've never seen so many - and the little bell dinging right before you're about to be run over doesn't quite cut it. Maybe I could get one for my tri-bike?

Overall it was a long trip due to the virus Martin and I both ended up having. We spent today visiting doctors. At this point he only has an ear infection and a little bit of a cough left. I can't hear anything out of my right ear, plus a sore throat. To top it off #1 son also is sick with strep. Good news is we're all on meds now, bad news is I have done no training in the past week due to the cough, head and chest congestion, headaches, fever, travel, etc.

Hoping this is all out of my system in the next couple of days so I can get back on track. Looking forward to using Training Peaks as a guide (provided Andrew realizes there is currently an extra "0" in my 2000 yard swim (yes, 200 seems a bit more like it to me).